Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Ms 135, 1898

True Education


October 19, 1898

Portions of this manuscript are published in 4MR 121-122.

The teachers in our schools may do a high and holy work in educating the youth to reach the highest standard of intellectual requirements. There is no danger of them soaring too high if the fear and knowledge of God is made first. The knowledge of God, the understanding of His will in His Word, as far as human minds may grasp it, incorporated into the thoughts and interwoven into the character, will make efficient men. They study of the Word of God will give a knowledge of how to do the work of God intelligently and acceptably. The mind will be enriched, enlarged, and broadened. Those who thus constantly study the Word, will go upward and forward to meet the highest standard because they are partakers of the divine nature. 13LtMs, Ms 135, 1898, par. 1

Daniel was closely connected with the source of all wisdom, and this knowledge was to him more precious than the gold of Ophir. He kept his religious training on an equal with the advantages which were given him of becoming a wise and learned man. He worked with his entrusted capital. He was aroused by the situation in which he found himself in the king’s court. He co-operated with God in the use of every power which had been given him, that he should not be second in anything. And we read, “As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.” [Daniel 1:17.] Daniel was connected with God, and the secrets of the Most High were opened to him, for He is with them that fear Him. 13LtMs, Ms 135, 1898, par. 2

“And the king communed with them, and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; therefore they stood before the king. And in all matters of wisdom and understanding that the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.” [Verses 18, 19.] Continual growth in religious wisdom and intelligence did not in any sense disqualify these youth for the faithful, intelligent discharge of the important duties assigned them in the kingdom of Babylon. 13LtMs, Ms 135, 1898, par. 3

If men accept the Lord God of heaven as their teacher, will they not have the best kind of knowledge, for this world as well as for the next? This world is our preparatory school. The school and college are necessary for the development of the mind and the formation of the character. Natural and mental resources come alone from the knowledge of the laws which God has established in nature and in the human structure, and obedience to these laws must be observed, or our lives will prove a failure. Under the controlling influence of Christ, the human intellect can achieve wonderful things. If ten righteous persons would have saved ancient Sodom from destruction, of what value is righteousness for every nation? The cultivation of the intellect alone, apart from a moral and religious education, has a baleful influence. 13LtMs, Ms 135, 1898, par. 4

True education is to know and to do the will of God. Religion is the foundation of all proper education. The Bible is to be our studybook. Religion can never safely be disconnected from the intellectual training. Manual training is to be combined with the study of books, to correctly balance the mind and give solidity to brain, bone, and muscle. 13LtMs, Ms 135, 1898, par. 5

The man who loves not God and fears Him not may reach dazzling heights in intellectual attainments, and yet he may use his acquired knowledge to war against his Maker. Every time the conscience is violated, sin is committed, for which the wrongdoer must suffer the sure result. The penalty of sin is death. With persevering effort and patient forbearance, children must be taught that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. When very young, children may be taught the statutes and commands of God. The thoughts and sentiments of His law are to be interwoven with their knowledge of the sciences. A true knowledge of the Word of God is the only true scientific education, and this education brings the highest good. We cannot afford to separate the spiritual from the intellectual training. God gave Daniel and his companions His wisdom and knowledge for the perfecting of a thorough education. 13LtMs, Ms 135, 1898, par. 6

Let children and youth receive true education. Let them given God their entire devotion, for they are wholly dependent upon Him in this life and for the future immortal life. The knowledge of truth is the nutrition that the soul needs in order to be prepared to act a wise part as did Daniel and his associates. 13LtMs, Ms 135, 1898, par. 7

Just as surely as the educators of the youth are consecrated to God, so surely will their efforts be crowned with success, in this life and the future life. It is of great importance that children and youth bring with them from school intelligent love for God and the truth, which lies at the foundation of all true knowledge. We are in a world subject to disease and death. He who during his lifetime serves God faithfully has the assurance that he will come forth from the grave to a glorious immortality. Of such a one it may well be said, “It is well with his soul.” 13LtMs, Ms 135, 1898, par. 8

The only remedy for vice is the righteousness of Christ. Well may parents dread intellectual greatness for their children unless it is balanced by a knowledge of God and His ways. In every school in our land the Lord God of Israel should be exalted, revered, and honored. In the place of unsanctified rivalry for earthly honor, the highest ambition should be to go forth as missionaries for God, educators who can teach what they have learned. 13LtMs, Ms 135, 1898, par. 9

Goodness alone is true greatness. With persevering faith educators are to hold to the infinite One, saying as did Jacob, “I will not let thee go except thou bless me.” [Genesis 32:26.] Education is not perfect unless the body, the mind, and the heart are equally educated. Students who go from school with this education will draw to Christ not only men and women, but children and youth. 13LtMs, Ms 135, 1898, par. 10

The children and youth need to be educated to discipline self, to take up the duties nearest them, and then, however unpleasant the work may seem, to advance steadily. When God’s people learn what constitutes them true children of His, a work would be done that Satan himself cannot undo or make of none effect. He who opens his heart to this kind of education receives power from God to impart the light to others. The education they receive reacts upon them. This education is as far-reaching as eternity. 13LtMs, Ms 135, 1898, par. 11