The activities of the General Conference are divided into departmental lines, such as educational, Sabbath school, Missionary Volunteer, home missionary, publishing, and medical. And these are all very important lines of service. The medical department represents one of our outstanding fields of activity. From the earliest• days of this movement the Lord has called this people to be reformers. A Sabbath reform message, and other great lines of Scriptural truth, were committed to this people to be proclaimed to the world. Among the unique and distinctive features of the full-rounded body of truth making up our message are the great principles of healthful living. These principles have been given to us for our own benefit, and also that they may be taught to the world.
As one means whereby these health principles may be clearly revealed to the world, there have been developed in many lands sanitariums, hospitals, clinics, dispensaries, and treatment rooms. To carry on the work in these institutions, our medical school, school of dietetics, and schools of nursing have been established to train men and women for medical missionary service.
We all expect to see health-reform principles observed in these institutions. And the same principles should be practiced in the lives and homes of the workers connected with them. In addition to that, we may rightfully expect that in the lives and homes of all our workers and church members everywhere, these principles shall be regarded and lived out. In order to do this properly and in a well-balanced way, avoiding fads and extremes, there needs to be a continuous educational effort carried on in all our churches. This educational work should be of a practical nature, so that all our church members may be instructed in the essential features of healthful living. As a denomination we should be health-conscious, having a sincere and proper regard for the principles so graciously given to us through the Spirit of prophecy.
Sensing our responsibility in giving leadership to this part of our work, as well as to all others, the General Conference leaders call upon all, leaders and people alike, to stand before the world as living exponents of health reform principles. The following words emphasize both our responsibility and the need for encouraging this part of our work:
"We have come to a time when every member of the church should take hold of medical missionary work. The world is a lazar house filled with victims of both physical and spiritual disease. Everywhere people are perishing for lack of a knowledge of the truths that have been committed to us. The members of the church are in need of an awakening, that they may realize their responsibility to impart these truths. Those who have been enlightened by the truth are to be light bearers to the world. To hide our light at this time is to make a terrible mistake. The message to God's people today is, 'Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.'
"On every hand we see those who have had much light and knowledge deliberately choosing evil in the place of good. Making no attempt to reform, they are growing worse and worse. But the people of God are not to walk in darkness. They are to walk in the light, for they are reformers."—"Testimonies for the Church," Vol. VII, p. 62.
The work of the General Conference Medical Department is organized to give leadership to this work. Appearing in this number of The Ministry, is a report of the action of the recent Autumn Council authorizing the Medical Department to rally every medical worker in the denomination who is willing to respond, to an active part in the work of teaching and practicing our health principles. We earnestly appeal to all our medical workers to rally to this call of our Medical Department. We should arise and place our health work in the very forefront. The people of the world have a right to look to us for leadership in these matters, for they know something of the principles we profess. Let us not disappoint them.