Continually Seek Secular and Sacred Education

I recently read a message from a teacher who was celebrating what she called the “Last Day of Learning.” This simple phrase hit me hard and highlighted a frustration with the worldly view of education. The world’s view of education is that learning is only for children and young adults, and that becoming educated is so difficult that “breaks in learning” are required for each season. The world tells us that once the desired level of education is reached, that we have “completed” our learning and entered our work phase in life.

However common sense AND the Lord teach us differently. Common sense shows that even in the “working world,” we need to continue learning new things. Whether it is learning how to make a new product, learning a more efficient tool, or learning a new computer program for orders. Learning continues constantly. Even as children, during the so-called “breaks” from learning, many are learning new skills, like sports, or scouts, or chores at home.

The Lord goes a step farther than common sense. He has instructed us, nay, Commanded us to continue learning. In D&C 88:118 He tells us, “seek learning, even by study and also by faith.”

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf says, “For members of the Church, education is not merely a good idea—it’s a commandment.” We are to learn “of things both in heaven and in the earth, and under the earth; things which have been, things which are, things which must shortly come to pass; things which are at home, things which are abroad” (D&C 88:79).

The Prophet Joseph Smith taught, “Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection. And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life … he will have so much the advantage in the world to come” (D&C 130:18–19).

President Russell M. Nelson taught,  “Your mind is precious!  It is sacred. Therefore, the education of one’s mind is also sacred. Indeed, education is a religious responsibility.  Of course, our opportunities and abilities will vary a great deal. But, in the pursuit of one’s education, individual desire is more important than {the institution}.”

He continues, “Our Creator expects His children everywhere to gain an education as a personal endeavor. … When you leave this frail existence, your material possessions will remain here, but the Lord has declared that the knowledge you acquire here will {go with you to Heaven}.”

Elder Uchtdorf also taught, “In our learning, let us not neglect the fountain of revelation. The scriptures and the words of modern-day apostles and prophets are the sources of wisdom, divine knowledge, and personal revelation to help us find answers to all the challenges in life. Let us learn of Christ; let us seek out that knowledge which leads to peace and truth.”

We have been told that “the glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth” (D&C 93:36). We are separated from the animals of this earth by the simple fact of our spirits. Our spirits are often referred to in the scriptures as intelligences. Our intelligence is our inheritance from our Father in Heaven, it is our divine gift. And He has asked that we do all we can to learn and become more like Him every day. There is no end to learning, any more than there is an end to loving. Learning is another way to say that we are seeking truth. How many times do the scriptures refer to Christ as Truth and/or Light? These terms are interchangeable in the scriptures, and they are repeated hundreds of times.

To become like Christ we must continually seek Him. To seek Him we must continually learn. It is never-ending, it is eternally rewarding, it is endlessly fulfilling. In this house, we are life-long learners.

Blessings,
Sarah

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