“The youth of today may be educated for the fulfilment of high and holy purposes. . . . They are pupils in the school of Christ, learning from day to day lessons of the divine Master.
“It is in youth that the affections are most ardent, the memory most retentive, and the heart most susceptible to divine impressions; and it is during youth that the mental and physical powers should be set to the task in order that great improvements may be made in view of the world that now is, and that which is to come.
“The amount of valuable knowledge that can be acquired by young men and young women can hardly be estimated; but to reach a high standard, they must close the door to the debasing thoughts that Satan would thrust into the mind, and refuse to yield to his temptations. The youth may acquire that which gold cannot buy, by cherishing a pure, strong purpose in endeavoring to be all that God designed they should be. The mind should be trained to dwell upon right themes of thought. They should study the Scriptures, and bring into daily life the divine rules which God has laid down for their guidance. He who has grown old in the service of God may find his mind a blank in regard to the things that are happening about him, and recent transactions may soon pass from his memory; but his mind is all awake to the scenes and transactions of his childhood. O that the youth may realize how important it is to keep the mind guarded, pure and clean, from corrupting thoughts, and to preserve the soul from all debasing practices; for the purity or impurity of youth is reflected upon old age.
“The truths of the Bible, received, will uplift the mind from its earthliness and debasement. If the Word of God were appreciated as it should be, both young and old would possess an inward rectitude, a strength of principle, that would enable them to resist temptation. . . .
“Satan still comes with his temptations to the children of men. He employs every means at his command to conceal himself from view, and this is why so many are ignorant of his devices. A few days since, the question was asked me, ‘Do you believe in a personal devil?’ ‘I do,’ was the answer. ‘Well,’ rejoined the questioner, ‘I do not believe that there is any such being; our evil thoughts and impulses are all the devil we know anything about!’ ‘But,’ I asked, ‘who suggests these thoughts? Whence do they originate, if not from Satan?’ . . .
“Just as surely as we have a personal Saviour, we have also a personal adversary, cruel and cunning, who ever watches our steps, and plots to lead us astray. He can work most effectually in disguise. Wherever the opinion is entertained that he does not exist, there he is most busy. When we least suspect his presence, he is gaining advantage over us. I feel alarmed as I see so many of the youth yielding to his power while they know it not. Did they but see their danger, they would flee to Christ, the sinner’s refuge.
“Aim to be faithful students in the school of Christ, learning daily to conform your life to the divine Pattern. Set your faces heavenward, and press toward the mark for the prize of your high calling in Christ Jesus. Run the Christian race with patience, and rise superior to every temptation, however grievous it may be, that shall come to you. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God; and if you are desirous of taking the first upward step, you will find His hand stretched out to help you. It remains with you, individually, as to whether you walk in the light of the Sun of Righteousness, or in the darkness of error. The truth of God can be a blessing to you only as you permit its influence to purify and refine your soul.” (Ellen G. White, Sons and Daughters of God (Washington, DC: Review and Herald, 1955), 78, 79.)