Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5


Chapter 57—The Education of Our Children

Dear Sister C,

If God in His providence has established a school among our own people in -----, and if in place of sending your daughter where she would be in the society and under the influence of those who love the truth, you place her in ----- Seminary, where she will be associated with a worldly class who have no respect for God or His law, I ask you how you expect the Lord will work to counteract the evil influence that must surround her and which you have voluntarily chosen. Will He commission His angels to do the work which He has left for you to do? God does not work in that way; He expects us to follow the light He has given in His word. 5T 505.1

When God was about to smite the first-born of Egypt, He commanded the Israelites to gather their children from among the Egyptians into their own dwellings and strike their door posts with blood, that the destroying angel might see it and pass over their homes. It was the work of parents to gather in their children. This is your work, this is my work, and the work of every mother who believes the truth. The angel is to place a mark upon the forehead of all who are separated from sin and sinners, and the destroying angel will follow, to slay utterly both old and young. 5T 505.2

God is not pleased with our inattention and trifling with His blessings placed within our reach. Neither is He pleased to have us place our children in worldly society, because this best suits their tastes and inclinations. If the souls of your children are saved, you must do your work with fidelity. God has not been wholly pleased with your course in regard to worldly associations, and now the peril is revealed. You have also encouraged the reading of storybooks; these, and papers with continued stories, lying upon your table, have educated the taste of your daughter until she is a mental inebriate and needs a stronger power, a firmer will than her own, to control her. 5T 505.3

The enemy has had his way with your daughter until his toils have bound her about like bands of steel, and it will require a strong, persevering effort to save her soul. If you have success in this case, there must be no halfway work. The habits of years cannot easily be broken. She should be placed where a steady, firm, abiding influence is constantly exercised. I would advise you to put her in the college at -----; let her have the discipline of the boardinghouse. It is where she ought to have been years ago. The boardinghouse is conducted upon a plan that makes it a good home. This home may not suit the inclinations of some, but it is because they have been educated to false theories, to self-indulgence and self-gratification, and all their habits and customs have been in a wrong channel. But, my dear sister, we are nearing the end of time, and we want now, not to meet the world's tastes and practices, but to meet the mind of God; to see what saith the Scriptures, and then to walk according to the light which God has given us. Our inclinations, our customs and practices, are not to have the preference. God's word is our standard. 5T 506.1

So far as your daughter's health is concerned, right habits will secure to her health, while wrong habits will ruin her for this life and for the future, immortal life. There is a heaven to gain, a perdition to shun; and when you in the fear of God have done all that you can do on your part, then you may expect that the Lord will do His part. Decisive action now may save a soul from death. 5T 506.2

Your daughter needs a strong influence to counteract that of the society she loves. It will take just as decided efforts to cure her of this mental disorder as it does to cure the drunkard of his craving for liquor. You have a work to do which no other can do for you, and will you fail to do it? Will you in the name of the Lord deal with your child as with a soul in danger of eternal ruin? Were she a girl who loved God, one who could exercise self-control, her peril would not be so great. But she does not love to think of God, of her duty, or of heaven. She persists in having her own way. She does not daily seek strength from God, that she may resist temptation. Will you, then, place her in connection with influences calculated to lead her thoughts away from God, away from the truth, and from righteousness? If so, you place her on the enemy's battleground, with no strength to resist his power or to over come his temptations. 5T 507.1

If she were situated where there were heavenly and divine influences, her moral sensibilities, which are now paralyzed, might be aroused, and her thoughts and purposes, by the blessing of God, might be changed to flow in the heavenly channel, and she be restored. But she is now in danger through inward corruption and outward temptation. Satan is playing the game of life for her soul, and he has every advantage for winning the game. 5T 507.2

In my dreams I have been talking to you as I have here written. My heart yearns over you with intensity. Trying as your case now is, do not despond. You need cheerfulness and decision. Seek for help from God. God is your friend. You are never alone. The Bible is your counselor. It is a light to them who are in darkness. Be steadfast in the hour of trial, for you will have new trials to meet. But cling to Jesus, and make Him your strength. 5T 507.3