Moral Maladies


923. Immorality abounds everywhere. Licentiousness is the special sin of the age. Never did vice lift its deformed head with such boldness as now.

924. A lethargy of unconscious sensualism, through indulgence of a perverted appetite, a constant submitting of soul and body and spirit to moral defilement, is upon the people.... And these lustful appetites, with their destroying power, have been transmitted from parents to children, and so intensified that the names of those who bear them are recorded in the books of heaven as transgressors of God's law

925. Moral pollution has done more than every other evil to cause the race to degenerate. It is practised to an alarming extent, and brings on disease of almost every description. Even very small children, infants, being born with natural irritability of the sexual organs, find momentary relief in handling them, which only increases the irritation, and leads to a repetition of the act, until as habit is established which increases with their growth. These children, generally puny and dwarfed, are prescribed for by physicians, and drugged; but the evil is not removed. The cause still exists.

926. Many might have been saved if they had been carefully instructed in regard to the influence of this practise upon their health. They were ignorant of the fact that they were bringing much suffering upon themselves.

927. If ever there was a time that the diet should be of the most simple kind, it is now. Meat should not be placed before our children. Its influence is to excite and strengthen the lower passions, and has a tendency to deaden the moral powers.... The less feverish the diet, the more easily can the passions be controlled.

928. You place upon your tables butter, eggs, and meat, and your children partake of them. They are fed with the very things that will excite their animal passions, and then you come to meeting and ask God to bless and save your children.

929. The very food they place before their children is such as to irritate the tender coats of the stomach. This excitement is communicated, through the nerves, to the brain, and the result is that the animal passions are aroused, and control the moral powers.

930. By indulging in a wrong course of eating and  drinking, thousands upon thousands are ruining their health, and not only is their health ruined, but their morals are corrupted, because diseased blood flows through their veins.

931. To relieve the young from healthful labor is the worst possible course a parent can pursue. Their life is then aimless, the mind and hands  unoccupied, the imagination active, and left free to indulge in thoughts that are not pure and healthful. In this condition they are inclined to indulge still more freely in that vice which is the foundation of all their complaints.... Some mothers with their own hands open the door and virtually invite the devil in, by permitting their children to remain in  idleness.

932. Children who are experienced in this vice seem to be bewitched by the devil until they can impart their vile knowledge to others.

933. Neighbors may permit their children to come to your house, to spend the evening and the night with your children. Here is a trial, and a choice for you, to run the risk of offending your neighbors by sending their children to their own homes, or gratify them, and let them lodge with your children, and thus expose them to be instructed in that knowledge which would be a lifelong curse to them.

934. If you are situated so that their intercourse with young associates cannot always be overruled as you would wish to have it, then let them visit your children in your presence, and in no case allow these associates to lodge in the same bed, or even in the same room. It will be far easier to prevent an evil than to cure it afterward.

935. Mothers, it is a crime for you to allow yourselves to remain in ignorance in regard to the habits of your children. If they are pure, keep them so. Fortify their young minds, and prepare them to detest this health-and-soul-destroying vice. Shield them from becoming contaminated by associating with every young companion.

936. The less feverish the diet, the more easily can the passions be controlled.

937. Give your children physical labor, which will call into exercise the nerves and the muscles. The weariness attending such labor will lessen their inclination to indulge in vicious habits. Idleness is a curse. It produces licentious habits.

938. Active employment will give but little time to invite Satan's temptations. They may be often weary, but this will not injure them. Nature will restore their vigor and strength in their sleeping hours, if her laws are not violated. And the thoroughly tired person has less inclination for secret indulgence.

939. Moral pollution has done more than any other evil to cause the race to degenerate.... It brings on disease of almost every description.

940. Industry does not weary and exhaust one fifth part as much as the pernicious habit of self-abuse.

941. Secret indulgence is, in many cases, the only real cause of the numerous complaints of the young. This vice is laying waste the vital forces and  debilitating the system; and until the habit which produced the result is broken off, there can be no permanent cure.

942. The sensitive nerves of the brain have lost their healthy tone by morbid excitation to gratify an unnatural desire for sensual indulgence.

943. Let us view the results of this vice upon the physical strength. Have you not marked the lack of healthy beauty, of strength and power of endurance, in your dear children? Have you not felt saddened as you watched the progress of disease upon them, which has baffled your skill and that of physicians? You listen to numerous complaints of headache, catarrh, dizziness, nervousness, pain in the shoulders and side, loss of appetite, pain in the back and limbs, wakeful, feverish nights, tired feelings in the morning, and great exhaustion after exercising. As you have seen the beauty of health disappearing, and have marked the sallow countenance or the unnaturally flushed face, have you been aroused sufficiently to look beneath the surface, to inquire into the cause of this physical decay? Have you observed the astonishing mortality among the youth?

944. In those who indulge in this corrupting vice before attaining their growth, the evil effects are more plainly marked, and recovery from its effects is more nearly hopeless. The frame is weak and stunted, the muscles are flabby; the eyes become small, and appear at times swollen; the memory is treacherous, and becomes sieve-like; and the inability to concentrate the thoughts upon study increases.

945. The young indulge to quite an extent in this vice before the age of puberty, without experiencing at the time, to any very great degree, the evil results upon the constitution. But at this critical period, while merging into manhood and womanhood, nature makes them feel the previous violation of her laws.

946. Many sink into an early grave, while others have sufficient force of constitution to pass this ordeal. If the practise is continued from the age of fifteen and upwards, nature will protest against the abuse she has suffered and continues to suffer, and will make them pay the penalty of the transgression of her laws, especially from the ages of thirty to forty-five, by numerous pains in the system, and various diseases, such as affection of the liver and lungs, neuralgia, rheumatism, affection of the spine, diseased kidneys, and cancerous humors. . . . There is often a sudden breaking down of the constitution; and death is the result.

947. Have you not noticed that there was a deficiency in the mental health of your children? that their course seemed to be marked with extremes? that they were absent-minded? that they started nervously when spoken to, and were easily irritated? Have you not noticed that, when occupied upon a piece of work, they would look dreamingly, as though the mind was elsewhere? And when they came to their senses, they were unwilling to own the work as coming from their hands, it was so full of mistakes, and showed such marks of inattention. Have you not been astonished at their wonderful forgetfulness? The most simple and oft-repeated directions would often be forgotten. They might be quick to learn, but it would be of no special benefit to them; the mind would not retain it. What they might learn through hard study, when they would use their knowledge, is missing, lost through their sieve-like memories. Have you not noticed their reluctance to engage in active labor, and their unwillingness to perseveringly accomplish that which they have undertaken, which taxes the mental as well as the physical strength?

948. Have you not witnessed the gloomy sadness upon the countenance, and frequent exhibitions of a morose temper in those who once were cheerful, kind, and affectionate? They are easily excited to jealousy, disposed to look upon the dark side, and when you are laboring for their good, imagine that you are their enemy, that you needlessly reprove and restrain them.

949. And have you inquired, Where will all this end? as you have looked upon your children from a moral point of view? Have you not noticed the increase of disobedience in your children, and their manifestations of ingratitude and impatience under restraint? Have you not been alarmed at their disregard of parental authority, which has bowed down the heart of their parents with grief, and prematurely sprinkled their heads with gray hair? Have you not witnessed the lack of that noble frankness in your children which they once possessed, and which you admired in them? Some children even express in their countenances a hardened look of depravity. Have you not felt distressed and anxious as you have seen the strong desire in your children to be with the other sex, and their overpowering disposition to form attachments when quite young?... Mothers, the great cause of these physical, mental, and moral evils is secret vice, which inflames the passions, fevers the imagination, and leads to fornication and adultery. This vice is laying waste the constitution of very many, and preparing them for diseases of almost every description.

950. Upon their very countenances is imprinted the sin of Sodom. A continuance of these sins will bring the sure and terrible results. They will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy. They will receive the sentence, "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still."

 

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