The Youth’s Instructor


January 18, 1894

Words to the Young


The youth need to be instructed to build upon the abiding foundation, Jesus Christ. The reason that such grievous blunders are made on the part of the young, is that they do not heed the teachings and experience of those who have lived longer than they have, and have learned lessons that they have yet to learn. They yield to the temptations that assail them, and do not take heed to their ways. Even the counsel of parents is lost upon the children, who are subjects of anxiety, watchfulness, affection, and care. They do not heed the voice of educators and instructors, although the Lord has moved upon their hearts to give the youth line upon line and precept upon precept. YI January 18, 1894, par. 1

The Lord loves the youth. He sees in them great possibilities, and is ready to help them to reach a high standard, if they will only realize the need of his help, and lay a foundation of character that cannot be moved. But in the place of all this, the majority of the youth are willing to drift along,—to be carried wherever impulse or circumstances may take them. This is not because there has not been provided for them material by which they make a solid character building; but they do not consider the fact that God requires them to do their best in the days of their youth. They do not realize that they cannot afford to pass off cautions and warnings with a jest of ridicule. Many youth indulge a spirit of recklessness and folly, and they will not listen to the voice of counsel and reproof. YI January 18, 1894, par. 2

Let students who leave their homes, and who are no longer under the influence of their parents, remember that the eye of their heavenly Father is upon them. He knows their every necessity, and understands all their temptations. Let them remember that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Let them consider seriously whom they shall choose for associates; for there are always two classes attending school, and one class seek to please God and obey their instructors, while another class are filled with the spirit of lawlessness, and their minds are cast in an inferior mold. YI January 18, 1894, par. 3

Teachers should instruct the youth in love and tenderness, and through personal effort, seek to lead their feet into safe paths. They should look with pity upon those who have been badly trained in childhood, and seek to remedy the defects that, if retained, will greatly mar their characters in youth. They should teach the youth that time is golden; that it is perilous for them to think that they may sow wild oats, and not reap a harvest that will bring them woe and ruin. Teach the youth to be sober-minded. Let them imitate that which they admire in the characters of others who have moral power to resist evil, and to choose the good. Let students make their mark high. YI January 18, 1894, par. 4

Dear students, day and night the prayers of your parents will follow you. Listen to their entreaties and warnings, and do not choose reckless associates. You cannot discern how the leaven of wickedness will insidiously corrupt your mind and impair your habits, and by leading you to repeat evil habits, cause you to develop an unsound character. You may see no real danger, and think that you will be able to do right as easily as before you yielded to temptation to do wrong; but this is a mistake. Parents and teachers who love and fear God, may warn and entreat and counsel; but it may all be in vain, if you do not yield yourself to God, and improve the talents which he has given you to his glory. By misapplying your talents, by using them to fulfil unholy purposes, you may fail to yield the rich harvests of mental and spiritual attainment that you might have yielded, had you realized your accountability to God. Count the cost of the course of action that you are pursuing, if your feet are in the path of evil. Remember that you must meet the record of your life in the day of judgment, and answer for the degrading mold that has been placed upon your character. John says, “I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.... And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” “The wages of sin is death: but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.” YI January 18, 1894, par. 5

“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy: for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” Through associating with evil companions, the youth are led to defile the temple of God. Why do our youth not consider that those who are ready to lead others into forbidden paths, are easily overcome by temptation, and are Satan's agents to encourage disorderly habits, to laugh at those who are conscientious and who would preserve their integrity of character? By making companions of those who are evil, many are led into paths of disobedience and dissipation, that at first they had no thought of entering. YI January 18, 1894, par. 6

The only safe-guard for children and youth, is the love and fear of God. Let them choose for their companions those who give evidence that they will encourage good purposes, orderly habits, and uprightness of character. Let them choose for companions those who practise the Bible truth, and walk according to the light that shines upon their pathway. By practising right-doing, a disgust will be created in the heart for that which is low, cheap, and disorderly. “Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near: let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.” YI January 18, 1894, par. 7

In view of what God has done for the salvation of souls, let youth seek to arm themselves to resist the wild temptations that would come to them through association with those who are agents of Satan. They will seek to allure you, to encourage you to engage with them in their evil work, and cause you to become an agent also to lead astray others who are weak in moral power. YI January 18, 1894, par. 8

I would appeal to the youth to consider their ways, to take time to think, to weigh their actions, and see what advantage it will be to them to serve the purposes of Satan, to do his pleasure, and dishonor God. By pursuing a course of transgression, the youth grieve him who gave himself up to a life of humiliation and suffering, and who died on Calvary's cross, in order that they might not perish, but have everlasting life. YI January 18, 1894, par. 9

Compassed with temptation as you are, nothing will be sufficient as a safeguard against evil except the indwelling of Christ in your hearts through faith in his righteousness. You must practise his virtues, making him your daily pattern. When truth is brought into the inner sanctuary of the soul, it sanctifies the whole character. You need to cherish the faith that works by love and purifies the soul. As you believe in Christ, making him your personal Saviour, you cast your helpless soul upon him, believing that he pardons your past transgressions. Then you must learn to look continually to Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith, “who, for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” YI January 18, 1894, par. 10

Good character does not come by chance; it is formed by persevering, untiring effort. The youth should seek to make all that is possible of themselves, by improving every intrusted talent and capability to the glory of God. The world's Redeemer says, “Without me ye can do nothing.” Faith in Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour, will give strength and solidity to your character. Those who have faith in Christ, will be sober-minded, ever remembering that God's eye is upon them, that angels of God are watching to see what manner of characters they will develop and they are weighing moral worth. “And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled, in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy, and unblameable, and unreproveable, in his sight: if ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard.” YI January 18, 1894, par. 11

Individually probation is granted to you in order that you may form characters for the future, immortal life. Precious, golden moments are given you, that you may improve them according to the light which the Lord has graciously permitted to shine upon you from the throne of his glory. You should cherish every lesson that parents and instructors give you, and realize your need of deeper teaching than any human being can give. Christ is the greatest teacher the world ever knew. Where he abides in the heart by faith, his spirit will become a vitalizing agent to purify and vivify the soul. Only let us be sure that we are serving in the army of Prince Immanuel, and the truth in the heart will surely have a correcting influence on the character. Hold the truth as from God, as a treasure of the highest value, that must not be dimmed or tarnished by evil practices that are wholly out of harmony with its holy character. Under the divine influence of truth, the mind will be strengthened, the intellect invigorated, and that which is useless will be discarded for that which is pure and beneficial. Under the influence of truth the Christian character will develop, through the knowledge of the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent. YI January 18, 1894, par. 12

Mrs. E. G. White