Special Testimonies Concerning the Work and Workers in the Pacific Press


Pernicious Books

3. The world is deluged with books that might better be consumed than circulated. Books upon Indian warfare and similar topics, published and circulated as a money-making scheme, might better never be read by the youth. There is a Satanic fascination in such books. The heart-sickening relation of crimes and atrocities has had a bewitching power upon many youth, exciting them to see what they can do to bring themselves into notice, even by the wickedest deeds. Even the enormities, the cruelties, the licentious practises, portrayed in more strictly historical writings, have acted as leaven in many minds, leading to the commission of similar acts. Books that delineate the Satanic practises of human beings are giving publicity to evil works. These wicked, horrible particulars need not be lived over, and none who believe the truth for this time should act a part in perpetuating the memory of them. We have no permission from the Lord to engage either in the printing or the sale of such publications; for they are the means of destroying many souls. I know of what I am writing; for this matter has been opened before me. Let not those who believe the truth engage in work of this kind, thinking to make money. The Lord will put a blight upon the means thus obtained; he will scatter more than is accumulated. PH152 18.2

4. There is another class of books—love stories, frivolous tales—that are a curse to every one who reads them, and this although the author may attach a good moral. Often religious sentiments are woven all through these books; but in most cases, Satan is but clothed in angel robes to deceive and allure the unsuspicious. The mind is affected in a great degree by what it feeds upon. The readers of frivolous and exciting tales become unfitted for the duties lying before them. They live an unreal life, and have no desire to search the Scriptures, to feed upon the heavenly manna. The mind that needs strengthening is enfeebled, and loses its power to contemplate the great problems which relate to the mission and work of Christ, the plan of salvation. These subjects will fortify the mind, awaken the imagination, and kindle the strongest desire to overcome as Christ overcame. PH152 19.1

5. The youth must take heed what they read, as well as what they hear. I have been shown that they are exposed to the greatest peril of being corrupted by improper reading. Could a large share of the books published be consumed, a plague would be stayed that is doing its fearful work upon human minds and corrupting human hearts. Satan is constantly seeking to lead both the youth and those of mature age to be charmed with foolish stories. None are so confirmed in right principles, so secure from temptation, that they can feel safe, and think no one need feel anxious about them. Resolutely discard all this trashy reading, which will not increase your spirituality, but will introduce into your mind sentiments that captivate the imagination, so that you think less of Jesus, and dwell less upon his precious lessons. If you are a learner in his school, you will become like him, and will overcome the manifold temptations as he overcame. What a joy has Jesus in placing the crown upon the heads of those whom his lips can pronounce “good and faithful servants”! They have resisted the blandishments of vice; they are victors. PH152 19.2

6. I charge you who are responsible men in the publishing office, work diligently to bring in a different order of things. Cease to publish literature which is a temptation to the workers, many of whom are weak, and easily led into forbidden paths. Never should such books be put in their way. The office should be regarded as a school for the education of the workers. There is need of personal effort for their uplifting in all that constitutes a noble character. The minds of many of the youth are already sown with the seeds of evil, that are ready to spring into life and produce an abundant harvest. Strive to implant pure principles in the soul. Encourage the youth to store the mind with valuable knowledge. Let that which is good occupy the soul and control its powers, leaving no place for low, debasing indulgences. Let the standard of piety and devotion be elevated. PH152 20.1