The Voice in Speech and Song


Chapter 4—Importance of Speech Education

Most Important Branch—The talent of speech is to be carefully studied and carefully guarded. This is the most important branch of education, but one which is sadly neglected in all our associations. The power to communicate to our associates may be a great blessing or a great curse.—Manuscript 77, 1897. VSS 30.1

Essential Subject for Our Schools—The education of the speech must not be neglected in our schools. Those who go into society with a desire and a determination to be as Christ commanded them to be, will not condescend to unchristian conversation. They will seek to represent Christ by their spirit and words.—The Review and Herald, January 25, 1898. VSS 30.2

Sanctified Conversation—The light given me by the word of God is that the speech needs to be converted and sanctified. The Lord requires that education should be given in the science of conversation. This faculty has been much abused and perverted. It has not been held as a precious gift from God, to be used to glorify His name. The words are a power for good or evil, a savor of life unto life, or of death unto death. Choice words must be spoken by those who would do service for Christ. Haphazard words, hasty, common words, talking for the sake of talking, when silence would be better, is a sin. Those who are the most wordy exercise no wholesome influence upon the society in which they live and move. Bible religion is not to be boastfully paraded, but quietly practiced in good words and works.—Manuscript 74, 1897. VSS 30.3

Evil Speaking a Misdemeanor—Notice these words: “And let the peace of God rule in your heart.” If you do this, a flood of words that have in them no virtue or goodness, will not pour from your lips. “To the which also ye are called in one body, and be ye thankful. Let the word of God dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him.” VSS 31.1

This is the education we need in our schools. The hasty, reckless use of the faculty of speech lies at the foundation of nearly all the church troubles that exist. Evilspeaking should be dealt with as a misdemeanor that is subject to church trial and separation from church membership if persisted in; for the church cannot be set in order in any other way.—Manuscript 74, 1897. VSS 31.2

Science of Conversation As Related to the Study of God's Word—Our education in regard to the science of conversation will be in every way improved if we make the Word of God our study. This branch of education has been woefully neglected. Many receive diplomas from colleges who have not earned them by gaining an all-round education. Teachers and pupils are apt to skip the important matter of the education of speech. For want of training in this line, students lose much. They go from school to be deficient all through their life experience.—Manuscript 74, 1897. VSS 31.3