Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students


In Witnessing for Christ

God has given us the gift of speech that we may recite to others His dealing with us, that His love and compassion may touch other hearts, and that praise may arise from other souls also to Him who has called them out of darkness into His marvelous light. The Lord has said, “Ye are My witnesses.” Isaiah 43:10. But all who are called to be witnesses for Christ must learn of Him, that they may be efficient witnesses. As children of the heavenly King, they should educate themselves to bear testimony in a clear, distinct voice and in such a manner that no one may receive the impression that they are reluctant to tell of the mercies of the Lord. CT 243.1

In social meeting, prayer should be offered so that all may be edified; those who take part in this exercise should follow the example given in the Lord's beautiful prayer for the world. This prayer is simple, clear, comprehensive, and yet not long and spiritless, as the prayers offered in public sometimes are. These spiritless prayers might better not be uttered; for they are a mere form, without vital power, and they fail to bless or edify. CT 243.2

The apostle Paul writes: “Even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped? for if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle? So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air. CT 243.3

“There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification. Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me. Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.” 1 Corinthians 14:7-12. CT 244.1

In all our religious services we should seek to conduct ourselves in a way that will edify others, working as much as lies in our power for the perfection of the church. “Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret. For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also.... Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest? For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified. CT 244.2

“I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all: ye in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.” Verses 13-19. CT 244.3

The principle presented by Paul concerning the gift of tongues is equally applicable to the use of the voice in prayer and social meeting. We would not have anyone who is defective in this respect cease from offering public prayer, or from bearing witness to the power and love of Christ. CT 245.1

I do not write these things to silence you, for there has already been too much silence in our meetings; but I write that you may consecrate your voice to Him who gave you this gift, and may realize the necessity of cultivating it so that you may edify the church by what you say. If you have acquired the habit of speaking in a low, indistinct way, you should regard it as a defect, and put forth earnest efforts to overcome, that you may honor God and edify His children. CT 245.2

In our devotional meetings, our voices should express by prayer and praise our adoration of the heavenly Father, that all may know that we worship God in simplicity and truth, and in the beauty of holiness. Precious indeed in this world of sin and ignorance is the gift of speech, the melody of the human voice, when devoted to the praise of Him who hath loved us and given Himself for us. CT 245.3