Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 10 (1895)


Ms 20, 1895

True Education


November 10, 1895

Portions of this manuscript are published in 8MR 250, 280-283.

True education is the inculcation of those ideas which will impress the mind with the knowledge of God the Creator, and Jesus Christ the only begotten Son of God. This education, which will ennoble the intellect and expand the mind, may be gained from a study of God’s words: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not. ... He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.” [John 1:1-5, 10.] 10LtMs, Ms 20, 1895, par. 1

In delivering the children of Israel from their four hundred years of bondage, God was seeking to make known His holiness, His grace and His love to the idolatrous Egyptians. Christ, the Light of the world, was revealed to Moses in the burning bush, and Moses was appointed to make known the superiority of Jehovah over every false deity. 10LtMs, Ms 20, 1895, par. 2

The education gained in our schools by the study of objectionable authors has not been of that order, that will mark the character of our schools with religious piety and consistency. When students enter school, their minds should be drawn to the Word of God; they should be taught to feed upon the words of Christ. As year after year passes into eternity, and as we draw near the end of this world’s history, increased responsibility rests upon every teacher in our schools. The results of a rich and varied experience are shining upon our pathway, and teachers need to work in harmony with the increase of light, in order that their spiritual development may be proportionate to the light given. The treasures of the Bible, which, during the last few years have been rescued from the rubbish and re-set in a frame work of truth, place God’s commandment-keeping people upon vantage ground. If this divine light is received into the mind, it will sanctify the soul and equip it to stand, by the grace of God, through the coming conflict. 10LtMs, Ms 20, 1895, par. 3

The education given in our schools should be of that character which will strengthen the spiritual intelligence and give an increase knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ. This kind of education will qualify men to become missionaries who can bear the last message of mercy to a world whose inhabitants are as were the inhabitants of the Noachic world and we were the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. God has given to man a probation, in order that through divine power he may return to his loyalty [to God]. At infinite cost to Jesus Christ, God has devised and undertaken to save man from Satan’s power. He longs to bring him back to his allegiance, that, through the exceeding riches of Christ’s grace, he may be fully in harmony with God. 10LtMs, Ms 20, 1895, par. 4

The knowledge of God is eternal life; the wisdom of God is true wealth. The fear of God ruling in the heart, the love of Christ, constraining those who receive Him as their personal Saviour, is the highest education the human family can receive. By walking humbly with God, obeying His commandments and bearing the cross daily, we obtain a knowledge which will fit us for this life and for the future life. “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus.” [1 Timothy 2:3-5.] 10LtMs, Ms 20, 1895, par. 5

Every man and woman who has been converted to God is called upon, as a burning and a shining light, to dispel the moral darkness and bring light and knowledge into the world. Every Christian can grow in capability by using his talents; but every branch of the living vine that remains stationary is pruned off and cast away as rubbish. If, as the results of their education, young men and women lose what religion they had when they entered school, they had better change the character of their education, even though they have to disconnect themselves from the school. The student who is fitting for the service of God should be gaining daily in moral resources, that he may fight manfully the battles of the Lord. 10LtMs, Ms 20, 1895, par. 6

I appeal to the teachers in our educational institutions for Christ’s sake, and their own, not to let religious earnestness and zeal retrograde. If you do not go backward, you will advance. But unless our schools rise to a much higher plane of action, their candlestick will be removed out of its place. Broader views must be held, stronger faith and deeper piety must exist in regard to the work to be done, and when this is so, students will not be advised to take a course of study at Ann Harbor or any other college where the Word of God is not made the root and branch of all wisdom and all intellectual attainments. 10LtMs, Ms 20, 1895, par. 7

When the converting power of God takes hold of the teachers in our schools, they will consider that a knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ covers a much broader field than the so-called scholastic education does. But unless they have a much broader view in regard to what constitutes education, they will experience great hindrance in preparing missionaries to go out and give their knowledge to others. In all our education, we should remember the words of Christ, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.” [Matthew 5:14.] Of ourselves we cannot shine, but if the Word of God abides in our souls, we will shine, for nothing can eclipse the light of heaven or retard the truth. 10LtMs, Ms 20, 1895, par. 8

Wherever they may turn, the youth will see examples of unholiness. If they go with the multitude to do evil, their influence will be cast on the side of the adversary of souls; they will mislead those who have not cherished principles of unswerving fidelity to God. Warnings will not be heeded, and in their self-sufficiency they will say, I know enough not to be misled by any corrupting influence. Not seeking safe paths for their feet, they become unguarded, and, charmed with the careless recklessness of those who pride themselves upon their knowledge of evil, they will take fatal steps in the path which leads to death, for influence is power. But one person in a school who has a conscientious regard for truth and a true conception of duty, who will make straight paths for his feet lest the lame be turned out of the way, can do much in Christ’s lines. 10LtMs, Ms 20, 1895, par. 9

If those youth who have opportunity to gain an education will put the Word of God first, seeking to obtain that wisdom which comes as sacred fire from heaven, they will learn lessons highly essential for them to know. As students enter upon their school life, they are in danger of receiving from other students impressions that will endanger their principles of right, and they need to fasten their hold more firmly upon God, relying by faith upon His promises, and inquiring at every step, How can I best acquire a knowledge of God? How shall I shun the road leading to destruction, for I cannot take one false step without leading others by my precepts and example. 10LtMs, Ms 20, 1895, par. 10

Teachers must be qualified to be ministers of righteousness. Their pathway must be kept free from any hindrance, in order that students may find in the school which they attend, a city of refuge. They should help those whom they are educating to disconnect from worldly influences and worldly associations, teaching them to obey the Word of God, “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters.” [2 Corinthians 6:17, 18.] What honor and exaltation is here given to humanity. Shall we not obey this invitation with grateful hearts? 10LtMs, Ms 20, 1895, par. 11