Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students


God's Guidance to Be Sought

From the first opening of a book the student should recognize God as the One who imparts true wisdom. He should seek divine counsel at every step. No arrangement should be made to which God cannot be a party, no union formed of which He cannot approve. From first to last the Author of wisdom should be recognized as the guide. Thus the knowledge obtained from books will be bound off by living faith in the infinite God. The student should not permit himself to be bound down to any particular course of study involving long periods of time, but should be guided in such matters by the Spirit of God.... CT 410.3

None should be allowed to pursue a course of study that will weaken their faith in the truth or in the Lord's power, or diminish their respect for a life of holiness. I would warn the students not to advance one step in these lines, not even upon the advice of their instructors or men in positions of authority, unless they have first sought God individually with their hearts thrown open to the influences of the Holy Spirit and have obtained His counsel concerning the contemplated course of study. Let every unholy ambition be blotted out. Let every selfish desire to distinguish yourselves be set aside; let every suggestion from humanity be taken to God, and trust in the guidance of His Spirit.... CT 411.1

Do not commit yourselves to the keeping of men, but say, “The Lord is my helper; I will seek His counsel; I will be a doer of His will.” All the advantages you may have cannot be a blessing to you, neither can the highest education qualify you to become a channel of light, unless you have the co-operation of the divine Spirit. It is as impossible for us to receive qualifications from men, without the divine enlightenment, as it was for the gods of Egypt to deliver those who trusted in them. CT 411.2

Students must not suppose that every suggestion for them to prolong their studies is in harmony with God's plan. Take every such suggestion to the Lord in prayer, and seek His guidance, not once only, but again and again. Plead with Him until you are convinced whether the counsel is of God or man.... CT 411.3

The Lord says, “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation.” Matthew 26:41. “Watch” lest your studies accumulate to such proportions and become of such absorbing interest to you that your mind is overburdened and the desire for godliness is crushed out of your soul. With many students the motive and aim which caused them to enter school have gradually been lost sight of, and an unholy ambition to secure a high-class education has led them to sacrifice the truth. Their intense interest to secure a high place among men has caused them to leave the will of their heavenly Father out of their calculations; but true knowledge leads to holiness of life through sanctification of the truth. CT 412.1

Too often, as the studies accumulate, the wisdom from above has been given a secondary place, and the farther the student advances, the less confidence he has in God. He looks upon much learning as the very essence of success in life; but if all would give due consideration to the statement of Christ, “Without Me ye can do nothing” (John 15:5), they would make different plans. Without the vital principles of true religion, without the knowledge of how to serve and glorify the Redeemer, education is more harmful than beneficial. When education in human lines is pushed to such an extent that the love of God wanes in the heart, that prayer is neglected, and that there is a failure to cultivate the spiritual attributes, it is wholly disastrous. It would be far better to cease seeking to obtain an education, and to recover your soul from its languishing condition, than to gain the best of educations and lose sight of eternal advantages.... CT 412.2

I would not in any case counsel restriction of the education to which God has set no limit. Our education does not end with the advantages that this world can give. Through all eternity the chosen of God will be learners. But I would advise restriction in following those methods of education which imperil the soul and defeat the purpose for which time and money are spent. Education is a grand lifework; but to obtain true education it is necessary to possess that wisdom which comes from God alone. The Lord God should be represented in every phase of education; but it is a mistake to devote years to the study of one line of book knowledge. After a period of time has been devoted to study, let no one advise students to enter immediately upon another extended line of study, but rather advise them to enter upon the work for which they have been preparing. Let them be encouraged to put into use the education already obtained.... CT 413.1

The minds of many need to be renewed, transformed, and molded after God's plan. Many are ruining themselves physically, mentally, and morally by overdevotion to study. They are defrauding themselves for time and for eternity through practicing habits of intemperance in seeking to gain an education. They are losing their desire to learn in the school of Christ lessons of meekness and lowliness of heart.... CT 413.2