Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students


The Work of the Fernando School

The question has been asked, “What shall we teach in the Fernando school?” CT 205.2

Teach fundamentals. Teach that which is practical. You should not make a great parade before the world, telling what you expect to do, as if you were planning something wonderful. No, indeed. Boast neither of the branches of study you expect to teach nor of the industrial work you hope to do; but tell everyone who inquires, that you intend to do the best you can to give your students a physical, mental, and spiritual training that will fit them for usefulness in this life and prepare them for the future immortal life. CT 205.3

What influence do you think it would have to publish in your announcement of the school that you will endeavor to give the students a training that will prepare them for the future, immortal life because you desire to see them live throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity? I believe such a statement would have a far greater influence upon the brethren and sisters of this conference, and upon the community in the midst of which the school is established, than would the display of a number of courses of study in ancient and modern languages and other higher branches of study. CT 206.1

Let the school prove itself. Then the patrons will not be disappointed, and the students will not claim that they were promised instruction in certain studies which, after entering the school, they were not permitted to take up. CT 206.2

Let it be understood at the beginning that the Bible lies at the foundation of all education. An earnest study of God's word, resulting in transformation of character and in a fitness for service, will make the Fernando school a power for good. My brethren who are connected with this school, your strength lies not in the number of languages you may teach, or in telling how large a “college” you have. Keep silent on these points. Silence in regard to the great things you plan to do will help you more than all the positive assertions and all the promises that you might publish in your announcements. By faithfulness in the school you should demonstrate that you are working on foundation principles, principles that will prepare the students for entrance through the pearly gates into the heavenly city. The saving of souls is worth far more than mere intellectual training. A pretentious display of human learning, the manifestation of pride of personal appearance, is worthless. The Lord values obedience to His will; for only by walking humbly and obediently before Him, can man glorify God. CT 206.3

In giving us the privilege of studying His word, the Lord has set before us a rich banquet. Many are the benefits derived from feasting on His word, which is represented by Him as His flesh and blood, His spirit and life. By partaking of this word our spiritual strength is increased; we grow in grace and in a knowledge of the truth. Habits of self-control are formed and strengthened. The infirmities of childhood—fretfulness, willfulness, selfishness, hasty words, passionate acts—disappear, and in their place are developed the graces of Christian manhood and womanhood. CT 207.1

If your students, besides studying God's word, learn no more than how to use correctly the English language in reading, writing, and speaking, a great work will have been accomplished. Those who are trained for service in the Lord's cause should be taught how to talk properly in ordinary conversation and before congregations. Many a laborer's usefulness is marred by his ignorance in regard to correct breathing and clear, forcible speaking. Many have not learned to give the right emphasis to the words they read and speak. Often the enunciation is indistinct. A thorough training in the use of the English language is of far more value to a youth than a superficial study of foreign languages, to the neglect of his mother tongue. CT 207.2

Let the school be conducted along the lines of the ancient schools of the prophets, the word of God lying at the foundation of all the education given. Let not the students attempt to grasp the higher rounds of the ladder first. There are those who have attended other schools, thinking that they could obtain an advanced education; but they have been so intent on reaching the higher rounds of the ladder that they have not been humble enough to learn of Christ. Had they placed their feet on the lower rounds first, they would have made progress, learning more and still more of the Great Teacher. CT 208.1

The instructors will find it greatly to their advantage to take hold disinterestedly with the students in manual labor, showing them how to work. By co-operating with the youth in this practical way, the teachers can bind the hearts of the students to themselves by the cords of sympathy and brotherly love. Christian kindness and sociability are powerful factors in winning the affections of the youth. CT 208.2

Teachers, take hold of the schoolwork with diligence and patience. Realize that yours is not a common work. You are laboring for time and for eternity, molding the minds of your students for entrance into the higher school. Every right principle, every truth learned in an earthly school, will advance us just that much in the heavenly school. As Christ walked and talked with His disciples during His ministry on this earth, so will He teach us in the school above, leading us beside the river of living waters and revealing to us truths that in this life must remain hidden mysteries because of the limitations of the human mind, so marred by sin. In the heavenly school we shall have opportunity to attain, step by step, to the greatest heights of learning. There, as children of the heavenly King, we shall ever dwell with the members of the royal family; there we shall see the King in His beauty and behold His matchless charms. CT 208.3