Education in health principles was never more needed than now. Notwithstanding the wonderful progress in so many lines relating to the comforts and conveniences of life, even to sanitary matters and to the treatment of disease, the decline in physical vigor and power of endurance is alarming. It demands the attention of all who have at heart the well-being of their fellow men. . . .
“There is great need of instruction in regard to dietetic reform. Wrong habits of eating and the use of unhealthful food are in no small degree responsible for the intemperance and crime and wretchedness that curse the world.
“If we would elevate the moral standard in any country where we may be called to go, we must begin by correcting their physical habits. Virtue of character depends upon the right action of the powers of the mind and body.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 441.
“The gospel and the medical missionary work are to advance together. The gospel is to be bound up with the principles of true health reform. Christianity is to be brought into the practical life. Earnest, thorough reformatory work is to be done. True Bible religion is an outflowing of the love of God for fallen man. God’s people are to advance in straightforward lines to impress the hearts of those who are seeking for truth, who desire to act their part aright in this intensely earnest age. We are to present the principles of health reform before the people, doing all in our power to lead men and women to see the necessity of these principles and to practice them.” Ibid., 442.
“We should put forth greater efforts to teach the people the truths of health reform. At every camp meeting an effort should be made to demonstrate what can be done in providing an appetizing, wholesome diet from grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables. In every place where new companies are brought into the truth, instruction should be given in the science of preparing wholesome food. Workers should be chosen who can labor from house to house in an educational campaign.
“As we near the close of time, we must rise higher and still higher upon the question of health reform and Christian temperance, presenting it in a more positive and decided manner. We must strive continually to educate the people, not only by our words, but by our practice. Precept and practice combined have a telling influence.” Ibid., 443.
“Those who are struggling against the power of appetite should be instructed in the principles of healthful living. They should be shown that . . . only by living in obedience to the principles of health can they hope to be freed from the craving for unnatural stimulants. While they depend upon divine strength to break the bonds of appetite, they are to cooperate with God by obedience to His laws, both moral and physical.” Ibid., 445, 446.
Leaves From the Tree of Life
“We are not to delay to do the work that needs to be done in health reform lines. Through this work we are to reach souls in the highways and byways. I have been given special light that in our sanitariums many souls will receive and obey present truth. In these institutions men and women are to be taught how to care for their own bodies, and at the same time how to become sound in the faith. They are to be taught what is meant by eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the Son of God. Said Christ, ‘The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.’ John 6:63.
“It is labor lost to teach people to look to God as a healer of their infirmities, unless they are taught also to lay aside unhealthful practices. In order to receive His blessing in answer to prayer, they must cease to do evil and learn to do well. Their surroundings must be sanitary, their habits of life correct. They must live in harmony with the laws of God, both natural and spiritual.” Ibid., 447.
Moral Courage Required
“A great amount of good can be done by enlightening all to whom we have access, as to the best means, not only of curing the sick, but of preventing disease and suffering. The physician who endeavors to enlighten his patients as to the nature and causes of their maladies and to teach them how to avoid disease, may have uphill work; but if he is a conscientious reformer, he will talk plainly of the ruinous effects of self-indulgence in eating, drinking, and dressing, of the overtaxation of the vital forces that has brought his patients where they are. He will not increase the evil by administering drugs till exhausted nature gives up the struggle, but will teach the patients how to form correct habits, and to aid nature in her work of restoration by a wise use of her own simple remedies.
“In all our health institutions, it should be made a special feature of the work to give instruction in regard to the laws of health. The principles of health reform should be carefully and thoroughly set before all, both patients and helpers. This work requires moral courage; for while many will profit by such efforts, others will be offended. But the true disciple of Christ, he whose mind is in harmony with the mind of God, while constantly learning, will be teaching as well, leading the minds of others upward, away from the prevailing errors of the world.” Ibid., 449.
“As a people we have been given the work of making known the principles of health reform. There are some who think that the question of diet is not of sufficient importance to be included in their evangelistic work. But such make a great mistake. God’s word declares, ‘Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.’ 1 Corinthians 10:31. The subject of temperance in all its bearings, has an important place in the work of salvation.
“This necessary work is not to be carried on in such a meager way that an unfavorable impression will be made on the minds of the people. All that is done should bear favorable witness to the Author of truth, and should properly represent the sacredness and importance of the truths of the third angel’s message. . . .
“Women of intelligence should have charge of the domestic arrangements,—women who know how to prepare food nicely and healthfully. The table should be abundantly supplied with food of the best quality. If any have a perverted taste that craves tea, coffee, condiments, and unhealthful dishes, enlighten them. Seek to arouse the conscience. Set before them the principles of the Bible upon hygiene.” Ibid., 450, 451.
Ellen G. White (1827–1915) wrote more than 5,000 periodical articles and 40 books during her lifetime. Today, including compilations from her 50,000 pages of manuscript, more than 100 titles are available in English.