HEAVEN HAS ASKED FOR IT: HOW LONG SHALL WE WAIT?
IT IS TIME THAT WE
Sign The Pledge
AND STOP EATING MEAT
March of 1908, Ellen White wrote a solemn letter to the President of the
General Conference of our Church, asking, in the name of God, that he
sign a pledge to henceforth abstain from all meat-eating and set a
pattern for all church officers, workers, and members to follow.
"Let the good work begin in Washington," she said, that it may
extend throughout the entire denomination-and the entire Church be
brought back to the Creator's original diet for mankind.
In March of 1908, Ellen White wrote a solemn letter to the President of the General Conference of our Church, asking, in the name of God, that he sign a pledge to henceforth abstain from all meat-eating and set a pattern for all church officers, workers, and members to follow. "Let the good work begin in Washington," she said, that it may extend throughout the entire denomination-and the entire Church be brought back to the Creator's original diet for mankind.
Thank God we have inspired writings to show us the paths we are to tread today. Thank God that He will never forsake those who love and obey Him. There is hope for you and me if we will today accept the messages given through His inspired messages-the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. There is a bright future for each one of us if we will return to entire obedience to all of His commandments, claim all of His gracious promises (remembering that every command contains a wonderful promise), -and do the work He has given us to do.
When Elder A.G. Daniells received the following letter, he set it aside and did it not. The good work did not begin at Washington. But just now today, the good work can begin in your home and mine. We may individually determine in our hearts that we will never again partake of meat or foods containing meat or animal grease.
May the good work begin in our own homes just now. And may it spread from home to home in our churches. And as we do so, there is victory; victory for all who will obey the light of Heaven. God has promised that if you will take this step, you will be able to better understand the atonement, and be fitted for translation.
Everything that your heavenly Father asks is important. Fulfill His every command, and do it as faithfully as you can, - and you will be blessed and only blessed, and one day soon will inherit eternal life.
Though all around you may rebel and grumble at His requirements, let yours be a decision of humble, trustful reliance on every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God.
As mentioned above, the following letter was written to Elder A.G. Daniells, President of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, on March 29, 1908. A year later, on June 1, 1909, at the last General Conference she ever attended, Ellen White pled with the assembled delegates - and all the families of Adventism - to henceforth abstain from flesh foods. That latter testimony was later printed in 9 Testimonies, pages 153-159.
In the following typographical reprint of the letter to Elder Daniells, everything later repeated in the 9 Testimonies 153-159 passage has been placed within italics.
We have also added paragraph numbering, in order to provide you with a subsequent analysis of the 1908 letter.
As you now begin reading this letter - and all the quotations that follow it - pray that the God of Heaven will waft back the clouds of darkness and help you as His humble child to begin a new way of life. - Vance Ferrell
March 29, 1908
Elder A. G. Daniells
Takoma Park Station
 I received your letter from Chicago, stating the need of a meeting-house in Takoma Park. It seems strange that the believers in Takoma Park have no suitable house of worship. I agree with you that provision should have been made for a good meeting-house in view of the large number of our people who are living there.
 There is a decided work to be done in Washington. But some of the brethren there, who should be far advanced in the understanding of spiritual things, are not working out the plan of God, but are following their own inventions. The converting power of God needs to take hold of the workers in the school, in the publishing house, and in the churches. The leaders in the work need to understand the deep, earnest work that must be done before heavenly agencies can make the impressions upon the minds of the youth that will lead them to come to the Lord with their human wills broken, and seek him in true repentance.
 The responsible workers in our schools in Washington and other places need to bear in mind that there are thousands upon thousands in the cities who need help in many ways. Let the workers bring to mind the words of Christ, "Ye are the light of the world; a city that is set on a hill can not be hid." "Ye are the salt of the earth; but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted?" The Lord Jesus is a miracle-working God; we must let him be our dependence.
 After Christ was received up into heaven and set at the right hand of his Father, his disciples went forth and preached the Word, and the record states that the Lord worked with them, confirming the word with signs following. Today the Lord is qualifying his servants to take up medical missionary work. He calls for men and women who are peaceable in spirit, who learn of Jesus, and are willing to follow his instruction, who day by day wait upon the Lord to know his will, prepared to go where he bids them go, and to take up the work which he requires.
 I am instructed to bear a message to all our people on the subject of health reform, for many have backslidden from their former loyalty to health reform principles. The light God has given is being disregarded.
 A true reformation needs to take place among the believers in Washington in the matter of healthful living. If the believers there will give themselves unreservedly to God, he will accept them. If they will adopt in the matter of eating and drinking the principles of temperance that the tight of health reform has brought to us, they will be richly blessed. Those who have received instruction regarding the evils of the use of flesh meats, tea and coffee, and rich and unhealthful food preparations, and who are determined to make a covenant with God by sacrifice, will not continue to indulge their appetites for foods which they know to be unhealthful. God demands that the appetites be cleansed, and self-denial be practiced in regard to those things which are not good. This is a work that will have to be done before his people can stand before him a perfected people.
 The Lord has given clear light regarding the nature of the food that is to compose our diet; he has instructed us concerning the effect of unhealthful food upon the disposition and character. Shall we respond to the counsels and cautions given? Who among our brethren will sign a pledge to dispense with flesh meats, tea, and coffee, and all injurious foods, and become health reformers in the fullest sense of the term?
 If we could be benefitted by indulging the desire for flesh meats, I would not make this appeal to you; but I know we can not. They are injurious to the physical well-being, and we should learn to do without them.
 In this experience of backsliding from the principles of health reform, our people have been repeating the history of the Children of Israel in the wilderness during their forty years of travel. Those who continue to follow their own course in this respect, eating and drinking as they please, will gradually grow careless of the instructions of the Lord regarding other phases of the present truth; they will surely reap as they have sown.
 I have been instructed that the students in our schools are not to be served with flesh foods or with food preparations that will cause disturbance of the stomach. Nothing that will serve to encourage a desire for stimulants should be placed on the table.
 I appeal to young and old and to middle-aged. Deny your appetite of those things that are doing you injury. Serve the Lord by sacrifice. Let the good work begin at Washington, and go forth from there to other places. I know whereof I am writing. If a temperance pledge providing for the abstinence from flesh foods, tea, and coffee, and some other foods that are known to be injurious, were circulated through our ranks, a great and good work would be accomplished. I ask you at this time, will you not circulate such a pledge? The means saved by such a sacrifice, if used for the furtherance of the cause of God, would be blessed to the salvation of many souls.
 Let the children have a part in this work. We are all members of the Lord's family; and the Lord would have his children, young and old, pledge themselves to deny appetite and save the means for the building of meeting-houses and the support of missionaries.
 I am instructed to say to parents, Place yourselves soul and spirit, on the Lord's side of this question. We need ever to bear in mind that in these days of probation we are on trial before the Lord of the universe. Will you not give up indulgences that are doing you an injury? Words of profession are cheap; let your acts of self-denial testify that you will be obedient to the demands God makes of his peculiar people.
Then put into the treasury a portion of the means you save by your acts of self-denial, and there will be that with which to carry on the work of God.
 There are many who feel that they can not get along without flesh meats,- but if these would place themselves on the Lord's side, resolved to obey his requirements in this matter, they would receive strength and wisdom as did Daniel and his fellows. They would find that the Lord would give them sound judgment, and they would be surprised to see how much could be saved for the cause of God by acts of self-denial. And the small sums gained by deed of sacrifice will do more for the up building of the cause than larger gifts will accomplish that have not called for denial of self.
 I am sure if you will begin in Washington to do this work of reform-in the school, in the printing office, and among all our working forces, -the Lord will help you present a pledge that will help our people to return from their backsliding on the question of health reform. And as you seek to carry out the will of the Lord in this particular, he will give you clearer understanding of what health reform will do for you.
 I have heard from several as I travel that Sister White has changed her view in regard to the reform diet. I would have all understand that Sister White has the same testimony to bear on this subject that she has ever borne.
 There are those among us who occupy important positions of trust, and who should have stood on a high platform in the matter of health reform, who have refused to follow the light, and their course has been displeasing to God. Let these now turn to the Lord, that their example may no longer be a temptation to others.
 Because of the example set by influential men in the indulgence of appetite, the truth has not made the impression on hearts that it might have done. I appeal to you now to set an example of self-denial. Cut off every needless indulgence, that God may bless you with his approval and acceptance:.
 "If any man will come after me," said Jesus, "Let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me." Let us follow the Saviour in his simplicity and self-denial. Let us lift up the man of Calvary by word and by holy living. The Saviour comes very near to those who consecrate themselves to God. If ever there was a time when we needed the working of the Spirit of God upon our hearts and lives, it is now. Christ is speaking to us individually, saying, "I am he that holdeth thy right hand. I am he that liveth, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forever more."
 There is a decided message to be borne to our people upon the question of health reform. Let us come into line that our prayers be not hindered. God can not be glorified in the lives of ministers who give up those principles of reform; but he will reveal himself to every soul who will be clothed with the righteousness of Christ. We need now to arouse, and in all our schools follow closely the light that God has given on this question. Let the teachers in our schools return from their backsliding and educate themselves in a knowledge of the principles of healthful living. Let the students be taught to live these principles.
 Cooking schools are to be established at many of our gatherings. Meetings are to be held where the children can be taught principles of temperance and the value of self-denial. In the year 1908 we are to do all in our power to advance the work of God in every line.
Ellen G. White
THE DIVINELY-ORDERED SEQUENCE FOR REFORMATION AS REVEALED IN THE 1908 LETTER
1-WHO directed the giving of this message?
"I am instructed to bear a message .. " Paragraph 5
"The Iight God has given is .. " 5
"God demands that the .. " 6
"The Lord has given clear light regarding the nature .. " 7
"I have been instructed .. " 10
"I know whereof I am writing .. " 11
"I am instructed to say .. " 13
".. refused to follow the light,.. " 17
"..follow closely the light that God has given on this question .. " 20
2-WHY was this special message sent to Elder Daniells?
". . not working out the plan of God, but following their own inventions." 2
".. many have backsliden from their former loyalty .." 5
".. light God has given is being disregarded." 5
" . . this experience of backsliding .. repeating history .. " 9
"..refused to follow the light .. " 17
".. their example may no longer be a temptation to others . . " 17
" .. example set by influential men in the indulgence of appetite, .. " 18
". .that our prayers be not hindered." 20
".. cannot be glorified in the lives of ministers who give up .. " 20
" .. return from their backsliding and .. " 20
3 -WHO was to initiate and set an example in this matter?
"I ask you [A.G. Daniells-then President of the GC] at this time, .. " 11
".. will you [A.G. Daniells] not circulate such a pledge?"
11 "I appeal to you now to set an example of self denial." 18
4 -WHERE was to be the starting place for this reformatory movement?
" ..work to be done in Washington." 2
". .responsible workers in our schools in Washington and other places." 3
.. among the belivers in Washington .. 6
"Let the good work begin in Washington." 11
".. begin in Washington to do this work of reform-..". 15
5-WHERE would the good work then extend to?
" .. and go forth from there to other places." 11
6-HOW was this "good work" to be started?
"Who among our brethren will sign a pledge to dispense with .. " 7
"If a temperance pledge providing for the abstinence from .. "
" .. will you not circulate such a pledge?" 11
" .. children, young and old, pledge themselves to deny .. " 12
".. God will help you to present a pledge that will help .. " 15
"Let us come into line that our prayers be not hindered." 20
" .. make this appeal to you .. " 8
7-WHEN was this work of signing the pledge to be done?
"This is a work that will have to be done before His people can stand before Him a perfected people." 6
"I ask you at this time , will you not circulate such a pledge? .. " 11
"I appeal to you now  to set an example of self-denial." 18
"If ever there was a time when we need .. it is now  ." 19
"We need now  to arouse, and .. " 20
"In the year 1908 we are to do all in our power to advance the work .. " 21
8 -WHO all were to enter into this covenant?
"Those who have received instruction . . make a covenant with God by .. " 6
" . . the workers in the school, in the publishing house, and in the .. " 2
" .. responsible workers in our school in Washington and in other.. " 3
" .. to all our people .. " 5
" .. among our believers in Washington .. " 6
"if the believers there [Washington] will give themselves unreservedly .. " 6
"Who among our brethren will sign . . " 7
" .. young and old and middle aged .." 11
"Let the children have a part .. 12
".. His children, young and old, pledge themselves .. " 12
" .. to parents, Place yourselves. ." 13
" .. among all our working forces,:: " 15
"Let the students be taught to live these principles.. " 20
9 -WHAT would be the results of such obedience?
" .. be far advanced in the understanding of spiritual things, .. 2
".. deep, earnest work that must be done before heavenly agencies.." 2
" .. make the impressions upon the minds of the youth that will lead." 2
".. unreservedly to God, he will accept them." 6
" .. they will be richly blessed." - 6
".. be prepared to stand before Him a perfected people." 6
"Let the good work begin. ." 11
" . . means saved by such a sacrifice .. " 11
" . . a great and good work would be accomplished.' 11
" . . there will be that with which to carry on the work of God." 13
".. receive strength and wisdom.". 14
"..Lord will give them sound judgment." 14
".. much can be saved for the cause of God by acts of self-denial." 14
" .. He will give you clear understanding .. " 15
" . . their example may no longer be a temptation to others." 17
"God may bless you with His approval and acceptance .. " 18
".. lift up the man of Calvary by work and by holy living." 19
".. Saviour come very near to those who consecrate themselves." 19
" .. our prayers will not be hindered." 20
"..be glorified in the lives of ministers .. " 20
" .. do all in your power to advance the work of God in every line." 21
10-WHAT imperatives are there in this call for reformation?
".. take up the work which He requires." 4
"God demands that the appetites be cleansed, and self denial be . . " 6
"This is a work that will have to be done before his people can stand . ." 6
"I know whereof I am speaking." 11
"Again and again I have been shown that God is trying to lead us back, step by step, to His original design, that man should subsist upon the natural products of the earth."-Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 119, (1890 - later reprinted in Counsels on Health, 450).
"Vegetables, fruits, and grains should compose our diet. Not an ounce of flesh meat should enter our stomachs. The eating of flesh is unnatural. We are to return to God's original purpose in the creation of man."-Manuscript 115, 1903.
"Is it not time that all should aim to dispense with flesh foods? How can those who are seeking to become pure, refined, and holy, that they may have the companionship of heavenly angels, continue to use as food anything that has so harmful an effect on soul and body? How can they take the life of God's creatures that they may consume the flesh as a luxury? Let them, rather, return to the wholesome and delicious food given to man in the beginning, and themselves practice, and teach their children to practice, mercy toward the dumb creatures that God has made and has placed under our dominion."-Ministry of Healing, 317 (1905).
"Among those who are waiting for the coming of the Lord, meat eating will eventually be done away; flesh will cease to form a part of their diet. We should ever keep this end in view, and endeavor to work steadily toward it. I cannot think that in the practice of flesh eating we are in harmony with the light which God has been pleased to give us. All who are connected with our health institutions especially should be educating themselves to subsist on fruits, grains, and vegetables. If we move from principle in these things, if we as Christian reformers educate our own taste, and bring our diet to God's plan, then we may exert an influence upon others in this matter, which will be pleasing to God." Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 119 (1890).
"The liability to take disease is increased tenfold by meat eating."- 2 Testimonies, 64 (1868).
"Worldly physicians cannot account for the rapid increase of disease among the human family. But we know that much of this suffering is caused by the eating of dead flesh."-Letter 83, 1901.
"The animals are diseased, and by partaking of their flesh, we plant the seeds of disease in our own tissue and blood. Then when exposed to the changes in a malarious atmosphere, these are more sensibly felt; also when we are exposed to prevailing epidemics and contagious diseases, the system is not in a condition to resist the disease."-Extracts from Unpublished Testimonies, 8 (1896).
"It is impossible for those who make free use of flesh meats to have an unclouded brain and an active intellect." -2 Testimonies, 62, 63 (1868).
"There is an alarming lethargy shown on the subject of unconscious sensualism. It is customary to eat the flesh of dead animals. This stimulates the lower passions of the human organism."-Extracts from Unpublished Testimonies, 40896).
"A meat diet changes the disposition and strengthens animalism. We are composed of what we eat, and eating much flesh will diminish intellectual activity. Students would accomplish much more in their studies if they never tasted meat. When the animal part of the human agent is strengthened by meat eating, the intellectual powers diminish proportionately. A religious life can be more successfully gained and maintained if meat is discarded, for this diet stimulates into intense activity lustful propensities, and enfeebles the moral and spiritual nature. 'The flesh warreth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh.' "-Extracts from Unpublished Testimonies, 7 (1896).
"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 every one. We are built up from that which we eat, and those whose diet is largely composed of animal food are brought into a condition where they allow the lower passions to assume control of the high powers of the being . .
"We do not mark out any precise line to be followed in diet. There are many kinds of wholesome food. But we do say that flesh meat is not the right food for God's people. It animalizes human beings. In a country such as this, where there are fruits, grains, and nuts in abundance, how can one think that he must eat the flesh of dead animals?"-Manuscript 50, 1904.
"if things were as they should be in the households that make up our churches, we might do double service for the Lord. The light given me is that a most decided message must be borne in regard to health reform. Those who use flesh meat strengthen the lower propensities and prepare the way for disease to fasten upon them."-Letter 200, 1903.
"The effects of a flesh diet may not be immediately realized; but this is no evidence that it is not harmful. Few can be made to believe that it is the meat they have eaten which has poisoned their blood and caused their suffering." Ministry of Healing, 315 (1905).
"It is for their own good that the Lord counsels the remnant church to discard the use of flesh meats, tea, and coffee, and other harmful foods. There are plenty of other things on which we can subsist that are wholesome and good." -Manuscript 71, 1908.
God's plan is obey, the best. Let us choose His plan for our lives. Only it can give us the happiest future.