A Response to the Video:
by Bob Pickle
Health Counsel, Wigs, and the Reform Dress
#120: She said animal foods inflame the animal passions. This quotation is out of context. The impression is left that this quote says all animal foods inflame the animal passions. In reality, what it says is that highly seasoned meats, not all meats, inflame the passions.
The first ellipsis shouldn't be there. The second ellipsis represents an omission of eight and a half sentences. Here's the last part that was left out:
Thus while highly seasoned meats inflame the passions, a vegetarian diet would help to strengthen the moral perceptions.
What about the part about preserves and cakes? Mrs. White a number of times elsewhere referred to "rich cakes and preserves" not being best for us (e.g. Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, p. 130). Likewise, what she is talking about here is the connection between the "animal passions" and rich and highly seasoned foods. Today, many people who are not Adventists believe that avoiding rich foods is an important health practice. Your physician just may be one of them!
#121: Mrs. White felt that rich foods and highly seasoned foods act as aphrodisiacs. The problem with either verifying or disproving the accuracy of her counsel in this area is, "Despite long-standing literary and popular interest in internal aphrodisiacs, almost no scientific studies of them have been made."—"aphrodisiac," Britannica® CD. So she was making a pronouncement on a subject that medical science still has not researched.
As already noted under #118, this is not the only time she made such statements. Consider also this one from her 1905 book Ministry of Healing:
This is really remarkable, considering the following:
In 1910 a maverick scientist proposed that cancer was caused by a virus and could be transmitted from chicken to chicken. He was subsequently derided by the scientific community for proposing such a ludicrous idea, and then waited fifty-six years before [p. 85] getting his Nobel Prize. Do you suppose that perhaps Mr. Rous "plagiarized" his novel idea from Ministry of Healing? Should Mrs. White be awarded a Nobel Prize posthumously?
Want to win a Nobel Prize?
It's that simple.
To be fair, it would have been nice if the video had included one of a number of stories in which Mrs. White's health counsel predated the findings of science. As Leslie Martin says on the video, "We were taught as Adventists that we had a special message for the world with our health message, and that our prophetess Ellen White was years ahead of her time." Though she may not want to admit it now, what Mrs. Martin was taught is true.