Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901)


Ms 100, 1901

Talk/Parents to Co-operate with Church School Teachers

Healdsburg, California

September 8, 1901

Previously unpublished. +Note

A talk at the Church School Teachers' Institute. 16LtMs, Ms 100, 1901, par. 1

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” [Romans 12:1, 2.] This is a wonderful statement. It is by our experience that we are to “prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” 16LtMs, Ms 100, 1901, par. 2

“For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with all diligence; he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness. 16LtMs, Ms 100, 1901, par. 3

“Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another; not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” [Verses 3-21.] 16LtMs, Ms 100, 1901, par. 4

In this twelfth chapter of Romans the apostle Paul points out many principles concerning the conduct of Christians toward one another. As members of the heavenly family, we should help and strengthen each other. There is a heaven to win. “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” [Revelation 3:21.] Will we think of these words? Will we work to this rule, overcoming as Christ overcame? His example is before us. No one need walk in darkness. All may be overcomers, joining in the work of helping others to overcome. 16LtMs, Ms 100, 1901, par. 5

In His mercy, God invites us to dedicate ourselves—body, soul, and spirit—to His service. Let us surrender all to Him. When as a triumphant company we are privileged to acknowledge Christ as our Redeemer, casting our crowns at His feet and crying, “Worthy, worthy, worthy is the Lamb that was slain and lives again,” we shall understand that all the privileges and benefits and blessings which we enjoyed in this world came through Christ’s sacrifice in our behalf. 16LtMs, Ms 100, 1901, par. 6

Is it possible that there is any one, young or old, who really feels that he is making a sacrifice in giving his life to God? Is it possible that we do not understand that Christ made an entire sacrifice—body, soul, and spirit—that we might come into possession of that life which measures with the life of the Eternal? In return for His infinite sacrifice, He requires of us a whole sacrifice—body, soul, and spirit, the willing and the doing. If we will to do, we can do; and if we do His will, we shall know by experience that His doctrine is truth. Thus we are built up in the most holy faith. 16LtMs, Ms 100, 1901, par. 7

We are responsible to God for the purchase money paid for our ransom. “Ye are not your own. For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” [1 Corinthians 6:19, 20.] What is the work before us? If our capabilities are weak, we should make them strong. If we have not accepted some of the precious gifts of God, we should by living faith seize these gifts, saying, “They shall be mine,” and they will be ours. It is our duty to reach a higher standard than we have yet attained. If a careful consideration of our privileges, and of our failure to properly represent our Redeemer before others, does not arouse us and keep us from partaking of a worldly spirit, what will? 16LtMs, Ms 100, 1901, par. 8

It is of the greatest importance that every family in our churches should understand the value of Christian education. The early training of children is a subject which all should carefully study. We need to make the education of our children a business. As fathers and mothers, we should train and discipline ourselves. Then as teachers in the home, we can educate our children. May the Lord help us to understand that their salvation largely depends upon the education given them in childhood. We are to prepare ourselves and our children for the future, immortal inheritance. Let fathers and mothers be imbued with divine power, that they may resist and overcome the temptations of the enemy, which are growing stronger and stronger. 16LtMs, Ms 100, 1901, par. 9

Mothers, it is your privilege to bind your children to your heart with the tenderest and strongest cords of love. During the first few years of the life of Samuel the prophet, his mother carefully taught him to distinguish between good and evil. It was with sorrow and great self-denial that in fulfilment of her vow to dedicate her son to the service of God, she gave him to Eli the high priest to be brought up. But the early training received by Samuel led him to refuse to yield to the evil influences surrounding him in the household of the high priest. 16LtMs, Ms 100, 1901, par. 10

Many parents allow children to go and do as they please, amusing themselves, and choosing their own associates. In the Judgment, such parents will learn that their children have lost heaven because of the lack of proper home restraint. Parents should awaken to their responsibilities, realizing the importance of setting their children a right example by walking in the narrow way, that at last, a united family, they may enter the city of God. 16LtMs, Ms 100, 1901, par. 11

Children left in the hands of Satan are gladly taken by him and used in his service. Fathers and mothers, Satan is seeking to seize every one of your children. Come up to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty powers of darkness. Consecrate your household to God. 16LtMs, Ms 100, 1901, par. 12

Parents, teach your children the way of the Lord. In your morning and evening devotions, join with them in reading the Bible and singing beautiful songs of praise. Let them learn to repeat God’s law. Concerning the commandments, the Israelites were instructed: “And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” [Deuteronomy 6:7.] In accordance with this command, Moses directed the Israelites to set to music the words of the law. While the older ones played on instruments, the younger children marched, singing in concert the song of the commandments of God. In later years they retained in their minds the words of the law which they learned during childhood. 16LtMs, Ms 100, 1901, par. 13

If it was essential for Moses to embody the commandments in sacred song, so that the children could learn to sing the law verse by verse as they marched in the wilderness, how necessary it is today to teach our children the Word of God. Let us come up to the help of the Lord, instructing our children to keep the commandments of God to the letter. Let us do everything in our power to make music in our homes, that God can come in. Allow not the discordant music of scolding and fretting. Never exhibit passion. Christian parents will put away every objectionable trait of character, daily learning from the Great Teacher to wisely train their children, bringing them up in the fear and admonition of the Lord. 16LtMs, Ms 100, 1901, par. 14

The father is the house-band of the family. The prudent mother, as the first teacher of her children, sets a guard upon her lips, that she may not utter one hasty, loud, or fretful word. Fathers and mothers, never scold. Consecrate your words to God. Teach your children exactly what you require of them. Then let them understand that your word is law and must be obeyed. Thus you are training them to respect the commandments of God, which plainly declare, “Thou shalt” and “Thou shalt not.” It is far better for your boy to obey from principle than from compulsion. In a missionary meeting I once heard a speaker say that instead of buttoning the gate so the child cannot get out, the button should be put on the boy. This is true. Parents, put the button on the boy. 16LtMs, Ms 100, 1901, par. 15

If as teachers in the home, the father and the mother allow the children to take the lines of control into their own hands, they are held responsible for what their children might otherwise have been. From babyhood the child should be taught that the mother is master. Never should the mother allow Satan to arouse or strengthen the disagreeable passions of her child. She should not use the rod, if it be possible to avoid doing so. But if milder measures prove insufficient, punishment which will bring the child to its senses should in love be administered. Frequently one correction will be enough for a lifetime to show a child that he does not hold the lines of control. 16LtMs, Ms 100, 1901, par. 16

This question of discipline should be understood in the school as well as in the home. We should hope that in the schoolroom there would never be occasion to use the rod. But if in a school there are those who stubbornly resist all counsel and entreaty, all prayers and burden of soul in their behalf, then it is necessary to make them understand that they must obey. 16LtMs, Ms 100, 1901, par. 17

Some teachers do not think it is best to urge or enforce obedience. They say that it is their duty merely to educate. True, it is our duty to educate. But what does the educating of children amount to, if when they disregard the principles placed before them, the teacher does not feel that he has a right to exercise authority? 16LtMs, Ms 100, 1901, par. 18

I know that many parents do not co-operate with the teacher by fostering in their homes the good influence exerted in the school. Instead of carrying out in the home the principles of obedience taught in the school, they allow their children to do as they please, to go hither and thither without restraint. Then if in any way authority is exercised by the teacher in requiring obedience, the children carry to their parents a greatly exaggerated and distorted account of the way in which they have been misused. The teacher has been doing only that which it was his painful duty to do; but the parents sympathize with their children, even though they are in the wrong. Those parents who rule in passion are the most unreasonable when their children are sensibly governed in school to keep them from injuring other students by their wrong influence. 16LtMs, Ms 100, 1901, par. 19

When the church school teacher tries to so train and discipline your children that they will gain eternal life, do not in their presence criticize his actions, even though you may think he is too severe, too strait-laced. You cannot afford to sympathize with them when they are disciplined. If you long for them to give their hearts to Jesus, receiving the light and grace and glory of God, take up in the home the long-neglected work of co-operating with the teacher’s efforts for their salvation. 16LtMs, Ms 100, 1901, par. 20

Instead of criticism, how much better it is for children to hear from the lips of their mother sweet and tender and loving words, commending the work of the teacher. Such words make lasting impressions, and in the schoolroom their influence is manifested in the respect shown to the teacher. 16LtMs, Ms 100, 1901, par. 21

Teachers, let the separation of a child from the school be your last resort. When you say to a child, “You cannot come to the school,” you are taking a fearful step. I should never do it: I should work with an unruly child hours after school was dismissed. I should plead with God in his behalf, and in some way touch his heart. But never could I dismiss him; for it is almost his last hope. Fathers and mothers, you cannot afford to allow matters to come to this crisis in the life of your child. 16LtMs, Ms 100, 1901, par. 22

Teachers in our schools need the keen perception of the Spirit of God, that they may know how to deal with the tender minds of the youth. Those who conduct church schools, and state schools established where there is a church, should consider it their privilege not only to teach in the school, but to bring into the church the same talent of instructing which is used in the school. Learn how to talk to the older ones along educational and medical missionary lines. Present to parents their need of using their God-given capabilities in wisely training their children in the home, thus co-operating with the teacher. 16LtMs, Ms 100, 1901, par. 23

Parents, there is a heaven to win and a hell to shun. If you desire the salvation of your children, make home as pleasant as possible. Let all the rooms be attractive, and arranged for the comfort of the children. Make them feel that they are to enjoy <the comfortable rooms> in the house—that it is their own home. 16LtMs, Ms 100, 1901, par. 24

Sometimes when invited to take dinner with a friend, my children have anticipated having an unusually pleasant time; but often they have returned, saying, “O, I did not enjoy myself nearly so well as I do when at home.” I was glad to hear them say this. Parents have the privilege of making home a heaven on earth. If they choose, they can invite heavenly intelligences—ministering angels—into the home, bringing heaven nearer to earth. 16LtMs, Ms 100, 1901, par. 25

God desires both parents and teachers to train children in the practical duties of everyday life. Industry should be encouraged in the home. Girls—and even boys who do not have outdoor work—should learn how to help their mothers. From childhood the boys and girls should be taught to bear heavier and still heavier burdens, intelligently helping in the work of the family firm. Patiently show them how you use your hands, teaching them that their hands are to be used as skilfully as are yours in doing the work of the household. Often a crying, fretful infant or a sick child keeps the mother awake night after night. How much better it is for the children to draw upon their strength, than to allow the already overtaxed mother to be burdened with work which they should do. Too often the mother succumbs to disease, sometimes lying upon her deathbed, before children realize that by sharing the burdens in the home they could have lessened her cares and spared her much affliction and suffering. 16LtMs, Ms 100, 1901, par. 26

Many hours spent in visiting could be saved. Sometimes friends have asked me, “Won’t you come to see us, Mrs. White?” I have answered that I would at a certain hour. When I visited them, even though I could remain no longer than a few minutes, yet they soon asked to be excused, that they might go out into the kitchen to prepare supper for me. I have told them, “My time is precious. I came to see if I could not help and strengthen you spiritually. Since I came I have not had fifteen minutes’ conversation with you, and now I cannot remain longer. I must return home.” My friends soon learned that it was useless to ask me to visit them in that way. 16LtMs, Ms 100, 1901, par. 27

<Some> said, “Unless you allow your children to enter society, they will not know anything.” I responded, “Then that ‘anything’ they never will know; for into society they shall not go.” I told my children that they would not know this “anything” which could be learned only by going into society, but that they should know something concerning the infinite sacrifice their Saviour made in order to bring them to a knowledge of the truth and save them from the so-called wisdom of worldlings. 16LtMs, Ms 100, 1901, par. 28

If children see their parents practicing the least dishonesty in robbing God of tithes and offerings, if they are not taught to bring their gifts to the One who has given them all things, if in their childhood they do not realize their obligations to God, they will, when grown to years of maturity, steel their hearts against the clearest discourses that they hear from the minister in the church. They will say, “Father and mother have not done thus, and they are good Christians.” By allowing children to grow up careless and indifferent in regard to presenting to God the tithes and offerings which He requires, parents rob Him to the third and fourth generation; for their children and their children’s children will have no inclination to fear and obey God. The third chapter of Malachi condemns every unfaithfulness in withholding tithes and offerings. Let us all bring to God an honest tithe. Unless we do this, how is the gospel ministry to be maintained? We cannot expect God to rain money from heaven into His empty treasury; for He has made us His helping hand. We are entrusted with means, and blessed with food and clothing. In return, He requires faithfulness in rendering to Him, not only the tithe, but liberal gifts. 16LtMs, Ms 100, 1901, par. 29

“O,” says one, “I must make my will and provide for my family. They would feel much offended if I should not give them my property.” But do you know that your children will carry on the work which you as a faithful steward would have done with your means? The money coming into your hands is God’s, not yours. The Lord requires that every dollar entrusted to you as His steward be expended wisely. Do not place your means in the hands of others, unless you feel confident that they will be faithful almoners. 16LtMs, Ms 100, 1901, par. 30

Some may ask, “Does Sister White pay tithes and offerings?” Sister White does, and in addition to giving her own means to the cause, she is today paying interest on thousands of dollars borrowed in order to advance the work in destitute fields. I am so grateful to God that I have had a part in His work by using to His glory the means He has given me. Although I now have a home, it is only partially paid for, and at any time I am ready to dispose of it to advance the cause of God. The time has come to “sell that ye have, and give alms;” to “provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” [Luke 12:33, 34.] 16LtMs, Ms 100, 1901, par. 31

We are approaching the day of final reckoning. Christ told His disciples that prior to the coming of the Son of Man, the world would be as it was in the days of Noah, when “they were eating, and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, ... and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away.” [Matthew 24:37-39.] They chose to drink the waters of the flood. During one hundred and twenty years they were on probation, free to choose whether they would obey the voice of God and find refuge in the ark, or refuse to hear His voice, and be destroyed. They chose to disbelieve. Those who did believe when Noah began to build the ark lost their faith through association with unbelievers who aroused all the old passions for amusement and display. In those days “the earth was filled with violence.” [Genesis 6:11.] Is not violence now in the land? How much is human life worth, if somebody’s way is crossed, if somebody’s passion is excited? 16LtMs, Ms 100, 1901, par. 32

If this picture of the present state of the world is not sufficient to arouse parents to do their duty in bringing up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, what will bring them to a right understanding? God wishes us to be sensible concerning the training of our children, educating them for the future, immortal life. 16LtMs, Ms 100, 1901, par. 33

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” [Romans 12:1, 2.] 16LtMs, Ms 100, 1901, par. 34


In Healdsburg, it is necessary that the interest in educational work shall be deeper than it has ever been before. The Lord desires that Healdsburg College shall stand upon the exalted platform of eternal truth—the Word of the living God. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” [Psalm 111:10.] All who unite with the school should understand that they are to educate themselves for the future, immortal life. 16LtMs, Ms 100, 1901, par. 35

The church in Healdsburg should take hold of the educational work in earnest, beginning in the home. The instruction given by the parents should harmonize with the teaching of the school. Too often the church and the school have been regarded as separate interests, that could not blend. This view of the matter is not right. The work of the church and of the school must blend. The church members should have a high conception of their work, understanding that they are to co-operate with the work of the school, that they may prepare their families to unite with the great gathering above at the time of the inauguration of Christ in the heavenly courts, when the names of the redeemed will be called, and they will respond, laying their crowns at His feet. 16LtMs, Ms 100, 1901, par. 36


I desire the brethren and sisters in Healdsburg to have the honor of paying the debt upon their church. If each one would bestir himself, it could be paid, and there would be no occasion to call upon the conference for assistance. If the conference would pay the debts on meetinghouses, it would soon be overburdened with debt. Already it is called upon to support foreign missions and has many heavy obligations to meet in the home field. 16LtMs, Ms 100, 1901, par. 37

Brethren and sisters of the Healdsburg church, have the nobility of soul to say, “We will meet our own indebtedness.” Explain the situation to your children. Let every member of the family lay aside a certain amount each week for the special purpose of paying the indebtedness on this church, until it is entirely free. May God help you to do this. 16LtMs, Ms 100, 1901, par. 38