Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 2


Mind, Character, and Personality Volume 2

Section 9—Interrelationship of Body and Mind

Chapter 39—Harmonious Action of the Whole Personality Necessary

A Mysterious Interrelationship—Between the mind and the body there is a mysterious and wonderful relation. They react upon each other. To keep the body in a healthy condition to develop its strength, that every part of the living machinery may act harmoniously, should be the first study of our life. To neglect the body is to neglect the mind. It cannot be to the glory of God for His children to have sickly bodies or dwarfed minds.—Testimonies for the Church 3:485, 486 (1875). 2MCP 373.1

Harmony Depends Upon Conformity to Fixed Laws—The harmony of creation depends upon the perfect conformity of all beings, of everything, animate and inanimate, to the law of the Creator. God has ordained laws for the government, not only of living beings, but of all the operations of nature. Everything is under fixed laws, which cannot be disregarded. But while everything in nature is governed by natural laws, man alone, of all that inhabits the earth, is amenable to moral law.—Patriarchs and Prophets, 52 (1890). 2MCP 373.2

A Harp of a Thousand Strings—It is not only the privilege but the sacred duty of all to understand the laws God has established in their beings.... And as they more fully understand the human body, ... they will seek to bring their bodies into subjection to the noble powers of the mind. The body will be regarded by them as a wonderful structure, formed by the Infinite Designer, and given in their charge to keep this harp of a thousand strings in harmonious action.—The Health Reformer, September, 1871. (My Life Today, 148.) 2MCP 373.3

All Part of a Perfect Whole—We are all represented as being members of the body, united in Christ. In this body there are various members, and one member cannot perform exactly the same office as another.... Yet all these organs are necessary to the perfect whole and work in beautiful harmony with one another. The hands have their office, and the feet theirs. One is not to say to the other, “You are inferior to me”; the hands are not to say to the feet, “We have no need of you”; but all are united to the body to do their specific work and should be alike respected, as they conduce to the comfort and usefulness of the perfect whole.—Testimonies for the Church 4:128 (1876). 2MCP 374.1

The Harmonious Development of Both Mental and Moral Faculties—The improvement of the mind is a duty which we owe to ourselves, to society, and to God. But we should never devise means for the cultivation of the intellect at the expense of the moral and the spiritual. And it is only by the harmonious development of both the mental and the moral faculties that the highest perfection of either can be attained.—The Review and Herald, January 4, 1881. 2MCP 374.2

Lack of Harmonious Action Brings Disease—It is the lack of harmonious action in the human organism that brings disease. The imagination may control the other parts of the body to their injury. All parts of the system must work harmoniously. The different parts of the body, especially those remote from the heart, should receive a free circulation of blood. The limbs act an important part and should receive proper attention.—Special Testimonies, Series B 15:18, April 3, 1900. (Counsels on Health, 587.) 2MCP 374.3

An Impaired Faculty Injures the Whole—If one faculty is suffered to remain dormant, or is turned out of its proper course, the purpose of God is not carried out. All the faculties should be well developed. Care should be given to each, for each has a bearing upon the others, and all must be exercised in order that the mind be properly balanced. 2MCP 375.1

If one or two organs are cultivated and kept in continual use because it is the choice of your children to put the strength of the mind in one direction to the neglect of other mental powers, they will come to maturity with unbalanced minds and inharmonious characters. They will be apt and strong in one direction but greatly deficient in other directions just as important. They will not be competent men and women. Their deficiencies will be marked and will mar the entire character.—Testimonies for the Church 3:26 (1872). 2MCP 375.2

When the minds of ministers, schoolteachers, and students are continually excited by study, and the body is allowed to be inactive, the nerves of emotion are taxed while the nerves of motion are inactive. The wear being all upon the mental organs, they become overworked and enfeebled, while the muscles lose their vigor for want of employment. There is no inclination to exercise the muscles by engaging in physical labor, because exertion seems to be irksome.—Testimonies for the Church 3:490 (1875). 2MCP 375.3

Caution Concerning Overwork—Remember that man must preserve his God-given talent of intelligence by keeping the physical machinery in harmonious action. Daily physical exercise is necessary to the enjoyment of health. It is not work but overwork, without periods of rest, that breaks people down, endangering the life-forces. Those who overwork soon reach the place where they work in a hopeless way. 2MCP 375.4

The work done to the Lord is done in cheerfulness and with courage. God wants us to bring spirit and life and hopefulness into our work. Brain workers should give due attention to every part of the human machinery, equalizing the taxation. Physical and mental effort, wisely combined, will keep the whole man in a condition that makes him acceptable to God.... 2MCP 375.5

Bring into the day's work hopefulness, courage, and amiability. Do not overwork. Better far leave undone some of the things planned for the day's work than to undo oneself and become overtaxed, losing the courage necessary for the performance of the tasks of the next day. Do not today violate the laws of nature, lest you lose your strength for the day to follow.—Letter 102, 1903. 2MCP 376.1

Counsel to One Who Indulged in Exaggerated Language—From the light which God has given me, I know that spiritual deformity is being developed in you. In the place of giving a faultless exhibition of right principles and correct habits, you are gathering to yourselves sentiments and principles which will exclude you and all who partake of the same spirit from the heavenly courts. Your mind is becoming deformed by the way in which you treat it. I entreat of you to change decidedly about. Check all exaggerated language, for it destroys the harmony of the mind. 2MCP 376.2

The body needs careful culture, that it may be kept in a healthy condition. So the mind needs to be strictly disciplined, lest it shall be unduly developed in some things and insufficiently developed in others. Because these susceptible organs are not in your sight, where you can see the harm that you are doing to your intellectual powers and how much they need regulating, you are not conscious of the harm you are doing them. You entertain unsound theories, and your mind is made to serve these theories. 2MCP 376.3

The way in which you are mismanaging your mental machinery is wearing it out. But you cannot see what harm this is doing. Sooner or later your friends with you will see the unfavorable development of your thoughts and actions. Your stomach is beginning to testify to the action of the mind. A symmetrical and well-disciplined mind would change for the better the powers of digestion.—Letter 29, 1897. 2MCP 376.4

Harmony Uses Complementary Effort (counsel to a husband)—We cannot all have the same minds or cherish the same ideas; but one is to be a benefit and blessing to the other, that where one lacks, another may supply what is requisite. You have certain deficiencies of character and natural biases that render it profitable for you to be brought in contact with a mind differently organized, in order to properly balance your own. Instead of superintending so exclusively, you should consult with your wife and arrive at joint decisions. You do not encourage independent effort on the part of your family; but if your specific directions are not scrupulously carried out, you too frequently find fault with the delinquents.—Testimonies for the Church 4:128 (1876). 2MCP 377.1

Lower Propensities to Be Under Control—“We are laborers together with God” (1 Corinthians 3:9). Man is to work out his own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God that worketh in him both to will and to do of His good pleasure. God gives man physical and mental powers. None are needless. Not one is to be misused or abused. The lower propensities are to be kept under control of the higher powers.—Letter 139, 1898. 2MCP 377.2

Health of the Body and Mind—The life of Daniel is an inspired illustration of what constitutes a sanctified character. It presents a lesson for all, and especially for the young. A strict compliance with the requirements of God is beneficial to the health of body and mind. 2MCP 377.3

In order to reach the highest standard of moral and intellectual attainments, it is necessary to seek wisdom and strength from God and to observe strict temperance in all the habits of life. In the experience of Daniel and his companions we have an instance of the triumph of principle over temptation to indulge the appetite. It shows us that through religious principle young men may triumph over the lusts of the flesh and remain true to God's requirements, even though it cost them a great sacrifice.—The Review and Herald, January 25, 1881. (The Sanctified Life, 23.) 2MCP 377.4

Healthy Life Favors Perfection of Character—A pure, healthy life is most favorable for the perfection of Christian character and for the development of the powers of mind and body.—The Review and Herald, December 1, 1896. (Counsels on Health, 41.) 2MCP 378.1

Mind, Sinew, and Muscle to Work Harmoniously—By properly using our powers to their fullest extent in the most useful employment, by keeping every organ in health, by so preserving every organ that mind, sinew, and muscle shall work harmoniously, we may do the most precious service for God.—The Youth's Instructor, April 7, 1898. 2MCP 378.2

Happiness the Fruit of Harmonious Action of All Powers—Those who serve God in sincerity and truth will be a peculiar people, unlike the world, separate from the world. Their food will be prepared, not to encourage gluttony or gratify a perverted taste, but to secure to themselves the greatest physical strength, and consequently the best mental conditions.... 2MCP 378.3

Our heavenly Father has bestowed upon us the great blessing of health reform, that we may glorify Him by obeying the claims He has upon us.... The harmonious, healthy action of all the powers of body and mind results in happiness; the more elevated and refined the powers, the more pure and unalloyed the happiness.—The Review and Herald, July 29, 1884. (Counsels on Health, 50, 51.) 2MCP 378.4

The Influence of Rejoicing—God's people have many lessons to learn. They will have perfect peace if they will keep the mind stayed on Him who is too wise to err and too good to do them harm. They are to catch the reflection of the smile of God, and reflect it to others. They are to see how much sunshine they can bring into the lives of those around them. They are to keep near to Christ, so close that they sit together with Him as His little children, in sweet, sacred unity. They are never to forget that as they receive the affection and love of God, they are under the most solemn obligation to impart it to others. Thus they may exert an influence of rejoicing, which blesses all who come within its reach, irradiating their pathway.—Letter 40, 1903. (Medical Ministry, 45). 2MCP 378.5