Home Instruction in Voice Culture: Instruction in vocal culture should be given in the home. Parents should teach their children to speak so plainly that the listeners can understand every word. They should teach them to read the Bible with clear, distinct utterance in a way that will honor God. And let not those who kneel around the family altar put their faces in their hands close down to the chair when they address God. Let them lift up their heads and with holy awe speak to their heavenly Father, uttering their words in tones that can be heard.
Parents, train yourselves to speak in a way that will be a
blessing to your children. Women need to be educated in this
respect. Even the busy mothers, if they will, can cultivate the
talent of speech and can teach their children to read and speak
correctly. They can do this while they go about their work. It
is never too late for us to improve. God calls upon parents to
bring all the perfection possible into the home circle.
Musical Voices: Those who open the oracles of God to
the people should improve in their manner of communicating
the truth, that it may be presented to the world in an acceptable
way. Place proper emphasis upon the words that should
be made impressive. Speak slowly. Let the voice be as musical
God desires His ministers to seek for perfection, that they
may be vessels unto honor. They are to be controlled by the
Holy Spirit; and when they speak, they are to show an energy
proportionate to the importance of the subject they are presenting.
They are to show that the power about which they
speak has made a change in their lives. When they are truly
united with Christ, they will give the heavenly invitation with
an earnestness that will impress hearts. As they manifest zeal
in proclaiming the gospel message, a corresponding earnestness
will be produced in the hearers, and lasting impressions
for good will be made.
Truth as Manna From Heaven: The truth should be spoken
clearly, slowly, forcibly, that it may impress the hearer.
When the truth in any line is presented it is essential for it to
be understood, that all its precious food, the bread of life, the
manna from heaven, may be received.
Destruction of Body Organs: Many who might be useful
men are using up their vital force and destroying their lungs and vocal organs by their manner of speaking. Some ministers
have acquired a habit of hurriedly rattling off what they
have to say, as though they had a lesson to repeat, and were
hastening through it as fast as possible. This is not the best
manner of speaking. By using proper care, every minister
can educate himself to speak distinctly and impressively, not
to hurriedly crowd the words together without taking time
to breathe. He should speak in a moderate manner, that the
people may get the ideas fixed in their minds as he passes
along. But when the matter is rushed through so rapidly, the
people cannot get the points in their minds, and they do not
have time to receive the impression that it is important for
them to have; nor is there time for the truth to affect them as
it otherwise would.
Danger of Excitable Speech: When some attempt to
speak calmly, without excitement and excessive gesticulation,
they become embarrassed, and feel a lack of freedom,
because they are restraining themselves from following their
old habits. But let all such feelings, which are mere excitement,
go to the four winds. That freedom of feeling that would
result in your committing suicide is not sanctified.
Passion of Delivery No Evidence of God’s Power: The
voice should be cultivated so as to promote its musical quality,
that it may fall pleasantly upon the ear and impress the
heart. . . .
The Lord requires the human agent not to move by impulse
in speaking, but to move calmly, speak slowly, and let
the Holy Spirit give efficiency to the truth. Never think that in
working yourselves up to a passion of delivery, speaking by
impulse, and suffering your feelings to raise your voice to an
unnaturally high key, that you are giving evidence of the great
power of God upon you. . . .
Your influence is to be far reaching, and your powers of
speech should be under the control of reason. When you
strain the organs of speech, the modulations of the voice
are lost. The tendency to rapid speaking should be decidedly
overcome. God claims of the human instrumentality all the
service that man can give.
This article is excerpted from the book The Voice in Speech and
Song, pp. 183-186, by Ellen G. White.