Manuscript Releases, vol. 4 [Nos. 210-259]


MR No. 245—Nutrition

Meat eating means animalism just to that degree in which we indulge in it. Our sensual passions need to be starved to death, not stimulated, that Christ may occupy the soul-temple. This is God's claim of love.—Letter 3, 1884, p. 8. (To “Dear Friends at the Health Retreat,” February 5, 1884.) 4MR 383.1

You know not the danger of eating meat merely because your appetite craves it. By partaking of this diet, man places in his mouth that which stimulates unholy passions. Unhallowed emotions fill the mind, and the spiritual eyesight is beclouded; for the tendency of self-gratification is to corrupt the taste and the judgment. By furnishing your table with this kind of food, you go counter to the will of God. A condition of things is brought about which will lead to a disregard of the precepts of God's law.... 4MR 383.2

But it is not an easy matter to overcome hereditary and cultivated tendencies to wrong. Self is masterful, and strives for the victory. But to “him that overcometh” the promises are given. The Lord presents the right way, but He compels no one to obey. He leaves those to whom He has given to the light to receive or despise it, but their course of action is followed by sure results. Cause must produce effect.... Parents have a most solemn obligation resting upon them to conform to right habits of eating and drinking. Set before your children simple, wholesome food, avoiding everything of a stimulating nature. The effect which a meat diet has upon nervous children is not to make them sweet tempered and patient, but peevish, irritable, passionate, and impatient of restraint. Virtuous practices are lost, and corruption destroys mind, soul, and body.—Manuscript 47, 1896, 6-8. (“The Lack of Unity a Cause of Failure,” 1896.) 4MR 383.3

Eating the flesh of dead animals is deleterious to the health of the body, and all who use a meat diet are increasing their animal passions and are lessening their susceptibility of the soul to realize the force of truth and the necessity of its being brought into their practical life.—Letter 54, 1896, p. 5. (To Dr. J. H. Kellogg, July 10, 1896.) 4MR 384.1

Eating the flesh of dead animals has an injurious effect upon spirituality. When meat is made the staple article of food, the higher faculties are overborne by the lower passions. These things are an offense to God, and are the cause of a decline in spiritual life.... Whatever we do in the line of eating and drinking should be done with the special purpose of nourishing the body, that we may serve God to His name's glory. The whole body is the property of God, and we must give strict attention to our physical well-being, for the religious life is closely related to physical habits and practices.—Letter 69, 1896, pp. 3, 5. (To Brother McCullagh, July 11, 1896.) 4MR 384.2

The Lord has been teaching His people that it is for their spiritual and physical good to abstain from flesh eating. There is no need to eat the flesh of dead animals.—Letter 83, 1901, p. 1. (To “Dear Brethren and Sisters,” July 15, 1901.) 4MR 384.3

What we eat and drink has an important bearing on our lives, and Christians should bring their habits of eating and drinking into conformity with the laws of nature. We must sense our obligations toward God in these matters. Obedience to the laws of health should be made a matter of earnest study; for willing ignorance on this subject is sin. Each one should feel a personal obligation to carry out the laws of healthful living. 4MR 385.1

Many turn away from the light, provoked because a word of caution is given, and ask, “May we not do as we please with ourselves?” Did you create yourselves? Did you pay the redemption price for your souls and bodies? If so, you belong to yourselves. But the word of God declares, “Ye are bought with a price,” “the precious blood of Christ.” The word of God tells us plainly that our natural habits are to be strictly guarded and controlled. “Abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul. If we diligently heed its precepts, we shall be conformed, physically and spiritually into the image of God.—Letter 103, 1896, pp. 10, 11. (To the workers in Sydney, July 17, 1896.) 4MR 385.2

Indulgence in meat-eating, and tea-drinking and other forms of self-pleasing is injurious to the health of body and the soul.... Every indulgence of perverted appetite is a fleshly lust which wars against the soul. By your large meat-eating you are placing in your stomach that which animalizes you. While strengthening the animal propensities, you are weakening the higher, holier attributes, which you so need to cultivate. Your sensibilities are blunted, so that you cannot discern sacred things. 4MR 385.3

The violation of principle in eating and drinking perverts your discrimination as to what constitutes sin. If you give loose rein to your appetite, you will give loose rein to your passions.—Letter 23, 1896, pp. 4, 5. (To Brother Collins, December 14, 1896.) 4MR 386.1

Those who eat too largely and those who eat unhealthful food, bring trouble upon themselves, unfitting themselves for the service of God. It is dangerous to eat meat; for animals are suffering from many deadly diseases. Those who persist in eating the flesh of animals sacrifice spirituality to a perverted appetite. Their bodies become full of disease.—Manuscript 66, 1901, 4, 5. (“Fragments. Work in the South,” typed July 28, 1901.) 4MR 386.2

God requires continual advancement from His people. They need to learn that indulged appetite is the greatest hindrance to mental improvement and soul sanctification. As a people, with all our profession of health reform, we eat too much. Indulgence of appetite is the greatest cause of physical and mental debility, and lies largely at the foundation of feebleness and premature death. Intemperance begins at our tables when we use an unwise combination of foods. Let the individual who is seeking to possess purity of spirit bear in mind that in Christ there is power to control the appetite.—Manuscript 73, 1908, 3. (“Counsels Repeated,” typed June 19, 1908.) 4MR 386.3

As we approach the close of this earth's history, selfishness, violence, and crime prevail, as in the days of Noah. And the cause is the same—the excessive indulgence of the appetites and passions. A reform in the habits of life is especially needed at this time, in order to fit a people for the coming of Christ. The Saviour Himself warns the church: “Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.” 4MR 386.4

Hygienic reform is a subject that we need to understand in order to be prepared for the events that are close upon us. It is a branch of the Lord's work which has not received the attention it deserves, and much has been lost through neglect. It should have a prominent place; it is not a matter to be trifled with, to be passed over as nonessential, or to be treated as a jest. If the church would manifest a greater interest in this reform, their influence for good would be greatly increased. 4MR 387.1

For those who are looking for the coming of the Lord, for those who are called to be laborers in His vineyard—for all who are fitting themselves for a place in the everlasting kingdom—how important that the brain be clear, and the body as free as possible from disease.—Manuscript 59, 1890, 2, 3. (“Hygienic Reform: Our Present Work,” no date.) 4MR 387.2

Released May 14, 1970.