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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903) - Contents
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    Ms 69, 1903

    Talk/Instruction Regarding School Work

    Healdsburg, California

    July 7, 1903

    Portions of this manuscript are published in 2MR 213-216.

    July 7, 1903

    Talk given by Mrs. E. G. White at Healdsburg College Board meeting

    Prof. Cady: The Board has received a request which was read last night, that I be released from the work here to engage in general educational work throughout the field. This request, which comes from Elder Daniells, can be read now, if you so desire. (Here the letter was read.)18LtMs, Ms 69, 1903, par. 1

    Mrs. E. G. White: The principal of a school cannot do justice to his work when his interests are divided. Brother Cady cannot do justice to this school and be away in the field so much of the time as has been the case in the past. The school needs his presence. It should not be left to the uncertainty that arises when the one who stands at its head is absent. The one who stands as principal should devote the greater part, if not all, of his time and energy to the school. He should study and plan for its success and should put his whole soul into an effort for its advancement.18LtMs, Ms 69, 1903, par. 2

    It is a mistake to allow students to choose their studies. In years past this mistake has been made in the Healdsburg school. As a result students who had not mastered the common branches have sought to climb higher than they were prepared to go. Some who could not speak the English language correctly have desired to take up the study of foreign languages. A knowledge of how to speak and write our own language correctly is more important to us than the knowledge of a foreign language.18LtMs, Ms 69, 1903, par. 3

    The Importance of Voice Culture

    Voice culture, is presented to me as of the greatest importance. Students should receive a training that will prepare them to impart the knowledge they receive. Unless they are taught to read and speak slowly and distinctly, with clearness and force, placing the emphasis where it belongs, how can they teach with any good effect? They should not be allowed to speak so fast that they cannot be clearly understood. Every word, every syllable should be plainly spoken.18LtMs, Ms 69, 1903, par. 4

    Students should be taught not to speak from the throat, but to bring the abdominal muscles into action. The throat is only the channel through which the voice is to pass. If public speakers would learn to use the voice properly, there would not be so much throat trouble among them.18LtMs, Ms 69, 1903, par. 5

    Those who are to go into the field as teachers and ministers should be trained to speak in a way that will arouse an interest in the precious truths which they present. A man may not have so much knowledge, yet he can accomplish much if he has a voice so well trained that he can impart clearly that which he knows. But if a man cannot tell in a forcible manner what he knows, of what benefit is his learning, even though his mind be stored with knowledge?18LtMs, Ms 69, 1903, par. 6

    Prof. Cady: Should we provide a special instructor for voice training, or should we distribute the teaching of this branch among all the instructors?18LtMs, Ms 69, 1903, par. 7

    Mrs. E. G. White: The wisest thing to do is to experiment. You will have to do much experimenting before you can decide upon the best methods. If you should know of some one who is especially fitted to teach voice culture, it might be best to secure his services. I know that the voice can and must be trained. The Lord wants the teachers in our schools to make the most of themselves and to teach the students to make the most of themselves.18LtMs, Ms 69, 1903, par. 8

    The Value of the Common Branches

    It is important that students be taught to spell correctly and to write plainly. They should be given a thorough drill in these branches. There are men in responsible positions, physicians, lawyers, and even editors, whose writing can scarcely be read. A great mistake has been made in their education.18LtMs, Ms 69, 1903, par. 9

    In education the work of climbing must begin at the lowest round of the ladder. There are many who feel that they have finished their education, but who are faulty in spelling and in writing, and who can neither speak nor read correctly. These need to go back and begin to climb from the first round of the ladder.18LtMs, Ms 69, 1903, par. 10

    When voice culture, reading, writing, and spelling take their rightful place in our schools, a great change for the better will be seen. These subjects have been neglected, because our teachers have not realized their value. But they are more important than Latin or Greek. I do not say that it is a wrong to study Latin or Greek, but I do say that it is a wrong to neglect the subjects that lie at the foundation of education in order to tax the mind with the study of Latin and Greek.18LtMs, Ms 69, 1903, par. 11

    The Question of Grading

    The system of grading is a hindrance to the pupil’s real progress. Some pupils are slow at first, and the teacher needs to exercise great patience. But these pupils may after a short time learn so rapidly as to astonish him. Others may appear to be very brilliant, but time may show that they have blossomed too suddenly. The system of confining children rigidly to grades is not wise.18LtMs, Ms 69, 1903, par. 12

    A. T. Jones: The sooner grades are done away with, so that the teacher can get close to the children, the better.18LtMs, Ms 69, 1903, par. 13

    Mrs. E. G. White: I know that some better system can be found just as soon as our instructors learn the true principles of education.18LtMs, Ms 69, 1903, par. 14

    The Work of the Fernando School

    Yesterday I had a long talk with Brother Giddings, the principal of the Fernando school. A misunderstanding has arisen in regard to what I said in reference to the school at Fernando. I had not the slightest idea of saying what some thought I said. They understood me to say that the Fernando school should do the same work that is done at the Healdsburg school. But those in charge of the Fernando school must know that their school will have to be carried on for a time before they can understand perfectly what its work should be.18LtMs, Ms 69, 1903, par. 15

    Some were under the impression that I said that at Healdsburg and other of our schools, grave mistakes are being made. At the Los Angeles camp-meeting I spoke of the need of simplicity in education. I said that in the past the teachers in Healdsburg College and Battle Creek College had made the mistake of not giving the foundation subjects of education their proper place and of allowing the desires and suppositions of the students to govern the decisions made in reference to their school work. I also said that at Healdsburg some subjects had been taught that were not needed. But I had no idea of giving any one the impression that the Healdsburg College should occupy the position of a school just beginning its work.18LtMs, Ms 69, 1903, par. 16

    I told Brother Giddings that it would be impossible for the Fernando school to take a position on a level with the Healdsburg school, which has been in operation many years. Those in charge of the Fernando school must move slowly at first. They must be careful to give the students what they most need, instead of allowing them to take what studies they choose. They should test the accuracy and knowledge of the students; then they can tell whether they have reached the standard to which they think they have attained.18LtMs, Ms 69, 1903, par. 17

    Some in Fernando think that those in Healdsburg College manifest a feeling of superiority. I have been afraid that they thought this, but have hoped that it was not so. I asked the one who spoke to me of this, “Have you talked with the brethren here in regard to this matter? Have you talked with Brother Cady and other members of the Board to find out if this is not something that exists entirely in the minds of the brethren there? I advise you not to leave this place until you come to a perfect understanding with the brethren here.”18LtMs, Ms 69, 1903, par. 18

    The Industrial Work at Healdsburg College

    I have heard that the managers of our school here are in difficulty in regard to the industrial work. I trust that you are not discouraged. There is no need for you to be. It would be surprising if these industries could be made to pay immediately after being started. Sometimes God permits losses to come to us to teach us lessons that will keep us from making mistakes that would cause much larger losses. If you have had financial losses in your industrial work, search carefully to find out the cause of these losses, and then manage in such a way that in the future there will be no loss. You should look upon this experience as of great value to you, not as a source of discouragement. It is of no use to talk discouragement. Look at the matter just as it is, and see how you can benefit by it.18LtMs, Ms 69, 1903, par. 19

    At one time when my son Edson had suffered a financial loss, I wrote to him not to fail nor be discouraged. I said, “If you can learn from this experience to count the cost before undertaking an enterprise, it will be one of the most valuable experiences of your life.”18LtMs, Ms 69, 1903, par. 20

    My husband used to say, “Show me a man who never makes a mistake, never gets into perplexity, and I will show you a man who ought to be in heaven.”18LtMs, Ms 69, 1903, par. 21

    If a worker makes a mistake, do not think that his work must be taken from him and given to some one else. The one to whom it is given may not do it as well as the one who had it in the first place. Give the worker who has made the mistake every opportunity to improve. Do not discourage him by criticism. Help him in his work. Do not take his work from him unless he shows no desire to improve.18LtMs, Ms 69, 1903, par. 22

    Let us remember that we are all members of God’s family. And let us remember, too, that Satan and all his host are seeking continually to force us into making mistakes, that our confidence in ourselves and in others may be destroyed. But when perplexities arise, shall we sit down on the stool of ignorance and do nothing?—God forbid.18LtMs, Ms 69, 1903, par. 23

    At Cooranbong our brethren made a mistake in delaying the purchase of the land that the Lord had said was the place where the school should be established. Then, after the purchase of the land, they went to a lawyer for advice and following his advice brought legal complications that cost thousands of dollars. Had it not been for the lack of faith caused by the delay, this loss would not have come. At one time during the lawsuit that was carried on, our brethren were greatly perplexed to know what to do. Some said, “Let the land go.” I said, “What do you mean? Who is it that we are warring against? ‘We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world.’ [Ephesians 6:12.] Do you think that you can establish the school where the Lord wants it to be without opposition from the enemy? The perplexities that come are an evidence that you are on the right ground and that the enemy is seeking to check the good that will be accomplished here.”18LtMs, Ms 69, 1903, par. 24

    Mistakes have been made at Healdsburg, but the brethren need not feel discouraged. The Lord may have permitted us to make these mistakes to put us on our guard in the future, that we may be kept from making greater mistakes. Let us look at these things in a rational light. It is not as if we had not been making aggressive efforts or had had no opposition. Our people are not half awake to the fact that the enemy with whom we have to contend is a keen, intelligent, eloquent being who works in every conceivable way to hinder the advancement of God’s work. We must rid our minds of the idea that we may move smoothly along, meeting no hindrances. The enemy works against every effort put forth to advance the cause of God.18LtMs, Ms 69, 1903, par. 25

    You have begun in the right way. Students must have outdoor labor, that their muscles may be kept in a healthy condition, that the brain may be kept clear. The health of the brain depends on the health of the other parts of the human machinery. You need not be discouraged because there has been a loss in the industrial departments. This experience may save you from a larger loss in the future. Industrial work is a great help and blessing to the students.18LtMs, Ms 69, 1903, par. 26

    M. E. Cady: As far as I am concerned personally, I am not at all discouraged. My only fear has been that, because there have been losses, some might be inclined to give up the industrial work.18LtMs, Ms 69, 1903, par. 27

    Mrs. E. G. White: This work should not be given up. This is one point that I wished to emphasize this morning.18LtMs, Ms 69, 1903, par. 28

    M. E. Cady: Most of the industrial departments show a loss this year, while in previous years most of them have shown a gain. One reason for this is that this year we have depreciated the property. In past years this was not done. The depreciation that has been placed on the property this year should have been divided among several years.18LtMs, Ms 69, 1903, par. 29

    We have started these industrial departments, but they do not show the gain that we would like them to show. Some of the brethren feel that these departments ought to sustain themselves and ought to make a little profit; and because they do not, there is a tendency to advocate that they be abandoned and that other industries be brought in that can be made to pay. I think that a great deal of study and wise counsel is necessary in order to make changes without suffering loss.18LtMs, Ms 69, 1903, par. 30

    In our meeting yesterday, some of our brethren said that they thought that our schools would come to the place—and perhaps they may—where they will be self-sustaining. Others said that this never could be, that these institutions could never be entirely self-sustaining, but that they would have to be assisted by the gifts of those of our people who are interested in their work. These differences of opinion might lead us to take steps that would undo the work that has been done.18LtMs, Ms 69, 1903, par. 31

    Mrs. E. G. White: Let us do the best we can, and then say, “Lord, we leave with Thee what we have done.” If we will work in faith, our hope and courage will increase. But we cannot expect faith unless we work in faith. We do not realize the craftiness and the power of the enemy that we must meet in conflict. Satan and his hosts are all around us. Before the end they will come as angels of light, and also as men. God’s servants must stand by their colors and have firm faith in Him.18LtMs, Ms 69, 1903, par. 32

    M. E. Cady: I am very thankful for the encouraging words to which we have listened this morning. They are a great help to me.18LtMs, Ms 69, 1903, par. 33

    Mrs. E. G. White: My brethren, you may expect difficulties and hindrance. They will surely come. But do not keep your eyes fixed on discouragement. If you do, you will find more and more to discourage you. Take your eyes off discouragement, and “arise and build.” [Nehemiah 2:20.] Let the building go up, and let the cause advance.18LtMs, Ms 69, 1903, par. 34

    M. E. Cady: There have been in the industrial work greater losses than I anticipated; nevertheless, I feel that we have before us in our school work some of the brightest prospects that we have ever had.18LtMs, Ms 69, 1903, par. 35

    Mrs. E. G. White: The influence for good that the manual training work has exerted over the students overbalances the financial loss and would overbalance it were it ten times as large as it is. How many souls this work has helped to save, you will never know till the day of judgment. Satan finds some mischief still for idle hands to do. But when students are kept busy in useful labor, the Lord has opportunity to work with them.18LtMs, Ms 69, 1903, par. 36

    My brethren, let us labor on in the simplicity of godliness. Let us accept the Saviour’s invitation, “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30.]18LtMs, Ms 69, 1903, par. 37

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