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Healthful Living

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    Results of Impure Habits

    939. Moral pollution has done more than any other evil to cause the race to degenerate.... It brings on disease of almost every description.—Testimonies for the Church 2:391.HL 219.5

    940. Industry does not weary and exhaust one fifth part as much as the pernicious habit of self-abuse.—Testimonies for the Church 2:349.HL 219.6

    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.—A Solemn Appeal, 58.HL 220.1

    Physical Effects

    942. The sensitive nerves of the brain have lost their healthy tone by morbid excitation to gratify an unnatural desire for sensual indulgence.—Testimonies for the Church 2:347.HL 220.2

    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?—A Solemn Appeal, 49.HL 220.3

    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.—Testimonies for the Church 2:402.HL 220.4

    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.—A Solemn Appeal, 57.HL 221.1

    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.—A Solemn Appeal, 63, 64.HL 221.2

    Mental Effects

    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?—A Solemn Appeal, 50.HL 221.3

    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.—A Solemn Appeal, 50.HL 222.1

    Moral Effects

    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.—A Solemn Appeal, 53.HL 222.2

    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.”—Unpublished Testimonies, January 11, 1897.HL 223.1

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