Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 23 (1908)


Ms 69, 1908

Teacher, Know Thyself


June 19, 1908 [typed]

This manuscript is published in entirety in FE 525-527.

To know oneself is great knowledge. True self-knowledge will lead to a humility that will allow the Lord to train the mind and mold and discipline the character. The grace of humility is greatly needed by the workers for Christ in this period of the world’s history. No teacher can do acceptable work who does not bear in mind his own deficiencies, and who does not drop out from his reckoning all plans that will weaken his spiritual life. When teachers are willing to drop out from their work everything that is unessential for the life eternal, then they can be said indeed to be working out their salvation with fear and trembling, and to be building wisely for eternity. 23LtMs, Ms 69, 1908, par. 1

I am instructed to say that some of our teachers are far behind in an understanding of the kind of education needed for this period of earth’s history. This is not a time for students to be gathering up a mass of knowledge that they cannot take with them to the school above. Let us carefully weed out from our course of study all that can be spared, that we may have room in the minds of the students in which to plant the seeds of righteousness. This instruction will bear fruit unto eternal life. 23LtMs, Ms 69, 1908, par. 2

Every teacher should be a daily learner in the school of Christ, lest he lose the sense of what constitutes true physical, mental, and moral excellence. No one should place himself as a teacher of others who is not constantly working out his own salvation by receiving and imparting an all-round education. The true teacher will educate himself in moral excellence, that by precept and example he may lead souls to understand the lessons of the great Teacher. No one should be encouraged to do the work of teaching who will be satisfied with a low standard. No one is fitted to teach the grand mysteries of godliness till Christ is formed within, the hope of glory. 23LtMs, Ms 69, 1908, par. 3

Every teacher needs to receive the truth in the love of its sacred principles; then he cannot fail of exerting an influence that is purifying and uplifting. The teacher whose soul the truth cleanses, refines, and ennobles, whose heart is stayed upon Christ, will speak and act like a Christian. Such an one will not be satisfied until the truth cleanses his life from every unessential thing. He will not be satisfied unless his mind is day by day being molded by the holy influences of the Spirit of God. Then Christ can speak to the heart, and His voice, saying, “This is the way; walk ye in it,” will be heard and obeyed. [Isaiah 30:21.] 23LtMs, Ms 69, 1908, par. 4

The teacher who has a right understanding of the work of true education will not think it sufficient now and then to make casual reference to Christ. With his own heart warm with the love of God, he will constantly uplift the man of Calvary. His own soul imbued with the Spirit of God, he will seek to fasten the attention of the students upon the pattern Christ Jesus, the chiefest among ten thousand, the One altogether lovely. 23LtMs, Ms 69, 1908, par. 5

The Holy Spirit is greatly needed in our schools. This divine agency comes to the world as Christ’s representative. It is not only the faithful and true witness to the Word of God, but it is the searcher of the thoughts and purposes of the heart. It is the source to which we must look for efficiency in the restoration of the moral image of God in man. The Holy Spirit was eagerly sought for in the schools of the prophets; its transforming influence was to bring even the thoughts into harmony with the will of God and establish a living connection between earth and heaven. 23LtMs, Ms 69, 1908, par. 6

Teachers, if you will open your hearts to the indwelling of the Spirit of God, if you will welcome the heavenly guest, God will make you laborers together with Him. In co-operation with the Master Teacher, the spirit of selfishness will be expelled, and wonderful transformations will take place. 23LtMs, Ms 69, 1908, par. 7


In the night season these words were spoken to me: “Charge the teachers in our schools to prepare the students for what is coming upon the world.” The Lord has been waiting long for our teachers to walk in the light he has sent them. There is need of a humbling of self, that Christ may restore the moral image of God in man. The character of the education given must be greatly changed before it can give the right mold to our institutions. It is only when intellectual and moral powers are combined for the attainment of education, that the standard of the Word of God is reached. 23LtMs, Ms 69, 1908, par. 8

These words were clearly and forcibly spoken: “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. Press together; press together, and love as brethren. Pray together.” [See James 5:16; 1 Peter 3:8.] The Lord has paid the price of his own blood for the salvation of the world. He suffered every indignity that men could devise and Satan could invent, in order to carry out the plan of salvation. Let not the teacher seek to exalt self, but let him see the necessity of learning of Christ daily, and making him the pattern. For teachers and students our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ should be the only example. 23LtMs, Ms 69, 1908, par. 9

Bear in mind that the Lord will accept as teachers only those who will be gospel teachers. A great responsibility rests upon those who attempt to teach the last gospel message. They are to be laborers together with God in the training of human minds. The teacher who fails to keep the Bible standard always before him, misses an opportunity of being a laborer together with God in giving to the mind the mold that is essential for a place in the heavenly courts. 23LtMs, Ms 69, 1908, par. 10