Ellen White Topics
The abuses of the stomach by the gratification of appetite are the fruitful source of most church trials. Those who eat and work intemperately and irrationally, talk and act irrationally. An intemperate man cannot be a patient man. It is not necessary to drink alcoholic liquors in order to be intemperate. The sin of intemperate eating, eating too frequently, too much, and of rich, unwholesome food, destroys the healthy action of the digestive organs, affects the brain, and perverts the judgement, preventing rational, calm, healthy thinking and acting. And this is a fruitful source of church trials. Therefore in order for the people of God to be in an acceptable state with Him, where they can glorify Him in their bodies and spirits which are His, they must with interest and zeal deny the gratification of their appetites, and exercise temperance in all things. Then may they comprehend the truth in its beauty and clearness, and carry it out in their lives, and by a judicious, wise, straightforward course give the enemies of our faith no occasion to reproach the cause of truth. God requires all who believe the truth to make special, persevering efforts to place themselves in the best possible condition of bodily health, for a solemn and important work is before us. Health of body and mind is required for this work; it is as essential to a healthy religious experience, to advancement in the Christian life and progress in holiness, as is the hand or foot to the human body. God requires His people to cleanse themselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord. All those who are indifferent and excuse themselves from this work, waiting for the Lord to do for them that which He requires them to do for themselves, will be found wanting when the meek of the earth, who have wrought His judgements, are hid in the day of the Lord's anger. 1T 618

I come again to Christians. If all who profess to obey the law of God were free from iniquity, my soul would be relieved; but they are not. Even some who profess to keep all the commandments of God are guilty of the sin of adultery. What can I say to arouse their benumbed sensibilities? Moral principle, strictly carried out, becomes the only safeguard of the soul. If ever there was a time when the diet should be of the most simple kind, it is now. Meat should not be placed before our children. Its influence is to excite and strengthen the lower passions, and has a tendency to deaden the moral powers. Grains and fruits prepared free from grease, and in as natural a condition as possible, should be the food for the tables of all who claim to be preparing for translation to heaven. The less feverish the diet, the more easily can the passions be controlled. Gratification of taste should not be consulted irrespective of physical, intellectual, or moral health. 2T 352

The health reform would be a great benefit to you both if you would strictly carry it out. This you have failed to do. Your appetites are morbid, and because you do not relish a plain, simple diet, composed of unbolted wheat flour, vegetables and fruits prepared without spices or grease, you are continually transgressing the laws which God has established in your system. While you do this you must suffer the penalty, for to every transgression is affixed a penalty. Yet you wonder at your continued poor health. 2T 66

Intemperance commences at our tables in the use of unhealthful food. After a time, through continued indulgence, the digestive organs become weakened, and the food taken does not satisfy the appetite. Unhealthy conditions are established, and there is a craving for more stimulating food. Tea, coffee, and flesh meats produce an immediate effect. Under the influence of these poisons the nervous system is excited, and, in some cases, for the time being, the intellect seems to be invigorated and the imagination to be more vivid. Because these stimulants produce for the time being such agreeable results, many conclude that they really need them and continue their use. But there is always a reaction. The nervous system, having been unduly excited, borrowed power for present use from its future resources of strength. All this temporary invigoration of the system is followed by depression. In proportion as these stimulants temporarily invigorate the system will be the letting down of the power of the excited organs after the stimulus has lost its force. The appetite is educated to crave something stronger which will have a tendency to keep up and increase the agreeable excitement, until indulgence becomes habit, and there is a continual craving for stronger stimulus, as tobacco, wines, and liquors. The more the appetite is indulged, the more frequent will be its demands and the more difficult of control. The more debilitated the system becomes and the less able to do without unnatural stimulus, the more the passion for these things increases, until the will is overborne, and there seems to be no power to deny the unnatural craving for these indulgences. 3T 487

If we wish good health we must take special care of the health God has given us, deny the unhealthy appetite, eat more coarse food with little grease. Then you can consistently ask God's blessing upon such food as is congenial with your natures. We must pray as did Solomon for food convenient for us, and act accordingly, and God will bless us. Some Sabbathkeepers make a god of their bellies, waste their means in getting rich food. Such I saw, if saved at all, would know what pinching is unless they deny their appetites and eat to the glory of God. There are but few who eat to the glory of God.--Manuscript 1, 1854. ("Reproof for adultery and Neglect," February 12, 1854.) 5MR 377

I have been shown that some of our camp meetings are far from being what the Lord designed they should be. The people come unprepared for the visitation of God's Holy Spirit. Generally the sisters devote considerable time before the meeting to the preparation of garments for the outward adorning, while they entirely forget the inward adorning, which is in the sight of God of great price. There is also much time spent in needless cooking, in the preparation of rich pies and cakes and other articles of food that do positive injury to those who partake of them. Should our sisters provide good bread and some other healthful kinds of food, both they and their families would be better prepared to appreciate the words of life and far more susceptible to the influence of the Holy Spirit. 5T 162

Often the stomach is overburdened with food which is seldom as plain and simple as that eaten at home, where the amount of exercise taken is double or treble. This causes the mind to be in such a lethargy that it is difficult to appreciate eternal things; and the meeting closes, and they are disappointed in not having enjoyed more of the Spirit of God. 5T 163

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 and drinking, we shall not be in a state of mental and 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, and the delicate, living machinery of the stomach will be injured, and will not be able to do its work properly. The diet has much to do with the disposition to enter into temptation and commit sin. CD 52

The case of Daniel may be studied with profit by all who desire perfection of character. He and his companions were sincere, faithful Christians. To them the will of God was the supreme law of life. They knew that in order to glorify God all their faculties must be developed, and they sought to gain knowledge, that they might perfect a Christian character, and stand in that heathen nation as fitting representatives of the true religion. In order to preserve health, they resolved to avoid the luxuries of the king's table, they refused to partake of any stimulating drink, but practised strict temperance in all things, that they might not enfeeble brain or muscle. They exerted all their powers to work out their own salvation, and God worked in them to will and to do of his good pleasure. Under his training, their faculties were able to do the highest service for him....

When Nebuchadnezzar's golden image was set up ... Daniel's three companions were commanded to fall down and worship it; but their principles forbade them to pay homage to the idol, for it was a rival to the God of heaven. They knew that they owed every faculty they possessed to God, and while their hearts were full of generous sympathy toward all men, they had a lofty aspiration to prove themselves entirely loyal to their God....

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and all who live in communion with their Creator, will have an understanding of his design in their creation, and a sense of their own obligation to employ their faculties to the very best purpose. They will seek neither to glorify nor to depreciate themselves, but they will glorify God; for the man who consents to be moulded and fashioned after the divine similitude, is the noblest specimen of the work of God....

[336A.1] God calls upon all men to avail themselves of the blessing he has set before them, that they may co-operage with him in carrying forward the great work of redemption. He has given his Holy Spirit as a power sufficient to overcome all man's hereditary and cultivated tendencies to wrong. By yielding his capabilities to the control of this Spirit, man will be impressed with God's perfect character, and will become an instrument through which he can reveal his mercy, his goodness, and his love.

In the attainment of a perfect Christian character, the culture of the intellect is necessary, in order that we may understand the revelation of the will of God to us. This cannot be neglected by those who are obedient to God's commandments. In our intellectual faculties, we possess God's endowment. These faculties were not given us for the service of self, but for the service of God; and they are to be treated as a higher power, to rule the things of the body. They are derived from God, not self-created, and should be consecrated to his work. ST NOV.5,1896