Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901)


Ms 119, 1901

The Church in the Home


November 24, 1901

This manuscript is published in entirety in 16MR 143-148. +Note

Children have not been instructed as God has declared they should be. Blind affection had led many parents to walk contrary to the Word of God. Their spiritual eyesight has been blinded, and their children have grown up undisciplined and unrestrained, a care, a burden, and a reproach to those who should faithfully have trained them. Such children are described by the apostle Paul as being “disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce-breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of all that is good.” [2 Timothy 3:2, 3.] 16LtMs, Ms 119, 1901, par. 1

Fathers and mothers can clear themselves of responsibility for the corrupt actions of their own or their adopted children only by coming into the clear light of the Sun of Righteousness, seeing the great danger of their wrong course, repenting before God, and calling evil by its true name. Too often they compromise themselves by pursuing a vacillating course or by endeavoring to cover up the wicked deeds of their children. The Lord calls for a work of purification to be done in His church. Those who remain on the side of Satan must be counted as workers of evil. 16LtMs, Ms 119, 1901, par. 2

If ungrateful children are fed and clothed, and allowed to go uncorrected, they are emboldened to continue in their course of evil. And inasmuch as their parents or guardians thus favor them, and do not require obedience, they are partakers with them in their wicked deeds. Such children might just as well be with the wicked, whose iniquitous course they choose to follow, as to remain in Christian homes to poison others. In this age of wickedness, every Christian must stand firm in condemnation of the evil, satanic actions of wayward children. Evil youth should not be treated as kind and obedient, but as disturbers of the peace and corrupters of their companions. 16LtMs, Ms 119, 1901, par. 3

I ask God’s people to come to their senses in regard to their home duties. There are Christian parents who do not discern that Satan is working cunningly to catch unwary souls. Unless fathers and mothers become converted, unless they prayerfully consider the home duties which they have to perform, which it is sinful negligence to leave undone, unless they work strenuously at every point to outgeneral the enemy, their hearts will be pierced with many sorrows; for their children will be a disgrace to them and to the church. 16LtMs, Ms 119, 1901, par. 4

The heads of families need to be converted. Then they would make diligent efforts to redeem their past neglect. The father should feel that he is the house-band of the family. In this age of sin and intemperance, violence and crime, he should show his true interest in his household. 16LtMs, Ms 119, 1901, par. 5

With what care parents should guard their children from careless, loose, demoralizing habits! Fathers and mothers, do you realize the importance of the responsibility resting on you? Do you allow your children to associate with other children, without being present to know what kind of an education they are receiving? Do not allow them to be alone with other children. Give them your special care. Every evening know where they are and what they are doing. Are they pure in all their habits? Have you instructed them in the principles of moral purity? If you have neglected to teach them line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little, let not another day pass without confessing to them your neglect to do this. Then tell them that you mean now to do your God-appointed work. Ask them to take hold with you in the reform. Let each help the other in the performance of duty. 16LtMs, Ms 119, 1901, par. 6

We have come to a time when every member of the church needs to take hold of medical missionary work. On every hand we see those who have had much light and knowledge, and all the advantages that could be given them, deliberately choosing evil in the place of righteousness, mercy, and the love of God. Making no attempt to reform, they are becoming the agents of Satan and are continually growing worse and worse. 16LtMs, Ms 119, 1901, par. 7

Let our people show that they have an interest in medical missionary work. Let them study the books that have been written for our instruction in these lines. These books deserve much more attention, respect, and appreciation than they have received. I understand that Dr. Kellogg has published a new book, which has been written for the special purpose of instructing others in the health principles that it is for the advantage of all to understand. Those who follow these principles will be greatly blessed, both physically and spiritually. The understanding of the philosophy of health is true, sensible knowledge—knowledge that will be a safeguard against the evils that are continually increasing. 16LtMs, Ms 119, 1901, par. 8

Many who desire to become intelligent in medical missionary lines have home duties that they cannot neglect. These may learn many things in their own home, thus increasing their ability to help others. Fathers and mothers, there is much that you may learn in regard to the expressed will of God concerning true missionary work. Obtain all the help you can from the study of our books and publications. I see great advantage in every family reading Good Health. It is full of valuable information. Let every family obtain instruction from this journal. It is a physician that you may always have in your home. 16LtMs, Ms 119, 1901, par. 9

Fathers and mothers, take time to read to your children from the health books, as well as from the books treating more particularly on religious subjects. Teach your children the importance of taking care of the body—the house they live in. Form a home reading circle, in which every member of the family lays aside the busy cares of the day and gathers for study. Fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, take up this work unitedly, and see if the home-church will not be greatly improved. 16LtMs, Ms 119, 1901, par. 10

Especially should the young women who have been accustomed to read novels and cheap storybooks join in the evening family study. The Lord has appointed them to be His helping hand. Young women, read the literature that will give true knowledge and that will interest the entire family. Say firmly, “I will not spend my precious moments in reading that which will be of no profit to me. I will devote my time to God’s service. I will close my eyes to frivolous and sinful things. My ears are the Lord’s property, and I will not take them where I shall hear the subtle reasoning of the enemy. My voice must not in any way be subject to a will that is not under the influence of the Spirit of God.” 16LtMs, Ms 119, 1901, par. 11

If in every church the young men and the young women would solemnly consecrate themselves to God, if they would practice self-denial in the home, relieving their tired, careworn mothers, what a change would take place in our churches. The mother could find time to make neighborly visits. When opportunity offered, the children could give assistance by doing, <when quite young,> little errands of mercy and love to bless others. Thus thousands of the homes of the poor and needy could be entered. Books relating to health and temperance could be placed in many homes. The circulation of these books is an important work; for they contain precious knowledge in regard to the treatment of disease—knowledge that would be a great blessing to those who cannot afford to pay for the physician’s visits, or for the drugs, which, even if obtained, would be only an injury. 16LtMs, Ms 119, 1901, par. 12

I ask the church, Will you remain in the condition of the Laodicean church, or will you change your position? In the name of the Lord I call upon every family to show its true colors. Reform the church in your own home. Let your conversation be pure and elevating. 16LtMs, Ms 119, 1901, par. 13

Arouse, parents, and be converted! Let the light of your sanctification shine forth in clear, distinct rays. The great day of salvation has come. Those who humble themselves, repenting, confessing their sins, and drawing near to God, will find that God will draw near to them. Let us fear to continue in transgression. Everywhere let it be known that it is the Father’s will that every one who seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, shall have everlasting life. 16LtMs, Ms 119, 1901, par. 14

“The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” [Titus 2:11-14.] 16LtMs, Ms 119, 1901, par. 15