Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901)


Ms 129a, 1901

Training Children for God’s Service


December 24, 1901

Previously unpublished.

We shall now speak of a work that is left undone. In sending children to the common schools, parents are placing them under demoralizing influences—influences that corrupt morals, habits, ways, and manners. They are, as it were, being nurtured in a den of thieves, among corrupters of habits and practices. They receive instruction of such a character that they are trained to be enemies of Christ. They lose sight of true piety and virtue. The baneful influence of vile-hearted boys and girls who practice the most degrading habits—boys and girls who are experts in sin—permeates the schools and has a degrading power over innocent children. And the children playing on the street are also obtaining a training that thoughtless parents will sometime learn leads to recklessness and lawlessness. 16LtMs, Ms 129a, 1901, par. 1

Arouse, parents! Your children have souls to save or to lose. Take your children out of the common schools. Place them in a school where God’s Word is made the foundation of all education. But are you sure that the children who have been instructed in vice, and who now attend a church school, will not in turn instruct the children who are uncorrupted? What will the end be? I should have the children and youth, who come to school, thoroughly, searchingly interviewed. Are they under control at home? Have they learned how to work? 16LtMs, Ms 129a, 1901, par. 2

A reformation must take place in the homes of those who claim to believe the truth. Deep, earnest piety should be constantly manifested in the home. Let parents greatly enlarge their spiritual perceptions. Teach the children to do justice and judgment. In the home school, which is the first grade, the very best talent should be utilized. 16LtMs, Ms 129a, 1901, par. 3

At an early age the minds of most children are very susceptible to impressions of good or evil. Even in infancy a child is affected by a sorrowful expression on the mother’s face. In a family where harsh, discordant, fretful, scolding words are spoken, a child will cry much, and upon its tender sensibilities are impressed the image and superscription of unhappiness and discord. 16LtMs, Ms 129a, 1901, par. 4

Then, mothers, let your countenance be full of sunshine. Smile, if you can, and the infant’s mind and heart, so susceptible to cheerful impressions, will reflect the sunshine of your pleasant countenance, as the polished plate of an artist portrays the human features. Be sure, mothers, to have an indwelling Christ, so that upon your child’s expanding mind will be impressed the divine likeness. 16LtMs, Ms 129a, 1901, par. 5