Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students


Industrial Work

In establishing our schools out of the cities, we shall give the students an opportunity to train the muscles to work as well as the brain to think. Students should be taught how to plant, how to gather the harvest, how to build, how to become acceptable missionary workers in practical lines. By their knowledge of useful industries they will often be enabled to break down prejudice; often they will be able to make themselves so useful that the truth will be recommended by the knowledge they possess. CT 309.2

In our school in Australia we educated the youth along these lines, showing them that in order to have an education that is complete, they must divide their time between the gaining of book knowledge and the securing of a knowledge of practical work. Part of each day was spent in manual labor. Thus the students learned how to clear the land, to cultivate the soil, and to build houses; and these lines of work were largely carried on in time that would otherwise have been spent in playing games and seeking for amusement. The Lord blessed the students who devoted their hours to learning lessons of usefulness. To the managers and teachers of that school I was instructed to say: CT 310.1

“Various industries should be carried on in our schools. The industrial instruction given should include the keeping of accounts, carpentry, and all that is comprehended in farming. Preparation should be made for the teaching of blacksmithing, painting, shoemaking, and for cooking, baking, washing, mending, typewriting, and printing. Every power at our command is to be brought into this training work, that students may go forth well equipped for the duties of practical life. CT 310.2

“Students should be given a practical education in agriculture. This will be of inestimable value to many in their future work. The training to be obtained in felling trees and in tilling the soil, as well as in literary lines, is the education that our youth should seek to obtain. Agriculture will open resources for self-support. Other lines of work, adapted to different students, may also be carried on. But the cultivation of the land will bring a special blessing to the workers. We should so train the youth that they will love to engage in the cultivation of the soil. CT 311.1

“There should be opened to the youth means whereby many may, while attending school, learn the trade of carpentry. Under the guidance of experienced workmen, carpenters who are apt to teach, patient, and kind, the youth should be taught how to build substantially and economically. Cottages and other buildings essential to the various lines of schoolwork are to be erected by the students themselves. These buildings should not be crowded close together, or built near the school buildings proper. In the management of the schoolwork, small companies should be formed, who should be taught to carry a full sense of their responsibility. All these things cannot be accomplished at once, but we can begin to work in faith.” CT 311.2

With a practical training, students will be prepared to fill useful positions in many places. If in the opening providence of God it becomes necessary to erect a meetinghouse in some locality, the Lord is pleased if there are among His own people those to whom He has given wisdom and skill to perform the necessary work. CT 311.3

Let the students who are engaged in building do their tasks with thoroughness, and let them learn from these tasks lessons that will help in their character building. In order to have perfect characters, they must make their work as perfect as possible. Into every line of labor let there be brought that stability which means true economy. If in our schools the land were more faithfully cultivated, the buildings more disinterestedly cared for by the students, the love of sports and amusements, which causes so much perplexity in our schoolwork, would pass away. CT 312.1

For the lady students there are many employments which should be provided, that they may have a comprehensive and practical education. They should be taught dressmaking and gardening. Flowers should be cultivated and strawberries planted. Thus, while being educated in useful labor, they will have healthful outdoor exercise. CT 312.2

Bookbinding and a variety of other trades should be taught, which will not only furnish physical exercise, but will impart valuable knowledge. CT 312.3

In all our schools there should be those who are fitted to teach cooking. Classes for instruction in this subject should be held. Those who are receiving a training for service suffer a great loss when they do not gain a knowledge of how to prepare food so that it is both wholesome and palatable. CT 312.4

The science of cooking is not a small matter. The skillful preparation of food is one of the most essential arts. It should be regarded as among the most valuable of all the arts, because it is so closely connected with the life. Both physical and mental strength depend to a great degree upon the food we eat; therefore the one who prepares the food occupies an important and elevated position. CT 312.5

Both young men and young women should be taught how to cook economically, and to dispense with everything in the line of flesh food. Let no encouragement be given to the preparation of dishes which are composed in any degree of flesh food; for this is pointing to the darkness and ignorance of Egypt, rather than to the purity of health reform. CT 313.1

Women especially should learn how to cook. What part of the education of a girl is so important as this? Whatever may be her circumstances in life, here is knowledge that she may put to practical use. It is a branch of education which has a most direct influence upon health and happiness. There is practical religion in a loaf of good bread. CT 313.2

Culture on all points of practical life will make our youth useful after they leave the school to go to foreign countries. They will not then have to depend upon the people to whom they go to cook and sew for them, or to build their habitations. And they will be much more influential if they show that they can educate the ignorant how to labor with the best methods and to produce the best results. A smaller fund will be required to sustain such missionaries, because they have put to the very best use their physical powers in useful, practical labor combined with their studies. This will be appreciated where means are difficult to obtain. They will reveal that missionaries can become educators in teaching how to labor. And wherever they go, all that they have gained in this line will give them standing room. CT 313.3