The LDS Daily WOOL© Archive - Learning 

"If we spend our mortal days in accumulating secular knowledge to the exclusion of the spiritual then we are in a dead-end street, for this is the time for man to prepare to meet God; this is the time for faith to be built, for baptism to be effected, for the Holy Ghost to be received, for the ordinances to be performed.  Contemporary with this program can come the secular knowledge for even in the spirit world after death our spirits can go on learning the more secular things to help us create worlds and become their masters...." — Spencer W. Kimball, Beloved Youth, Study and Learn

"Add to your faith knowledge, etc.  The principle of knowledge is the principle of salvation.  This principle can be comprehended by the faithful and diligent; and every one that does not obtain knowledge sufficient to be saved will be condemned.  The principle of salvation is given us through the knowledge of Jesus Christ." — Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet, Joseph Smith, p. 297 

"Was there ever a time in the history of the world when so much knowledge was poured out upon the people? But sad to say, the words of Paul are true --the people are 'ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.' (2 Tim. 3:7.)" — Joseph Fielding Smith, Conference Reports, April 1966, p. 13 

"The mere accumulation of knowledge without purpose and of information without wisdom constitutes ever learning but never coming to a knowledge of the truth. (See 2 Timothy 3:7.)" — Neal A. Maxwell, General Conference, April 1983 

"Many . . . dishonor themselves and the Church, and bring persecution swiftly upon us, in consequence of their zeal without knowledge." — Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2:394 

"...I have noticed, however, that more and more 'sick' parts are being slipped into otherwise good material. Yet when it comes to other kinds of products, such as food, no one would tolerate contamination. Would we eat chicken that was 'great' except for salmonella?" Anya Bateman, Butler 3rd Ward, Butler Utah West Stake, Ensign, June 1998, p. 22

"In this kind of an environment, we must take time to teach the children about the important things of life—about Heavenly Father, the Savior, and the Holy Ghost. We must teach them about repentance, baptism, honesty, and doing good to others. Now, you might say, 'I’m not a parent; I don’t teach children.' Actually, we are all teachers of children—parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, priesthood leaders, ward members, neighbors. Children are always watching and learning. We teach them through our behavior as well as by what we say. They watch how we treat each other. They listen to the voices of their parents and to the voices at church. Unfortunately, they also listen to voices on television and elsewhere which sometimes teach values contrary to gospel principles. We must teach them at an early age to listen to the right voices...." — Dwan J. Young, "Teach Children the Gospel," Ensign, May 1988, p. 78

"Use the chances for learning that are yours, sifting as always the wheat from the chaff. Learn to be effective first in the small human universe that is your own family if you would prepare yourselves to be effective in contributing to the larger human family." — Spencer W. Kimball, "The Savior: The Center of Our Lives," New Era, Apr. 1980, p. 35

"Our ability to hear spiritually is linked to our willingness to work at it. President Hinckley has often said that the only way he knows to get anything done is to get on his knees and plead for help and then get on his feet and go to work. That combination of faith and hard work is the consummate curriculum for learning the language of the Spirit. The Savior taught, 'Blessed are all they who do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled with the Holy Ghost' (3 Ne. 12:6; emphasis added). Hungering and thirsting translate to sheer spiritual labor. Worshiping in the temple, repenting to become increasingly pure, forgiving and seeking forgiveness, and earnest fasting and prayer all increase our receptivity to the Spirit. Spiritual work works and is the key to learning to hear the voice of the Lord." — Sheri L. Dew, "We Are Not Alone," Ensign, Nov. 1998, p. 96

"'That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day.' (D&C 50:24.) This, to me, is a remarkable statement. It identifies the very essence of eternal progression, setting forth in a few words the opportunity and promise for growth that will lead us to perfection. It tells us that as we learn of things divine we shall be added upon in our understanding and become glorified in that light which comes from God." — Gordon B. Hinckley, "The Order and Will of God," Ensign, Jan. 1989, p. 5

"But what do we do when there is a conflict, real or apparent, between our secular and our religious learning? How can we protect our children against doctrines that would lead them the wrong way or literature that would twist or pervert? One way is by the powerful example of our own faith. My husband made this observation: 'The child’s belief and understanding of the divine is shaped in his early years, especially as he observes how the divine shapes the important actions of his parents. The farm boy who sees his father dedicate the fields to God every spring has no doubt whence come the rains. But when his father talks about God only on Sunday, as it were, and then conducts his life’s business as if Chance ruled the universe, the child may very well learn to farm like an atheist.' (Noel B. Reynolds, "Cultural Diversity in the Universal Church," in Mormonism: a Faith for All Cultures, ed. F. LaMond Tullis, Provo: Brigham Young University Press, 1978, p. 20.)" — Sydney Smith Reynolds, "Teaching Values—A Mother’s Commission, "Ensign, Mar. 1984, p. 24

"If our young folks become familiar with the teachings of the Book of Mormon, they will not only be inspired by the examples of Nephi, the 2,000 sons of Helaman (see Alma 53), and other great Book of Mormon characters to choose the right, they will also be so schooled in the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ that they will be able to know and understand what is right." - Marion G. Romney, "The Book of Mormon," Ensign, May 1980, p. 67

"It is important that we remember also that no matter how intelligent we may be, no matter how hard we work, no matter how good our teachers are or how favorable the other conditions for learning, in our allotted span of years on earth we can master only a very small fraction of the total field of knowledge; and what we do master usually is in a narrowed-down, specialized area. Consequently, we, in and of ourselves, have limitations. Our thinking is often highly selective and segmented and our judgment is often faulty. Should we not, then, be willing to heed the counsel given by Solomon:

"'Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

"'In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.' (Prov. 3:5-6.)" - William H. Bennett, "Help Needed in the Shaded Areas," Ensign, June 1971, p. 107

"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches the value of eternal progression. We progressed in the premortal existence, and we have the opportunity to progress in this estate and throughout all eternity. Each of us is endowed with gifts and talents, and through study, prayer, proper work habits, and the use of our gifts and talents, we can accomplish our eternal objectives.

"Study, particularly of the scriptures, is an important factor. We are counseled to 'seek learning, even by study and also by faith.' (D&C 88:118.) Eternal progress involves continual study. The Lord has told us that 'the glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth.' (D&C 93:36.) - Franklin D. Richards, "Life—A Great Proving Ground," Ensign (CR), May 1981, p.50

"'Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.' (Matt. 5:6.) The scripture from ancient America adds, 'shall be filled with the Holy Ghost.' (3 Ne. 12:6.)

"A young man approached Socrates and asked him to be his tutor and to teach him what he knew. Socrates took the young man to the seaside and out into the water. Then he pushed his head under the water for almost too long. The young man struggled, came up gasping for air, and demanded the meaning of such an unwarranted action. The great Socrates responded, 'When you want to learn as badly as you want a breath of air, only then can I teach you what you want to know.' To understand the gospel of Jesus Christ, one must first have a strong desire to learn and a willingness to study." - Royden G. Derrick, "The Way to Perfection," Ensign (CR), May 1989, p.76

"Because of our sacred regard for each human intellect, we consider the obtaining of an education to be a religious responsibility. Yet opportunities and abilities differ. I believe that in the pursuit of education, individual desire is more influential than institution, and personal faith more forceful than faculty.

"Our Creator expects His children everywhere to educate themselves. He issued a commandment: 'Seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.' (D&C 88:118.) And He assures us that knowledge acquired here will be ours forever. (See D&C 130:18-19.)

"Measured by this celestial standard, it is apparent that those who impulsively drop out and cut short their education not only disregard divine decree but frustrate the realization of their own potential." - Russell M. Nelson, "Where Is Wisdom?," Ensign (CR), November 1992, p.6

"This statement of the Prophet Joseph Smith inspires me: 'Thy mind... if thou wilt lead a soul unto salvation, must stretch as high as the utmost heavens' (History of the Church, 3:295). We must stretch our minds if we are to reach that lofty goal so familiar to us all: 'The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth' (D&C 93:36)." - Elaine L. Jack, "Seek, and Ye Shall Find," Ensign (CR), November 1994, p.89

"Repetition is a key to learning. Our sons need to hear the truth repeated, especially because there is so much falsehood abroad. Devoted Book of Mormon fathers constantly reminded their sons of saving truths. 'O remember, remember, my sons, the words which king Benjamin spake unto his people,' said Helaman. 'Yea, remember that there is no other way nor means whereby man can be saved, only through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ.' (Hel. 5:9.) 'My sons, remember, remember,' Helaman continued, 'that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation.' (Hel. 5:12.)" - Ezra Taft Benson, "Worthy Fathers, Worthy Sons," Ensign (CR), November 1985, p.35

"Adam and Eve learned constantly from their often harsh experience. They knew how a troubled family feels. Think of Cain and Abel. Yet because of the Atonement, they could learn from their experience without being condemned by it. Christ's sacrifice didn't just erase their choices and return them to an Eden of innocence. That would be a story with no plot and no character growth. His plan is developmentalline upon line, step by step, grace for grace.

"So if you have problems in your life, don't assume there is something wrong with you. Struggling with those problems is at the very core of life's purpose. As we draw close to God, He will show us our weaknesses and through them make us wiser, stronger. (See Ether 12:27.) If you're seeing more of your weaknesses, that just might mean you're moving nearer to God, not farther away." - Bruce C. Hafen, "The Atonement: All for All," Ensign (CR), May 2004, p.97

"Over the library of the Utah State University stands in big gold letters a statement taken from the scriptures: 'Get wisdom, and with all thy getting get understanding.' (Prov. 4:7) We must feed the spirit as well as the mind and as well as the body. I plead with our youth, get learning, and with all your getting get understanding. Get learning of the spirit. Get learning of the mind. Get learning of the soul, and become a rounded man or a rounded woman learned in all ways, for I testify to you this day that security, true security comes from a knowledge of the divinity of Jesus Christ. This is the beginning of all learning and of all wisdom. This is the greatest knowledge, the greatest learning, the greatest comfort that men can have. If men have this knowledge in their hearts, they can withstand all the vicissitudes of life. No trial, no trouble can come, but that a man or a woman can withstand it. He can rise victorious if he has a love of Christ and a testimony of his divinity burning in his heart." -  Theodore M. Burton, "Conference Report," April 1961, Afternoon Meeting, p.129

“To know the way to eternal life is far more important than all the learning that the world can give. We find that in the sacred principles which have been revealed for the last time, and in these ordinances which are being performed for the last time—that is, in the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times—for the gospel will never be restored again. It has been restored to remain. The Lord has ordained his servants, and has given them authority to execute his laws, to preach his gospel, to cry repentance, to call upon men to humble themselves and receive these fundamental principles of eternal life.” - Joseph Fielding Smith, “Conference Report,” April 1955, Afternoon Meeting, p. 51

“I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God unto salvation. I have not obtained this knowledge from books. And yet I have lived with books for a quarter of a century. I stand here today and say with all candor that if I had to choose between forgetting the witnesses of the truth which have come to my heart through the Spirit of God, and what I have learned from books, I should gladly choose to remember that God has told my heart that this is the work of God, and forget what I have read in all the books.” - Nephi Jensen, “Conference Report,” June 1919, Third Day—Morning Session, p. 118

“We are taught to know the right in all things—how to repent, how to change our ways. We are taught whom and how to serve. We are taught the proper way to enter into the marriage covenant. In fact, the gospel of Jesus Christ is designed to direct us safely through this probationary period, that we ‘may dwell . . . in a state of never-ending happiness’ (Mosiah 2:41) with those we love. I like that statement from the Book of Mormon.” - ElRay L. Christiansen, Conference Report, October 1960, Afternoon Meeting, p. 114

“One fast day in my own ward I listened to a young university student who declared his faith after the experiences he had been having at school. He said something to the effect that when he had announced to some of his friends that he was going to take some courses in philosophy at the university, they had said, ‘Oh, don't you do it. Stay out of those courses, because almost everyone who goes to those classes loses his faith.’

“However, he said he didn't heed their warning. He was like many other young people: if you want them to take a course, tell them not to do it. Out of curiosity he wanted to see what it was that destroyed faith, and out of his experience, he made this rather interesting observation:

“‘I found that course in philosophy intensely interesting, but I found there was one danger-that it caused doubts, and when those doubts were aggravated by inactivity in the Church, they then resulted in loss of faith and a moving away from the gospel of Jesus Christ. My safety was in continuing to study the gospel of Jesus Christ.’” – “Ye Are the Light of the World: Selected Sermons and Writings of Harold B. Lee”

"The reading habit is most valuable in life. I mean by that the practice of using a little time, say half an hour a day, in the systematic reading of worthwhile literature. The mind is opened to precious fields of thought; the achievements of the ages become ours; even the future takes form. As the mind and spirit are fed by well chosen reading, comfort, peace and understanding come to the soul. Those who have not tried it, have missed a keen and easily accessible joy."
- John A. Widtsoe, "Conference Report," April 1939, First Day—Morning Meeting, p. 21

"The gospel in its fulness is being preached throughout the world by the Lord’s anointed servants, that everyone may come to an awareness of his state. In order to be close to the words of the Lord’s anointed, it is necessary to read and study the scriptures with commitment and dedication. What we have seen or felt, or what we have learned from the lessons others have learned after much tribulation can make it possible for us to avoid going through the same suffering ourselves." - F. Enzio Busche, "University for Life," Ensign (CR) April 1989

Our first priority should go to spiritual learning. For us, reading the scriptures would come before reading history books. Prayer would come before memorizing those Spanish verbs. A temple recommend would be worth more than standing first in our graduating class. But it is also clear that spiritual learning would not replace our drive for secular learning. - Henry B. Eyring, "Real-Life Education," Ensign, April 2009

In conclusion let me say again, that to be merely mentally trained is to be only partly trained. The man whose mind only has been trained may be likened to the ship with great engines and a huge propeller, ready to drive the ship forward, but without rudder, chart, compass, or definite destination. When we add to the man, so trained, spiritual training, then it is as if we add to the ship, with its wonderful machinery, a compass, a chart, a rudder, and a dependable intelligence which controls the whole machinery, above and below deck, so that the vessel may reach a safe haven, according to a definite purpose. - John A. Widtsoe, Conference Report, October 1922, Afternoon Session, p.48

With all my heart I hope and pray that you will be wise enough to learn the lessons of the past. You don’t have to spend time as a Laman or a Lemuel in order to know that it’s much better to be a Nephi or a Jacob. You don’t have to follow the path of Cain or Gadianton in order to realize that “wickedness never was happiness” (Alma 41:10). And you don’t have to allow your community to become like Sodom or Gomorrah in order to understand that it isn’t a good place to raise a family. - M. Russell Ballard, "Learning the Lessons of the Past," Ensign (CR) May 2009

What about our education today in the Church? Are you and I as hungry to know? Are we aware of our lack of wisdom? Are our minds burning and hungering and thirsting for knowledge, as I think Joseph's was, and Brigham Young's, and my father's, and others? We inherit land and money and debts and other things, but education is not inherited any more than character is. The German poet Goethe said, "What from your father's heritage is lent, earn it anew to really possess it." We inherit only the opportunity, the tradition, and I hope the motivation to seek learning and wisdom and education. - Lowell L. Bennion, "Conference Report," April 1968, General Priesthood Meeting, p.96

There is spiritual learning just as there is material learning, and the one without the other is not complete; yet, speaking for myself, if I could have only one sort of learning, that which I would take would be the learning of the spirit, because in the hereafter I shall have opportunity in the eternities which are to come to get the other, and without spiritual learning here my handicaps in the hereafter would be all but overwhelming. –
J. Reuben Clark, Jr., “Conference Report,” April 1934, p. 94

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