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Surgeries and Medical Procedures


Is it a denial of our faith to have a surgery?

Quick Answer

It is okay to have surgeries if after prayer and information, you feel that God has led you to have that surgery.

Bible Answer

3 John 1:2 (NKJV) 2 Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.

Inspired Answer

Rational Remedies May Be Used Judiciously

It is no denial of faith to use rational remedies judiciously.--Manuscript 31, 1911.  {2SM 346.2} 


Before performing a critical operation, let the physician ask for the aid of the Great Physician. Let him assure the suffering one that God can bring him safely through the ordeal, that in all times of distress He is a sure refuge for those who trust in Him.—The Ministry of Healing, 118 (1905). {2SM 284.2}

Jesus is Present in the Operating Room—The Saviour is present in the sickroom, in the operating room; and His power for His name’s glory accomplishes great things.—Manuscript 159, 1899 (Manuscript, “The Privileges and Duties of a Christian Physician”). {2SM 284.3}

It is our privilege to use every God-appointed means in correspondence with our faith, and then trust in God, when we have urged the promise. If there is need of a surgical operation, and the physician is willing to undertake the case, it is not a denial of faith to have the operation performed. After the patient has committed his will to the will of God, let him trust, drawing nigh to the Great Physician, the Mighty Healer, and giving himself up in perfect trust. The Lord will honor his faith in the very manner He sees is for His own name’s glory. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength” (Isaiah 26:3, 4).—Manuscript 67, 1899 (General Manuscript). {2SM 284.4}

My brother, you have not as much firmness and assurance as you have had. You have the most critical cases to handle, and at times a dread comes upon you. To perform these difficult duties, you know that rapid work must be done, that no false moves must be made. Again and again you have had to pass swiftly from task to task. Who has been by your side during these critical operations? Who has kept you calm and self-possessed in the crisis, giving you quick, sharp discernment, clear eyesight, steady nerves, and skillful precision? The Lord Jesus has sent His angel to your side to tell you what to do. A hand has been laid upon your hand. Jesus, and not you, has guided the movements of your hand. At times you have realized this, and a wonderful calmness has come over you. You dared not hurry, and yet you worked rapidly, knowing that there was not a second to waste. {Lt215-1899.}

The Lord has greatly blessed you. Others who knew not of the presiding Presence working with you gave you, <Dr. Kellogg,> all the glory. Eminent physicians have witnessed your operations and praised your skill. This has been pleasant to you. You have not always been able to endure the seeing of the Invisible by faith. You have been under divine guidance. You have been greatly honored by God, that His name, and not yours, should be magnified. But you have had a great desire to distinguish yourself. You have not placed your entire dependence upon God. {Lt215-1899.} [Also appears Testimonies for the Church8:187, 188 (To the medical superintendent of the Battle Creek Sanitarium, 1899). {2SM 285.1}

As you looked to God in your critical operations, angels of God were standing by your side, and their hands were seen as your hand performing the work with an accuracy that made the beholders surprised.—Letter 73, 1899 (To the physician addressed in the preceding item). {2SM 285.2}

Christ is the greatest medical missionary that ever lived. He never lost a case. He understands how to give strength and guidance to the physicians in this institution. He stands beside them as they perform their difficult surgical operations. We know that this is so. He has saved lives that might have been lost had the knife swerved a hair’s breadth. Angels of God are constantly ministering to those for whom Christ has given His life. {2SM 285.3} 

God gives the physicians of this institution skill and efficiency because they are serving Him. They know that their skill is not their own, that it comes from above.They realize that there is beside them a divine Watcher, who gives wisdom to His physicians, enabling them to move intelligently in their work.—Manuscript 28, 1901 (Words addressed to workers at the St. Helena Sanitarium). {2SM 285.4}

Many souls have been converted; many wonderful cures have been wrought. The Lord stood by the side of Dr. Kellogg as he performed difficult operations. When the doctor was overwrought by taxing labor, God understood the situation, and He put His hand on Dr. Kellogg’s hand as he operated, and through His power the operations were successful. {GCB April 6, 1903, par. 20} I wish this to be understood. Over and over again I have encouraged Dr. Kellogg, telling him that the Lord God of Israel was at his right hand, to help him, and to give him success as he performed the difficult operations that meant life or death to the ones operated upon. {GCB April 6, 1903, par. 21}

The Great Physician should be invited by earnest prayer to come to the bedside and work. I have seen the hand of God placed upon the hands of Doctor Kellogg again and again to guide him in operations. {Lt354-1905.20}

Further Thoughts

There is confusion on this matter. Some earnest and sincere believers think it is wrong to have a surgery. The quotes listed above show that is not true. Surgeries can clearly be part of God's will for a person. However, we should pray for wisdom and go forward as God leads.