The Voice in Speech and Song


Section 1—A Gift From God

Chapter 1—A Heavenly Talent

A Supreme Blessing for Good—The power of speech is a talent that should be diligently cultivated. Of all the gifts we have received from God, none is capable of being a greater blessing than this. With the voice we convince and persuade, with it we offer prayer and praise to God, and with it we tell others of the Redeemer's love. How important, then, that it be so trained as to be most effective for good.—Christ's Object Lessons, 335. VSS 13.1

Voice and Tongue Divine Gifts—The voice and tongue are gifts from God, and if rightly used, they are a power for God. Words mean very much. They may express love, devotion, praise, melody to God, or hatred and revenge. Words reveal the sentiments of the heart. They may be a savor of life unto life or of death unto death. The tongue is a world of blessing, or a world of iniquity.—The S.D.A. Bible Commentary 3:1159. VSS 13.2

A Power in the Communication of Knowledge—We may have knowledge, but unless we know how to use the voice correctly, our work will be a failure. Unless we can clothe our ideas in appropriate language, of what avail is our education? Knowledge will be of little advantage to us unless we cultivate the talent of speech; but it is a wonderful power when combined with the ability to speak wise, helpful words, and to speak them in a way that will command attention.—Testimonies for the Church 6:380. VSS 13.3

Impression by Deep Feeling and Pathos—However great a man's knowledge, it is of no avail unless he is able to communicate it to others. Let the pathos of your voice, its deep feeling, make an impression on hearts.—Testimonies for the Church 7:268. VSS 14.1

A Sacred Trust—The gift of speech is a valuable talent. Never despise or demit this gift. Thank God for entrusting it to you. It is a precious gift, to be sanctified, elevated, and ennobled. As a sacred trust, the voice should be used to honor God. It should never utter harsh, impure words or words of faultfinding. The gospel of Christ is to be proclaimed by the voice. VSS 14.2

With the talent of speech we are to communicate the truth as we have opportunity. It should ever be used in God's service; but this talent is grievously abused. Words are spoken which do great harm. Christ declared, “Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned” [Matthew 12:36, 37].—Manuscript 21, 1899. VSS 14.3

Holy Spirit's Power in the Cultivation of the Voice—Encourage all to use simple, pure, elevated language. Speech, pronunciation, and voice—cultivate these talents, not under any great elocutionist of the world, but under the power of the Holy Spirit of God.—Letter 83, 1898. VSS 14.4

Courage, Cheer, and Hope—Talk of the goodness and love of Jesus. You and I have been granted the blessing of speech, which is a talent of great value. It is to be used in talking of those things which increase love for Jesus. Let us talk of His mercy, of the gracious words He spoke to encourage and comfort, to bring hope and joy and love to our hearts.... Let us brighten the remaining years of our lives with words that bring courage and cheer and hope. The enemy will cast his shadow between Christ and our souls. He will tempt us to talk in a doubting, faithless way. But when disagreeable thoughts seek for utterance, do not give expression to them. Talk faith. Talk of the grace of our Lord and Saviour, of His love and mercy, of the beauty of His character. Let it become natural for the lips to give utterance to precious, inspiring thoughts.—Letter 14, 1900. VSS 15.1

Conversion of the Tongue—The tongue is an unruly member, but it should not be so. It should be converted; for the talent of speech is a very precious talent. Christ is ever ready to impart of His riches, and we should gather the jewels that come from Him, that, when we speak, these jewels may drop from our lips.—Testimonies for the Church 6:173, 174. VSS 15.2

A Means in the Advancement of His Kingdom—Speech is a talent, and can be used to honor or dishonor God. We are accountable for our use of the talent of words.... The talent of speech, of memory, of property, all are to accumulate for the glory of God, to advance His kingdom.—Letter 44, 1900. VSS 16.1