Medical Ministry


Counsels Vital for Today

It is interesting to observe that a century has passed since the attention of Seventh-day Adventists was called to the subject of health through the visions given to Ellen G. White. These counsels have withstood the closest scrutiny of trained scientists. The findings of conservative research workers from day to day add confirmatory evidence to the scientific accuracy of the counsels. MM xi.4

When Mrs. White, a layman in the field of medical science, with a very limited education, began in the 1860's to set forth her views on health, it was natural that some would seek to associate her expositions with the writings of certain contemporary physicians. The suggestion on the part of a few that the opinions of those about her may have been the real inspiration for her writings in the health field, she answered frankly and simply, after referring to the vision of June 6, 1863: MM xi.5

“I did not read any works upon health until I had written ‘Spiritual Gifts,’ vols. III and IV, ‘Appeal to Mothers,’ and had sketched out most of my six articles in the six numbers of ‘How to Live.’ ... MM xii.1

“As I introduced the subject of health to friends where I labored in Michigan, New England, and in the state of New York, and spoke against drugs and flesh-meats, and in favor of water, pure air, and a proper diet, the reply was often made, ‘you speak very nearly the opinions taught in the “Laws of Life” and other publications, by Drs. Trall, Jackson, and others. Have you read that paper and those works?’ My reply was that I had not, neither should I read them till I had fully written out my views, lest it should be said that I had received my light upon the subject of health from physicians, and not from the Lord.”—The Review and Herald, Ocrober 8, 1867. MM xii.2

Again that year as she referred to her writings on the subject of health, she asserted: MM xii.3

“My views were written independent of books or the opinions of others.”—Ellen G. White Manuscript 7, 1867. MM xii.4

Certain leading men in our ranks in 1864 commented upon this point in connection with the publication of her article in “An Appeal to Mothers.” Following her 29-page presentation, certain medical testimony was given. Between the Ellen G. White article and these statements by other writers, the trustees of the Seventh-day Adventist Publishing Association inserted the following significant note: MM xii.5

“We have thought proper to add to the foregoing the following testimonies from men of high standing and authority in the medical world, corroborative of the views presented in the preceding pages. And in justice to the writer of those pages, we would say that she had read nothing from the authors here quoted, and had read no other works on this subject, previous to putting into our hands what she has written. She is not, therefore, a copyist, although she has stated important truths to which men who are entitled to our highest confidence, have borne testimony. MM xii.6


To those who suggested that Mrs. White's writings reflected the conclusions of contemporary medical innovators, one need only observe the conflicting pronouncements of the times and ask, “How would an uninformed layman of that day know what to select and what to reject?” Few of the popular concepts of that day survive, yet Mrs. White's counsels not only stand today, but are reinforced by the latest discoveries in clinic and laboratory. MM xiii.1