This devotional first appeared in https://www.revivalandreformation.org
Indeed heaven and the highest heavens belong to the Lord your God, also the earth with all that is in it. Deuteronomy 10:14, NKJV.
In itself the beauty of nature leads the soul away from sin and worldly attractions, and toward purity, peace, and God. For this reason the cultivation of the soil is good work for children and youth. It brings them into direct contact with nature and nature’s God. And that they may have this advantage, there should be, as far as possible, in connection with our schools, large flower gardens and extensive lands for cultivation.–Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 186, 187.
In the school that is started here in Cooranbong [Australia], we look to see real success in agricultural lines, combined with the study of the sciences. We mean for this place to be a center, from which shall radiate light, precious advanced knowledge that shall result in the working of unimproved lands, so that hills and valleys shall blossom as the rose. For both children and adults, labor combined with mental taxation will give the right kind of all-round education. The cultivation of the mind will bring tact and fresh incentive to the cultivation of the soil.–Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 244.
The school has made an excellent beginning. The students are learning how to plant trees, strawberries, etc.; how they must keep every spangle and fiber of the roots uncramped in order to give them a chance to grow. Is not this a most precious lesson as to how to treat the human mind, and the body as well–not to cramp any of the organs of the body, but to give them ample room to do their work? …
We should work the soil cheerfully, hopefully, gratefully, believing that the earth holds in its bosom rich stores for the faithful worker to garner, richer than gold or silver…. With proper, intelligent cultivation the earth will yield its treasures for the benefit of humanity….
The cultivation of our land requires the exercise of all the brainpower and tact we possess. The lands around us testify to the indolence of human beings. We hope to arouse to action the dormant senses. We hope to see intelligent farmers who will be rewarded for their earnest labor. The hand and heart must cooperate, bringing new and sensible plans into operation in the cultivation of the soil.–Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 242-244.