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What does Ellen White say about health?

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Why Understanding Health is so Important:

Strength is a talent, & is to be used to glorify God. Our bodies belong to Him. He has paid the price of redemption for the body as well as for the soul. . .We can serve God better in the vigor of health than in the palsy of disease; therefore we should cooperate with God in the care of our bodies.  CS 115   Health is a great treasure. It is the richest possession mortals can have. Wealth, honor, or learning is dearly purchased, if it be at the loss of the vigor of health. None of these attainments can secure happiness, if health is wanting. It is a terrible sin to abuse the health that God has given us; for every abuse of health enfeebles us for life & makes us losers, even if we gain any amount of education. 3T 150  The human family is suffering because of transgression of the laws of God. The Lord desires that men shall be led to understand the cause of their suffering & the only way to find relief. He desires them to see that their well-being--physical, mental, & moral--depends upon their obedience to His law. . .In the preparation of a people for the Lord's second coming a great work is to be accomplished through the promulgation of health principles. The people are to be instructed in regard to the needs of the physical organism & the value of healthful living as taught in the Scriptures, that the bodies which God has created may be presented to Him a living sacrifice, fitted to render Him acceptable service. There is a great work to be done for suffering humanity in relieving their sufferings by the use of the natural agencies that God has provided & in teaching them how to prevent sickness by the regulation of the appetites & passions. The people should be taught that transgression of the laws of nature is transgression of the laws of God. They should be taught the truth in physical as well as in spiritual lines that "the fear of the Lord tendeth to life." Pr 19:23. "If thou wilt enter into life," Christ says, "keep the commandments." Mt 19:17. Live out My law as the apple of thine eye." Pr 7:2. God's commandments, obeyed, are "life unto those that find them, & health to all their flesh." Pr 4:22...Those who are taught can in turn impart to others a knowledge of health-restoring & health-preserving principles. Thus our sanitariums are to be an instrumentality for reaching the people, an agency for showing them the evil of disregarding the laws of life & health, & for teaching them how to preserve the body in the best condition. Sanitariums are to be established in different countries that are entered by our missionaries & are to be centers from which a work of healing, restoring, & educating shall be carried on.  6T 224-5  Let none who profess godliness regard with indifference the health of the body, & flatter themselves that intemperance is no sin, & will not affect their spirituality. A close sympathy exists between the physical & the moral nature.  CD 43


Healthful living must be made a family matter.

Parents should awake to their God-given responsibilities. Let them study the principles of health reform & teach their children that the path of self-denial is the only path of safety. The mass of the inhabitants of the world by their disregard of physical law are destroying their power of self-control & unfitting themselves to appreciate eternal realities. Willingly ignorant…they lead their children in the path of self-indulgence, thus preparing the way for them to suffer the penalty of the transgression of nature's laws. This is not taking a wise interest in the welfare of their families.  6T 370


Must Obey the Laws of Health

Too little attention is generally given to the preservation of health. It is far better to prevent disease than to know how to treat it when contracted. It is the duty of every person, for his own sake, & for the sake of humanity, to inform himself in regard to the laws of life & conscientiously to obey them. All need to become acquainted with that most wonderful of all organisms, the human body. They should understand the functions of the various organs & the dependence of one upon another for the healthy action of all. They should study the influence of the mind upon the body, & of the body upon the mind, & the laws by which they are governed.  MH 128


Basic Laws of Health:

 Foods & Nutrition:

Our physical health is maintained by that which we eat; if our appetites are not under the control of a sanctified mind, if we are not temperate in all our eating & drinking, we shall not be in a state of mental & physical soundness to study the word with a purpose to learn what saith the Scripture-what shall I do to inherit eternal life? Any unhealthful habit will produce an unhealthful condition in the system, & the delicate, living machinery of the stomach will be injured, & will not be able to do its work properly. The diet has much to do with the disposition to enter into temptation & commit sin. CD 52   The question of diet should be patiently studied. We need knowledge & wise judgment, in order to move wisely in this matter. Nature's laws should not be resisted, but obeyed. The health should receive careful attention. Some conscientiously abstain from eating improper food, & at the same time fail to eat food that supplies the elements necessary for the proper sustenance of the body. Never bear a testimony against health reform by failing to supply wholesome, palatable food to take the place of the harmful articles of diet we have discarded. TDG 136   Without studying the exact cost of every article of food & providing the cheapest kind, procure those articles that are best for making steam to run the living machinery. There is no extravagance in providing those articles of food that the system can best take in & digest, & thus send vitality to every part of the living organism. CG 341    Plenty of exercise in the open air, & an abstemious diet, are essential to your health. You should not eat more than two meals a day. If you feel that you must eat at night, take a drink of cold water, & in the morning you will feel much better for not having eaten. Your children should not be allowed to eat candies, fruit, nuts, or anything in line of food, between their meals. Two meals a day are better for them than three. If the parents set the example, & move from principle, the children will soon fall into line. Irregularities in eating destroy the healthy tone of the digestive organs, & when your children come to the table they do not relish wholesome food; their appetites crave that which is the most hurtful for them. 4T 501-2  Those who are changing from three meals a day, to two, will at first be troubled more or less with faintness, especially about the time they have been in the habit of eating their third meal. But if they persevere for a short time, this faintness will disappear.  CD 175  A second meal should never be eaten until the stomach has had time to rest from the labor of digesting the preceding meal. If a third meal be eaten at all, it should be light, & several hours before going to bed.  CD 174  In order to maintain health, a sufficient supply of good, nourishing food is needed.  If we plan wisely, that which is most conducive to health can be secured in almost every land. The various preparations of rice, wheat, corn, & oats are sent abroad everywhere, also beans, peas, & lentils. These, with native or imported fruits, & the variety of vegetables that grow in each locality, give an opportunity to select a dietary that is complete without the use of flesh meats.   Wherever fruit can be grown in abundance, a liberal supply should be prepared for winter, by canning or drying. Small fruits, such as currants, gooseberries, strawberries, raspberries, & blackberries, can be grown to advantage in many places where they are but little used & their cultivation is neglected.  For household canning, glass, rather than tin cans, should be used whenever possible. It is especially necessary that the fruit for canning should be in good condition. Use little sugar, & cook the fruit only long enough to ensure its preservation. Thus prepared, it is an excellent substitute for fresh fruit.  Wherever dried fruits, such as raisins, prunes, apples, pears, peaches, & apricots are obtainable at moderate prices, it will be found that they can be used as staple articles of diet much more freely than is customary, with the best results to the health & vigor of all classes of workers.  There should not be a great variety at any one meal, for this encourages overeating & causes indigestion.  It is not well to eat fruit & vegetables at the same meal. If the digestion is feeble, the use of both will often cause distress & inability to put forth mental effort. It is better to have the fruit at one meal & the vegetables at another.  The meals should be varied. The same dishes, prepared in the same way, should not appear on the table meal after meal & day after day. The meals are eaten with greater relish, & the system is better nourished, when the food is varied.  MH299- 300  Many make a mistake in drinking cold water with their meals. Food should not be washed down. Taken with meals, water diminishes the flow of the saliva; & the colder the water, the greater the injury to the stomach. Ice water or ice lemonade, taken with meals, will arrest digestion until the system has imparted sufficient warmth to the stomach to enable it to take up its work again. Masticate slowly, & allow the saliva to mingle with the food.  The more liquid there is taken into the stomach with the meals, the more difficult it is for the food to digest, for the liquid must first be absorbed. Do not eat largely of salt; give up spiced pickles; keep fiery food out of the stomach; eat fruit with the meals, & the irritation that calls for so much drink will cease to exist. But if anything is needed to quench the thirst, pure water is all that nature requires…In order to secure healthy digestion, food should be eaten slowly. Those who wish to avoid dyspepsia, & those who realize their obligation to keep all their powers in a condition which will enable them to render the best service to God, will do well to remember this. If your time to eat is limited, do not bolt your food, but eat less, & masticate slowly. The benefit derived from food does not depend so much on the quantity eaten, as on its thorough digestion; nor the gratification of taste so much on the amount of food swallowed, as on the length of time it remains in the mouth. CH 119  Food should be eaten slowly & should be thoroughly masticated. This is necessary in order that the saliva may be properly mixed with the food & the digestive fluids be called into action. MH 305  Those who are excited, anxious, or in a hurry would do well not to eat until they have found rest or relief, for the vital powers, already severely taxed, cannot supply the necessary digestive fluids. When traveling, some are almost constantly nibbling, if there is anything in their reach. This is a most pernicious practice. If travelers would eat regularly of the simplest & most nutritious kinds of food, they would not experience so great weariness, nor suffer so much from sickness.  CH 119-120  Food should not be eaten very hot or very cold. If food is cold, the vital force of the stomach is drawn upon in order to warm it before digestion can take place. Cold drinks are injurious for the same reason; while the free use of hot drinks is debilitating…avoid the use of pickles & spiced foods, eat an abundance of fruit, & the irritation that calls for so much drink at mealtime will largely disappear. MH 305   When the brain is constantly taxed, & there is lack of physical exercise, even plain food should be eaten sparingly. At mealtime cast off care & anxious thought; do not feel hurried, but eat slowly & with cheerfulness, with your heart filled with gratitude to God for all His blessings. MH 306  Custom has decreed that the food shall be placed upon the table in courses. Not knowing what is coming next, one may eat a sufficiency of food which perhaps is not the best suited to him. When the last course is brought on, he often ventures to overstep the bounds, & take the tempting dessert, which, however, proves anything but good for him. If all the food intended for a meal is placed on the table at the beginning, one has opportunity to make the best choice.  MH 306  

It is essential that continuous sameness in diet be avoided. The appetite will be much better if changes in the food are made. Be uniform. Do not have several kinds of food on the table at one meal, & no variety the next. Study economy in this line. Let people complain if they will. Let them find fault if there is not enough to suit them. The Israelites always complained of Moses & of God. It is your duty to maintain the standard of health reform. More can be accomplished for sick people by regulating their diet than by all the baths that can be given them. CD 408  Those who understand the laws of health & who are governed by principle, will shun the extremes, both of indulgence & of restriction. Their diet is chosen, not for the mere gratification of appetite, but for the upbuilding of the body. They seek to preserve every power in the best condition for highest service to God & man. The appetite is under the control of reason & conscience, & they are rewarded with health of body & mind. While they do not urge their views offensively upon others, their example is a testimony in favor of right principles. These persons have a wide influence for good. MH 319  I make myself a criterion for no one else. There are things that I cannot eat without suffering great distress. I try to learn that which is best for me, & then, saying nothing to anyone, I partake of the things that I can eat, which often are simply two or three varieties that will not create a disturbance in the stomach.  MM 285  To walk out after a meal, hold the head erect, put back the shoulders, & exercise moderately, will be a great benefit. The mind will be diverted from self to the beauties of nature…If you are in constant fear that your food will hurt you, it most assuredly will. Forget self, a& think of something cheerful.  2T 530                    


Exercise & Activity:

Exercise is good.  God designs that all parts of the human machinery shall be used. There should be regular hours for working, regular hours for eating…Mothers, there is nothing that leads to such evils as to lift the burdens from your daughters…Let them have exercise of the limbs & muscles. If  it wearies them, what then? Are you not wearied in your work? Will weariness hurt your children, unless overworked, more than it hurts you?  No, indeed.  CG 341  Exercise is important to digestion & to a healthy condition of body & mind. You need physical exercise. You move & act as if you were wooden, as though you had no elasticity. Healthy, active exercise is what you need. This will invigorate the mind. Neither study nor violent exercise should be engaged in immediately after a full meal; this would be a violation of the laws of the system. Immediately after eating there is a strong draft upon the nervous energy. The brain force is called into active exercise to assist the stomach; therefore, when the mind or body is taxed heavily after eating, the process of digestion is hindered. 2T 413  Exercise will aid the work of digestion. To walk out after a meal, hold the head erect, put back the shoulders, & exercise moderately, will be a great benefit. 2T 530   Those who do not use their limbs every day will realize a weakness when they do attempt to exercise. The veins & muscles are not in a condition to perform their work & keep all the living machinery in healthful action, each organ in the system doing its part. The limbs will strengthen with use. Moderate exercise every day will impart strength to the muscles, which without exercise become flabby & enfeebled. By active exercise in the open air every day, the liver, kidneys, & lungs also will be strengthened to perform their work. Bring to your aid the power of the will, which will resist cold & will give energy to the nervous system. In a short time you will so realize the benefit of exercise & pure air that you would not live without these blessings. Your lungs, deprived of air, will be like a hungry person deprived of food. Indeed, we can live longer without food than without air, which is the food that God has provided for the lungs. Therefore do not regard it as an enemy, but as a precious blessing from God.  2T 533   Possessing physical strength, you do not realize that you are as responsible for the use you make of it as the man of means is for the use of his money. You do not love manual labor; yet you have a constitution which requires severe physical taxation for the preservation of health as well as for the quickening of the mental powers. So far as health is concerned, physical exercise would be of the greatest value to all our ministers; & whenever they can be released from active service in the ministry they should feel it a duty to engage in physical labor for the support of their families.  4T 407    Exercise is indispensable to the health of every organ. If one set of muscles is used to the neglect of others, the living machinery is not being worked intelligently.  When physical exercise is taken, the circulation is quickened. The heart receives blood faster & sends it to the lungs faster. The lungs work more vigorously, furnishing a greater amount of blood, which is sent with stronger power through the entire being. Exercise gives new life & strength to every part of the body.  The nerves gain or lose strength in accordance with the way in which they are treated. If used too long & too severely, they are overtaxed & weakened. If used properly, they gain strength.  In order to have health, equilibrium of action must be maintained. The mind must harmonize with this. . .If physical exercise is regarded as drudgery, if the mind takes no interest in the exercise of the different parts of the body the benefits will not be realized. The mind must be interested in exercise of the muscles.  RC 147   Riches & idleness are thought by some to be blessings indeed; but those who are always busy, & who cheerfully go about their daily tasks, are the most happy & enjoy the best health. . . . The sentence that man must toil for his daily bread, & the promise of future happiness & glory, both came from the same throne, & both are blessings.  Poverty, in many cases, is a blessing; for it prevents youth & children from being ruined by inaction. The physical as well as the mental powers should be cultivated & properly developed. The first & constant care of parents should be to see that their children have firm constitutions, that they may be sound men & women. It is impossible to attain this object without physical exercise.   For their own physical health & moral good, children should be taught to work, even if there is no necessity so far as want is concerned. If they would have pure & virtuous characters, they must have the discipline of well-regulated labor, which will bring into exercise all the muscles. The satisfaction that children will have in being useful, & in denying themselves to help others, will be the most healthful pleasure they ever enjoyed.  CG 342

Fresh Air:

In the building of houses it is especially important to secure thorough ventilation & plenty of sunlight. Let there be a current of air & an abundance of light in every room in the house. Sleeping rooms should be so arranged as to have a free circulation of air day & night. No room is fit to be occupied as a sleeping room unless it can be thrown open daily to the air & sunshine. In most countries bedrooms need to be supplied with conveniences for heating, that they may be thoroughly warmed & dried in cold or wet weather.  The guest chamber should have equal care with the rooms intended for constant use. Like the other bedrooms, it should have air & sunshine, & should be provided with some means of heating, to dry out the dampness that always accumulates in a room not in constant use. Whoever sleeps in a sunless room, or occupies a bed that has not been thoroughly dried & aired, does so at the risk of health, & often of life.   In building, many make careful provision for their plants & flowers. The greenhouse or window devoted to their use is warm & sunny; for without warmth, air, & sunshine, plants would not live & flourish. If these conditions are necessary to the life of plants, how much more necessary are they for our own health & that of our families & guests!  MH 274-5   Many labor under the mistaken idea that if they have taken cold, they must carefully exclude the outside air & increase the temperature of their room until it is excessively hot. The system may be deranged, the pores closed by waste matter, & the internal organs suffering more or less inflammation, because the blood has been chilled back from the surface & thrown upon them. At this time, of all others, the lungs should not be deprived of pure, fresh air. If pure air is ever necessary, it is when any part of the system, as the lungs or stomach, is diseased. Judicious exercise would induce the blood to the surface, & thus relieve the internal organs. Brisk, yet not violent exercise in the open air, with cheerfulness of spirits, will promote the circulation, giving a healthful glow to the skin, & sending the blood, vitalized by the pure air, to the extremities. The diseased stomach will find relief by exercise….if they would eat temperately & engage in healthful exercise with a cheerful spirit, they would regain health & save time & money. Exercise, & a free & abundant use of the air & sunlight,--blessings which Heaven has freely bestowed upon all,--would give life & strength to the emaciated invalid.  A large class of women are content to hover over the stove, breathing impure air for one half or three fourths of the time, until the brain is heated & half benumbed. They should go out & exercise every day, even though some things indoors have to be neglected. They need the cool air to quiet their distracted brains.  2T 530-1



Truly the light is sweet, & a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun. Eccl. 11:7  There are but few who realize that, in order to enjoy health & cheerfulness, they must have an abundance of sunlight, pure air, & physical exercise. We pity little children who are kept confined indoors when the sun is shining gloriously without.   Clothe your boys & girls comfortably & properly. . .Then let them go out & exercise in the open air, & live to enjoy health & happiness.  The pale & sickly grain-blade that has struggled up out of the cold of early spring puts out the natural & healthy deep green after enjoying for a few days the health-&-life-giving rays of the sun. Go out into the light & warmth of the glorious sun, . . . & share with vegetation its life-giving, healing power.  No room in the house should be considered furnished & adorned without the cheering, enlivening light & sunshine, which are Heaven's own free gift to man. . . When God had made our world, & darkness was upon the face of the deep, he said, Let there be light, & there was light. And God saw the light that it was good. Shall we close our houses, & exclude from them the light which God has pronounced good?  If you would have your homes sweet & inviting, make them bright with air & sunshine. . . . The precious sunlight may fade your carpets, but it will give a healthful color to the cheeks of your children. If you have God's presence, & possess earnest, loving hearts, a humble home, made bright with air & sunlight . . . will be to your family . . . a heaven below.  Exercise & a free abundant use of the air & sunlight--blessings which Heaven has freely bestowed upon all--would give life & strength.  ML 138.



They may be weary, but how sweet is rest after a proper amount of labor. Sleep, nature's sweet restorer, invigorates the tired body & prepares it for the next day's duties.  CG 341  I urge you not to work above that which you are able to do. You should have less constant, taxing labor, that you may be able to keep yourself in a rested condition. You should take a sleep in the daytime. You can then think more readily, & your thoughts will be more clear & your words more convincing. And be sure to bring your whole being into connection with God.  2SM 230   In most cases two meals a day are preferable to three. Supper, when taken at an early hour, interferes with the digestion of the previous meal. When taken later, it is not itself digested before bedtime. Thus the stomach fails of securing proper rest. The sleep is disturbed, the brain & nerves are wearied, the appetite for breakfast is impaired, the whole system is unrefreshed & is unready for the day's duties.    The importance of regularity in the time for eating & sleeping should not be overlooked. Since the work of building up the body takes place during the hours of rest, it is essential, especially in youth, that sleep should be regular & abundant. Ed 205  Irregular hours for eating & sleeping sap the brain forces.  CD 122   Give yourself proper time to sleep. They who sleep give nature time to build up & repair the weary waste of the organism. MM 80   e are sustained every moment by God's care, & upheld by His power. He spreads our tables with food. He gives us peaceful & refreshing sleep. Weekly He brings to us the Sabbath, that we may rest from our temporal labors, & worship Him in His own house.  CS 18   Men who will unnecessarily take the precious hours of daylight for sleep have no sense of the value of precious, golden moments. Such men will prove only a curse to the cause of God. Brother A is self-inflated. He is not a close Bible student. He is not what he ought to be, nor what he may become by earnest exertion. He rouses up occasionally to do something; but his laziness, his natural love of ease, leads him to fall back again into the same sluggish channel. Persons who have not acquired habits of close industry & economy of time should have set rules to prompt them to regularity & dispatch.  4T 411  The proper regulation of his habits of eating, sleeping, study, & exercise, is a duty which every student owes to himself, to society, & to God. The education which will make the young a blessing to the world, is that which enables them to attain a true & noble manhood or womanhood. That student who is studying hard, sleeping little, exercising little, & eating irregularly of an improper or inferior quality of food, is obtaining mental training at the expense of health & morals, of spirituality, &, it may be, of life.  FE 72


Water Inside & Out:

In health & in sickness pure water is one of Heaven's choicest blessings. Its proper use promotes health. It is the beverage which God provided to quench the thirst of animals & man. Drunk freely, it helps to supply the necessities of the system & assists nature to resist disease. The external application of water is one of the easiest & most satisfactory ways of regulating the circulation of the blood.  Pure water to drink & fresh air to breathe invigorate the vital organs, purify the blood, & help nature in her task of overcoming the bad conditions of the system.  Water is the best liquid possible to cleanse the tissues.  If those who are afflicted would assist nature in her efforts by the use of pure, soft water, much suffering would be prevented.  Water treatments, wisely & skillfully given, may be the means of saving many lives. Let diligent study be united with careful treatments. Let prayers of faith be offered by the bedside of the sick. Let the sick be encouraged to claim the promises of God for themselves.  The refreshing water, welling up in a parched & barren land, causing the desert place to blossom & flowing out to give life to the perishing, is an emblem of the divine grace which Christ alone can bestow, & which is as the living water, purifying, refreshing, & invigorating the soul. ML 139  Water can be used in many ways to relieve suffering. Drafts of clear, hot water taken before eating (half a quart, more or less), will never do any harm, but will rather be productive of good.  CD 303.  In health and in sickness, pure water is one of heaven's choicest blessings. Its proper use promotes health. It is the beverage which God provided to quench the thirst of animals and man. Drunk freely, it helps to supply the necessities of the system and assists nature to resist disease. The external application of water is one of the easiest and most satisfactory ways of regulating the circulation of the blood. A cold or cool bath is an excellent tonic. Warm baths open the pores and thus aid in the elimination of impurities. Both warm and neutral baths soothe the nerves and equalize the circulation. MH 237



Temperance in all things has more to do with our restoration to Eden than men realize. CD 43  We are to practice temperance in all things. If we honor the Lord by acting our part, He will on His part preserve our health. We should have a sensible control of all our organs. By practicing temperance in eating, in drinking, in dressing, in labor, & in all things, we can do for ourselves what no physician can do for us. Te 139   Care needs to be exercised in regard to the regulation of hours for sleeping & laboring. We must take periods of rest, periods of recreation, periods for contemplation. . .The principles of temperance have a wider range than many think.  AH 494


Intemperate eating is often the cause of sickness, & what nature most needs is to be relieved of the undue burden that has been placed upon her.  In many cases of sickness, the very best remedy is for the patient to fast for a meal or two, that the overworked organs of digestion may have an opportunity to rest. A fruit diet for a few days has often brought great relief to brain workers. Many times a short period of entire abstinence from food, followed by simple, moderate eating, has led to recovery through nature's own recuperative effort. An abstemious diet for a month or two would convince many sufferers that the path of self-denial is the path to health. MH 235   The reason why many of our ministers complain of sickness is they fail to take sufficient exercise & indulge in overeating…such a course endangers the strongest constitution. Those who, like yourself, are sluggish in temperament, should eat very sparingly & not shun physical taxation... For every offense committed against the laws of health, the transgressor must pay the penalty in his own body. 4T 408   Some do not exercise control over their appetites, but indulge taste at the expense of health. As the result the brain is clouded, their thoughts are sluggish, & they fail to accomplish what they might if they were self-denying & abstemious. These rob God of physical & mental strength which might be devoted to His service if temperance were observed in all things. Paul was a health reformer…"I keep under my body, & bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway."…If Paul was in danger…, we are in greater danger, because we do not feel & realize as he did the necessity of glorifying God in our bodies & spirits, which are His. Overeating is the sin of this age.  The word of God places the sin of gluttony in the same catalogue with drunkenness. So offensive was this sin in the sight of God that He gave directions to Moses that a child who would not be restrained on the point of appetite, but would gorge himself…should be brought by his parents before the rulers in Israel & should be stoned to death. The condition of the glutton was considered hopeless. He would be of no use to others & was a curse to himself. No dependence could be placed upon him in anything. His influence would be ever contaminating others, & the world would be better without such a character; for his terrible defects would be perpetuated. None who have a sense of their accountability to God will allow the animal propensities to control reason. Those who do this are not Christians, whoever they may be & however exalted their profession. The injunction of Christ is: "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." He here shows us that we may be as perfect in our sphere as God is in His sphere.  4T 454


Over Working: In order to gain a little money, many deliberately arrange their business matters so that it necessarily brings a great amount of hard work upon those laboring out of doors, & upon their families in the house. The bone, muscle, & brain of all are taxed to the utmost; a great amount of work is before them to be done, & the excuse is, they must accomplish just all that they possibly can or there will be a loss, something will be wasted. Everything must be saved, let the result be what it may. What have such gained? Perhaps they have been able to keep the principal good & add to it. But, on the other hand, what have they lost? Their capital of health, which is invaluable to the poor as well as the rich, has been steadily diminishing. The mother & the children have made repeated drafts upon their fund of health & strength, thinking that such an extravagant expenditure would never exhaust their capital, until they are surprised at last to find their vigor of life exhausted. They have nothing left to draw upon in case of emergency. The sweetness & happiness of life is embittered by racking pains & sleepless nights. Both physical & mental vigor are gone.  1T 478  We should practice temperance in our labor. It is not our duty to place ourselves where we shall be overworked. Some may at times be placed where this is necessary, but it should be the exception, not the rule. Te 139 


Trust in God:

"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine."Pr 17:22 Gratitude, rejoicing, benevolence, trust in God's love & care--these are health's greatest safeguard. MH 281  We should cooperate with God in the care of our bodies. Love for God is essential for life & health. Faith in God is essential for health. In order to have perfect health, our hearts must be filled with love & hope & joy in the Lord. ML 149  Pure & undefiled religion is…the doing of works of mercy & love. This religion is necessary to health & happiness. It enters the polluted soul-temple, & with a scourge drives out the sinful intruders. Taking the throne, it consecrates all by its presence, illuminating the heart with the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness. It opens the windows of the soul heavenward, letting in the sunshine of God's love. With it comes serenity & composure. Physical, mental, & moral strength increase, because the atmosphere of heaven, as a living, active agency, fills the soul. Christ is formed within, the hope of glory.  MYP 142   Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, & thine health shall spring forth speedily: & thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward. Isa. 58:8  Is not this what we all crave? Oh, there is health & peace in doing the will of our Heavenly Father.  ML 246 


Misc: Circulation, Clothing, Regularity & order

Perfect health depends upon perfect circulation.  Special attention should be given to the extremities, that they may be as thoroughly clothed as the chest & the region over the heart, where is the greatest amount of heat. Parents who dress their children with the extremities naked, or nearly so, are sacrificing the health & lives of their children…If these parts are not so warm as the body, the circulation is not equalized. When the extremities, which are remote from the vital organs, are not properly clad, the blood is driven to the head, causing headache or nosebleed; or there is a sense of fullness about the chest, producing cough or palpitation of the heart, on account of too much blood in that locality; or the stomach has too much blood, causing indigestion…mothers dress their children with limbs nearly naked; & the blood is chilled back from its natural course & thrown upon the internal organs, breaking up the circulation & producing disease. The limbs were not formed by our Creator to endure exposure, as was the face. The Lord provided the face with an immense circulation, because it must be exposed.  He provided, also, large veins & nerves for the limbs & feet, to contain a large amount of the current of human life, that the limbs might be uniformly as warm as the body. They should be so thoroughly clothed as to induce the blood to the extremities.  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 & so clothe their children that the nerves & veins become contracted & do not answer the purpose that God designed they should. The result is, habitually cold feet & hands. Those parents…will have an account to render to God for thus robbing their children of health…Children who are clothed according to fashion cannot endure exposure in the open air unless the weather is mild. Therefore parents & children remain in ill-ventilated rooms, fearing the atmosphere out of doors…If they would clothe themselves sensibly, & have moral courage to take their position on the side of right, they would not endanger health by going out summer & winter, & exercising freely in the open air…The husband loses his nervous energy, & becomes diseased because, a considerable part of the time, he is robbed by his wife of the vital air of heaven. But the poor children, who think that mother knows best what is right, are the greatest sufferers. The mother's wrong course has enfeebled herself, &, if chilly, she bundles up in more wrappings, & provides the same for the children, thinking that they also must be chilly. The doors & windows are closed, & the temperature of the room increased…They are deprived, in a great measure, of air, which will invigorate them & give them energy & vitality.  2T 531-2

If the youth would form habits of regularity & order, they would improve in health, in spirits, in memory, & in disposition.  It is the duty of all to observe strict rules in their habits of life. This is for your own good, dear youth, both physically & morally. When you rise in the morning, take into consideration, as far as possible, the work you must accomplish during the day. If necessary, have a small book in which to jot down the things that need to be done, & set yourself a time in which to do your work.  Ev 652

Cheerfulness: Some preserve a cold, chilling reserve, an iron dignity…This spirit is contagious; it creates an atmosphere that is withering to good impulses & good resolves; it chokes the natural current of human sympathy, cordiality, & love…Not only is the spiritual health affected, but the physical health suffers by this unnatural depression. 4T 63  The happiness of life is made up of little things. It is in the power of everyone to practice true Christlike courtesy. It is not the possession of splendid talents that will help us to overcome, but the conscientious performance of daily duties. The kind look, the lowly spirit, the contented disposition, the unaffected, sincere interest in the welfare of others--these things are helps in the Christian life. If the love of Jesus fills the heart, this love will be manifested in the life. We shall not show a determination to have our own way, a stubborn, selfish unwillingness to be happy or pleased. The health of the body depends more upon heart healthfulness than many suppose.  2SM 237

Recreation: Let several families living in a city or village unite & …make an excursion into the country to the side of a fine lake or to a nice grove where the scenery of nature is beautiful. They should provide themselves with plain, hygienic food, the very best fruits & grains, & spread their table under the shade of some tree or under the canopy of heaven. The ride, the exercise, & the scenery will quicken the appetite, & they can enjoy a repast which kings might envy. On such occasions parents & children should feel free from care, labor, & perplexity. Parents should become children with their children, making everything as pleasant for them as possible. Let the whole day be given to recreation. Exercise in the open air for those whose employment has been withindoors & sedentary will be beneficial to health. All who can, should feel it a duty to pursue this course. Nothing will be lost, but much gained. They can return to their occupations with new life & new courage to engage in their labor with zeal, & they are better prepared to resist disease.  I saw that but few realize the constant, wearing labor of those who are bearing the responsibilities of the work in the office. They are confined withindoors day after day & week after week…These brethren are in danger of breaking suddenly. They are not immortal, & without a change they must wear out & be lost to the work.  1T 515


What Destroys Health:

Problems in the Church: Those who have had bowels of compassion for Brother S will never have cause to regret it, for he is a child of God, beloved of Him. The depressed state of the church has been very detrimental to his health. I saw him looking on the dark side, distrustful of himself, & looking down into the grave. He must not dwell on these things, but look to Jesus, a pattern that is unerring. He must encourage cheerfulness & courage in the Lord--talk faith, talk hope; rest in God, & not feel that a severe, taxing effort is required on his part. All that God requires is simple trust--to drop into His arms…& Jesus will help the helpless, & strengthen & build up those who feel that they are very weakness itself. God will be glorified in his affliction, through the patience, faith, & submission exemplified by him.  2T 98

Grief, Anxiety, & Imagination: It is the duty of everyone to cultivate cheerfulness instead of brooding over sorrow & troubles. Many not only make themselves wretched in this way, but they sacrifice health & happiness to a morbid imagination. There are things in their surroundings that are not agreeable, & their countenances wear a continual frown that, more plainly than words, expresses discontent. These depressing emotions are a great injury to them health wise; for by hindering the process of digestion, they interfere with nutrition. While grief & anxiety cannot remedy a single evil, they can do great harm; but cheerfulness & hope, while they brighten the pathway of others, "are life unto those that find them, & health to all their flesh."  AH 430   A great deal of the sickness which afflicts humanity has its origin in the mind & can only be cured by restoring the mind to health. There are very many more than we imagine who are sick mentally. Heart sickness makes many dyspeptics, for mental trouble has a paralyzing influence upon the digestive organs. 1MCP 63  Grief, anxiety, discontent, remorse, guilt, distrust, all tend to break down the life-forces & to invite decay & death.  Courage, hope, faith, sympathy, love, promote health & prolong life.  Sadness deadens the circulation in the blood vessels & nerves & also retards the action of the liver. It hinders the process of digestion & of nutrition, & has a tendency to dry up the marrow [interior substance] of the whole system.  2MCP 458

Diet Intemperance/Extremes: Many are made sick by the indulgence of their appetite. . . So many varieties are introduced into the stomach that fermentation is the result. This condition brings on acute disease, & death frequently follows. CD 110   Indulging in eating too frequently, & in too large quantities, over-taxes the digestive organs, & produces a feverish state of the system. The blood becomes impure, & then diseases of various kinds occur. 4aSG 133  I saw that you had mistaken notions about afflicting your bodies, depriving yourselves of nourishing food… I saw that your views concerning these things are erroneous…You think that the church is upon the background, because they cannot see things as you do, & because they do not follow the same rigid course which you think you are required to pursue. I saw that you are deceived in regard to your own duty & the duty of others. Some have gone to extremes in regard to diet. They have taken a rigid course, & lived so very plain that their health has suffered, disease has strengthened in the system, & the temple of God has been weakened.  1T 205

Poor Clothing:  Another evil…is the unequal distribution of the clothing, so that while some parts of the body have more than is required, others are insufficiently clad. The feet & limbs, being remote from the vital organs, should be especially guarded from cold by abundant clothing. It is impossible to have health when the extremities are habitually cold; for if there is too little blood in them there will be too much in other portions of the body. Perfect health requires a perfect circulation; but this cannot be had while three or four times as much clothing is worn upon the body, where the vital organs are situated, as upon the feet & limbs.  MH 293

A neglect of cleanliness will induce disease. Sickness does not come without a cause. Violent epidemics of fevers have occurred in villages & cities that were considered perfectly healthful, & these have resulted in death or broken constitutions...It is astonishing to witness the prevailing ignorance relative to the effects which slackness & recklessness produce upon health. AH 22  When severe sickness enters a family, there is great need of each member's giving strict attention to personal cleanliness & diet, to preserve himself in a healthful condition, thus fortifying himself against disease. It is also of the greatest importance that the sickroom, from the first, be properly ventilated. This is beneficial to the afflicted, & highly necessary to keep those well who are compelled to remain a length of time in the sickroom. . . Strict habits of cleanliness should be observed. Many, while well, will not take the trouble to keep in a healthy condition. They neglect personal cleanliness, & are not careful to keep their clothing pure. Impurities are constantly & imperceptibly passing from the body, through the pores, & if the surface of the skin is not kept in a healthy condition, the system is burdened with impure matter. If the clothing worn is not often washed & frequently aired, it becomes filthy with impurities which are thrown off from the body by sensible & insensible perspiration. And if the garments worn are not frequently cleansed from these impurities, the pores of the skin absorb again the waste matter thrown off. The impurities of the body, if not allowed to escape, are taken back into the blood & forced on the internal organs. Nature, to relieve herself of poisonous impurities, makes an effort to free the system. This effort produces fevers & what is termed disease. But even then, if those who are afflicted would assist nature in her efforts by the use of pure, soft water, much suffering would be prevented. CH 61

Dampness in the Dwelling: So far as possible, all buildings intended for human habitation should be placed on high, well-drained ground. This will ensure a dry site & prevent the danger of disease from dampness & miasma. This matter is often too lightly regarded. Continuous ill-health, serious diseases, & many deaths result from the dampness & malaria of low-lying, ill-drained situations.  In the building of houses it is especially important to secure thorough ventilation & plenty of sunlight. Let there be a current of air & an abundance of light in every room in the house. Sleeping rooms should be so arranged as to have a free circulation of air day & night. No room is fit to be occupied as a sleeping room unless it can be thrown open daily to the air & sunshine. In most countries bedrooms need to be supplied with conveniences for heating, that they may be thoroughly warmed & dried in cold or wet weather.  MH 274


Restoring Poor Health:

Country Living & Witnessing:  I have much to say in regard to these settlements in the mountains...Will not our people work more faithfully in the highways & hedges?…There are many of our people who, if they would go out of the cities & begin to labor in these byways, & also highways, would recover physical health. I urge our brethren to go out as missionaries, two & two, to these country places. Go in humility. Christ has given an example, & the Lord will certainly bless the efforts of those who will move out in the fear of God, bearing the message the Saviour gave to the first disciples, "The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you."  Ev 50-1  One of the surest hindrances to the recovery of the sick is the centering of attention upon themselves. Many invalids feel that everyone should give them sympathy & help, when what they need is to have their attention turned away from themselves, to think of & care for others.  MH 256

Obedience:    The consciousness of right doing is the best medicine for diseased bodies & minds. The special blessing of God resting upon the receiver is health & strength. A person whose mind is quiet & satisfied in God is in the pathway to health. To have a consciousness that the eyes of the Lord are upon us & His ears open to our prayers is a satisfaction indeed. To know that we have a never-failing Friend in whom we can confide all the secrets of the soul is a privilege which words can never express. Those whose moral faculties are beclouded by disease are not the ones to rightly represent the Christian life or the beauties of holiness. They are too often in the fire of fanaticism or the water of cold indifference or stolid gloom. The words of Christ are of more worth than the opinions of all the physicians in the universe: "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, & His righteousness; & all these things shall be added unto you." This is the first great object--the kingdom of heaven, the righteousness of Christ. Other objects to be attained should be secondary to these.  1T 502

Cheerfulness:  A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken. Prov. 15:13  If you are burdened & weary, you need not curl up like leaves upon a withered branch. Cheerfulness & a clear conscience are better than drugs, & will be an effective agent in your restoration to health. You will be benefited with the effort you make to be cheerful. . . . Get out of doors as much as possible, & be benefited with the breezes & the blessed sunshine. Let the songs of the birds & the beauties of nature awaken holy & grateful feelings in your hearts & lead you to adore your Creator who has anticipated your wants & surrounded you with unnumbered tokens of His love & constant care.  ML 177

 Exercise:  I was shown that the position of Dr. E in regard to amusements was wrong, & that his views of physical exercise were not all correct. The amusements which he recommends hinder the recovery of health in many cases to one that is helped by them. He has to a great degree condemned physical labor for the sick, & his teaching in many cases has proved a great injury to them. Such mental exercise as playing cards, chess, & checkers excites & wearies the brain & hinders recovery, while light & pleasant physical labor will occupy the time, improve the circulation, relieve & restore the brain, & prove a decided benefit to the health. But take from the invalid all such employment, & he becomes restless, &, with a diseased imagination, views his case as much worse than it really is, which tends to imbecility.   For years I have from time to time been shown that the sick should be taught that it is wrong to suspend all physical labor in order to regain health. In thus doing the will becomes dormant, the blood moves sluggishly through the system & constantly grows more impure. Where the patient is in danger of imagining his case worse than it really is, indolence will be sure to produce the most unhappy results. Well-regulated labor gives the invalid the idea that he is not totally useless in the world, that he is, at least, of some benefit. This will afford him satisfaction, give him courage, & impart to him vigor, which vain mental amusements can never do.  1T 554-5

The fear of the Lord will do more…than any other means…for the restoration of health…the fact should ever be made prominent that the laws of God, both in nature & revelation, are "life unto those that find them, & health to all their flesh."4T 552  The Saviour in His miracles revealed the power that is continually at work in man's behalf, to sustain & heal him. Through the agencies of nature, God is working, day by day, hour by hour…to keep us alive, to build up & restore us. When any part of the body sustains injury, a healing process is at once begun; nature's agencies are set at work to restore soundness. But the power working through these agencies is the power of God...When one recovers from disease, it is God who restores him.  Sickness, suffering, & death are work of an antagonistic power. Satan is the destroyer; God is the restorer.  The words spoken to Israel are true today of those who recover health of body or health of soul. "I am the Lord that healeth thee."Ex 15:26. The desire of God for every human being is expressed in the words,"I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper & be in health, even as thy soul prospereth." 3 Jn 2.  He it is who "forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with loving-kindness & tender mercies."Ps 103:3, 4.  When Christ healed disease, He warned many of the afflicted ones, "Sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee." Jn 5:14. Thus He taught that they had brought disease upon themselves by transgressing the laws of God, & that health could be preserved only by obedience.  The physician should teach his patients that they are to cooperate with God in the work of restoration. The physician has a continually increasing realization of the fact that disease is the result of sin. He knows that the laws of nature, as truly as the precepts of the Decalogue, are divine, & that only in obedience to them can health be recovered or preserved. He sees many suffering as the result of hurtful practices who might be restored to health if they would do what they might for their own restoration. They need to be taught that every practice which destroys the physical, mental, or spiritual energies is sin, & that health is to be secured through obedience to the laws that God has established for the good of all mankind.   When a physician sees a patient suffering from disease caused by improper eating & drinking or other wrong habits, yet neglects to tell him of this, he is doing his fellow being an injury…Let it be made plain that the way of God's commandments is the way of life. God has established the laws of nature, but His laws are not arbitrary exactions. Every "Thou shalt not," whether in physical or in moral law, implies a promise. If we obey it, blessing will attend our steps. God never forces us to do right, but He seeks to save us from the evil & lead us to the good.  Let attention be called to the laws that were taught to Israel. God gave them definite instruction in regard to their habits of life. He made known to them the laws relating to both physical & spiritual well-being; & on condition of obedience He assured them, "The Lord will take away from thee all sickness." Deut 7:15. "Set your hearts unto all the words which I testify among you this day." "For they are life unto those that find them, & health to all their flesh." Deut 32:46; Pr 4:22.   God desires us to reach the standard of perfection made possible for us by the gift of Christ…In His written word & in the great book of nature He has revealed the principles of life. It is our work to obtain a knowledge of these principles, & by obedience to co-operate with Him in restoring health to the body as well as to the soul.  Men need to learn that the blessings of obedience, in their fullness, can be theirs only as they receive the grace of Christ. It is His grace that gives man power to obey the laws of God. It is this that enables him to break the bondage of evil habit. This is the only power that can make him & keep him steadfast in the right path.  When the gospel is received in its purity & power, it is a cure for the maladies that originated in sin. The Sun of Righteousness arises, "with healing in His wings." Mal 4:2. Not all this world bestows can heal a broken heart, or impart peace of mind, or remove care, or banish disease. Fame, genius, talent--all are powerless to gladden the sorrowful heart or to restore the wasted life. The life of God in the soul is man's only hope. The love which Christ diffuses through the whole being is a vitalizing power. Every vital part--the brain, the heart, the nerves--it touches with healing. By it the highest energies of the being are roused to activity. It frees the soul from the guilt & sorrow, the anxiety & care, that crush the life forces. With it come serenity & composure. It implants in the soul, joy that nothing earthly can destroy,--joy in the Holy Spirit,--health-giving, life-giving joy.   Our Saviour's words, "Come unto Me, . . . & I will give you rest" (Mt 11:28), are a prescription for the healing of physical, mental, & spiritual ills. Though men have brought suffering upon themselves by their own wrongdoing, He regards them with pity. In Him they may find help. He will do great things for those who trust in Him.  MH 112-5