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The Mysteries of Life-Part 2

Greetings! What is the name of an organic compound, that is essential in small quantities for healthy human growth and development? A vitamin! Where can they be found? This calls for earnest study.



The vitamins are present in all seeds-the grains, legumes, and nuts. They are in the fruits, leaves, and roots. They are in all vegetation. They are one of the essential factors of growth. As in all plants, so in animals. The life and growth of all animals depend upon the vitamins found in seeds, fruits, leaves, and roots. The vitamins function in some way as an activating principle which sets going the processes that develop energy, power, and activity. All animals are dependent upon this life principle to sustain their lives. A monkey fed a food ration but with vitamins removed, died in ninety days.

As in plants and animals, so in man. His life and growth depend upon the vitamins found in all vegetation. They are as necessary to the daily food as any other element. When vitamins were discovered they were designated by the letters of the alphabet-A, B, C, and so on. The number of vitamin factors discovered has grown until names as well as letters are used to designate them. Knowledge of them is developing rapidly. The chemical nature of several vitamins is now known; others are being studied, and no one knows how many more will be found in the years to come. Fifteen are now known and others are postulated. Advance in knowledge concerning them is developing so rapidly that any book written today about them is out of date tomorrow.

The number of them known, and the variety of their functions and their sources, constitute a field so broad that a library of books is required to cover it. To try to cover this field in this class would only confuse the student, and we shall not attempt to do so.

We Always Had Them in Natural Foods

However the ready may rest assured that he will lose nothing that is necessary to protect the health because of the brevity of this class. It is all as simple as this: No vitamin has been discovered or ever will be found that has not been in natural foods since the dawn of time; no scientist can discover anything which God did not set in operation thousands of years ago. When He made man and commanded his rations to grow out of the earth, He provided all of man’s necessities. Our confidence in our Creator is complete, and we are free to say that scientist will never find a nutritional need of the human body that is not met by natural foods-whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, and nuts.

What Vitamins Do

It appears that vitamins assist in the maintenance of every life process and the normal conditions of every cell in the body. This, then, includes every organ, gland, tissue, nerve, bone, and tooth; the eyes, skin, hair, blood, digestive juices and all other fluids-everything that can be named in the body.

Certain ones promote growth; some contribute to the health of the skin and mucous membrane and glands throughout the body; others maintain nerve vitality; some sustain the health of the capillaries; still others assist in building bones, or aid digestion, or reproduction, or coagulation, and so on at length. This is marvelous indeed. The chemical composition of several vitamins is now known, but how they work to accomplish the marvels of oxygen, twenty of carbon, and thirty of hydrogen. It seems wonderful that the composition of a vitamin can be caught by the camera, but even that does not help to solve the mysteries of their functions. How can oxygen, carbon, and hydrogen do the things that are attributed to vitamin A? The mystery is as deep as ever! We are no nearer the solution of the mystery of life than we were before the vitamins were known.

Deep Mysteries in Nature

These manifestations of the functions of vitamins are still as deep a mystery as is electricity. You may ask any eminent electrician what electricity is and to explain the reasons for its behavior, and he will not proudly proceed to tell you, but will meekly say, “I do not know.”

“This attitude is illustrated by an interview with Dr. Willis R. Whitney, vice-president of the General Electric Company and director of its research department. This interview appeared in the New York Times Magazine, November 2, 1930, cited by George McCready Price.

“In the course of this interview, mention was made of electricity and magnetism, and the scientist illustrated his meaning by bringing a bar magnet into action, remarking that nobody knows why a magnetized body acts as it does. ‘We speak of lines of force,’ he said. ‘We draw a diagram of the magnetic field. We know there are no lines there, and “field” is just a word to cover our ignorance.’

“Dr. Whitney then adjusted the bar magnet above another and larger magnet, with the result that the smaller one was held suspended above the large one, an experiment often repeated in the laboratory. ‘What supports it?’ he asked. ‘Sir Oliver Lodge says it is the all-pervading ether. But Einstein denies that there is any ether. Which is right? I say that the magnet floats in space by the will of God. The magnet repels another magnet by the will of God. And no man today can give a more precise answer.’

“He was asked what he meant by this expression, ‘the will of God.’

‘What do you mean by light?’ was his retort. ‘A beam of light comes speeding from a star, traveling hundred of years, and finally it reaches your optic nerve, and you see the star. How does it do that? We have our corpuscular theory of light, our wave theory, and now our quantum theory, but they are all just educated guesses. About as good an explanation as any is to say that light travels by the will of God. The best scientists have to recognize that they are just kindergarten fellows playing with mysteries-our ancestors were and our descendants will be.’

The Literary Digest of November 22, 1930 quoted Dr. Whitney on this point as follows:

“No cut-and-dried bundles of words made up into a scientific formula will suit; they simply cover up the investigator’s ignorance. In the last analysis, everything operates by the will of God.”

In like manner, we can “be the light” and function according to God’s divine will.  “God’s will must be paramount. The question for us to ask is not: What have others done? What will my relatives think? or, What will they say of me if I pursue this course? But, what has God said?” {5T 548}

God has a will for everything concerning our lives; relationships, diet, dress, expenses, and the list goes on. Nevertheless, just like how our bodies need that activating principle (vitamins) that set going the processes for development and growth, we need a spiritual activating principle. Any guesses? Tis’ love!  Seeking do God’s will with love, prevents one from legalism.  By God’s grace, let’s seek to abide in His love today! (John 15:10)

Homework! Fill in the blank: “We must make it our lifework to understand ______________________________.” CG p.65

Join us next week, as we dig a little deeper into the mysteries of vitamins!

*Study adapted from the book, Abundant Health by Julius G. White