And as all have not faith, 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.
Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God; –D & C 88:118-119
There are so many wonderful things I love about the Latter Day Saint faith. I cherish the church’s stance on learning and education. We are encouraged regularly to do everything we can to improve our knowledge, both secular and spiritual. What a blessing! What a gift!
I was once told by a pastor’s wife at my former church that I was over-educating my children. She told me they’d end up weird and on drugs. I have no idea where the drug connection was, but figured if they ended up weird it wouldn’t be from their “over” education. It would be because their mom was weird. As there is nothing I can do about that, we might as well keep learning.
There are obvious temporal benefits from continuing education, such as better employment and salary opportunities. But, there are incredible spiritual benefits as well. I always tell my children: Every time you learn something new, you’ve added another way you can love and serve your Heavenly Father.
Are you studying an instrument? You can use it to serve at church, bless people with beauty, and teach others who may want to learn. Think of the joy you can bring to elderly people at a nursing home, or who are homebound, when you visit and play a few songs for them. They are so happy for both the company and beauty.
Are you studying a new language? You have a whole new people group with whom you can share the gospel. At many of the bigger piano competitions, where my son competes, the majority of the competitors are Asian. My family is learning Mandarin together so we can better fellowship and minister with our new acquaintances. I have so enjoyed the fellowship time I’ve had with one of my new friends from China as she allows me to practice with her and ask her questions.
Are you studying math? That is one of my favorites. There are countless people who need tutoring whom you can bless with the knowledge you’ve developed. One day, when I have enough money to cover my bills, I want to tutor at risk children from disadvantaged homes free of charge. I want to develop relationships with them and love them, all while helping them get through Geometry or Algebra 2 well.
There are so many incredible things in this world our Savior formed. Daily I get to sit with joy and wonder as my children and I study science together. My oldest (14) is doing chemistry this year. My 10 year old is studying zoology, and my 6 year old is studying astronomy. Each day brings us new admiration at the glory of the universe and creatures God has made.
I long to go back to school, but have to wait until I am making enough money to cover all our expenses. One day….. (sigh). In the meantime, I study daily at home, and take great joy in schooling my children, looking forward to the day I can go to the university myself.
I feel so blessed that I belong to a church where I don’t feel I have to avoid talking too much about what the children and I are learning. Nobody here thinks I’m nuts if I let my 10 year old learn algebra, or my 3 year old learns to read. Instead we are encouraged to learn as much as we can. It was even a visiting teaching message not too long ago.
I would love to hear some of the ways you guys are becoming houses of learning. Oh….and if you’re ever interested in homeschooling, give me a buzz. I can talk about that for hours. You should also check out the Latter Day Homeschooling blog (and not just because I am one of the authors). There is loads of information on ways to bring learning into your home, no matter what avenue you have chosen to school your children.
Thank you so much, Heavenly Father, for the gift of learning!
By the way, next week is Education Week at BYU. You can take as many classes as you want for $50!