Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Ms 134, 1898

The Youth to Improve Their Capabilities


October 19, 1898

Portions of this manuscript are published in LDE 242; Te 236; Ev 24; PH136 9.

There is great need of well-planned, well-executed labor, that the work in our churches may be done in God’s way, after God’s order. The members are never to feel that there is no more for them to learn, because the Lord would impart increased light to His people. I am pained to see so many in our churches who are not growing, so many young men, purchased at infinite cost by the blood of the Son of God, who do not realize the value that Jesus placed upon them when He gave His own holy, innocent life that they should not perish, but have everlasting life. I have been shown that grave responsibilities rest upon the youth, which many do not recognize and respond to. 13LtMs, Ms 134, 1898, par. 1

God expects far more than He receives from His people. If every church member would become a living, working agent in the cause of God, if, like Daniel, young men and young women would bring all their habits, appetites, and passions into conformity to the requirements of God, if they would follow the light which God has given them, cherishing the principles presented in His Word, in the testimonies, and in the discourses given by God’s messengers, they would qualify themselves for higher work. They should put from their minds all that is cheap and frivolous. 13LtMs, Ms 134, 1898, par. 2

Nonsense, cheap talk, and amusement-loving propensities should be discarded as out of place in the life and experience of those who are living by faith on the Son of God, eating His flesh and drinking His blood. They should realize that though all the advantages of learning may be within their reach, they may yet fail of obtaining that education which will fit them for work in some part or branch of the Lord’s vineyard. They cannot engage in the Lord’s work to do it acceptably without the requisite qualifications of intelligent piety. If they give to pleasure and amusement the precious mind that should be strengthened with high and noble purposes, they degrade the powers God has given them, and are guilty before Him because they did not improve their talents by using them wisely. 13LtMs, Ms 134, 1898, par. 3

Their dwarfed spirituality is an offense to God. They taint and corrupt the minds of those with whom they associate. By their words and habits of life they encourage careless inattention to sacred things. They not only imperil their own souls, but their example is detrimental to all with whom they come in contact. Servants of sin, careless, reckless, and foolish, they scatter away from Christ. They are incompetent to represent Christ. 13LtMs, Ms 134, 1898, par. 4

God expects much from the young men of this generation of great light and increased knowledge. He expects them to diffuse this light and knowledge. He would use them to dispel the error and superstition that clouds the minds of many. To the young men in our schools and colleges, in our sanitariums and publishing houses, I would say, You are forming your character—moral, intellectual, and spiritual—for the important present and the more important future. When there is so much at stake, we are surprised and pained to see the unconcern manifested by so large a number in regard to their spiritual acquirements. God holds them responsible for the opportunities and privileges which they treat so lightly. The work before them is waiting for their interested effort, that it may be carried forward from point to point, as the time demands. 13LtMs, Ms 134, 1898, par. 5

If the youth in our institutions will consecrate their minds and their hearts to the work, they can, by improvement of the knowledge they may daily gain in these institutions, reach a high standard of efficiency and usefulness. They are to discipline themselves by gathering up every jot and tittle of knowledge and experience. 13LtMs, Ms 134, 1898, par. 6

This is the standard the Lord expects the youth to attain. To do less than this is to refuse to make the most of their God-given opportunities. This will be looked upon as treason against God, for they have not worked for good of humanity, for the good of their country. 13LtMs, Ms 134, 1898, par. 7

God expects the youth to think soberly and intelligently of how those of past generations have toiled and sacrificed to leave to future generations the heritage of light. The patriarchs and prophets and the disciples of Christ received impressions from the one great Teacher, and this light and knowledge in its richness they bequeathed to those who live in this age. The youth now have the privilege of improving all the treasures that have been acquired by past generations. The Lord expects these hereditary trusts to be gathered up as golden treasures and imparted to others. 13LtMs, Ms 134, 1898, par. 8

Every youth should seek to make all that he possibly can of himself, that he may grow in grace and in favor with God and man. His highest aspiration should be to give to others the treasures of science and knowledge that he has gained by following God’s will and way. Thus his works may correspond or be in harmony with the work of Jesus Christ. Those who do this are constantly in communication with the angels of light, who minister unto those who shall be heirs of salvation. 13LtMs, Ms 134, 1898, par. 9

Those who strive to become laborers for God, who seek earnestly to acquire that they may impart, will constantly receive light from God, that they may be channels of communication to others. But those who are satisfied with low attainments, fail of being workers together with God. To those who let the mind drift where it will naturally drift if not girded about, Satan makes suggestions that so fill the mind with cheap things that they are trained in his army to decoy souls. Although they made a profession and had a form of godliness, they were lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God. 13LtMs, Ms 134, 1898, par. 10

There are youth who have a certain kind of cleverness which is acknowledged by their associates, but whose ability is not sanctified. It is not strengthened and solidified under the graces and trials of experience, and God cannot use it to benefit humanity and glorify His name. Their whole ability, under the guise of professed godliness, is being used to erect false standards, and the unconverted look to them as an excuse for their wrong course of action. Everything that they undertake is cheapening, because they are under the control of the tempter, who directs and fashions their characters, that they may do his work. He leads them to amuse their associates with their so-called wit and cheap nonsense. 13LtMs, Ms 134, 1898, par. 11

How does Christ look upon their work? By His self-denial, His self-sacrifice, His humiliation, by the shame and reproach He endured, he paid the ransom for their souls. This he did that he might rescue them from the bondage of sin, from the slavery of a master who cared not for them, only to use them as his agents in the ruin of souls. They have ability, but it is untrained; they have capacity, but it is unimproved. Talents have been given them, but they are misused and degraded by folly. And they are dragging others down to their own level. 13LtMs, Ms 134, 1898, par. 12

Such meet with eternal loss. They bring to the foundation stone, hay, wood, stubble, and all their life-work perishes. What a loss! How will their fun and frolic appear to them in the day that every man receives from the Judge of all the earth according to the deeds done in the body? 13LtMs, Ms 134, 1898, par. 13

How much better, oh, how much better is the condition of those who act their part as God’s servants, looking unto Jesus for his approval, day by day writing in their daily account book their mistakes, their errors, their sorrow, their repentance, their forgiveness, the victories they have gained over temptation, their joy and peace in Christ. To keep our souls in the love of God requires strict self-discipline and watchfulness, mingled with earnest prayer. Should the youth day by day throughout the year jot down in a book their opportunities, improved or unimproved, for doing good to souls, they would not have to meet their life record with shame and disgrace. 13LtMs, Ms 134, 1898, par. 14

God now calls for large-hearted, large-minded young men, who are not trifling, who hear the Word of God and obey it. “Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, that Christ shall give thee light. See that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not as unwise, but as understanding what the will of the Lord is.” [Ephesians 5:14-17.] “I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.” [1 John 2:14.] 13LtMs, Ms 134, 1898, par. 15

Paul wrote to Timothy [Titus], “Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded, in all things showing thyself a pattern of good works, in doctrine showing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, sound speech, that cannot be condemned, that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.” [Titus 2:6-8.] “Let no man despise thy youth, but be thou an example of the believers in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” [1 Timothy 4:12.] 13LtMs, Ms 134, 1898, par. 16

God calls for young men who are cultivated, sanctified, refined, ennobled, through the truth which has not merely been assented to, but brought into the inmost recesses of the soul, sanctifying the entire man. Such youth will be daily learners in the school of Christ. Jesus died for the world. Souls are perishing for want of knowledge. Knowing this, will young men who have all the facilities for gaining an education, both in science and religion, stand back, careless, unconcerned, and indifferent, content to spend their blood-bought time and privileges in self-gratification? 13LtMs, Ms 134, 1898, par. 17

The churches are full of talent, if it were only sanctified by the grace of Christ. Will the youth merely look on at such a time as this, feeling no weight of burden and responsibility? Shall the work be crippled as it is in all its branches, for want of men to teach the truth to others? Where are the laborers who will go forth, consecrating to God their time, their talents, and every jot of the ability they possess? The work is already begun, and is awaiting men, who with hearts subdued by grace, will carry it forward and upward, their ability refined and purified to do God’s will, their lips touched with the holy fire which burns its way to the hearts of the people. 13LtMs, Ms 134, 1898, par. 18

At this late hour shall the work of saving souls be retarded? Shall but little be done when the curse of sin has grown to such proportions that already the Spirit of God, insulted, refused, abused, is being withdrawn from the earth? Just as fast as God’s Spirit is taken away, Satan’s cruel work will be done upon land and sea. The air is filled with the poison of malaria. Judgments by fire and flood will increase in fearfulness, for Satan claims his harvest of souls in the destruction. 13LtMs, Ms 134, 1898, par. 19

Will young men now humble their hearts before God, and give themselves to His service? Will they not accept the holy trust, and become lightbearers to a world ready to be consumed by the wrath of an offended God? The use of intoxicating drink, which dethrones reason, and tobacco, which clouds the brain and poisons the life current, are increasing. Are our young men prepared to lift their voices in the cause of temperance and show its bearing upon Christianity? Will they engage in the holy war against appetite and lust? Our artificial civilization encourages evils which are destroying sound principles. And the Lord is at the door. 13LtMs, Ms 134, 1898, par. 20

Where are the men who will go forth to the work, fully trusting in God, ready to do and dare? God calls, “Son, go work today in my vineyard.” [Matthew 21:28.] God will make the young men of today heaven’s chosen repositaries, to present before the people truth in contrast with error and superstition, if they will give themselves to Him. May God roll the burden on strong young men, who have His word abiding in them, and who will give the truth to others. 13LtMs, Ms 134, 1898, par. 21