Messages to Youth on Objectives in Reading - Pt. 2
Oh, that the young would reflect upon the influence which exciting stories have upon the mind! Can you, after such reading, open the word of God and read the words of life with interest? Do you not find the book of God uninteresting? The charm of that love story is upon the mind, destroying its healthy tone and making it impossible for you to fix your mind upon the important, solemn truths which concern your eternal interest. You sin against your parents in devoting to such a poor purpose the time which belongs to them, and you sin against God in thus using the time which should be spent in devotion to Him.
Children, I have a message for you. You are now deciding your future destiny, and your character building is of that kind which will exclude you from the Paradise of God. . . . How sad it is for Jesus, the world's Redeemer, to look upon a family where the children have no love for God, no respect for the word of God, but are all absorbed in reading storybooks.
The time occupied in this way robs you of a desire to become effective in household duties; it disqualifies you to stand at the head of a family, and if continued it will entangle you more and more closely in Satan's snare. . . . Some of the books you read contain excellent principles, but you read only to get the story. If you would gather from the books you read that which would help you in the formation of your character, your reading would do you some good. But as you take up your books and peruse page after page of them, do you ask yourself, What is my object in reading? Am I seeking to gain substantial knowledge? You cannot build a right character by bringing to the foundation wood, hay, and stubble.