Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students


The Curse of Inaction

In many cases parents who are wealthy do not feel the importance of giving their children an education in the practical duties of life as well as in the sciences. They do not see the necessity, for the good of their children's minds and morals, and for their future usefulness, of giving them a thorough understanding of useful labor. This is due their children, that, should misfortune come, they could stand forth in noble independence, knowing how to use their hands. If they have a capital of strength they cannot be poor even if they have not a dollar. CT 286.2

Many who in youth were in affluent circumstances may be robbed of all their riches and be left with parents and brothers and sisters dependent upon them for sustenance. Then how important that every youth be educated to labor, that he may be prepared for any emergency! Riches are indeed a curse when their possessors let them stand in the way of their sons and daughters’ obtaining a knowledge of useful labor, that they may be qualified for practical life.... CT 286.3

Poverty, in many cases, is a blessing, for it prevents youth and children from being ruined by inaction. The physical as well as the mental powers should be cultivated and properly developed. The first and constant care of parents should be to see that their children have firm constitutions, that they may be sound men and women. It is impossible to attain this object without physical exercise. For their own physical health and moral good, children should be taught to work, even if there is no necessity so far as want is concerned. If they would have pure and virtuous characters they must have the discipline of well-regulated labor, which will bring into exercise all the muscles. The satisfaction that children have in being useful, and in denying themselves to help others, will be the most healthful pleasure they can enjoy.... CT 287.1

Parents, inaction is the greatest curse that ever came upon youth. Your daughters should not be allowed to lie in bed late in the morning, sleeping away the precious hours lent them of God to be used for the best purpose, and for which they will have to give an account to Him. That mother does her daughters great injury who bears the burdens that, for their own present and future good, they should share with her.... CT 287.2