Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Ms 133, 1898

Parents and Children


October 17, 1898

Portions of this manuscript are published in AH 310-311; CG 197-198; 10MR 112.

The future of society is indexed by the youth of today. Is the outlook for the future flattering? Parents are bringing upon the stage of action children who will reveal in life and character the training they have received. Some will be ruined in one way and some in another. The mismanagement of parents is swelling the ranks of Satan, and children are being lost to Christ. 13LtMs, Ms 133, 1898, par. 1

It is the duty of those who bear the last message of mercy to the world to make special efforts to instruct parents in regard to home religion. Here lies the very foundation of Christian character. Parents need to be instructed as to the best methods of educating and training their children for the future life. They must take hold of this work earnestly, without any desire to let go, for as soon as they relax their efforts, Satan enters to do his work with unwavering perseverance. 13LtMs, Ms 133, 1898, par. 2

Decided efforts must be put forth from the children’s earliest years. It is a sad fact that any weakness and indecision on the part of the mother is quickly seen by the children, and the tempter then works upon their minds, leading them to persist in following their inclination. If parents would cultivate the qualities necessary for them to use in the proper training of their children, if they would plainly lay before the children the rules they must follow, and not suffer these rules to be broken, the Lord would co-operate with and bless both parents and children. But if parents leave their children to do as they please, Satan will lead them where he pleases; they will become the helpless prey of the power of darkness. 13LtMs, Ms 133, 1898, par. 3

Parents will never arouse to their great responsibility of bringing their children up with correct habits until they are wholly converted to God’s will and way, as was Abraham. Of him God said, “I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment, that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.” [Genesis 18:19.] God’s rich promises to Abraham in regard to his posterity were made on condition that Abraham co-operated with Him in the education and training of his household and children. If Abraham chose his own way, and followed his own impulses, indulging blind affection, the child of promise would develop a character that would not bring honor to God’s name, and God would not be able to use him to carry out His will and way. 13LtMs, Ms 133, 1898, par. 4

God chose Abraham because he knew that he would cultivate home religion, and cause the name of the Lord to be reverenced, feared, and loved. “I know him,” He said, “that he will command his household and his children after him.” [Verse 19.] He will not betray sacred trust by yielding to blind affection, which is opposed to the Lord’s discipline. 13LtMs, Ms 133, 1898, par. 5

But today the lines are placed in the hands of the children, and parents are guided by them. By blind indulgence a door is opened to the tempter. 13LtMs, Ms 133, 1898, par. 6

God is our Lawgiver and King, and parents are to place themselves under His rule. This rule forbids all oppression from parents and all disobedience from children. The Lord is full of loving-kindness, mercy, and truth. His law is holy, just, and good, and must be obeyed by parents and children. The rules which should regulate the lives of parents and children flow from a heart of infinite love, and God’s rich blessing will rest upon those parents who administer His law in their homes, and upon the children who obey this law. The combined influence of mercy and justice is to be felt. “Mercy and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” [Psalm 85:10.] Households under this discipline will walk in the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment. 13LtMs, Ms 133, 1898, par. 7

God has given the very best and wisest laws for the guidance of parents. The holy standard of His law is ever to be exalted in the home; then the way will be prepared for holiness and true religion. The grace of Christ will have a controlling power for good on parents and children. If there are dependents in the family, kindness and thoughtfulness will be manifested toward them, for all will remember that they are God’s property, and are precious in His sight. 13LtMs, Ms 133, 1898, par. 8