On Teaching the Seventh Commandment

Sunday School teachers sometimes find it difficult to teach the children the seventh commandment, "Thou shalt not commit adultery." Illustrations are frequently used of the adulteration of food or other products to show that an attempt to mix the genuine and the counterfeit results in impurity. Such illustrations are clear and helpful only when they are explained in their application to human experience, or as they help the child to preserve the purity of his thought and the integrity of his actions as indicated in the Lord's Prayer, "Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven."

In using an illustration of this kind the teacher might point out that just as a counterfeit element in a package of food has no relation to the food itself and results in an adulteration which should be avoided, so suggestions that would tempt one to violate any of the Commandments bear no relation to genuine thinking and if accepted result in an impure mentality which leads to disappointment, difficulty, sorrow, and failure. Also he might point out that as the pure food laws afford protection from contaminated food, so the law of God is a safeguard against impure thinking and its consequences.

Children should early learn that only thoughts which are good and true belong to real consciousness, for Mind is God. Genuine consciousness is without a single element of impurity. It is apparent then that whatever presents itself in the guise of thought but is unlovely or ungodlike is counterfeit thinking, merely suggestion or false belief, and is forbidden by divine law because it opposes man's true selfhood. Obviously, we cannot put a weight on one side of the scale, without affecting the other. Therefore children should understand that if they accept the counterfeit into thought, they lessen the balance on the side of the genuine, and consequently lose in that which makes for lasting happiness and true success.

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Testimony of Healing
So wrote our Leader, Mary Baker Eddy...
August 20, 1949

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