Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students


Advantages of Physical Labor

Exercise in household labor is of the greatest advantage to young girls. Physical labor will not prevent the cultivation of the intellect: far from it. The advantages gained by physical labor will balance a person and prevent the mind from being overworked. The toil will come upon the muscles and relieve the wearied brain.... A sound body is required for a sound intellect. Physical soundness and a practical knowledge of all the necessary household duties will never be a hindrance to a well-developed intellect; both are highly important.... CT 287.3

Provision should have been made in past generations for education upon a larger scale. In connection with the schools should have been agricultural and manufacturing establishments. There should also have been teachers of household labor. And a portion of the time each day should have been devoted to labor that the physical and mental powers might be equally exercised. If schools had been established on the plan we have mentioned, there would not now be so many unbalanced minds.... CT 288.1

A constant strain upon the brain while the muscles are inactive, enfeebles the nerves and gives to students an almost uncontrollable desire for change and exciting amusements. When they are released, after being confined to study several hours each day, they are nearly wild. Many have never been controlled at home. They have been left to follow inclination, and they think that the restraint of the hours of study is a severe tax upon them; and because they have nothing to do after study hours, Satan suggests sport and mischief for a change. Their influence over other students is demoralizing.... CT 288.2

Had there been agricultural and manufacturing establishments connected with our schools, and had competent teachers been employed to educate the youth in the different branches of study and labor, devoting a portion of each day to mental improvement and a portion to physical labor, there would now be a more elevated class of youth to come upon the stage of action, to have influence in molding society. Many of the youth graduated from such institutions would come forth with stability of character. They would have perseverance, fortitude, and courage to surmount obstacles, and such principles that they would not be swayed by a wrong influence however popular. CT 288.3

There should have been experienced teachers to give lessons to young ladies in the cooking department. Young girls should have been taught how to cut, make, and mend garments, and thus become educated for the practical duties of life. For young men, there should have been establishments where they could learn different trades, which would bring into exercise their muscles as well as their mental powers. CT 289.1

If the youth can have but a one-sided education, which is of the greater consequence, a knowledge of the sciences, with all the disadvantages to health and life, or a knowledge of labor for practical life? We unhesitatingly answer, The latter. If one must be neglected, let it be the study of books. CT 289.2