Sanitation & Healthful Living

Healthful Living

“The education of the Israelites included all their habits of life. Everything that concerned their well-being was the subject of divine solicitude, and came within the province of divine law.  Even in providing their food, God sought their highest good.  The manna with which He fed them in the wilderness was of a nature to promote physical, mental, and moral strength.  Though so many of them rebelled against the restriction of their diet, and longed to return to the days when, they said, ‘We sat by the flesh-pots, and when we did eat bread to the full,’ yet the wisdom of God’s choice for them was vindicated in a manner they could not gainsay. Notwithstanding the hardships of their wilderness life, there was not a feeble one in all their tribes.” — Education, p. 38.  {LDSDA: 97.2}

“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 efforts 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.  He will then answer our prayer, if His name can be glorified thereby.  But let all understand that they have a work to do.  God will not work in a miraculous manner to preserve the health of persons who by their careless inattention to the laws of health are taking a sure course to make themselves sick.” — Counsels on Health, p. 59.  {LDSDA: 98.1}


In Israel “thorough-going sanitary regulations were enforced.  These were enjoined on the people, not only as necessary to health, but as the condition of retaining among them the presence of the Holy One.  By divine authority Moses declared to them, ‘The Lord thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee;… therefore shall thy camp be holy.'” — Education, p. 38.  {LDSDA: 98.2}

“Scrupulous cleanliness as well as strict order throughout the encampment and its environs was enjoined.  Thorough sanitary regulations were enforced.  Every person who was unclean from any cause was forbidden to enter the camp.  These measures were indispensable to the preservation of health among so vast a multitude; and it was necessary also that perfect order and purity be maintained, that Israel might enjoy the presence of a holy God.  Thus He declared: ‘The Lord thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy.'” — Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 375.  {LDSDA: 99.1}

“When severe illness enters a family, there is great need of each member’s giving strict attention to personal cleanliness, and diet, to preserve himself in a healthful condition, thus fortifying himself against disease.  It is also of the greatest importance that the sick-room, from the first, be properly ventilated.  This is beneficial to the afflicted, and highly necessary to keep those well who are compelled to remain a length of time in the sick-room…  {LDSDA: 99.2}

“A great amount of suffering might be saved if all would labor to prevent disease, by strictly obeying the laws of health.  Strict habits of cleanliness should be observed. Many, while well, will not take the trouble to keep in a healthy condition. They neglect personal cleanliness, and are not careful to keep their clothing pure.  Impurities are constantly and imperceptibly passing from the body, through the pores, and if the surface of the skin is not kept in a healthy condition, the system is burdened with impure matter.  If the clothing worn is not often washed, and frequently aired it becomes filthy with impurities which are thrown off from the body by sensible and insensible perspiration.  And if the garments worn are not frequently cleansed from these impurities, the pores of the skin absorb again the waste matter thrown off.  The impurities of the body, if not allowed to escape, are taken back into the blood and forced upon the internal organs.  Nature, to relieve herself of poisonous impurities, makes an effort to free the system.  This effort produces fevers, and what is termed disease.  But even then, if those who are afflicted would assist Nature in her efforts, by the use of pure, soft water, much suffering would be prevented.  But many, instead of doing this, and seeking to remove the poisonous matter from the system, take a more deadly poison into the system, to remove a poison already there.  {LDSDA: 99.3}

“If every family realized the beneficial results of thorough cleanliness, they would make special efforts to remove every impurity from their persons, and from their houses, and would extend their efforts to their premises.  Many suffer decayed vegetable matter to remain about their premises.  They are not awake to the influence of these things.  There is constantly arising from these decaying substances an effluvium that is poisoning the air.  By inhaling the impure air, the blood is poisoned, the lungs become affected, and the whole system is diseased.  Disease of almost every description will be caused by inhaling the atmosphere affected by these decaying substances.  {LDSDA: 100.1}

“Families have been afflicted with fevers some of their members have died, and the remaining portion of the family circle have almost murmured against their Maker because of their distressing bereavements, when the sole cause of all their sickness and death has been the result of their own carelessness.  The impurities about their own premises have brought upon them contagious diseases, and the sad afflictions which they charge upon God.  Every family that prizes health should cleanse their houses and their premises of all decaying substances.  {LDSDA: 101.1}

“God commanded that the children of Israel should in no case allow impurities of their persons, or of their clothing.  Those who had any personal uncleanness were shut out of the camp until evening, and then were required to cleanse themselves and their clothing before they could enter the camp.  Also they were commanded of God to have no impurities upon their premises within a great distance of the encampment, lest the Lord should pass by and see their uncleanness. “In regard to cleanliness, God requires no less of His people now, than He did of ancient Israel.  A neglect of cleanliness will induce disease. Sickness and premature death do not come without cause.  Stubborn fevers and violent disease have prevailed in neighborhoods and towns that had formerly been considered healthy, and some persons have died, while others have been left with broken constitutions, to be crippled with disease for life.  In many instances their own yards contained the agent of destruction, which sent forth deadly poison into the atmosphere, to be inhaled by the family and the neighborhood.  The slackness and recklessness sometimes witnessed, is beastly, and the ignorance of the results of such things upon health is astonishing.  Such places should be purified especially in summer, by lime or ashes, or by a daily burial with earth.” — Counsels on Health, pp. 61-63.  {LDSDA: 101.2}