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In the olden days, when Jerusalem was to be rebuilt, the prophet, in vision, heard one heavenly messenger saying to another, “Run, speak to this young man.” And so, in these days, the young men and young women of the Advent movement have been given an important part to act in the closing drama of earth’s history.
“The Lord has appointed the youth to be his helping hand.”—Testimonies for the Church 7:64.
“With such an army of workers as our youth, rightly trained, might furnish, how soon the message of a crucified, risen, and soon-coming Saviour might be carried to the whole world!”—“Education,” page 271.
Such messages as these have been coming to the young people of this movement, through the spirit of prophecy, from the very beginning of our work. The Lord’s chosen instrument for the manifestation of this gift, Mrs. Ellen G. White, was a girl of only seventeen when she began her work. She knew the struggles of childhood and youth with the powers of darkness, and she knew the life of victory in Christ. Many messages of instruction, sympathy, reproof, and encouragement have come from her pen, addressed directly to the young people. And these messages, always directing the minds of the youth to Christ and to his word as the only source of strength in building noble Christian manhood and womanhood, have done much to foster the spirit of consecration that has characterized so many of our young people.
It was in 1892 and 1893 that messages were given, suggesting that our young people should be organized into bands and societies for Christian work. From these suggestions has developed the Young People’s Society of Missionary Volunteers, which has proved to be such a lifting and holding power in the lives of the Advent youth all around the world.
While much that Sister White has written for our young people has been published in her books, many articles that appeared in the Youth’s Instructor and in other places have not been preserved in permanent form. These instructions are a precious heritage, and should be in the hands of all our young people of today. The General Conference Missionary Volunteer Department has, therefore, gone over all that she has written in our periodicals from the beginning of her work, and has made selections of matter pertaining to young people and young people’s problems. While it has not always been possible to preserve the entire article, care has been exercised to make such selections as would give clearly the author’s ideas on the subject treated. To make a well-balanced book of instruction, we have also included much material already in book form, but not widely distributed to the young people.
The work of gathering and arranging the articles comprising this volume was entered into unitedly by the Trustees of the Ellen G. White Publications and the Secretaries of the Missionary Volunteer Department. Through the painstaking efforts of the Southern Publishing Association, this counsel is sent forth in this attractive form. It is hoped that the interest of our young people in this book will lead them to a careful study of all the messages that have come to the remnant church through the spirit of prophecy.
It is our most earnest prayer that these messages may be a great strength to the young people of the advent movement all round the world, in perfecting Christian character, and in giving new impetus toward the completion of our great task—“The Advent message to all the world in this generation.
M. E. Kern, Secretary of General Conference Missionary Volunteer Department.