Manuscript Releases, vol. 8 [Nos. 526-663]


MR No. 640—Cautions Regarding Restaurant Work

The opening of hygienic restaurants is a work that God would have done in the cities. If wisely conducted, these restaurants will be missionary centers. Those working in them should have at hand publications on health and temperance topics and on other phases of gospel truth, to give to those coming for meals.—Manuscript 114, 1902, 4. (“Instruction Regarding Sanitarium Work,” September 1, 1902.) 8MR 397.1

We are starting these restaurants in many cities, that we may teach the people the value of a health reform diet. No meat, tea, or coffee are served in our restaurants. The fare is wholesome and nourishing, and is made up of grains, vegetables, nuts, and fruits. We endeavor to demonstrate to those who come the advantage of a diet of this kind over a flesh diet.—Letter 143, 1902, p. 1. (To Mary Foss, September 12, 1902.) 8MR 397.2

We need to count the cost of starting restaurants, and see if matters cannot be so arranged that the efforts put forth to conduct them will tell more decidedly for the saving of souls. Thus God will be better glorified. If the managers and helpers of these restaurants are so busily engaged that they have little time to commune with God themselves and little opportunity to bring the light of truth before the people they serve, let the restaurant work be given up, and let our people take up some other line of work that will do more to awaken an interest in present truth. The restaurant work will prove a snare if the helpers are kept so busy that they have no time to work for the saving of souls.—Letter 145, 1902, p. 3. (To J. A. Burden and wife, September 21, 1902.) 8MR 397.3

For a time health food restaurants may be carried on in the cities. If those who take up this work will make it a means of the conversion of souls, then the plans of God in establishing the health food work will be carried out. But if the managers continue to increase their facilities, and to bring in workers, who are brought into daily contact with the worldly element, without putting forth a strong effort to counteract the evil influences, the workers will be led astray by temptation, and souls will not be converted. And if souls are not saved by the work of our restaurants, why should those interests continue to be conducted under the present plan? 8MR 398.1

Los Angeles and San Diego should be worked. At this time of the year large numbers of tourists come to these places, many of whom are seeking to regain lost health. I appeal to our people to invest their means in the establishment of sanitariums near these places.—Manuscript 85, 1903, 4. (“Diary,” September 29, 1903.) 8MR 398.2

I have written that restaurants should be established as a means of bringing those who know the truth into touch with the people of the world, and of providing opportunities of reaching these people with the message of present truth. Should those attending these restaurants reform in their habits of eating, they would be better prepared to listen to arguments in favor of the truth. 8MR 398.3

But, if by the restaurant work there is not awakened a deep and living interest in the things of eternal importance, what is gained by this work? Christ is hungry for souls, hungry to see those for whom He gave His life receiving the blessings placed within their reach. Shall He have died for them in vain? Satan will use every opportunity to seduce men from their allegiance to God. He and the angels who fell with him will appear on the earth as men, seeking to deceive. God's angels, also, will appear as men, and will use every means in their power to defeat the purposes of the enemy. We, too, have a part to act. We shall surely be overcome unless we fight manfully the battles of the Lord. 8MR 399.1

It is in order that those who love God and keep His commandments may have as little hindrance as possible in their advancement in the heavenward way that they are warned not to live in the cities. If by our restaurant work souls are not won to the truth, what is gained by entering so largely into this work, which must be done in the cities? Will the result justify the effort put forth? Will it pay for our young men and young women to spend their time and energy in providing and serving food for worldlings, while they make no effort to save their souls, no effort to lead them to see the light of present truth?—Letter 83, 1903, pp. 2, 3. (To H. W. Kellogg, May 13, 1903.) 8MR 399.2

Should her [Sister Tuxford] advice be followed as to the food that should be provided for those who patronize the restaurant [probably in St. Helena, California], there is danger that the restaurant will become a consumer instead of a producer. When it is seen that an enterprise is running behind, a change should be made, so that money enough will be brought in to cover expenses. If this cannot be done, it would be better for the enterprise to be closed.—Letter 62, 1903, p. 1. (To J. A. Burden and wife, April 21, 1903.) 8MR 399.3

We are now to prepare for the marriage supper of the Lamb. We are to give the message everywhere, in the highways and the hedges, to high and low, rich and poor. House-to-house work is to be done. I am becoming afraid as I see how little soul-saving work is done by our restaurants. As I think of these things, I am instructed that unless the restaurant work is managed in such a way as to save souls, the young people engaged in it will be in danger of losing their interest in present truth. God would have us make decided plans to keep as far as possible from the snares that await those who enter largely into food speculations. We must pray and watch unto prayer, and we must find out the real results of the restaurant work.—Letter 243, 1903, p. 4. (To Sister Hall, May 11, 1903.) 8MR 400.1

The Word of God contains food for mind and soul. The appetite for reading the novels or the trashy reading to be found in many of the magazines that are flooding the world, will cause a dwarfage of spiritual growth. An unhealthful appetite is created, and very feeble will be the desire for the sincere milk of the Word. We desire to encourage all to be sensible, and give up the reading of all that is unprofitable, and to become interested in the Word of God, which teaches young and old how to set an example of righteousness. Eat ye that which is good, and instructive, that your souls may have a healthful growth.—Letter 279, 1905, p. 3. (To Clarence Santee, October 4, 1905.) 8MR 400.2

From Loma Linda we went to San Diego. I was still sick with influenza, yet on Sabbath I stood before a large congregation, and spoke to them from the fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah. I talked for an hour and a half on the restaurant work, and the danger of this line of work becoming so enlarged that those who should be engaged in giving the gospel to souls starving for the bread of life, would be occupied in serving tables. 8MR 401.1

This was my message, and the Lord strengthened me in a most remarkable manner.—Letter 305, 1905, pp. 1, 2. (To Walter Harper, October 27, 1905.) 8MR 401.2

My message is that the restaurants are carrying a burden that the Lord has not laid upon them. The preparations of food are so expensive that the poorer class receive but little benefit. There should be greater simplicity in the preparation of foods. The living testimony of truth should be borne, and a reformation should take place. Too much talent and capability are absorbed in a work which reveals but few results in the salvation of souls.—Letter 269, 1905, pp. 2, 3. (To S. N. Haskell, G. I. Butler, and I. A. Ford, September 15, 1905.) 8MR 401.3

Some features of the health work have proved a snare to capture talents of influence that might have been used in feeding souls with the bread of life. While thousands are perishing without a knowledge of the truth, while multitudes have not the bread of life to feed upon, while God is calling for a quick work to be done to prepare a people for the coming of Christ, shall our hygienic restaurants prove a snare, by being operated merely for commercial advantage, and their influence extend no further? 8MR 401.4

It was hoped that much good would be done by preparing food for worldlings, that thereby many would be brought to a knowledge of the truth. And this might have been, had the glory of God been kept in view. But these enterprises have been run so largely on a commercial basis, for the temporal advantages to be gained, that they have often become a snare, as it were, to hold men and women of talent, who, by study and diligent effort, could do acceptable service in the winning of souls to Christ. The end of all things is at hand. We must learn to fulfill God's purposes. Let no one delay.—Letter 230, 1906, p. 6. (To the Elders of the Battle Creek Church, and to Ministers and Physicians, July 5, 1906.) 8MR 402.1

God has not been glorified in any special manner by the hygienic restaurants as ordinarily conducted.—Manuscript 19, 1911, 1. (“Fragments,” October 9, 1911.) 8MR 402.2

When the importance of the restaurant work has been presented to me, it has not been outlined that hygienic restaurants would be the means of making large sums of money. They are to be places where the truth will be presented by word of mouth, and by the distribution of literature treating upon the coming of Christ, and of the message for this time. 8MR 402.3

The restaurant work should be made a means in the purpose of God to prepare a people to stand in the day of judgment. The work of satisfying the hunger of the body is to be made only a means to this great end. Evangelistic work is to be done, and literature should be sold and given away. Let the subject of temperance be made prominent. The patrons of our restaurants should be warned that the great day of God's wrath is near, that it hasteth greatly. As the judgments of God fall upon the cities, let this be sounded as a note of warning. 8MR 402.4

Simplicity in habits and practices should be studied. Let no one, in these days of peril, neglect prayer. “Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Listen not to the plausible fictions of Satan.—Manuscript 10, 1906, 2. (“On the Health Food and Restaurant Work,” 1906.) 8MR 403.1

Released June 21, 1978.