Manuscript Releases, vol. 6 [Nos. 347-418]


The Minister and His Children

I have been shown that if a minister and his wife unite in labor, they should show themselves patterns of piety. If they take their children with them, the children should be subject to them, well disciplined and obedient; for if the parents have not sufficient judgment to control their own children, they cannot properly minister to the church of God, or preserve it from broils or insubordination.—Letter 1, 1877, p. 3. (To Brother and Sister _____, December 17, 1877.) 6MR 47.4

When our ministers are visiting in a family, let them seek to make the hour of worship a great blessing, and let them when at the meal table, seek to make the conversation a source of spiritual refreshing. Let them talk on Bible subjects, and relate their experiences in holding meetings and in visiting among the people. The parents will be benefitted, the children will be impressed, and as the warmth and grace of Christ are felt, the spiritual pulse will be quickened.—Manuscript 41, 1903, 1. (“Less Preaching; More Teaching,” typed May 5, 1903.) 6MR 48.1

Now is the time to restrain and control your child. Teach her that her will is not to bear sway, but that what you require of her must be carried out. Do not deceive yourself, as many parents have done, by thinking that children when in their babyhood should not be required to obey, that if they are left to follow their own will and way, they will, as they become older, outgrow their wrong traits of character. Those who reason in this way find to their sorrow that as the twig is bent the tree's inclined. Little pranks and errors may seem to be amusing when the child is a baby, and they may be permitted and encouraged, but as the child grows older, they become disgusting and offensive. 6MR 48.2

The work of education and training should commence with the babyhood of the child; for then the mind is the most impressible, and the lessons given are remembered. Do not let your inclination to shun responsibilities lead you to neglect the proper discipline of your child. Restrain her; give her much attention; teach her submission in her early years. Do your duty to her patiently and decidedly, with firmness and love. If you allow her to have her own way, and to control you as she has done, you can be of no use to your husband in traveling with him, or visiting the people. Do not let your child grow up gnarled and crooked in character because of your neglect to do your duty.—Letter 1, 1877, pp. 2, 3. (To Brother and Sister _____, December 17, 1877.) 6MR 48.3

The father is the priest of the family. The souls of his wife and children, as God's property, should be to him of the highest value, and he should faithfully guide the formation of their characters. The care of his children from their infancy should be his first consideration; for it is for their present and eternal good that they develop right characters. He should carefully weigh his words and actions, considering their influence, and the results they may produce. 6MR 49.1

He who is engaged in the work of the gospel ministry must be faithful in his family life. It is as essential that as a father he should improve the talents God has given him for the purpose of making the home a symbol of the heavenly family, as that in the work of the ministry, he should make use of his God given powers to win souls for the church. As the priest in the home, and as the ambassador of Christ in the church, he should exemplify in his life the character of Christ. He must be faithful in watching for souls as one that must give an account. In his service there must be seen no carelessness and inattentive work. God will not serve with the sins of men who have not a clear sense of the sacred responsibility involved in accepting a position as pastor of a church. He who fails to be a faithful, discerning shepherd in the home, will surely fail of being a faithful shepherd of the flock of God in the church.—Manuscript 42, 1903, 1, 2. (“The Training of Children,” typed May 4, 1903.) 6MR 49.2