Voice in Speech and Song
Health Principles -- The proper use of the vocal organs will bring benefit to the physical health and increase the usefulness and influence [of Christ's followers]. It is through falling into bad habits of speech that people become tedious readers and speakers, but those who are looked upon as intelligent enough to become missionary workers or to transact business ought to have intelligence enough to reform in their manner of speaking. By judicious exercise they may expand the chest and strengthen the muscles. By giving heed to proper instruction, by following health principles in regard to the expansion of the lungs and the culture of the voice, our young men and women may become speakers who can be heard; and the exercise necessary for this accomplishment will prolong life.-- CT 247.

Deep Breathing -- If those who have defects in their manner of utterance will submit to criticism and correction, they may overcome these defects. They should perseveringly practise speaking in a low, distinct tone, exercising the abdominal muscles in deep breathing, and making the throat the channel


of communication. Many speak in a rapid way, and in a high, unnatural key. Such a practise will injure the throat and lungs. As a result of continual abuse, the weak, inflamed organs will become diseased, and consumption [tuberculosis] may result.-- CT 239.

Right Use of Abdominal Muscles -- Voice culture is a subject that has much to do with the health of students. The youth should be taught how to breathe properly, and how to read in such a way that no unnatural strain shall come on the throat and lungs, but that the work shall be shared by the abdominal muscles. Speaking from the throat, letting the sound come from the upper part of the vocal organs, impairs the health of these organs and decreases their efficiency. The abdominal muscles are to do the heaviest part of the labour, the throat being used as a channel. Many have died who might have lived had they been taught how to use the voice correctly. The right use of the abdominal muscles in reading and speaking will prove a remedy for many voice and chest difficulties, and the means of prolonging life.-- CT 297.

Preservation of Strength in Prayer -- I saw that some of our ministers do not understand how to preserve their strength so as to be able to perform the greatest amount of labour without exhaustion. Ministers should not pray so loud and long as to exhaust their strength. It is not necessary to weary the throat and lungs in prayer. God's ear is ever


open to hear the heartfelt petitions of His humble servants, and He does not require them to wear out the organs of speech in addressing Him. It is the perfect trust, the firm reliance, the steady claiming of the promises of God, the simple faith that He is, and that He is a rewarder of all those who diligently seek Him, that prevails with God.-- 1T 645.

Influence of Right Teaching -- Our institutions of learning should be provided with every facility for instruction regarding the mechanism of the human system. Students should be taught how to breathe, how to read and speak so that the strain will not come on the throat and lungs, but on the abdominal muscles. Teachers need to educate themselves in this direction. Our students should have a thorough training, that they may enter upon active life with an intelligent knowledge of the habitation which God has given them. Teach them that they must be learners as long as they live. And while you are teaching them, remember that they will teach others. Your lesson will be repeated for the benefit of many more than sit before you day by day.-- FE 147,148.

Overexertion of Vocal Organs -- Long and violent exercise of the vocal organs has irritated his [Brother D's] throat and lungs, and injured his general health, more than his precise round of rules for eating and resting have benefited him. One overexertion or strain of the vocal organs may not soon be recovered from, and may cost the life of the


speaker. A calm, unhurried, yet earnest, manner of speaking, will have a better influence upon a congregation than to let the feelings become excited and control the voice and manners. As far as possible the speaker should preserve the natural tones of the voice. It is the truth presented that affects the heart. If the speaker makes these truths a reality, he will, with the aid of the Spirit of God, be able to impress the hearers with the fact that he is in earnest, without straining the fine organs of the throat or the lungs.-- 2T 672.

Channel for the Voice -- Brother A, your love for reading and your dislike for physical taxation, while talking and exercising your throat, make you liable to disease of the throat and lungs. You should be guarded and should not speak hurriedly, rattling off what you have to say as though you had a lesson to repeat. You should not let the labour come upon the upper portion of the vocal organs, for this will constantly wear and irritate them, and will lay the foundation for disease. The action should come upon the abdominal muscles. The lungs and throat should be the channel, but should not do all the work.-- 3T 311.

Exercise After Eating -- There are men and women of excellent natural ability who do not accomplish half what they might if they would exercise self-control in the denial of appetite.

Many writers and speakers fail here. After eating heartily, they give themselves to sedentary occupations,


reading, study, or writing, allowing no time for physical exercise. As a consequence the free flow of thought and words is checked. They cannot write or speak with the force and intensity necessary in order to reach the heart; their efforts are tame and fruitless.-- MH 308, 309.

Help for Patients -- Plans should be devised for keeping patients out of doors. For those who are able to work, let some pleasant, easy employment be provided. Show them how agreeable and helpful this outdoor work is. Encourage them to breathe the fresh air. Teach them to breathe deeply, and in breathing and speaking to exercise the abdominal muscles.-- MH 264, 265.

Correct Speaking a Healthful Exercise -- The exercise of the voice in speaking is a healthful exercise. Teach and live carefully. Hold firmly to the position that all, even our leading men, need to exercise good common sense in the care of their health, securing equal taxation of the body and the brain.-- MM 264, 265.

Right Use of the Vocal Organs -- Careful attention and training should be given to the vocal organs. They are strengthened by right use, but become enfeebled if used improperly. Their excessive use, as in preaching long sermons, will, if often repeated, not only injure the organs of speech, but will bring an undue strain upon the whole nervous system. The delicate harp of a thousand strings becomes


worn, gets out of repair, and produces discord instead of melody.

It is important for every speaker so to train the vocal organs as to keep them in a healthful condition, that he may speak forth the words of life to the people. Everyone should become intelligent as to the most effective manner of using his God-given ability, and should practise what he learns. It is not necessary to talk in a loud voice or upon a high key; this does great injury to the speaker. Rapid talking destroys much of the effect of a discourse; for the words cannot be made so plain and distinct as if spoken more deliberately, giving the hearer time to take in the meaning of every word.-- Ev 667.

Preservation of Life -- When a speaker talks in the proper way, taking deep, full inspirations, and throwing out the voice in clear, distinct tones, the whole being is benefited. The exercise of my lungs in deep breathing, as I have engaged in public speaking, has been a life-preserver to me.

Care is always to be taken not to strain the vocal organs. They are to be kept as smooth as possible. When you are speaking before a congregation, let the abdominal muscles have the hardest part of the work to do. The light given me for you is that you are to do more public speaking, and that you are to be sure, when speaking, to exercise the abdominal muscles. Your brain has been overstrained. Take heed to the things I write you, and you will see that my words are true. As you engage in the work the Lord points out for you,


the Spirit of God will impress minds through the words you speak. The spoken word will make a deeper impression on hearts than the printed word.-- Lt 92, 1910.

Right Voice Culture No Idle Tale -- The human agent must take himself in hand. God has given him physical and spiritual powers, and these need to be constantly cultivated and improved. In a great measure, physical weariness may be avoided by speaking slowly, calmly, unexcitedly.

In speaking, many have made a constant tax upon their vocal organs. The lungs have been injured, and premature death has ended their work. Nature will not always endure the abuse placed upon her laws. They are ignored by many, but eventually she will make her protest, and punish the transgressor. If these workers would but learn that God does not require this overtaxation, and that in overstraining the delicate vital organs and shortening the period of their usefulness, they are dishonouring Him, they would not cultivate habits which are injurious.

The excuse is made, "It is my habit; it is my way, and I cannot overcome it." Will my brethren take heed how they use the organs of speech in the ministration of the Word? They are to follow God's way, and not their own will. Christ has given them no such example in His manner of teaching. His followers are to make strenuous efforts to overcome their habits of long, loud speaking. This greatly injures the melody of the human voice.


God means that those who minister in word and doctrine shall be educators in the correct manner of teaching. They must stand before the people as God's representatives, showing that they appreciate the precious gifts given them of God. They are to use, but not abuse, their organs. They are not to make the blind, foolish excuse, "This is my habit; I cannot overcome these defects." They will not continue to abuse the powers given them of God for the highest cultivation, and by their imperfect habits, detract from the good they might do. The Lord will help all who will determine to overcome these wrong traits when presenting His message to the world.

This matter has been treated too much like an idle tale. It is a most solemn consideration, and should deepen the sense of responsibility upon every man who is a mouthpiece for God, holding forth the word of life to the people. The ministers of God should study to show themselves approved of God in the presentation of sacred truth, workmen that need not to be ashamed.

The truth spoken, whether spoken in a manner to please or displease, will judge the hearer in the great day of final reckoning. It is a savour of life unto life or of death unto death. Under any circumstances the speaker will be criticised by those who turn their ears away from the truth, but every effort should be made to reach the people. The minister is the teacher of sacred, solemn truth, and he should seek for perfection in character, in address, giving as little cause as possible for criticism. Man


is honoured in being a labourer together with God, and he must work in Christ's lines, receiving the truth in its purity from the Word of God, and presenting it in a manner that will commend it to the hearer.-- Ms 4, 1897.

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