The Health Reformer


The Health Reformer


August 1, 1866

Duty to Know Ourselves


Many have inquired of me, “What course shall I take to best preserve my health?” My answer is, Cease to transgress the laws of your being; cease to gratify a depraved appetite; eat simple food; dress healthfully, which will require modest simplicity; work healthfully; and you will not be sick. HR August 1, 1866, par. 1

It is a sin to be sick; for all sickness is the result of transgression. Many are suffering in consequence of the transgression of their parents. They cannot be censured for their parents’ sin; but it is nevertheless their duty to ascertain wherein their parents violated the laws of their being, which has entailed upon their offspring so miserable an inheritance; and wherein their parents’ habits were wrong, they should change their course, and place themselves by correct habits in a better relation to health. HR August 1, 1866, par. 2

Men and women should inform themselves in regard to the philosophy of health. The minds of rational beings seem shrouded in darkness in regard to their own physical structure, and how to preserve it in a healthy condition. The present generation have trusted their bodies with the doctors, and their souls with the ministers. Do they not pay the minister well for studying the Bible for them, that they need not be to the trouble? and is it not his business to tell them what they must believe, and to settle all doubtful questions of theology without special investigation on their part? If they are sick, they send for the doctor—believe whatever he may tell, and swallow anything he may prescribe; for do they not pay him a liberal fee, and is it not his business to understand their physical ailments, and what to prescribe to make them well, without their being troubled with the matter? HR August 1, 1866, par. 3

Children are sent to school to be taught the sciences; but the science of human life is wholly neglected. That which is of the most vital importance, a true knowledge of themselves, without which all other science can be of but little advantage, is not brought to their notice. A cruel and wicked ignorance is tolerated in regard to this important question. So closely is health related to our happiness, that we cannot have the latter without the former. A practical knowledge of the science of human life, is necessary in order to glorify God in our bodies. It is therefore of the highest importance, that among the studies selected for childhood, Physiology should occupy the first place. How few know anything about the structure and functions of their own bodies, and of Nature's laws. Many are drifting about without knowledge, like a ship at sea without compass or anchor; and what is more, they are not interested to learn how to keep their bodies in a healthy condition, and prevent disease. HR August 1, 1866, par. 4

The indulgence of animal appetites has degraded and enslaved many. Self-denial, and a restraint upon the animal appetites, is necessary to elevate and establish an improved condition of health and morals, and purify corrupted society. Every violation of principle in eating and drinking, blunts the perceptive faculties, making it impossible for them to appreciate or place the right value upon eternal things. It is of the greatest importance that mankind should not be ignorant in regard to the consequences of excess. Temperance in all things is necessary to health, and the development and growth of a good Christian character. HR August 1, 1866, par. 5

Those who transgress the laws of God in their physical organism, will not be less slow to violate the law of God spoken from Sinai. Those who will not, after the light has come to them, eat and drink from principle, instead of being controlled by appetite, will not be tenacious in regard to being governed by principle in other things. The agitation of the subject of reform in eating and drinking, will develop character, and will unerringly bring to light those who make a “god of their bellies.” HR August 1, 1866, par. 6

Parents should arouse, and in the fear of God inquire, what is truth? A tremendous responsibility rests upon them. They should be practical physiologists, that they may know what are and what are not, correct physical habits, and be enabled thereby to instruct their children. The great mass are as ignorant and indifferent in regard to the physical and moral education of their children as the animal creation. And yet they dare assume the responsibilities of parents. Every mother should acquaint herself with the laws that govern physical life. She should teach her children that the indulgence of animal appetites, produces a morbid action in the system, and weakens their moral sensibilities. Parents should seek for light and truth, as for hid treasures. To parents is committed the sacred charge of forming the characters of their children in childhood. They should be to their children, both teacher and physician. They should understand nature's wants and nature's laws. A careful conformity to the laws God has implanted in our being, will insure health, and there will not be a breaking down of the constitution, which will tempt the afflicted to call for a physician to patch them up again. HR August 1, 1866, par. 7

Many seem to think they have a right to treat their own bodies as they please; but they forget that their bodies are not their own. Their Creator who formed them, has claims upon them that they cannot rightly throw off. Every needless transgression of the laws which God has established in our being, is virtually a violation of the law of God, and is as great a sin in the sight of Heaven as to break the ten commandments. Ignorance upon this important subject, is sin; the light is now beaming upon us, and we are without excuse if we do not cherish the light, and become intelligent in regard to these things, which it is our highest earthly interest to understand. HR August 1, 1866, par. 8