Manual Training


605. If all our workers were so situated that they could spend a few hours each day in outdoor labor and feel free to do this, it would be a blessing to them; they would be able to discharge more successfully the duties of their calling.

606. Manual occupation for the youth is essential. . . . The proper exercise of mind and body will develop and strengthen all the powers. Both mind and body will be preserved, and will be capable of doing a variety of work. Ministers and teachers need to learn in regard to these things, and they need to practise as well.

607. The people of this country have so little appreciation of the importance of industrious habits that the children are not educated to do real, earnest work. This must be a part of the education given to the youth. . . . We need schools to educate children and youth that they may be masters of labor, and not slaves of labor. Ignorance and idleness will not elevate one member of the human family. Ignorance will not lighten the lot of the hard toiler. Let the worker see what advantage he may gain in the humblest occupation, by using the ability God has given him as an endowment. Thus he can become an educator, teaching others the art of doing work intelligently. . . . The Lord wants the physical strength; and you can reveal your love for him by the right use of your physical powers, doing the very work which needs to be done...... There is science in the humblest kind of work, and if all would thus regard it, they would see nobility in labor. . . . Let the educated ability be employed in devising improved methods of work. This is just what the Lord wants. There is honor in any class of work that is essential to be done. Let the law of God be made the standard of action, and it ennobles and sanctifies all labor. . . . We are not to be dwarfed in any kind of service for God. Whatever he has lent us is to be used intelligently for him. The man who exercises his faculties will surely strengthen them; but he must seek to do his best. There is need of intelligence and educated ability to devise the best methods in farming, in building, and in every other department, that the worker may not labor in vain.

608 Your means could not be used to better advantage than in providing a work-shop furnished with tools for your boys, and equal facilities for your girls. They can be taught to love labor.

609. Agriculture will open resources for self-support, and various other trades also could be learned. This real, earnest work calls for a strength of intellect as well as of muscle. Method and tact are required even to raise fruits and vegetables successfully. And habits of industry will be found an important aid to the youth in resisting temptation. Here is opened a field to give vent to their pent-up energies, that, if not expended in useful employment, will be a continual source of trial to themselves and to their teachers. Many kinds of labor adapted to different persons may be devised. But the working of the land will be a special blessing to the worker. . . . This knowledge will not be a hindrance to the education essential for business or for usefulness in any line. To develop the capacity of the soil requires thought and intelligence.

610. Agriculture should be advanced by scientific knowledge.

611. Students sent to school to prepare to become evangelists, ministers, and missionaries to foreign countries, have received the idea that amusements are essential to keep them in physical health, when the Lord has presented it before them that the better way is to embrace in their education manual labor in place of amusement. . . . The education to be obtained in felling trees, tilling the soil, as well as in literature, is the education our youth should seek to obtain. Farther on printing-presses should be connected with our schools. Tent making also should be taken hold of. Buildings should be erected, and masonry should be learned.
There are also many things which the lady students may engage in. There is cooking, dressmaking and gardening to be done. Strawberries should be planted, and plants and flowers cultivated.
Bookbinding also and a variety of trades should be taken up. Thus the student will be putting into exercise bone, brain, and muscle, and will also be gaining knowledge. The greatest curse of our schools is idleness. It leads to amusements merely to please and gratify self. The students have had a superabundance of this way of passing their time. They are not prepared to go forth from the school with an all-round education.
The proper cooking of food is a most essential requirement. Something must be prepared to take the place of meat and so well prepared that meat will not be desired. Culture on all points of life will make the youth useful after they shall leave the school to go to foreign countries. They will not then have to depend upon the people to whom they go to cook and sew for them, or to build their habitations; and they will have much more influence if they show that they know how to do work by the best methods and to produce the best results. This will be appreciated where means are difficult to obtain. Missionaries can thus teach others how to labor. A much smaller fund will be required to sustain such missionaries, and wherever they may go, all that they have gained in this line will give them standing.
It is also essential to understand the philosophy of medical missionary work. Wherever the students may go, they need education in the science of how to treat the sick. This will give them a welcome in any place because there is suffering of every kind in every part of the world. Education, true education, means much.

 

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