The way of the slothful man is an hedge of thorns: but the way of the righteous is made plain. Proverbs 15:19.
Industry is a blessing to youth. A life of idleness is to be shunned by a young man as a vice. However humble the occupation may be, if only honorable, if the humble duties are done faithfully, he will not lose his reward. Industry is essential to health. If habits of industry were encouraged, a door would be closed against a thousand temptations. Those who lounge away their days, having no aim or object in life, are troubled with dejection and tempted to seek amusement in forbidden indulgences which enervate the system and tax the physical powers tenfold more than the most taxing labor. Indolence destroys more than hard labor. Many die because they have not the ability or inclination to set themselves to work. “Nothing to do” has killed its thousands.
If youth will preserve habits of virtue and strict purity, and observe the laws God has established in the being, they may preserve their lives although required to perform severe labor during their lifetime. Long life is the heritage of diligence.
Some young men think if they could spend a life in doing nothing they would be supremely happy. They cultivate a hatred for useful labor. They envy the sons of pleasure who devote their lives to amusement and gaiety…. Unhappiness and heartaches are the result of such thoughts and conduct. Nothing to do has sunk many a young man in perdition. Well-regulated labor is essential for the success of every youth. God could not have inflicted a greater curse upon men and women than to doom them to live a life of inaction. Idleness will destroy soul and body. The heart, the moral character, and physical energies are enfeebled. The intellect suffers, and the heart is open to temptation as an open avenue to sink into every vice. The indolent man tempts the devil to tempt him….