Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students


Health and Efficiency

Health is an inestimable blessing and one more closely related to conscience and religion than many realize. It has a great deal to do with one's capability for service and should be as sacredly guarded as the character, for the more perfect the health the more perfect will be our efforts for the advancement of God's cause and for the blessing of humanity. CT 294.1

There is an important work to be done in our schools in teaching the youth the principles of health reform. The teachers should exert a reformatory influence in the matter of eating, drinking, and dressing, and should encourage their students to practice self-denial and self-control. The youth should be taught that all their powers are from God; that He has a claim upon every faculty; and that by abusing their health in any way they slight one of God's choicest blessings. The Lord gives them health to use in His service, and the greater their physical strength, the stronger their powers of endurance, the more they can do for the Master. Instead of abusing or overtaxing their physical powers, they should jealously guard them for His use. CT 294.2

Youth is the time to lay up knowledge in those lines that can be put into daily practice throughout the life. Youth is the time to establish good habits, to correct wrong ones, to gain and hold the power of self-control, to accustom oneself to ordering all the acts of life with reference to the will of God and the welfare of one's fellow creatures. Youth is the sowing time that determines the harvest of this life and the life beyond the grave. The habits formed in childhood and youth, the tastes acquired, the self-control gained, are almost certain to determine the future of the man or woman. CT 294.3

The importance of caring for the health should be taught as a Bible requirement. Perfect obedience to God's commands calls for conformity to the laws of the being. The science of education includes as full a knowledge of physiology as can be obtained. No one can properly understand his obligations to God unless he understands clearly his obligations to himself as God's property. He who remains in sinful ignorance of the laws of life and health, or who willfully violates these laws, sins against God. CT 295.1

The time spent in physical exercise is not lost. The student who is constantly poring over his books, while he takes but little exercise in the open air, does himself an injury. A proportionate exercise of the various organs and faculties of the body is essential to the best work of each. When the brain is constantly taxed while the other organs are left inactive, there is a loss of physical and mental strength. The physical powers are robbed of their healthy tone, the mind loses its freshness and vigor, and a morbid excitability is the result. CT 295.2

In order for men and women to have well-balanced minds, all the powers of the being should be called into use and developed. There are in this world many who are one-sided because only one set of faculties has been cultivated, while others are dwarfed from inaction. The education of many youth is a failure. They overstudy, while they neglect that which pertains to the practical life. That the balance of the mind may be maintained, a judicious system of physical work should be combined with mental work that there may be a harmonious development of all the powers. CT 295.3

Students should have manual work to do, and it will not hurt them if in doing this work they become weary. Do you not think that Christ became weary? Indeed He did. Weariness injures no one. It only makes rest the sweeter. The lesson cannot be too often repeated that education will be of little value without physical strength with which to use it. When students leave college, they should have better health and a better understanding of the laws of life than when they entered it. CT 296.1