Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Ms 103, 1898

A Word to Our Ministers in Regard to Health Reform


August 23, 1898

Portions of this manuscript are published in 4MR 372-373. +Note

I speak to my brethren in America: Why do some of our ministering brethren manifest so little interest in health reform? 13LtMs, Ms 103, 1898, par. 1

We were greatly burdened after the Ashfield camp meeting to see ministers who did not receive and practice the light on health reform, and who were making no advancement in spiritual growth. The messages given on this great and needful subject seemed to be distasteful to some of our ministers. They would put forth some feeble efforts to reform, but because they had no mind to practice it, they lapsed into an indifference upon the subject. Then, in order to vindicate their own course of action, they began to pick flaws in the men who advocated this reform. If they could find any excuse for remaining away, they would not attend the meetings where health reform was presented. 13LtMs, Ms 103, 1898, par. 2

These men became its bitterest enemies. They were displeased with those who gave it their attention and presented it to the people. Thus those who should have been the first to advocate the principles of health reform in every line of their work, by precept and example, showed that they were not in harmony with it. 13LtMs, Ms 103, 1898, par. 3

What then? They visited with their brethren, and at the table revealed their principle by eating meat and drinking tea and coffee. Then they would make some remark in regard to their not being so “straight-laced” as some of their brethren and sisters. These men were not making that progress in divine things that would make them safe teachers. They were opposed to health reform because instruction on temperance in all things was opposed to their practice of self-indulgence. This was the great stumbling block in the way of our bringing the people to investigate and practice and teach the truth of health reform. 13LtMs, Ms 103, 1898, par. 4

Those who stand from aloof from this great work of instructing the people upon this question do not work in the lines where the Great Physician has led the way. The Spirit of the Lord could not endorse the work done by some of the workers in Sydney, and our work in this new field was made very hard. There are those in our churches who have had a wrong example before them in the men who were supposed to be doing missionary work. This had been the work of some of our ministers and workers. By precept and example, they have led backward into Egypt. 13LtMs, Ms 103, 1898, par. 5

The light that the Lord has given upon this subject in His Word is plain. Men will be tested and tried in many ways to see if they will keep the commandments of God. Every church and every family needs to be instructed in regard to Christian temperance, how to eat and drink, in order to preserve health. There should be harmonious action in the ranks of Sabbathkeepers in lines where health reform leads the way. We are amid the closing scenes of this earth’s history. 13LtMs, Ms 103, 1898, par. 6

I have seen the sum worked out and proved in this country, as well as in America, by those who have had in them the spirit to take their own course and do as they please in regard to this subject. 13LtMs, Ms 103, 1898, par. 7

God has spoken in His Word. In the case of Daniel and his three companions there are sermons upon health reform. He has spoken in the history of the children of Israel, when for their good God refused to give them a flesh diet. He fed them with bread from heaven. “Man did eat angels’ food”; but their earthly appetites were encouraged. [Psalm 78:25 ff.] They did just as the people in our time have done; [they] hankered after the flesh pots of Egypt. The more they centered their thoughts upon the flesh meats of Egypt, the more they hated the food God gave them to keep them in health, physically, mentally, and morally. 13LtMs, Ms 103, 1898, par. 8