Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Ms 138, 1898

Words to Parents


October 20, 1898

This manuscript is published in entirety in 1NL 91.

Is it at all necessary that there should so large a number of feeble, helpless women in our world? No; I answer, decidedly, no. The opinion prevails in this generation that women do not need active, and vigorous muscles and strong, sturdy frames; but does not reason tell us differently? It is argued that by nature their muscles are softer and feebler, and their strength and power of endurance less. We admit that this is the cause, but why? Because for many generations back, false ideas, degenerating in their influence, have been brought in through their efforts to meet the standard of fashion. The great master-worker, Satan, has not been idle. He has brought in a variety of fashions, and has led men and women to encourage delicate idleness. 13LtMs, Ms 138, 1898, par. 1

If food were prepared with more simplicity and in less variety, if mothers dressed their children in neat, modest apparel, without striving to meet the demands of fashion, there would be far more well-balanced minds, calm nerves, and sweet tempers. Mothers wear out their nerves by doing needless things, in order to keep pace with fashion. One-third of the time now devoted to this work should be spent with their children in the open air, weeding the garden, picking berries, teaching the children to help. 13LtMs, Ms 138, 1898, par. 2

Enough is wasted on fashionable dress, and in the preparation of articles of food that irritate the digestive organs, to purchase a spot of ground, which the children could have as their own, and from which mothers and fathers could derive precious lessons, to be given to their children. Teach your children that the garden in which they place the tiny seed represents the garden of the heart, and that God has enjoined upon you, their parents, to cultivate the soil of their hearts, as they cultivate the garden. 13LtMs, Ms 138, 1898, par. 3

The Lord has entrusted to parents a solemn, sacred work. They are to cultivate carefully the soil of the heart. Thus they may be laborers together with God. He expects them to guard and tend carefully the garden of their children’s hearts. They are to sow the good seed, weeding out every unsightly weed. Every defect in character, every fault in disposition, needs to be cut away, for if allowed to remain, these will mar the beauty of the character. 13LtMs, Ms 138, 1898, par. 4

Patiently, lovingly, as faithful stewards of the manifold grace of God, parents are to do their appointed work. It is expected of them that they will be found faithful. Everything is to be done in faith. Constantly they must pray that God will impart His grace to their children. Never must they become weary, impatient, or fretful in their work. They must cling closely to their children and to God. 13LtMs, Ms 138, 1898, par. 5

If parents work in patience and love, earnestly endeavoring to help their children to reach the highest standard of purity and modesty, they will succeed. In this work parents need to manifest patience and faith, that they many present their children to God, polished after the similitude of a palace. 13LtMs, Ms 138, 1898, par. 6