Battle Creek Letters


Re-copied July 11, 1928 MS—13—01 V. E. R. Diary January 1898

Medical Missionary Work and the Ministry

The question has been asked, did you not give Dr. Kellogg encouragement after he had entered into this work? I answer, I did; for I had been instructed that a work of this character should be done by all our churches; that a deep interest should be taken in this very line of work; that according to the light which the Lord had been pleased to give me, this line of work should have been taken hold of with resolution by our ministers, not to create a large center in one place, but to establish the work in many cities and to arouse the people to give of the Lord's money for the work in behalf of suffering humanity. BCL 11.1

The Lord gave me light that in every place where a church was established, medical missionary work was to be done. But there was in the Battle Creek church a great deal of selfishness. Those at the very heart of the work indulged their own wishes in a way that dishonored God. Dr. Kellogg was not sustained in the health reform work, the importance of which had been kept before the church for thirty years. This work was hindered because of the feelings and prejudices of some in Battle Creek who were not disposed to conform their course of action to the Word of God regarding health reform principles. BCL 11.2

The history of Daniel is recorded for the special benefit of those who desire to place themselves in the best condition of physical soundness, that they may reach as high a standard of usefulness as Daniel reached. The first chapter of Daniel is one of the most forcible discourses on temperance that could be given. Read it, read it, and as you read, become wise, not in your own conceit, but wise like Daniel and his fellows, whose physical, mental and spiritual understanding increased with their sanctified resolution to adhere strictly to the principles of temperance in eating and drinking. These youth were greatly blessed in their effort to honor and please God by preserving their physical powers so that they would have mental strength, and so that God could mould and fashion them after the divine similitude. We read; “As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.... And in all matters of wisdom and understanding that kings inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.” BCL 11.3

Had those who claim to believe the truth for these last days done as Daniel did, had they been determined to walk in all the light God caused to shine upon them, the great difficulties which have existed in Battle Creek would not have been. The great dearth of means would not have been. Had those who crowded into Battle Creek gone out and taken up evangelistic work, first for themselves, as did Daniel and his fellows, and then for others, the Lord would have given them wisdom and skill and understanding. But the light given was not lived out. The testimonies sent by the Lord in regard to health reform were made the subject of criticism. They were misused and abused by those who were determined to vindicate their own ideas and carry out their own plans. BCL 12.1

Had the church followed in the light God gave, refusing to lay another brick in the erection of buildings which were not in the order of God, a great burden of debt would have been avoided. When the time came to move, the people could have established themselves in places where they would have given character to the work of God for this time. BCL 12.2

The work God pointed out for those in Battle Creek was for them to leave Battle Creek and work in places where there was nothing to represent the truth. Thus plants would have been made in many places. The students would not have been gathered in one large company. The Lord would have worked. BCL 12.3

God has not forsaken his people, but his people have forsaken him. Those in Battle Creek should have worked for the ones who needed their help. Dr. Kellogg took up the work they did not do. The spirit of criticism shown to his work from the first has been very unjust, and has made his work hard. The lack of sympathy his brethren have shown him has prepared the way for the work he has been doing in criticising them. The Lord has no justification for any such work. BCL 12.4

Had the church done in different localities the work given them by God, had they followed the example left them by Christ there would now be centers all through America. Plants would be established in many places. There would not be a great showing in Chicago alone; the work would be multiplied in many places, with the full co-operation of the institutions established in Battle Creek. BCL 12.5

The past should be subject for keen regret. The Lord would now have the medical missionary work recognized as the helping hand of God. But this work has been carried too heavily in one place, when plants should have been made in many places. BCL 12.6

The Lord has given Dr. Kellogg his work. It is a fact that our ministers are very slow to become health reformers, notwithstanding all the light which the Lord has given upon this subject. This has caused Dr. Kellogg to lose confidence in them. Their tardy work in health reform has created in him a spirit of criticism, and he has borne down on them in an unsparing manner, which the Lord does not sanction. He has belittled the gospel ministry, and in his regard and ideas has placed the medical missionary work above the ministry. I have seen that in the censuring of ministers remarks have been made which have not been to the honor and glory of God. BCL 13.1