Testimonies to the Church Regarding our Youth Going to Battle Creek Obtain An Education


Words of Warning

We are living in a time of special peril to the youth. Satan knows that the end of the world is soon to come, and he is determined to improve every opportunity for pressing young men and women into his service. He will devise many specious deceptions to lead them astray. We need to consider carefully the words of warning given by the apostle Paul:— SpTB06 21.1

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? and what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? and what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters.” 2 Corinthians 6:14-18. SpTB06 21.2

Special light has been given me in regard to why we may accomplish much more for the Master by the establishment of many small sanitariums, than by the building up of a few large medical institutions. In large institutions there would be gathered together many who are not very sick, but who, like tourists, are seeking rest and pleasure. These will have to be waited on by nurses and helpers. Young men and young women, who from their earliest years have been shielded from worldly associations, would thus be brought in contact with worldlings of all classes, and to a greater or less degree would be influenced by what they see and hear. They would become like those with whom they associate, losing the simplicity and modesty that Christian fathers and mothers have guarded and cherished by careful instruction and earnest prayer. SpTB06 21.3

We are living amid the perils of the last days. Something decisive must be said to warn our people against the danger of permitting children who need parental care and instruction, to leave their homes to go to places where they will be brought in contact with pleasure-loving, irreligious worldlings. SpTB06 22.1

In many homes, the father and mother have allowed the children to rule. Such children are in far greater danger, when brought in contact with influences opposed to godliness than those who have learned to obey. Not having received the necessary training, they think they can do as they please. A knowledge of how to obey would have strengthened them to resist temptation, but this knowledge their parents have not given them. When these undisciplined youth enter an immense institution, where there are many influences opposed to spirituality, they are in grave peril, and often their stay in the institution is an injury to themselves and to the institution. SpTB06 22.2

I am instructed to warn parents whose children have not firmness of principle or clear Christian experience not to send them away from home to distant places, to be absent for many months, and perhaps for years, and it may be to have sown in their minds the seeds of unbelief and infidelity. It is safer and far better to send such youth to the schools and sanitariums nearest their homes. Let the youth who are forming character be kept away from places where they would have to mingle with a great company of unbelievers, and where the forces of the enemy are strongly entrenched. SpTB06 22.3

Let a decided effort be made by the managers of our large sanitariums to employ older persons as helpers in these institutions. In the vision of the night I was in a large assembly, where this matter was up for consideration. To those who were planning to send their undisciplined children to Battle Creek, One of authority said:— SpTB06 23.1

“Dare you make this experiment? The salvation of your children is worth more than the education they will receive in this place, where they are constantly exposed to the influence of unbelievers. Many who come to this institution are unconverted. They are filled with pride, and have not through faith a connection with God. Many of the young men and women who wait on these worldlings have had but little Christian experience, and they easily become entangled in the snares that are laid for their feet.” SpTB06 23.2

“What can be done to remedy this evil?” some one present asked. The Speaker answered, “Since you have placed yourselves in this position of peril, let Christian men and women of mature years and established character be brought into the institution to exert a counter influence for the right. The carrying out of such a plan would increase the running expenses of the Sanitarium, but it may be an effective means of guarding the fort, and of shielding the youth in the institution from the contaminating influences to which they are now exposed. SpTB06 23.3

“Parents, guardians, place your children in training-schools where the influences are similar to those of a rightly conducted home school; schools in which the teachers will carry them forward from point to point, and in which the spiritual atmosphere is a savor of life unto life.” SpTB06 24.1

The words of warning and instruction that I have written in regard to the sending of our youth to Battle Creek to receive a training for service in the Lord's cause, are not idle words. Some God-fearing youth will stand the test, but it is not safe for us to leave even the most conscientious ones without our best care and protection. Whether or not our youth who have received wise instruction from godly parents will continue to be sanctified through the truth, depends largely upon the influence that, after leaving their homes, they meet among those to whom they look for Christian instruction.—Testimonies for the Church 8:223-226. SpTB06 24.2