"I am interested in Science and Health because I want to be better. I want to heal myself and help other people. If I know things about God, I can help people and animals."
That was my daughter Kirstin's answer when I asked her why she reads Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures every day. She's a fourth-grader, and she told me that some of her friends, and especially her best friend Samantha, read it, too. It makes Kirstin glad to know that she's not the only one.
Recently Kirstin began praying about hatred. She's heard about hatred on the TV news quite a bit. She listened to God and wrote down what she thought about and what came to her:
" 'God,' it says in the Bible, 'saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good' (Genesis 1:31). God made everyone in His image, and made us GOOD. God didn't create bad people. God doesn't have any bad in Him, so He can only create good people. God gave us dominion over the earth, and that includes dominion over hatred. God is only good, and our lives can show His goodness. Try looking at everyone spiritually. I find that if I do that, I'm lots happier, and the things and people I see this way reflect kindness and more love. Kindness is repaid by kindness. Science and Health says, 'And Love is reflected in love' (p. 17). Things can really only be good, because of the dominion that God has given us. God can never change from good to evil, and that is the same for us because we reflect the power that comes from our creator, God, forever."
Mary Baker Eddy, the person who founded this newspaper, saw the message in her book Science and Health as timeless. Ever since it was written, people have continued to find what it says to be practical and to bring healing. After discovering the divine law of healing in Christ Jesus' teachings, which she named Christian Science, her life goal was to help humanity. Science and Health is the primary result of that desire.
"I don't understand some of the biggest words in it," Kirstin says, "but I just leave them where they are and pay close attention to what I understand. Sometimes I look up a word in the dictionary. The other day I looked up the word infinite. It means without limits, forever and always. That is how God makes His children-forever and always good and perfect."
The natural state of each of us is forever and always good and perfect because we reflect and express infinite good, which is another name for God. We all, in the best sense, are God's children. We are spiritual because God is Spirit. God couldn't really be infinite if He were physical.
Here are some statements from Science and Health on a few contemporary topics:
Medicine: "Which was first, Mind or medicine? If Mind was first and self-existent, then Mind, not matter, must have been the first medicine. God being All-in-all, He made medicine; but that medicine was Mind" (p. 142).
Law: "Every law of matter or the body, supposed to govern man, is rendered null and void by the law of Life, God" (pp. 380-381).
Christianity: "The advent of Jesus of Nazareth marked the first century of the Christian era, but the Christ is without beginning of years or end of days. Throughout all generations both before and after the Christian era, the Christ, as the spiritual idea,-the reflection of God,-has come with some measure of power and grace to all prepared to receive Christ, Truth" (p. 333).
Theology: "Man-made doctrines are waning. . . . Denial of the possibility of Christian healing robs Christianity of the very element, which gave it divine force and its astonishing and unequalled success in the first century" (p. 134).
The Bible is integral to Science and Health's message. As a key to the Bible, Science and Health explains the healing law of God. And with this understanding we are able to help and heal people. As Kirstin told me, "If I know things about God, I can help."
Healing through prayer is explored in more detail in a weekly magazine, the Christian Science Sentinel.