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Child Guidance

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    Section 16—Preserving Moral Integrity

    Chapter 68—Prevalence of Corrupting Vices

    An Age of Abounding Iniquity—We live amid the perils of the last days. Because iniquity abounds, the love of many waxes cold. The word “many” refers to the professed followers of Christ. They are affected by the prevailing iniquity and backslide from God, but it is not necessary that they should be thus affected. The cause of this declension is that they do not stand clear from this iniquity. The fact that their love of God is waxing cold because iniquity abounds shows that they are, in some sense, partakers in this iniquity, or it would not affect their love for God and their zeal and fervor in this cause.1Testimonies For The Church 2:346.CG 439.1

    Influence of Debasing Books and Pictures—Many of the young are eager for books. They read everything they can obtain. Exciting love stories and impure pictures have a corrupting influence. Novels are eagerly perused by many; and, as the result, their imagination becomes defiled. In the cars photographs of females in a state of nudity are frequently circulated for sale. These disgusting pictures are also found in daguerrean saloons [photo shops] and are hung upon the walls of those who deal in engravings. This is an age when corruption is teeming everywhere. The lust of the eye and corrupt passions are aroused by beholding and by reading. The heart is corrupted through the imagination. The mind takes pleasure in contemplating scenes which awaken the lower and baser passions. These vile images, seen through defiled imagination, corrupt the morals and prepare the deluded, infatuated beings to give loose rein to lustful passions. Then follow sins and crimes which drag beings formed in the image of God down to a level with the beasts, sinking them at last in perdition.2Testimonies For The Church 2:410.CG 439.2

    Licentiousness the Special Sin—A terrible picture of the condition of the world has been presented before me. Immorality abounds everywhere. Licentiousness is the special sin of this age. Never did vice lift its deformed head with such boldness as now. The people seem to be benumbed, and the lovers of virtue and true goodness are nearly discouraged by its boldness, strength, and prevalence.3Testimonies For The Church 2:346.CG 440.1

    I was referred to Romans 1:18-32, as a true description of the world previous to the second appearing of Christ.4An Appeal to Mothers, 27.CG 440.2

    It is sin, not trial and suffering, which separates God from His people and renders the soul incapable of enjoying and glorifying Him. It is sin that is destroying souls. Sin and vice exist in Sabbathkeeping families.5Testimonies For The Church 2:390, 391.CG 440.3

    Satan's Attack on Youth—It is the special work of Satan in these last days to take possession of the minds of youth, to corrupt the thoughts and inflame the passions; for he knows that by so doing he can lead to impure actions, and thus all the noble faculties of the mind will become debased, and he can control them to suit his own purposes.6Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 136.CG 440.4

    An Index to the Future of Society—The youth of today are a sure index to the future of society; and as we view them, what can we hope for that future? The majority are fond of amusement and averse to work.... They have but little self-control and become excited and angry on the slightest occasion. Very many in every age and station of life are without principle or conscience; and with their idle, spendthrift habits they are rushing into vice and are corrupting society, until our world is becoming a second Sodom. If the appetites and passions were under the control of reason and religion, society would present a widely different aspect. God never designed that the present woeful condition of things should exist; it has been brought about through the gross violation of nature's laws.7Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 45.CG 440.5

    The Problems of Self-abuse—Some who make a high profession do not understand the sin of self-abuse and its sure results. Long-established habit has blinded their understanding. They do not realize the exceeding sinfulness of this degrading sin.8Testimonies For The Church 2:347.CG 441.1

    Youth and children of both sexes engage in moral pollution and practice this disgusting, soul-and-body- destroying vice. Many professed Christians are so benumbed by the same practice that their moral sensibilities cannot be aroused to understand that it is sin, and that if continued its sure results will be utter shipwreck of body and mind. Man, the noblest being upon the earth, formed in the image of God, transforms himself into a beast! He makes himself gross and corrupt. Every Christian will have to learn to restrain his passions and be controlled by principle. Unless he does this, he is unworthy of the Christian name.9Ibid.CG 441.2

    Moral pollution has done more than every other evil to cause the race to degenerate. It is practiced 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 a habit is established which increases with their growth.10Testimonies For The Church 2:391.CG 441.3

    Lustful Propensities Are Inherited—Parents do not generally suspect that their children understand anything about this vice. In very many cases the parents are the real sinners. They have abused their marriage privileges and by indulgence have strengthened their animal passions. And as these have strengthened, the moral and intellectual faculties have become weak. The spiritual has been overborne by the brutish. Children are born with the animal propensities largely developed, the parents’ own stamp of character having been given to them.... Children born to these parents will almost invariably take naturally to the disgusting habits of secret vice.... The sins of the parents will be visited upon their children, because the parents have given them the stamp of their own lustful propensities.11Ibid.CG 442.1

    A Bewitching Slavery—I have felt deeply as I have seen the powerful influence of animal passions in controlling men and women of no ordinary intelligence and ability. They would be capable of engaging in a good work, of exerting a powerful influence, were they not enslaved by base passions. My confidence in humanity has been terribly shaken.CG 442.2

    I have been shown that persons of apparently good deportment, not taking unwarrantable liberties with the other sex, were guilty of practicing secret vice nearly every day of their lives. They have not refrained from this terrible sin even while most solemn meetings have been in session. They have listened to the most solemn, impressive discourses upon the judgment, which seemed to bring them before the tribunal of God, causing them to fear and quake; yet hardly an hour would elapse before they would be engaged in their favorite, bewitching sin, polluting their own bodies. They were such slaves to this awful crime that they seemed devoid of power to control their passions. We have labored for some earnestly, we have entreated, we have wept and prayed over them; yet we have known that right amid all our earnest effort and distress, the force of sinful habit has obtained the mastery, and these sins have been committed.12Testimonies For The Church 2:468, 469.CG 442.3

    Knowledge of Vice Is Spread by Its Victims—Those who have become fully established in this soul-and-body-destroying vice can seldom rest until their burden of secret evil is imparted to those with whom they associate. Curiosity is at once aroused, and the knowledge of vice is passed from youth to youth, from child to child, until there is scarcely one to be found ignorant of the practice of this degrading sin.13Testimonies For The Church 2:392.CG 443.1

    One corrupt mind can sow more evil seed in a short period of time than many can root out in a whole lifetime.14Testimonies For The Church 2:403.CG 443.2

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