Queries and Advices
- Business Procedure
- Close Relationships
- Divine Relationship
- Peace and Cooperation
- Religious Fellowship
- Silent Worship
- Simplicity and Moderation
- Social Relations and Universal Love
- Substances and Use of Time
ADVICE: The Society of Friends believes that right and satisfactory decision is dependent upon full mutual understanding and agreement. Therefore it transacts its business by united decision under Divine Guidance, rather than by divisive majority vote, striving to reach its conclusions in a spirit of reasonableness and forbearance.
ADVICE: Every child deserves physical, intellectual, and spiritual nurture. To this end, parents and other adult caregivers must establish themselves as loving and reliable sources of guidance. Caring for children is a life-transforming responsibility, bringing joys, challenges, and experiences of personal and spiritual growth for adult and child. Through good example and consistent teaching, we can counteract many of the negative influences children inevitably encounter. Children are greatly influenced by parents who lead faithful lives, discerning and following the Light Within. Our inward faith is made manifest through practicing simplicity, honesty, nonviolence, service, and love.
ADVICE: Prayer is the aspiration of the soul. It is our communion with God and is essential to religious life. The result of prayer becomes apparent in the nobler lives of those who are constant in its exercise. We should cultivate, individually, the habit of turning to God at all times, and of seeking Diving guidance in all things that we may, in truth, be led by the Light. Vocal prayer, when prompted by a deep concern and a sense of human need, is a vital part of worship and often helps those assembled to come into the consciousness of God's presence.
It is our common experience that communion with God is a fundamental need of the human soul. Constant listening for the promptings of the Divine Spirit and seeking to follow it in every relation of life will lead inevitably to spiritual growth.
ADVICE: The purpose of education is to build character and to make an individual a more serviceable instrument in bringing about the kingdom of God. While inspiration, often the stimulus for this effort, is the direct gift of God to the human soul and not a product of education, yet God's revelations are more likely to be perceived and can be used to better advantage if the body has been trained for health, the hand for work, the mind for thought, and if the attention has been directed toward spiritual truth. Powers of observation, thought and expression need training that we may do our work well. Many of us require teaching to overcome a prejudiced and unreasoning attitude toward others and to meet humanity with the reverence that is due the children of one loving Spirit.
ADVICE: God's law of love, as fully exemplified by the life of Jesus, is applicable to nations as well as to individuals. Because of this application, war as a means of settling difficulties between nations becomes morally unlawful, just as are feuds between groups and duels between individuals. We cannot recognize a double standard of morality, one for individuals and another for nations. The morality which is required of us in our dealings with one another is equally binding upon us when we are called upon to act for our nation.
ADVICE: Fuller spiritual life can be fostered by membership in a religious organization. Liberty to choose a religious affiliation exists for every individual. When the choice has been made, responsibility for service follows. Regular attendance at meetings for the promotion of religious interests, such as meetings for worship, First-day schools and meetings for business, will enable us to avail ourselves of the opportunities for service which exist in such organizations. It will also enable us to become more firmly grounded in the faith and principles upon which our Society is founded and will result in our spiritual growth.
ADVICE: True worship, whether vocal or silent, is offering ourselves-body, mind, and soul-for the doing of God's will. During the silent waiting, the flow of the Divine Spirit from heart to heart is often felt. "One is your teacher, and all ye are brethren." Worshippers should gather in a spirit of silent prayer with a willingness to give, as well as to receive, so that the full possibilities of the Meeting hour can be reached and its influence extended throughout the community from week to week.
ADVICE: It is urged that Friends be watchful to keep themselves free from self-indulgent habits, luxurious ways of living, and the bondage of fashion. This freedom is the first condition of vigor in all kinds of effort, whether spiritual, intellectual or physical. Undue luxury often creates a false sense of superiority, causes unnecessary burdens upon both ourselves and others, and leads to the neglect of the spiritual life.
ADVICE: Things lawful in themselves may become harmful when used to excess. Friends are advised to observe moderation in everything and to abstain entirely from that which may be the occasion of stumbling of others. In particular, Friends are urged to observe simplicity and moderation in the conduct of social gatherings, marriages, funerals and public occasions.
ADVICE: Christian ideals need no concealment, nor can the equality which Jesus taught be restricted by any secret ritual or creed; therefore, Friends are cautioned against membership in any organization which will directly or indirectly diminish sympathy with any portion of humankind, or which may lead to the condemnation of the people of any religion, race or nationality. In all human relationships our profession of God's universal love should prevent our making any distinctions of class, station, wealth, color or race which might bar friendly interaction.
ADVICE: We are called upon to be stewards not only of the Divine Spirit which God has implanted within us, but also of the rich provision which the Creator has made for the sustenance of all life on earth. If we are true followers of Jesus, we must ever be seeking to bring conditions of life in this world into conformity with the purposes of God. It cannot be God's will that the vast numbers of our brothers and sisters should pass their lives in surroundings that render difficult the quickening of the Divine Spirit within them. Nor is it sufficient that we should be merely kind and liberal to the poor, for the poverty we seek to relieve may be due in part to unjust conditions, intensified perhaps by our own thoughtless conduct.
ADVICE: Time is one of God's gifts which we easily take for granted, and in the use of which we are commonly prodigal. It is rich in opportunities, yet it is relentless in its record of our selection. According to the way we spend the minutes and hours, we will find the Divine Spirit within us either coming into possession or being crowded out of our lives. So Friends wish to lay special emphasis on cheerful and loving persistence in those patterns of living which will allow a larger and fuller experience of God each day.