“Since the fall, intemperance in almost every form has existed. The appetite has controlled reason.”
“Adam and Eve in Eden were noble in stature, and perfect in symmetry and beauty. They were sinless, and in perfect health. What a contrast to the human race now! Beauty is gone. Perfect health is not known. Everywhere we look we see disease, deformity, and imbecility. . . . Since the fall, intemperance in almost every form has existed. The appetite has controlled reason. The human family have followed in a course of disobedience, and, like Eve, have been beguiled by Satan to disregard the prohibitions God has made, flattering themselves that the consequence would not be as fearful as had been apprehended. The human family have violated the laws of health, and have run to excess in almost everything. Disease has been steadily increasing. The cause has been followed by the effect. . . .
“The people who lived before the flood ate animal food, and gratified their lusts until their cup of iniquity was full, and God cleansed the earth of its moral pollution by a flood. . . . Since the flood, as the human family have forgotten God, and have followed in a course of disobedience, and have transgressed his commandments, the curse has rested heavier and heavier upon men and upon the beasts. . . .
“Many marvel that the human race has so degenerated, physically, mentally, and morally. They do not understand that it is the violation of God’s constitution and laws and the violation of the laws of health that have produced this sad degeneracy. The transgression of God’s commandments has caused his prospering hand to be removed. Intemperance in eating and in drinking, and the indulgence of base passions, have benumbed the fine sensibilities, so that sacred things have been placed upon a level with common things. . . .
God prohibited the Hebrews the use of swine’s flesh because it is hurtful. It fills the system with humors, and in that warm climate often produced leprosy. Its influence upon the system in that climate was far more injurious than in a colder climate. But God never designed the swine to be eaten, under any circumstances. . . . Other animals were forbidden to be eaten by the Israelites, because they were not the best articles of food. . . .
“Tobacco, in whatever form it is used, tells upon the constitution. It is a slow poison. If affects the brain and benumbs the sensibilities, so that the mind cannot clearly discern spiritual things. . . .
“Tea and coffee are stimulating. Their effects are similar to those of tobacco; but they affect in a less degree. . . . To just the degree that the nervous system is excited by false stimulants, will be the prostration which will follow after the influence of the exciting cause has abated. This prostration may in time be overcome by abstaining from the use of those things which created such a condition in the system. Those who indulge a perverted appetite, do it to the injury of health and intellect. They cannot appreciate the value of spiritual things. Their sensibilities are blunted, and sin does not appear very sinful, and truth is not regarded of greater value than earthly treasure.
“There is a class who profess to believe the truth, who do not use tobacco, snuff, tea, or coffee, yet are guilty of gratifying the appetite in a different manner. They crave highly seasoned meats, with rich gravies, and their appetite has become so perverted that they cannot be satisfied with even meat, unless prepared in a manner most injurious. . . .
“I have been shown that a great amount of suffering might be saved if all would labor to prevent disease, by strictly obeying the laws of health. . . . Many have expected that God would keep them from sickness merely because they have asked him to do so. But God did not regard their prayers because their faith was not made perfect by works. God will not work a miracle to keep those from sickness who have no care for themselves, but are continually violating the laws of health, and make no effort to prevent disease. When we do all we can on our part to have health, then may we expect that the blessed results will follow, and we can ask God in faith to bless our efforts for the preservation of health.. . . .
“In order to preserve health, temperance in all things is necessary,—temperance in labor, temperance in eating and drinking. . . . The body, which God calls his temple, should be preserved in as healthy a condition as possible. . . . God requires his people to be laborers together with him. He requires them to “abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul,” and present their “bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God,” which is the only service he will accept from reasonable mortals. Jesus has stooped very low in order to reach man in his low estate. And God requires of man to make earnest efforts, and deny self, that he may preserve his vigor of mind, and elevate himself, and imitate the example of him in whom was no guile. Then will he be benefited with the atonement of Christ.”1
* * *
“I have thought for years that I was dependent upon a meat diet for strength. I have eaten three meals a day until within a few months. It has been very difficult for me to go from one meal to another without suffering from faintness at the stomach, and dizziness of the head. Eating would remove these feelings. I seldom allowed myself to eat anything between my regular meals, and have made it a practice to often retire without supper. But I have suffered greatly for want of food from breakfast to dinner, and have frequently fainted. Eating meat removed for the time these faint feelings. I therefore decided that meat was indispensable in my case.
“But since the Lord presented before me, in June, 1863, the subject of meat-eating in relation to health, I have left the use of meat. For a while it was rather difficult to bring my appetite to bread, for which, formerly, I have had but little relish. But by persevering, I have been able to do this. I have lived for nearly one year without meat. For about six months most of the bread upon our table has been unleavened cakes, made of unbolted wheat-meal and water, and a very little salt. We use fruits and vegetables liberally. I have lived for eight months upon two meals a day. I have applied myself to writing the most of the time for above a year. For eight months have been confined closely to writing. My brain has been constantly taxed, and I have had but little exercise. Yet my health has never been better than for the past six months. My former faint and dizzy feelings have left me. . . . Our plain food, eaten twice a day, is enjoyed with a keen relish. We have no meat, cake, or any rich food upon our table. We use no lard, but in its place, milk, cream, and some butter. We have our food prepared with but little salt, and have dispensed with spices of all kinds. We breakfast at seven, and take our dinner at one. It is seldom I have a faint feeling. My appetite is satisfied. My food is eaten with a greater relish than ever before.”2
* * *
“More people die for want of exercise than through overfatigue; very many more rust out than wear out. Those who accustom themselves to proper exercise in the open air, will generally have a good and vigorous circulation. We are more dependent upon the air we breathe than upon the food we eat. Men and women, young and old, who desire health, and who would enjoy active life should remember that they cannot have these without a good circulation. Whatever their business and inclinations, they should make up their minds to exercise in the open air as much as they can. They should feel it a religious duty to overcome the conditions of health which have kept them confined indoors, deprived of exercise in the open air.”3
* * *
“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.”4
* * *
“There are but few who realize that, in order to enjoy health and cheerfulness, they must have an abundance of sunlight, pure air, and physical exercise.”5
2. Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, p. 153.
3. Counsels on Health, p. 173.
4. The Ministry of Healing, p. 237.
5. Health Reformer, April 1871.