Ethics for Young Girls
Young Woman’s Journal, 1900-1901
Lesson 14: Punctuality
There is no qualification that recommends one person to another more strongly than that of punctuality. An appointment has been made for a definite time. Miss King is on time and waits and waits for Mrs. Late. the first person has nothing to do but to occupy her mind with her friend whom she expects. One can scarcely think sweet things of the person who is late, and Miss King thinks of the numerous occasions where much of her precious time has been wasted waiting for Mrs. Late. In the course of a half hour or an hour, Mrs. Late arrives, finding Miss King somewhat impatient. The same old excuses are given. Baby had an accident just as she was ready to start, or a visitor called and took so much of her time that she was behind time. Was it just for Mrs. Late to steal an hour of her friend’s time?
A young girl who had acquired the habit of being punctual moved to a new ward where the Young Ladies’ Association should begin at seven o’clock. She was on time but the door was locked, and no light was within. Thinking there must be a change of time, or that there was to be no meeting that evening, she called upon a friend. “I just went to the meeting house. Is there no meeting tonight?” “Oh, yes, but they never begin until nearly eight.” Think of it! A Young Ladies’ meeting programmed for seven and not beginning until eight!
A speaker once said that angels of the Lord are sent to bear record of the meetings. They go at the appointed time but are so busy they cannot waste their time waiting, so they leave to attend to other meetings; and the first meeting loses the presence of angels it might have had, if it had begun on time.
It is not uncommon to hear the remark, “Well, they never begin on time, so we needn’t go for another half-hour.” The few who are on time probably have neglected work that pressed on them, in order to be punctual. They must sit and wish they had stayed home another half hour to sew or cook. The next time they also are late and the ward is almost hopelessly unpunctual.
In another ward the presiding officers and a few others are on time and begin meeting. The congregation begin to file in, disturbing the speaker so much that the Spirit of God does not return to him to help him speak.
You, dear girls, little know the numbers of Celestial beings that have fled from places of worship; you little know the glorious truths and manifestations they had come to give, but you were too late to receive them. they must needs be about their Father’s business.
Punctuality is a habit. After a river has plowed its channel it is very easy for water to run through it. It is the same with the mind. Each act erodes its channel. in the mind, making the repeated act easier each time. At length the act is completed without any friction, and habit of acting in that direction is formed. A bad habit is more easily formed than a good one, for it is less hard to run down a hill than it is to climb slowly but steadily to the top. Sot he habit of unpunctuality is more easily formed than that of being punctual.
Punctuality means more than being on time; it also means being regular in attendance. Going to our meetings each time is also a worthy habit. Some girls go to meeting only on fair days; some when they have new clothes, some when something unusual is scheduled. If the Lord wished us to attend meetings only on special occasions, He would have meetings on such occasions only. But He commands the Saints to hold meetings regularly. We should try to form the habit of serving the Lord on Sunday, and of attending our other meetings regularly.
When the Savior comes in His might and power, the time of which coming we are told is not far distant, how many of us will be ready to meet Him? We must prepare ourselves now in good season, so that the last minute we shall not have to run about frantically trying to make right the wrongs that attend us.
1. Read and explain the 25th chapter of St. Matthew.
2. How is the whole chapter related to punctuality?
3. When should we use the talents God has given us?
4. Whose fault is it when Young Ladies’ meetings begin late?
5. Why is it that people are late far more frequently at religious services than at places of entertainment 9concerts, theaters, etc.)?
6. Why is punctuality necessary?
7. Why cannot tardy people be depended upon?
8. How may the young girls encourage punctuality at meetings in their wards?
9. How may our work be systematized at home?
10. Why is it advisable to have a definite time for washing, ironing, sweeping, etc.?