Manuscript Releases, vol. 18 [Nos. 1301-1359]


MR No. 1341—The Dangers of Mind-Cure; Neither Husband nor Wife to Control the Mind of the Other; an Appeal for Conversion

(Written October 6, 1901, from St. Helena, California, to Dr. Sanderson.)

I beseech you by the mercies of God that you take your position for the right without reference to the will or judgment of your wife. You have allowed her mind to be a controlling power in your life. Yet you do not see this or many other things you ought to see because you are not prepared to see them in the light of the Spirit of God. For years your wife has refused to submit herself to the influence of the Holy Spirit. She has never been transformed in character. She has a strong mind and a powerful influence over you which confuses your judgment, making you in some respects a weak man. While you allow her to lead you on, while you consent to merge your individuality in hers, anything I may say to you or write to you will be as idle tales. 18MR 263.1

I have some things to say to you which I shall say when I am at liberty to say them, when your mind is capable of understanding them. At the present time I know that you could not possibly comprehend them, for spiritual things are spiritually discerned. 18MR 263.2

No one could take the position you have taken in regard to the mind-cure science without becoming confused and dazed, unable to see things in a true light, for this science is Satan's masterpiece. At present you are strongly tempted; the enemy is guiding your imagination, and you do not understand your own mind. Unless you take your position as a man, unless you consent to be entirely subordinate to the will of God, this spell which the enemy has cast over you will leave its mark on mind and character, and especially on your physical powers. I entreat you not to partake of the dish of fables which Satan is offering you. Cherish the practical godliness which leads you to sanctify the Lord God of hosts in your heart, and be ready always to give to everyone that asks, a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear. 18MR 263.3

You stand in an undecided position, allowing your mind to be molded and guided by your own ideas and the unsanctified counsel of those who have separated themselves from God, who are not sanctified by the Holy Spirit. A spell is upon you. You are dazed. Of what use would be anything I could say to you until you see the truth of what I have already said? 18MR 264.1

The less conversation you have with your wife about the science of mind-cure, the better it will be for you both. The only hope for your wife's salvation is for you to refuse to let her influence you for the wrong. She has not the mind of Christ, and you should not allow her to lead or rule you. If she does this, both her soul and yours will be lost. Her religion has never been what it should be. Her life has not been what the life of a Christian should be. This has nearly been your ruin. Your only safety is in realizing that your identity cannot be submerged in hers. For years you have walked uncertainly. Will you not now take a correct position and maintain it firmly, in righteousness working out a character that God can approve? Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. 18MR 264.2

Had you and your wife humbled yourselves before the Lord as I hoped you would, the light would have shone into your minds. When you and she make that entire surrender that God requires you to make, you will both see things in an entirely different light. Consistency will then be seen in your lives. 18MR 264.3

While your wife is making up her mind what she will do, Satan has decided what he will do in order to carry out his purposes. He is seeking a door by which he can enter your mind and take possession of it, to make of it a workshop for himself. If your wife repents and is converted, if in contrition of heart she asks for pardon for her estrangement from God, and as a little child bows in submission before Him, He will receive her and bless her. But repentance must come before conversion can take place. I tremble for her and for you. Unless she is converted, soul, body, and spirit, Satan will use her as his helping hand to mislead others. 18MR 264.4

If your wife were converted to God, she would be a great blessing in humbly denying herself. But her past experience is misleading. Unless she changes and determines to make a business of serving the Lord, she is not qualified to act as a medical missionary for the Lord in any place. She has not led the nurses away from selfishness and the attractions of the world. If she had any real knowledge of herself, she would know that she is a friend of the world. Her influence leads into false paths. Can we mingle in entertainments, amusements, parties and suppers with those who have no thought of God or heaven, without slighting God? Is not His Spirit grieved by the worldly, frivolous entertainments to which Christ cannot be invited, to which He would not go unless it were to seek and save the lost? 18MR 265.1

I have no accusing to do, but I shall make a determined effort for your soul. The whole matter has been laid out before you for your benefit, and it is your privilege to heed the warning, break Satan's snare, and take your position with your brethren, determined to serve on the Lord's side. In the past you have desired to stand as the chief one in the sanitarium. God has not appointed you to this place. You are wanting in the qualifications essential to success in bearing these responsibilities. You have been unwilling that another experienced physician should stand by your side. But it would have been highly appropriate for you to have had someone with whom to consult and cooperate. 18MR 265.2

Before I returned to America I was given instruction regarding the condition of things in the sanitarium here. I need not that any man tell me. No human being has the faintest conception of the masterly efforts by satanic agencies to prevent the doing of the good that should have been done. 18MR 266.1

Jesus says, “My son, My daughter, give Me thine heart, that I may mold and fashion the character.” This is all He asks. My dear Sister Sanderson, is it not time for you to be disgusted with yourself? Is it not time that you came to your best Friend, your Counselor? Will you any longer dare to run the fearful risk of losing your soul? The day of God is right upon us. What preparation are you making for it? Do you realize that you are building for time and for eternity? Will you allow the love of amusement and your stubborn self-will to divorce you from God? Will you become married to another instead of being the bride of Christ? 18MR 266.2

My sister, God pities and loves you. But He does not love your sinful course of action which is leading others astray. Eating and drinking is the order of the age in which we live. Thousands are sacrificing health and life to the indulgence of lustful appetites and sinful practices. Just as far as you associate with such persons, you give evidence that you are not walking in fellowship with Christ. 18MR 266.3

Dr. Sanderson has known what it means to have an abiding Christ. And had he received from you the help he should have received, you might both now be ascending the ladder which reaches to heaven. God is above the ladder, and His brightness would have guided you heavenward. Had your course been in harmony with the great truths of the gospel, your husband would not have been content with his present spiritual condition. You have qualifications which, if refined, sanctified, and rightly employed, would do much in the Master's service. You might have been a channel for the communication of light for the saving of souls. You might have been a great help to your husband and to those around you. But you have chosen your own way. You have not followed on to know the Lord that you may know that His going forth is prepared as the morning. Your selfishness works against truth and righteousness. Your interest in gatherings for pleasure has been sufficient to eclipse the light of heaven and to separate your soul from God. 18MR 266.4

Had you followed the example of Jesus, you would have set a saving example before those with whom you have been associated. But God has been greatly dishonored by your course of action. The truth has not been exalted by your worldly representation of religion, and the Lord has given me His word to speak to you. He desires you to exemplify in your life the truths of the gospel. What you need is personal communion with God. The restlessness you feel cannot be cured by mechanical operations. 18MR 267.1

Should you connect with any sanitarium as you now are, you would dishonor God by your irreligious, worldly aspirations. Self is determined to rule in your life. Your only hope is to crucify self. When the heart is once given unreservedly to God, it will be softened and subdued. You are not your own, for you have been bought with a price. Will you not die to self and consecrate your life to Christ? This will mean a severe struggle, but God will be your helper as you seek to do His will. 18MR 267.2

When you and your husband left the sanitarium, it was because you were not willing to humble yourselves before God. In leaving the sanitarium you acted very unwisely. What influence will this have on the patients and nurses who as yet know nothing of the matter? What interpretation will they place on your actions except that you thought yourself abused? But it is not true that you have been abused. God has been dealing with you, and you have been kicking against the pricks. It is not you who has been wronged, but the Lord Jesus. He has been dishonored by your course of action. Are you willing to meet your record in the judgment? 18MR 267.3

I have no evidence that it is best for either of you to place yourselves once more where the trial will come more severely than it has in the past, unless a thorough reformation takes place in you both. Your success has not accomplished what it might have accomplished if you had realized that you were connected with the sanitarium not to please and glorify yourselves, but to please and glorify God. Had you worked as Christians ought to work, with the fear and love of God ever before you, it would have been seen that God was working with you, and His name would have been glorified. 18MR 268.1

It is not best for you to use your gifts in teaching, in molding and fashioning the characters of children, because you have not the patience or longsuffering necessary to deal with children or youth, who are to be treated as the younger members of the Lord's family. Your temperament forbids your dealing with children. They are sometimes provoking, and there is cruelty in your manner of administering punishment. You show severity which grieves the Holy Spirit and greatly injures your own soul. But when you are converted, decidedly changed in character, there is a field of labor for you in sanitarium work. In this work you will forget yourself. If you will turn your attention from self to Christ, you can use your capabilities to good purpose. It is not too late for you to repent and be converted. Up then, and be doing! The Master calls for you to work the works of righteousness. 18MR 268.2

In the name of the Lord I ask you to awaken to your responsibilities and take up your work in the right way, with honest, earnest endeavor. Use your talents for good, and not for evil. Christ invites you, “Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light” [Matthew 11:29, 30]. All the Lord asks is a faithful discharge of the duties revealed in His holy Word. From the lowliest to those occupying the highest positions, each one is required to fill his appointed place. The interest the Lord expects is proportionate to the capital entrusted. 18MR 269.1

Has not Christ a right to your service? What relation have you sustained to Him during the years of your life? You have supposed that you must be waited on, that every attention must be shown you, when, had you exercised yourself judiciously, nerve and muscle would have done excellent work. You have been bought with a price, and you are living in this world on trial, to be tried as gold is tried in the fire. God will strictly examine you to see what use you have made of His goods. What of your stewardship? Have you faithfully improved the opportunities which have come to you to win souls to Christ? Do you realize that you have not been a faithful steward of your Lord's goods? 18MR 269.2

Is the matter of gaining eternal life one to be trifled with? With His own life Christ paid the price of our redemption. He died to secure our love and willing obedience. All the blessings we enjoy come from Him. He calls upon us to remember that the humblest opportunity to serve Him is a consecrated gift. You need to become acquainted with your Bible. You will then see that age after age Jesus has been delivering His goods to men and women. Each generation has its special trust. Your future welfare depends on the use you make of your entrusted talents. 18MR 269.3

You can do for yourself that which no one else can do for you, if you will give yourself to Christ in loving service. If your husband should spend more of his time with you to please you, it would not remedy the evil of your thoughts and disposition. He is a physician and he must attend to his work. When you study the precious truths of the Bible, you will drink from the fountain of living water to which Jesus invited every thirsty soul with the same unchanging words of welcome, “If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink.” “The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” 18MR 270.1

Will you listen to the voice of Christ? Will you break away from self and respond, “We come, Lord, we come. With joy shall we draw water out of the wells of salvation”? Then shall your life henceforth be a continual Feast of Tabernacles, a continual thank offering for unnumbered and unmerited blessings. 18MR 270.2

Of all the destructive errors which are entering religious bodies, none is so fatal a deception, none so sure to separate man from God, as the one with which you have ventured to experiment. You are not in the right way. I present to you the guide for Christian service—the pure, unadulterated Word of God. This is a treasure house of knowledge. Practical religion rests upon the principles found in this Word. Vague ideas and suppositions have no part nor lot in the matter. In the Word of God there is definiteness, clearness, and beautiful symmetry. Its proportions are harmonious. 18MR 270.3

God's way, not man's way, is to be taken as the guide of action. He has a plan, well and wisely ordered. He has revealed this plan to us in His Word, and He expects us to take it as our guide in all things, great and small. Man is not to make plans according to his finite judgment. He is to search for and find God's plan. Walk in the way of the Lord. It is plainly defined. A disregard of God's way leads to fruitless efforts. Following unscriptural plans leads to false theories and a false piety. 18MR 270.4

It is God's design that His name shall be honored before the heavenly universe. The whole earth is to show forth His infinite glory. He is gathering from this earth a people for Himself. His will is the law of the universe. He calls upon every human being to cooperate with Him. But He forces no one. He has placed man's destiny in His own hands, telling him that his future welfare depends on his choice. To be saved, he must cooperate with God in His work of restoration. 18MR 271.1

The religion of self makes easy conversions. Scripture is perverted, God dethroned, and self deified. The operation of the Holy Spirit on hearts is denied. This is the new, broad way, substituted as an improvement on the strait gate and the narrow way. When self becomes thus prominent, God is lost sight of and the work cannot prosper. The Lord is misrepresented and misjudged. The importance of the truth is lost to view while human opinions rise to vast importance. Thus the experience is cheapened. Zeal for self takes the place of the higher aims which should mold the life. Egotism develops and strengthens. Religion is used as a means for carrying out selfish purposes. The solemn claims of God are treated as a farce, spoken of with levity and irreverence. A man with such an experience has lost his anchorage, and is drifting without guide or compass. 18MR 271.2

My sister, the Lord has sent me with a special message to you. In the past your aspirations have been marred by defects. Your efforts to please self have not in any sense honored the truth. You are a woman in years, but I tell you in the name of the Lord that in character you are as a stubborn child. You want to follow your own ideas of what constitutes Christianity. By your influence on your husband you have nearly destroyed his sense of what he is and what he should be. You have almost ruined his spirituality. He is as a man lost in the woods, unable to find the way. He has lost his bearings, and how to lead him to safe paths seems to be a mystery. 18MR 271.3

I will not burden you with many more words, but I entreat you to make right decisions, for you are working for time and for eternity. Redeem the time because the days are evil. You know that what I tell you is true. Will you stand any longer in peril of losing eternal life? 18MR 272.1

You have erred. By your self-sufficiency you have lost time and wasted precious opportunities. If, when the message came to you, you had humbled yourself under the mighty hand of God, you would have found life and hope and power in His grace. The crisis in your life has come. Will you not fall on the Rock and be broken, to be rebuilt upon the divine plan? 18MR 272.2

Do not, because I tell you the truth, abandon yourselves to discouragement and despair. Satan may come to you with the cruel suggestion, “It is a hopeless case. You are irredeemable.” But this is a lie which he has originated. There is hope for you in Christ. There is no need of your turning away from the Saviour, for He is making every effort to lead you to Him. There is no need of your remaining in the condition that you are now in. You can be free in Christ if you will refuse to allow the enemy to make you a stumbling block to others. God does not tell you that you must overcome your love of yourself and of the world in your own strength. He asks you to come close to His side. He will be your helper. Will you not lay hold of His power that your influence may be a blessing, not a curse? 18MR 272.3

Have I made you my enemy because I have told you the truth? I wish to be your sister, your friend, your helper. But encourage you in wrongdoing, I never shall. I must lay before you that which God has presented to me concerning you. Take heed to the instruction He has given. Doing this, you will find peace and comfort and hope, and a happiness you have never yet experienced. Which will you choose? God asks you to draw near to Him. As you do this, He will draw near to you. 18MR 273.1

You may wish me to let you alone, to cease to labor for you. But this I cannot do. I must entreat you to heed the voice of the Lord. I want you to see that it is best for you to be an overcomer. I want you and your husband to stand with the redeemed on Mount Zion. My heart yearns after you. I cannot consent to give you up. Though you are now content to be without God and His grace, it may be that you will not delay to become wise unto eternal life. 18MR 273.2

All the influence you are capable of exerting is now required on the Lord's side. It has been exerted long enough on Satan's side. God asks you to live no longer for self. You may wish to consult your own inclinations, but do not, I beg of you, do this work now. God is calling for your service. Today, if you will hear His voice, harden not your heart. Now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation. Do not say to the Spirit, “Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for Thee.” Give yourself to the Lord while mercy's sweet voice still invites you. God bless you, is my most earnest prayer.—Letter 133, 1901. 18MR 273.3

Ellen G. White Estate

Washington, D. C.,

January 22, 1988.

Entire Letter.