Dear Mr. Fagal:
Your response is deeply appreciated from several perspectives. Yes, this mother's heart is yearning for her eldest child, and realilzing that Jesus loves him infinitely more than I ever could brings me to the foot of the cross day after day.
The information you have shared with me is exactly what I need to memorize and rehearse so that I can comfortably relate it during appropriate situations as I lovingly respond to my son's comments. Thank you for taking the time and interest to respond to me with such complete material.
May I ask one more question? Do I understand correctly that dairy and eggs are acceptable (and we should try to ascertain they come from healthy animals) except for cheese?
You are aware, apparently, of at least one well-known statement by Mrs. White against cheese. It is found in The Ministry of Healing, p. 302. When this book was translated in German, the brethren there sought some clarification from Mrs. White, since cheese formed a significant part of the diet there, and, the local brethren claimed, there were many kinds that were healthful. W. C. White consulted with his mother and then replied,
"In answer to your letter of March 7, I will say that I have given faithful study to the question you raised. Mother has read your letter, and in harmony with her instruction, I suggest the following for Ministry of Healing: . . . "On page 302, second paragraph, last two lines: 'Strong cheese is still more objectionable.' "This leaves off the sentence, 'It is wholly unfit for food' and gives 'cheese' a qualifying adjective. If 'strong' is not the term you use to designate the ordinary cheese of commerce which is old and full of poison, please designate by the proper term."
The brethren in Germany rendered the portion this way: "Strong, sharp cheese should not be eaten."
W. C. White always maintained that cottage cheese was not included in the concerns Ellen White expressed, and that she herself used it in her home. She does not seem to have used or endorsed other kinds of cheese. Some may believe we have more latitude today, due to better safeguards against harmful bacteria in production, transport, and storage. And from some references in Mrs. White's writings, it does seem that people back then were able to trace the cause of certain outbreaks of illness to cheeses that had been eaten. W. C. White's statement above assumes that people will know that the "ordinary cheese of commerce" is "old and full of poison." Today there is rarely an obvious cause-and-effect relationship between cheese and acute illness. (I am not referring here to chronic illness from consumption of too much fat.) Personally, I have no burden to campaign for or against cheese today. In your situation, I would not let it become a point of debate with your son.
My understanding is that Mrs. White did not condemn the use of dairy and eggs, with certain precautions: they should be from animals known to be healthy (if one is able to determine this), they should be used in moderate amounts and in preparations that are otherwise healthful (avoiding, for instance, recipes that consist largely of milk and sugar, etc.), and they should be heated to destroy bacteria (via pasteurization or cooking). I think you will find Mrs. White's cautionary statements on dairy and eggs to fit into one or another of those categories of concern. Today we would do well to add another caution: cut down on fat by using skim milk products instead of whole milk products.
If you wish, you can review the whole counsel of Mrs. White on this subject in the compilation Counsels on Diet and Foods.
My husband and I wish to extend our heartfelt appreciation for any prayers you could submit on Russ' behalf. When individuals live in a drug-altered state and do not experience day-to-day living and dealing with life's joys and sadnesses, they do not mature emotionally and socially - no matter how brilliant they are! Your prayers joining ours as he matures in God's time and grace will place extra angels about him to assist in this process I feel certain.
With humble appreciation, we remain
Joining with you in declaring the Good News, ___________
Your perspective here is helpful to me--that extended drug use prevents some kinds of maturation. While this perspective does not solve today's problems, it gives hope for change as life presses maturity on a person. We can pray that the Lord will speed that process along, by whatever means He sees best.
Thanks for writing back. God bless!
William Fagal, Director
Ellen G. White Estate Branch Office
Berrien Springs, MI 49104-1400 USA
Phone: 269 471-3209
FAX: 269 471-2646
Website: www.WhiteEstate.org or www.egwestate.andrews.edu