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Mind, Character and Personality, volume 1

Chapter 1

Its Importance

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The Nicest Work.-To deal with minds is the nicest work in which men ever engaged.-Testimonies for the Church 3:269 (1873).

To Know the Laws That Govern Mind and Body.-It is the duty of every person, for his own sake and for the sake of humanity, to inform himself in regard to the laws of life and conscientiously to obey them. All need to become acquainted with that most wonderful of all organisms, the human body. They should understand the functions of the various organs and the dependence of one upon another for the healthy action of all. They should study the influence of the mind upon the body and of the body upon the mind, and the laws by which they are governed.-The Ministry of Healing, 128 (1905).

Train and Discipline the Mind.-No matter who you are ... the Lord has blessed you with intellectual faculties capable of vast improvement. Cultivate your talents with persevering earnestness. Train and discipline the mind by study, by observation, by reflection. You cannot meet the mind of God unless you put to use every power. The mental faculties will strengthen and develop if you will go to work in the fear of God, in humility, and with earnest prayer. A resolute purpose will accomplish wonders.-Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, 275 (1915).

Potential of the Disciplined Mind.-Self-discipline must be practiced.... An ordinary mind, well disciplined, will accomplish more and higher work than will the most highly educated mind and the greatest talents without self-control.-Christ's Object Lessons, 335 (1900).

To Deal With Minds a Paramount Work.-The future of society is indexed by the youth of today. In them we see the future teachers and lawmakers and judges, the leaders and the people, that determine the character and destiny of the nation. How important, then, the mission of those who are to form the habits and influence the lives of the rising generation.

To deal with minds is the greatest work ever committed to men. The time of parents is too valuable to be spent in the gratification of appetite or the pursuit of wealth or fashion. God has placed in their hands the precious youth, not only to be fitted for a place of usefulness in this life but to be prepared for the heavenly courts.-Historical Sketches of the Foreign Missions of the Seventh-day Adventists, 209, 1886. (Temperance, 270.)

Teacher's Usefulness Depends Upon a Trained Mind.-The teacher's usefulness depends not so much upon the actual amount of his acquirements as upon the standard at which he aims. The true teacher is not content with dull thoughts, and indolent mind, or a loose memory. He constantly seeks higher attainments and better methods. His life is one of continual growth. In the work of such a teacher there is a freshness, a quickening power, that awakens and inspires his pupils.-Education, 278 (1903).

He Will Strive for the Highest Mental and Moral Excellence.-To know oneself is a great knowledge. The teacher who rightly estimates himself will let God mold and discipline his mind. And he will acknowledge the source of his power.... Self-knowledge leads to humility and to trust in God, but it does not take the place of efforts for self-improvement. He who realizes his own deficiencies will spare no pains to reach the highest possible standard of physical, mental, and moral excellence. No one should have a part in the training of youth who is satisfied with a lower standard.-Special Testimonies On Education, 50, (Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 67.)

Prepares for Eternity.-In all your work you must do as the husbandman does in laboring for the fruits of the earth. Apparently he throws away the seed; but, buried in the soil, the seed germinates. The power of the living God gives it life and vitality, and there is seen "first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear" (Mark 4:28). Study this wonderful process. Oh, there is so much to learn, so much to understand! If we improve our minds to the utmost of our ability we shall through the eternal ages continue to study the ways and works of God and to know more and more of Him.-Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 252 (1913).

Science of Christianity and the Mind.-There is a science of Christianity to be mastered-a science as much deeper, broader, higher, than any human science as the heavens are higher than the earth. The mind is to be disciplined, educated, trained; for men are to do service for God in ways that are not in harmony with inborn inclination. Often the training and education of a lifetime must be discarded that one may become a learner in the school of Christ. The heart must be educated to become steadfast in God. Old and young are to form habits of thought that will enable them to resist temptation. They must learn to look upward. The principles of the Word of God-principles that are as high as heaven and that compass eternity-are to be understood in their bearing on the daily life. Every act, every word, every thought, is to be in accord with these principles.-Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 20 (1913).

Advancement Only Through Conflict.-No other science is equal to that which develops in the life of the student the character of God. Those who become followers of Christ find that new motives of action are supplied, new thoughts arise, and new actions must result. But they can make advancement only through conflict, for there is an enemy who ever contends against them, presenting temptations to cause the soul to doubt and sin. There are hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil that must be overcome. Appetite and passion must be brought under the control of the Holy Spirit. There is no end to the warfare this side of eternity. But while there are constant battles to fight, there are also precious victories to gain; and the triumph over self and sin is of more value than the mind can estimate.-Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 20 (1913).

The Duty of Every Christian to Develop Mind.- It is the duty of every Christian to acquire habits of order, thoroughness, and dispatch. There is no excuse for slow bungling at work of any character. When one is always at work and the work is never done, it is because mind and heart are not put into the labor. The one who is slow and who works at a disadvantage should realize that these are faults to be corrected. He needs to exercise his mind in planning how to use the time so as to secure the best results. By tact and method, some will accomplish as much in five hours as others do in ten.

Some who are engaged in domestic labor are always at work, not because they have so much to do but because they do not plan so as to save time. By their slow, dilatory ways they make much work out of very little. But all who will may overcome these fussy, lingering habits. In their work let them have a definite aim. Decide how long a time is required for a given task, and then bend every effort toward accomplishing the work in the given time. The exercise of the willpower will make the hands move deftly.-Christ's Object Lessons, 344 (1903).

To Train Every Power of Mind and Body.-God has given to every human being a brain. He desires that it shall be used to His glory.... We have none too much brain power or reasoning faculties. We are to educate and train every power of mind and body-the human mechanism that Christ has bought-in order that we may put it to the best possible use. We are to do all we can to strengthen these powers, for God is pleased to have us become more and still more efficient colaborers with Him.-Sermon at St. Helena Sanitarium, Jan 23, 1904. (Selected Messages 1:100.)

The Cultivated Mind Measures the Man.-Never think that you have learned enough and that you may now relax your efforts. The cultivated mind is the measure of the man. Your education should continue during your lifetime; every day you should be learning and putting to practical use the knowledge gained.-The Ministry of Healing, 499 (1905).

The similarity between an uncultivated field and an untrained mind is striking. Children and youth already have in their minds and hearts corrupt seed, ready to spring up and bear its perverting harvest; and the greatest care and watchfulness are needed in cultivating and storing the mind with precious seeds of Bible truth.-The Review and Herald, November 9, 1886. (HC 202.)

Acquiring Knowledge and Mental Culture.-Upon the right improvement of our time depends our success in acquiring knowledge and mental culture. The cultivation of the intellect need not be prevented by poverty, humble origin, or unfavorable surroundings.... A resolute purpose, persistent industry, and careful economy of time will enable men to acquire knowledge and mental discipline which will qualify them for almost any position of influence and usefulness.-Christ's Object Lessons, 343, 344 (1900).

Understanding Minds of Great Value in Dealing With the Sick.-Great wisdom is needed in dealing with diseases caused through the mind. A sore, sick heart, a discouraged mind, needs mild treatment.... Sympathy and tact will often prove a greater benefit to the sick than will the most skillful treatment given in a cold, indifferent way.-The Ministry of Healing, 244 (1905).

Understanding Minds and Human Nature Aids in Work of Salvation.-Be determined to become as useful and efficient as God calls you to be. Be thorough and faithful in whatever you undertake. Procure ever advantage within your reach for strengthening the intellect. Let the study of books be combined with useful manual labor, and by faithful endeavor, watchfulness, and prayer secure the wisdom that is from above. This will give you an all-round education. Thus you may rise in character, and gain an influence over other minds, enabling you to lead them in the path of uprightness and holiness.-Christ's Object Lessons, 334 (1900).

Mechanics, lawyers, merchants, men of all trades and professions, educate themselves that they may become masters of their business. Should the followers of Christ be less intelligent, and while professedly engaged in His service be ignorant of the ways and means to be employed? The enterprise of gaining everlasting life is above every earthly consideration. In order to lead souls to Jesus there must be a knowledge of human nature and a study of the human mind. Much careful thought and fervent prayer are required to know how to approach men and women upon the great subject of truth.-Testimonies for the Church 4:67 (1876).

Cultivated Powers Increase Demand for Our Services.-Through lack of determination to take themselves in hand and reform, persons can become stereo-typed in a wrong course of action; or by cultivating their powers they may acquire ability to do the very best of service. Then they will find themselves in demand anywhere and everywhere. They will be appreciated for all that they are worth.-Christ's Object Lessons, 344 (1900).

We May Attain Almost the Excellence of Angels.-The Lord has given man capacity for continual improvement, and has granted him all possible aid in the work. Through the provisions of divine grace we may attain almost to the excellence of the angels.-The Review and Herald, June 20, 1882. (HC 218.)