Food & Diet

“If you feel all wrought up, and everything seems to go wrong, perhaps it is because you are suffering the consequences of eating a great variety of food” (MS 41, 1908; in CD 111, 112).

“The salads are prepared with oil and vinegar, fermentation takes place in the stomach, and the food does not digest, but decays or putrefies.  As a consequence, the blood is not nourished, but becomes filled with impurities, and liver and kidney difficulty appear.  Heart disturbances, inflammation, and many evils are the result of such kind of treatment, and not only are the bodies affected, but the morals, the religious life, are affected” (Letter 9, 1887, in 2 MR 143-144).

“I was instructed that the use of flesh meat has a tendency to animalize the nature, and to rob men and women of the love and sympathy which they should feel for everyone” (Ms 50, 1904; in 5 MR 408).

[Letter to her son Edson] “I have frequently asked myself What could you have done with so much money?  Edson, I am answered in a dream, you are not a health reformer in principle.  You do not live up to the light God has given and, while you neglect one ray of light that the Lord has graciously permitted to shine upon your pathway, you will be in darkness.  When you boarded yourself, did not you spend money for nuts, candies and hurtful things and eat these between meals and at any time?  I have concluded that your frequent headaches were caused by the indulgence of your appetite....  I have been thinking that to take dinner with your grandparents was not the best especially on the Sabbath.  They do not prepare food in a manner I would like to have you eat.  I fear that like the Israelites, [your] appetite controls reason and you lust after the flesh pots of Egypt....  Do not your grandparents use pork and meat, mince pies, etc?  I must insist that while we pay your board, you be regular at your meals for your physical and moral health.  I beg of you to read in volume four, of Spiritual Gifts, what the Lord has been pleased to communicate to your mother” (Letter 5, 1868; in 5 MR 392, 393).

“In order to render to God perfect service, you must have clear conceptions of His requirements.  You should use the most simple food, prepared in the most simple manner, that the fine nerves of the brain be not weakened, benumbed, or paralyzed, making it impossible for you to discern sacred things, and to value the atonement, the cleansing blood of Christ, as of priceless worth” (2T 46).

“Tea and coffee drinkers carry the marks upon their faces.  The skin becomes sallow and assumes a lifeless appearance.  The glow of health is not seen upon the countenance” (2T 65).

“If you pursue a wrong course, and indulge in wrong habits of eating, and thereby weaken the intellectual powers, you will not place that high estimate upon salvation and eternal life which will inspire you to conform your life to the life of Christ; you will not make those earnest, self-sacrificing efforts for entire conformity to the will of God, which His word requires, and which are necessary to give you a moral fitness for the finishing touch of immortality” (2T 66).

“Hot drinks are debilitating to the stomach.  Cheese should never be introduced into the stomach.  Fine-flour bread cannot impart to the system the nourishment that you will find in the unbolted wheat bread.  The common use of bolted wheat bread cannot keep the system in a healthy condition” (2T 68).

“What a thought!  Gluttons in heaven!  No, no; such will never enter the pearly gates of the golden city of God” (2T 70).

“Those who place so much food upon the stomach, and thus load down nature, could not appreciate the truth should they hear it dwelt upon.  They could not arouse the benumbed sensibilities of the brain to realize the value of the atonement and the great sacrifice that has been made for fallen man” (2T 364).

“Not only this, but they are injuring their families by placing upon their tables a feverish diet which will increase the animal passions of their children and lead them to care but little for heavenly things.  The parents are thus strengthening the animal, and lessening the spiritual, powers of their children.  What a heavy penalty will they have to pay in the end!  And then they wonder that their children are so weak morally!” (2T 365).

“And from the light given me, sugar, when largely used, is more injurious than meat” (2T 370).

“There are more souls lost from poor cooking than you have any idea of.  It produces sickness, disease, and bad tempers; the system becomes deranged, and heavenly things cannot be discerned” (2T 373).

“I am astonished to learn that, after all the light that has been given in this place, many of you eat between meals!  You should never let a morsel pass your lips between your regular meals” (2T 373).

“Custom says that if she [a pregnant woman] wants flesh meats, pickles, spiced food, or mince pies, let her have them; appetite alone is to be consulted.  This is a great mistake, and does much harm.  The harm cannot be estimated.  If ever there was a need for simplicity of diet and special care as to the quality of food eaten, it is in this important period” (2T 382).

“Diseased children are born because of the gratification of appetite by the parents” (2T 383).

“It is impossible for those who indulge the appetite to attain Christian perfection” (2T 400).

“Eggs should not be placed upon your table” (2T 400). [She backed off from this hard line later]

“The health of the body is to be regarded as essential for growth in grace and the acquirement of an even temper.  If the stomach is not properly cared for, the formation of an upright, moral character will be hindered.  The brain and nerves are in sympathy with the stomach.  Erroneous eating and drinking result in erroneous thinking and acting” (9T 160).

Dress & Health

“Those who are threatened with pulmonary diseases should take especial care not to allow the extremities of the body to be chilled.  The wrists should be covered with warm wristlets, for if the hands and arms are chilled, the lungs are injuriously affected” (Ms 4, 1905; in 3 MR 319).

“In order to follow the fashions, mothers dress their children with limbs nearly naked; and the blood is chilled back from its natural course and thrown upon the internal organs, breaking up the circulation and producing disease....  Satan invented the fashions which leave the limbs exposed, chilling back the life current from its original course.  And parents bow at the shrine of fashion and so clothe their children that the nerves and veins become contracted....  Even life itself is frequently sacrificed to the god of fashion” (2T 531-532).

“The length of the fashionable dress is objectionable for the several reasons: . . . .   In its bedraggled condition it comes in contact with the sensitive ankles, which are not sufficiently protected, quickly chilling them, and thus endangering health and life.  This is one of the greatest causes of catarrh and of scrofulous swellings” (1T 459).

Medical Care

“Mercury, calomel, and quinine have brought their amount of wretchedness, which the day of God alone will fully reveal” (4SG 139).

“If any among us are sick, let us not dishonor God by applying to earthly physicians, but apply to the God of Israel. If we follow his directions (James 5:14, 15) the sick will be healed” (1849 broadside entitled “To Those Who Are Receiving the Seal of the Living God”).

“We believe it to be perfectly right to use the remedies God has placed in our reach, and if these fail, apply to the great Physician, and in some cases the counsel of an earthly physician is very necessary. This position we have always held” (2SG 135).

Vocal Health

“By learning correctly to use the voice in speaking, many who are weak-chested may save their lives” (Letter 161, 1901, in 2 MR 224).

“Many who use their vocal organs in so careless a way that they can scarcely be called vocal organs, if allowed to continue speaking defectively, will die of consumption” (Letter 161, 1901, in 2 MR 224).

“Many who might be useful men are using up their vital force and destroying their lungs and vocal organs by their manner of speaking” (2T 615).

Issues for Adults

“The practice of secret habits [read between the lines] surely destroys the vital forces of the system.  All unnecessary vital action will be followed by corresponding depression.  Among the young the vital capital, the brain, is so severely taxed at an early age that there is a deficiency and great exhaustion, which leaves the system exposed to disease of various kinds. If the practice is continued from the ages of fifteen and upward, nature will protest against the abuse she has suffered, and continues to suffer, and will make them pay the penalty for the transgression of her laws, especially from the ages of thirty to forty-five, by numerous pains in the system and various diseases, such as affection of the liver and lungs, neuralgia, rheumatism, affection of the spine, diseased kidneys, and cancerous humors.  Some of nature’s fine machinery gives way, leaving a heavier task for the remaining to perform, which disorders nature’s fine arrangement; and there is often a sudden breaking down of the constitution, and death is the result” (CG 444).

“The lower passions are to be strictly guarded.  The perceptive faculties are abused, terribly abused, when the passions are allowed to run riot.  When the passions are indulged, the blood, instead of circulating to all parts of the body, thereby relieving the heart and clearing the mind, is called in undue amounts to the internal organs.  Disease comes as a result” (CH 587; MCP 335, 336).

“I had resolved not to engage in prayer for anyone unless the Spirit of the Lord should dictate in the matter.  I had been shown that there was so much iniquity abounding, even among professed Sabbathkeepers, that I did not wish to unite in prayer for those of whose history I had no knowledge” (2T 350). [read the context—it’s a very sad situation]

“Parents do not generally suspect that their children understand anything about this [secret] vice.  In very many cases the parents are the real sinners.  They have abused their marriage privileges, and by indulgence have strengthened their animal passions.  And as these have been strengthened, the moral and intellectual faculties have become weak.  The spiritual has been overborne by the brutish.  Children are born with the animal propensities largely developed, the parents’ own stamp of character having been given to them....  Children born to these parents will almost invariably take naturally to the disgusting habits of secret vice.  The marriage covenant is sacred, but what an amount of lust and crime it covers!” (2T 391).

“They [married couples] do not see that God requires them to control their married lives from any excesses.  But very few feel it to be a religious duty to govern their passions.  They have united themselves in marriage to the object of their choice, and therefore reason that marriage sanctifies the indulgence of the baser passions.  Even men and women professing godliness give loose reign to their lustful passions, and have no thought that God holds them accountable for the expenditure of vital energy, which weakens their hold on life and enervates the entire system. The marriage covenant covers sins of the darkest hue” (2T 472-473).

“Many professed Christians are suffering with paralysis of nerve and brain because of their intemperance in this direction [marital excess].  Rottenness is in the bones and marrow of many who are regarded as good men, who pray and weep, and who stand in high places, but whose polluted carcasses will never pass the portals of the heavenly city” (2T 477).

“Let the Christian wife refrain, both in word and act, from exciting the animal passions of her husband” (2T 477).

Miscellaneous Health

“In many cases I have advised out-of-door work for piano tuners, telling them that unless they changed their business, they would have to deal with insanity” (Letter 104, 1901; in 3 MR 352).

“It never pays to take extreme views of health reform” (Letter 19a, 1891; in 5 MR 402).

“Too much study stimulates the brain and increases the flow of blood to it.  The sure result of this is depravity.  The brain cannot be unduly excited without producing impure thoughts and actions” (Letter 145, 1897; in 5 MR 64).