Ellen G. White: The Later Elmshaven Years: 1905-1915 (vol. 6)


The Manuscript for Counsels to Parents and Teachers

As the new year opened, the book they then called “Christian Education,” known today as Counsels to Parents and Teachers, was receiving first attention. In a letter written to Elder O. A. Olsen on January 2, W. C. White described in some detail the procedures in preparing the manuscript: 6BIO 381.2

First of all, Professor Salisbury [secretary of the General Conference Department of Education] sat down with Mother's secretaries and spent two or three hours in pointing out those articles in the old book [Christian Education, 1893] which he regarded as essential; also those articles in Special Testimonies on Education [1897] which he thought should be used in the new edition. 6BIO 381.3

Then Sisters Minnie Hawkins, Maggie Bree, and Mary Steward gave the matter which he has designated very careful reading, and made notes as to its contents. Then they went to Mother's files to see what new matter they could find and they made note of its contents. 6BIO 381.4

Then we made a list of departments which we thought ought to be considered in the compilation and with these subjects before them, they made a thorough study of printed matter and manuscripts. As they collected matter, the departments developed from ten to fourteen. 6BIO 381.5

When the manuscript had been pulled together in its preliminary form, it was submitted to several leading educators for critical reading. To them W. C. White wrote: 6BIO 381.6

If you find anything in the manuscript to criticize, if you know of important material which should be added, or if you have any suggestions regarding arrangement, please send them along, and we will give your suggestions consideration.—WCW to M. E. Kern, January 15, 1913. 6BIO 381.7

The procedures in handling this manuscript were quite different from those followed in the preparation of Prophets and Kings. In the case of the Old Testament history there was a natural sequence that had to be followed. In the case of the book on education some judgment could be exercised in the selection of materials that would make the book most helpful, as well as the most helpful sequence in which these should appear. Dedicated educators, who by nature of their work had been led to give diligent study to the Spirit of Prophecy counsels that had a bearing on their work, would be in the best position to point out any important counsels that had been overlooked and to suggest the most effective arrangement of articles. 6BIO 382.1