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.
If those who have defects in their manner of
utterance will submit to criticism and correction, they
may overcome these defects. They should perseveringly
practice 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 practice
will injure the throat and lungs. As a result of continual
abuse, the weak, inflamed organs will become diseased,
and consumption [tuberculosis] may result.
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 labor, 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
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 labor 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.
This article is excerpted from the book The Voice in Speech and
Song, pp. 195, 196 by Ellen G. White.