Ms 126, 1897


Ms 126, 1897

The Training of Children


November 15, 1897

Portions of this manuscript are published in CG 27, 86-87, 151, 213-214, 232, 272; AH 187, 283, 287, 432; OHC 143; 4MR 99-100, 360-361; 8MR 380-381.

There are two kinds of education going on in our world. Parents love their children, but their love is not always accompanied by that faith that works by love and purifies the soul. In too many cases the parents are only grown up children. They are no intelligent teachers. They do not sense the responsibilities that rest upon them. Ms126-1897.1

In the ignorance of the wants of their infants, many parents think that they can be fed upon those things which they themselves eat. These parents have no knowledge of what constitutes a proper diet. Many mothers have come to me, saying, “My baby does not thrive. What is the matter with it? It is poor and fretful, and sick.” “What do you give your child to eat?” I have questioned. “The same food that we eat ourselves, a little bit of everything, a little tea, and coffee, and potatoes, a little beer and meat.” Ms126-1897.2

This variety of food is unwholesome for the parents, and how much more so for the child. The child has but a small stomach, and should have its regular periods of eating, and then not eating too largely. This crowds the stomach, and distress is the result. This “stuffing” process has placed many a little child in its narrow bed, just because of the ignorance of the parents in managing them. And they serve their own bodies in the same way. They have not an intelligent knowledge of how to eat properly themselves. The simplest preparation for the table is always the most wholesome and healthful. Ms126-1897.3

Parents, it is impossible for you to give your children a proper training unless you first give yourselves to God, learning of the great Teacher the most precious lessons of obedience to His will. The mother should feel her great need of the Holy Spirit’s guidance, that she may herself have a genuine experience in submission to the way and will of the Lord. Then, through the grace of Christ, you can be a wise, gentle, loving teacher of your children. Ms126-1897.4

Parents, never prevaricate; never tell an untruth in precept or in example. If you want your child to be truthful, be truthful yourself. Be straight and undeviating. Even a slight prevarication should not be allowed. Because mothers are accustomed to prevaricate and be untruthful, the child follows her example. She will deceive her parents, while her mother will say of her, “She never told me an untruth.” Thus the statement to which the child has just listened, she knows to be a falsehood. Ms126-1897.5

In some families, the wishes of the child is law. Everything he desires is given him. Everything he dislikes, he is encouraged to dislike. These indulgences are supposed to make the child happy, but it is these very things that make him restless, discontented, and satisfied with nothing. Indulgence has spoiled his appetite for plain healthful food, for the plain healthful use of his time; gratification has done the work of unsettling that character for time and for eternity. Let the child dress simply, eat of the most plain, wholesome food. Let him not be indulged, and tempted to eat more than he should. This will ruin the digestive organs before the child or youth can become intelligent upon the important subjects of how to eat, how to dress, how to exercise in order to retain health. Ms126-1897.6

Fathers and mothers are responsible for the health, the constitution, the development of the character of their children. No one else should be left to see to this work. In becoming the parents of children, it devolves upon you to co-operate with the Lord in educating them in sound principles, keeping their minds open and impressible by the inculcation of sound principles. This will develop strong characters. Ms126-1897.7

A child’s truest graces consist of modesty and obedience—they will have attentive ears to hear the words of direction, in willing feet and hands to walk and work in the path of duty and obedience. And a child’s true goodness will bring its own reward even in this life. Ms126-1897.8

The happiness of every child may be secured by strong, even discipline. In the years of childhood and youth is the time for the training process, not only to be the most serviceable and full of grace and truth in this life, but to secure the place prepared in the home above for all who are true and obedient to the oracles of God. The children are God’s precious heritage to be disciplined, educated, and trained to consider that duties rest upon them because they are part of the family firm. They should be educated to lift the burdens in their early years. These should be light at first. They should be carefully educated to do their part, that they may understand how to do their work with willing aptitude. Ms126-1897.9

Practice makes perfect. All slow motions may be overcome by proper training. The youth who are trained to do their work with dispatch will have no slow, moderate, lazy habits of working. It is a great neglect on the part of parents to allow their children to occupy two hours in the work that could be performed in one. It is all the result of the education and training which the child has had. Ms126-1897.10

On every hand we see parental failure in the instruction and training of their children to engage in useful labor. The children are allowed to grow up in ignorance of how to do simple and necessary things. Such children, who are so unfortunate in their training, must awake and take the burden of the matter upon themselves, and if they ever expect to have success, find incentives to honest employment of their God-given powers. Their own enlightened understanding must lead them to engage in useful work. Without this kind of education, this principle of action will not be established. Their work will be fitful, and their efforts in any line feeble. Ms126-1897.11

There are home domestic duties calling for a helping hand; in every place there are things needing to be done, requiring stern impulses, energetic, persevering, well-skilled activity, which ready, experienced hands know how to undertake. The laws of necessity require that our missionaries become wise in methods and plans, in the fulfillment of the duties of common practical life. Young men and young women who have been so unfortunate as to have the idea impressed upon their minds that work is degrading to ladies and gentlemen will in the end lose the credit of being ladies and gentlemen. Ms126-1897.12

The long, protracted efforts made to obtain an education in books is a mistake. There is danger of this arousing a love for pleasure and recreation. This gives the youth an education that is deleterious and unprofitable, and which God cannot bless, for it divorces the thoughts and corrupts the soul. This class is wavering, irresolute in disciplining themselves and others. They crave those things that are not essential for this life or the future eternal life. They are full of conceit and self-importance. These will never learn to understand and know the truth. Ms126-1897.13

All are students in this life. We are to improve our faculties to do the best kind of service for Jesus Christ, who has given His life to redeem us. We are to think soberly, and consecrate ourselves to God day by day. Then we shall consider every hour precious, and shall purify our souls with stern resolutions. Our opportunities and privileges are golden. We have a high standard to reach. We are to do missionary work for the Master, co-operating with Christ in restoring the moral image of God in man. Ms126-1897.14

The glory of God is to be kept before the mind’s eye. This should be the one aim and purpose of parents in life. Everything that would hinder in this consecrated service is to be left. We are to separate ourselves from whatever position we have placed ourselves in that would fetter us to cheap habits, common words, or littleness of purpose. Ms126-1897.15

Work is constantly being done in heaven. There are no idlers there. “My Father worketh hitherto,” said Christ, “and I work.” [John 5:17.] We cannot suppose that when the final triumph shall come, and we have the mansions prepared for us, that idleness will be our portion, that we shall rest in a blissful do-nothing state. We have a great work in many lines to do in this our day to prepare the way for the King of kings, and Lord of lords. Be sure that He finds us at the occupation He has given us. To every man He has given his work, a fitting occupation, to prepare a people to stand in the great day of the Lord. Ms126-1897.16