Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902)


Ms 160, 1902

Words to Parents


December 15, 1902 [typed]

This manuscript is published in entirety in 18MR 118-120. +Note

God demands from parents and children the service of the whole being, heart, mind, soul, and strength. Parents, God gave His Son that you and your children might have eternal life. Will you despise His sacrifice and make it of none effect? I beseech you to take up the work waiting for you—the education of your children. Teach them from their earliest years to obey. Bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; then they will form characters that God can approve. Direct their minds to high and holy objects. Point them to God as their sufficiency. Guard well every word you speak in the home. Say nothing that you will regret. At best, life is short. 17LtMs, Ms 160, 1902, par. 1

Mothers, teach your children to refuse to injure their bodies by obedience to fashion’s mandates. Dress them in plain, simple clothing, and thus gain time to give them needed lessons regarding the formation of character. 17LtMs, Ms 160, 1902, par. 2

The Word of God is explicit regarding the preparation required for the future life. No one need make a mistake in regard to his duty. Every family may know what God expects it to be. He has given His Word as a guide, to point us to the only safe path, to show us the only terms upon which we can gain immortal life. 17LtMs, Ms 160, 1902, par. 3

Fathers and mothers, think earnestly of the importance of your work. It rests with you to decide whether good or evil thoughts shall occupy the minds of your children. Daily sanctify yourselves to God. In all your plans and purposes let your first question be, How can I best minister to the present and future good of my children. To prepare them to inherit eternal life requires patient, untiring effort. Let not your perseverance fail. Study with your children. Remember that you are yourselves called God’s little children and that you must first learn of Him before you can teach your children aright. 17LtMs, Ms 160, 1902, par. 4

Make the Word of God your lesson book. The faithful instruction that Timothy received from his mother and grandmother was the foundation of his piety. Of another the Word of God declares, “He did evil, because he prepared not his heart to fear the Lord.” [2 Chronicles 12:14.] 17LtMs, Ms 160, 1902, par. 5

Do not fail to give your children instruction in the everyday duties of life. Teach them while they are still young the simpler principles of physiology, showing them how best to preserve their physical, mental, and spiritual powers, and how to use their gifts of brain and muscle to the glory of God. He desires that every part of the being shall be kept in healthy action. Every muscle, every sinew, every nerve has its work. 17LtMs, Ms 160, 1902, par. 6

From their babyhood train your children for God. If in their earliest years the foundations of a righteous character are laid, their lives, as they grow into manhood and womanhood, will develop into beautiful temples for the Lord. 17LtMs, Ms 160, 1902, par. 7

Parents who, with the law of kindness ever on their lips, train their children wisely, lovingly, patiently, are preparing them for the mansions that Christ has gone to prepare for those that love Him. The children grow up obedient and respectful, prepared to bear the burdens that will come to them. 17LtMs, Ms 160, 1902, par. 8

The heart is the citadel of the being. Fathers and mothers, by faithful instruction guard the hearts of your children against evil. Forget not the subtlety of the enemy, who seeks to gain entrance into the heart, that he may take possession of the whole being. Once firmly seated on the throne of the heart, no human power can cast him from his stronghold. 17LtMs, Ms 160, 1902, par. 9

The heart-searcher knows the cruel power of the enemy and the weakness of the human heart. He knows how untiringly the enemy seeks to gain control of children and youth, and how often he is aided in his efforts by the neglect of fathers and mothers. O how many families there are where the children, their temporal needs abundantly supplied, are allowed to grow up without a knowledge of the Saviour. Their spiritual needs are neglected. God is not in the home. His place is filled by the enemy. 17LtMs, Ms 160, 1902, par. 10

O parents give your children wise, patient care, that they may grow up to be noble men and women, and then, when they end this life, they may lie down to rest, knowing that in the morning of the resurrection they will rise to newness of life. 17LtMs, Ms 160, 1902, par. 11