September 11, 2019
Aim for Holiness, Not Merely Health
I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Romans 12:1, NRSV.
Should those connected with this enterprise [the Health Institute at Battle Creek] cease to look at their work from a high religious standpoint, and descend from the exalted principles of present truth to imitate in theory and practice those at the head of institutions where the sick are treated only for the recovery of health, the special blessing of God would not rest upon our institution more than upon those where corrupt theories are taught and practiced.
I saw that a very extensive work could not be accomplished in a short time, as it would not be an easy matter to find physicians whom God could approve and who would work together harmoniously, disinterestedly, and zealously for the good of suffering humanity. It should ever be kept prominent that the great object to be attained through this channel is not only health, but perfection, and the spirit of holiness, which cannot be attained with diseased bodies and minds. This object cannot be secured by working merely from the worldling’s standpoint. God will raise up men and women and qualify them to engage in the work, not only as physicians of the body, but of the sin-sick soul, as spiritual parents to the young and inexperienced….
The view that those who have abused both their physical and mental powers, or who have broken down in either mind or body, must suspend activity in order to regain health is a great error. In a very few cases entire rest for a short period may be necessary, but these instances are very rare. In most cases the change would be too great.
Those who have broken down by intense mental labor should have rest from wearing thought, yet to teach them that it is wrong and even dangerous for them to exercise their mental powers to a degree leads them to view their condition as worse than it really is….
Those who have broken down by physical exertion must have less labor, and that which is light and pleasant. But to shut them away from all labor and exercise would in many cases prove their ruin…. Inactivity is the greatest curse that could come upon such. Their powers become so dormant that it is impossible for them to resist disease and languor, as they must do in order to regain health. – Testimonies for the Church 1:554-556.
From Devotional: To Be Like Jesus, p. 297.