Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students


Unholy Influences at Work

I entreat the students in our schools to be sober-minded. The frivolity of the young is not pleasing to God. Their sports and games open the door to a flood of temptations. They are in possession of God's heavenly endowment in their intellectual faculties, and they should not allow their thoughts to be cheap and low. A character formed in accordance with the precepts of God's word will reveal steadfast principles, pure, noble aspirations. The Holy Spirit co-operates with the powers of the human mind, and high and holy impulses are the sure result.... CT 366.2

My soul is deeply stirred at the things that have been represented before me. I feel an indignation of spirit that in our institutions so little honor has been given to the living God, and so much honor to that which is supposed to be superior talent, but with which the Holy Spirit has no connection. The Spirit of God is not acknowledged and respected; men have passed judgment upon it; its operations have been condemned as fanaticism, enthusiasm, undue excitement. CT 367.1

God sees that which the blind eyes of the educators do not discern—that immorality of every kind and degree is striving for the mastery, working against the manifestations of the power of the Holy Spirit. The commonest of conversation, and low, perverted ideas are woven into the texture of character and defile the soul. CT 367.2

The low, common pleasure parties, gatherings for eating and drinking, singing and playing on instruments of music, are inspired by a spirit that is from beneath. They are an oblation unto Satan. The exhibitions in the bicycle craze are an offense to God. His wrath is kindled against those who do such things. For in these gratifications the mind becomes besotted, even as in liquor drinking. The door is opened to vulgar associations. The thoughts, allowed to run in a low channel, soon pervert all the powers of the being. Like Israel of old, the pleasure lovers eat and drink, and rise up to play. There is mirth and carousing, hilarity and glee. In all this the youth are following the example of the ungodly authors of some of the books that are placed in their hands for study. All these things are having their effect upon the character. CT 367.3

Those who take the lead in these frivolities bring upon the cause a stain not easily effaced. They wound their own souls, and will carry the scars through their lifetime. The evildoer may see his sins and repent, and God may pardon the transgressor; but the power of discernment which ought ever to be kept keen and sensitive to distinguish between the sacred and the common, is in a great measure destroyed.... CT 368.1

I urge upon all to whom these words may come: Review your own course of action, and “take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.” Luke 21:34, 35.—Special Testimonies On Education, 202-212; written to the teachers in Battle Creek College. CT 368.2


It is a continual struggle to be always on the alert to resist evil, but it pays to obtain one victory after another over self and the powers of darkness. And if the youth are proved and tested, as was Daniel, what honor can they reflect to God by their firm adherence to the right! CT 368.3