Sermons and Talks, vol. 1


Diet and Health Notes on Sermon Preached by Mrs. E. G. White at Los Angeles, California, May 16, 1884

We are required, whether we eat or drink, to do all to the glory of God. One of the signs that we are in the last days is that this is not done. “As it was in the days of Lot.” Luke 17:28. Minds are too largely occupied with thoughts of what to eat or drink or wear. Men have no time to think of what will fit them for eternal life. Shall we not act like rational beings? The greatest question that ever occupied the human mind is, What shall I do to be saved? If the thoughts take a low plane, the character will be correspondingly low. But if the thoughts are led to grapple with the difficult problems in the Bible, the mind and character will be strengthened. In the world much time is given to matters of eating and drinking and dressing. Shall we be like the world, or shall we show that we cannot spend our time as they do? Be careful not to go to extremes. 1SAT 10.1

In regard to tea, coffee, tobacco, etc., we know that we have no use for any of these things. I have just seen a man who had sold his reason to drink. We don't want to be dependent on any of these things. As a people we are strictly temperate. We believe that using tobacco goes side by side with liquor drinking. We would present the pledge as much to the tobacco devotee as to the liquor drinker. 1SAT 10.2

We should pay attention to diet. Three meals a day are as many as anyone requires, and in many cases two are better than three. But while you take the three meals do not encourage your children to eat at all times. Bring your fruit upon the table. As for preserves, they are not best for us. Some simple pies that are not injurious may be used. As to discarding salt absolutely, I do not think we should. 1SAT 10.3

Some conscientious souls have dropped everything at once and have not used anything to supply the place of the meat, etc., which they have dropped. Persons become debilitated on account of such sudden changes. Could we have the assurance that the meat is healthful, there would not be so much objection to its use. But very much of it is diseased. Men have flocks and herds with disease; and they are sold for the market even when they are dying from disease. I once found a most disgusting scrofulous sore in a quarter of lamb that was apparently very healthy. You cannot tell that meat is healthy even when highly recommended. How much of this is eaten! 1SAT 11.1

Animals are maltreated on the way to the slaughterhouse. There was one case of an animal that refused to go to the butcher. Its eyes were put out, it was pounded almost to a jelly, and finally dragged to slaughter and sold in market. 1SAT 11.2

As for pork, I never have anything to do with it because God tells me not to touch it, and He knows best. It is a scavenger. Its only use is to gather up filth. God does not want us to become scavengers to the scavengers. Our safest position is to do as the Lord tells us. 1SAT 11.3

We want to eat that which will give us the best quality of blood. Hadn't we better be studying the Bible than spending our time fixing up so many varieties of food? Have few kinds at a time and change often. Don't have the very same things right along all the time. Not many varieties at one meal, but varieties at different meals—this is the best plan. Food must be palatable in order to be nourishing. 1SAT 11.4

[The secretary who was taking notes on Ellen White's sermon reports that Sister White “related experiences in experimenting on doing without salt or any seasoning whatever; also in doing without meat; and in coming down to two meals a day.” The secretary recorded no details concerning these experiences.] 1SAT 12.1

We don't make the health reform an iron bedstead, cutting people off or stretching them out to fit it. One person cannot be a standard for everybody else. What we want is a little sprinkling of good common sense. Don't be extremists. If you err, it would be better to err on the side of the people than on the side where you cannot reach them. Do not be peculiar for the sake of being peculiar. Away with cake. Persons may kill themselves with sweets. More harm is done to children by sweets than by anything else. The best food that I have obtained is the rolls. 1SAT 12.2

Dry food is better than so much wet food. Eat what the system requires to produce good blood. Poverty of diet will produce disease of the blood. Be regular in your meals. Have wholesome food at all times, and make no difference for company.—Ms 5, 1884. (MR 900.48) 1SAT 12.3