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Importance of Education Lesson

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An LDS Church lesson about the importance of education, both secular and religious. This version is longer than the FHE version and better fit for adult classes.

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Importance of Education Lesson

  1. 1. Importance of Education By Jimmy Smith Jimmy and Heather, April 2001
  2. 2. 2 • In June 1831, just a year after the Church was organized, Joseph Smith received a revelation instructing William W. Phelps, a printer, to write and publish books for children in Church schools. “And again, you shall be ordained to assist my servant Oliver Cowdery to do the work of printing, and of selecting and writing books for schools in this church, that little children also may receive instruction before me as is pleasing unto me” (D&C 55:4). W.W. Phelps
  3. 3. 3 • In 1832, the Prophet Joseph Smith received a revelation concerning the building of Zion. “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” (D&C 88:118).
  4. 4. 4 • “Teach ye diligently and my grace shall attend you, that you may be instructed more perfectly in theory, in principle, in doctrine, in the law of the gospel, in all things that pertain unto the kingdom of God, that are expedient for you to understand; 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; the wars and the perplexities of the nations, and the judgments which are on the land; and a knowledge also of countries and of kingdoms.” (D&C 88:78-79)
  5. 5. 5 • The History of the Church states that: “During the week the Kirtland High School is taught in the attic story [of the Kirtland Temple].” It was a school where “mathematics, common arithmetic, geography, English grammar, writing, and reading are taught” (History of the Church, 2:474–75). Kirtland Temple
  6. 6. 6 • “Joseph Smith sought and obtained from the Illinois legislature a charter authorizing the Saints to establish a city government for Nauvoo, another charter for a university, and a third for a city militia. … The university also supervised public elementary schools, and became the model for the University of Deseret (now the University of Utah).” • https://www.lds.org/liahona/1979/04/the-gathering-to-nauvoo-183945?lang=eng
  7. 7. 7 “The pinnacle of Nauvoo’s education system was the University of the City of Nauvoo. …The faculty included Parley P. Pratt, professor of English, mathematics, and sciences; Orson Pratt, professor of English literature and mathematics; Orson Spencer, professor of foreign languages; Sidney Rigdon, professor of Church history; and Gustavus Hills, professor of music. Orson Pratt was the most popular professor. He offered courses in arithmetic, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, surveying, navigation, analytical geometry, calculus, philosophy, astronomy, and chemistry. …An important precedent was set for the involvement of the Church in higher education in the future.” • https://www.lds.org/manual/church-history-in-the-fulness-of- times-student-manual/chapter-nineteen-life-in-nauvoo-the- beautiful?lang=eng Orson Pratt
  8. 8. 8 • At the October 1845 general conference, Elder Heber C. Kimball of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said, “There is yet another piece of business of great importance to all who have families; that is, to have some school books printed for the education of our children.” W. W. Phelps elaborated on what Elder Kimball said: “We are preparing to go out from among the people, where we can serve God in righteousness; and the first thing is, to teach our children.” • https://www.lds.org/manual/by-study-and-also-by- faith/prologue-foundations-of-education-in-the- church-1830-1911?lang=eng#92-00334_000_prologue Heber C. Kimball
  9. 9. 9 When the Saints were preparing to make the trek to Utah, Orson Hyde admonished them to “lay in a stock of books, in case that when they get to the end of their journey [to the valley of the Great Salt Lake or to California] the books may be wanted; but to obtain them may be rather difficult.” • “Who Wants Books?” Frontier Guardian, Feb. 20, 1850, 2.
  10. 10. 10 • In March of 1848 the Millennial Star quoted Church leaders urging the Saints to take “every opportunity” to obtain educational materials that would “gain the attention of children, and cause them to love to learn to read.” Suggested teaching aids included “every book, map, chart, or diagram that may contain interesting, useful, and attractive matter … and, also every historical, mathematical, philosophical, geographical, geological, astronomical, scientific, practical, and all other variety of useful and interesting writings, maps, etc.” (In Moffitt, The History of Public Education in Utah, 10).
  11. 11. 11 • President Harold B. Lee said this about the origins of the Seminary and Institute program, “The beginnings of the weekday religious education actually commenced with religion classes. … The Brethren, in setting up religion classes on a weekday basis, said their purpose was to offset the godless education so common in secular schools” (Objectives of Church Education, June 17, 1970). Harold B. Lee
  12. 12. 12 • President Spencer W. Kimball said: “In proper sequence comes first the knowledge of God and his program, which is the way to eternal life, and secondly comes the knowledge of the secular things, also very important.” • https://www.lds.org/manual/doctrine-and-covenants- student-manual/enrichments/enrichment-k-seek-learning- even-by-study-and-also-by-faith?lang=eng Spencer W. Kimball
  13. 13. 13 • Reed Benson, the son of Church President Ezra Taft Benson, said his father often taught that … •Educating people without moral values does nothing more than make them clever devils. • Which is why, at BYU and other Church schools, religious education and moral character are taught along side other subjects. Ezra Taft Benson
  14. 14. 14 • “The mission of Brigham Young University is to assist individuals in their quest for perfection and eternal life. That assistance should provide a period of intensive learning in a stimulating setting where a commitment to excellence is expected and the full realization of human potential is pursued. …To succeed in this mission the university must provide an environment enlightened by living prophets and sustained by those moral virtues which characterize the life and teachings of the Son of God.” • http://aims.byu.edu/mission_statement
  15. 15. 15 • “Education is the key which will unlock the door of opportunity for you. It is worth sacrificing for. It is worth working at, and if you educate your mind and your hands, you will be able to make a great contribution to the society of which you are a part, and you will be able to reflect honorably on the Church of which you are a member. My dear young brothers and sisters, take advantage of every educational opportunity that you can possibly afford, and you fathers and mothers, encourage your sons and daughters to gain an education which will bless their lives.” • President Gordon B. Hinckley, “Inspirational Thoughts,” Ensign, June 1999, 4. Gordon B. Hinckley
  16. 16. 16 • “You are moving into a world of fierce competition. You must get all of the education you can. The Lord has instructed us concerning the importance of education. It will qualify you for greater opportunities. It will equip you to do something worthwhile in the great world of opportunity that lies ahead.” • Gordon B. Hinckley, “Converts and Young Men,” Ensign, May 1997, 49–50.
  17. 17. 17 • “Loans will be made to ambitious young men and women, for the most part returned missionaries, so that they may borrow money to attend school. …They will better provide for their families. They will serve in the Church and grow in leadership and responsibility. They will repay their loans to make it possible for others to be blessed as they have been blessed. It will become a revolving fund. As faithful members of the Church, they will pay their tithes and offerings, and the Church will be much the stronger for their presence in the areas where they live.” • https://www.lds.org/ensign/2001/05/the-perpetual-education-fund?lang=eng Introduction of the Perpetual Education Fund by President Gordon B. Hinckley
  18. 18. 18 • “Be smart. The Lord wants you to educate your minds and hands, whatever your chosen field. Whether it be repairing refrigerators, or the work of a skilled surgeon, you must train yourselves. Seek for the best schooling available. Become a workman of integrity in the world that lies ahead of you. I repeat, you will bring honor to the Church and you will be generously blessed because of that training.” • https://www.lds.org/ensign/2001/01/a-prophets-counsel-and-prayer-for-youth?lang=eng
  19. 19. 19 • “The doctrine of revelation far transcends the doctrine of no revelation; for one truth revealed from heaven is worth all the sectarian notions in existence.” • Wilford Woodruff Journal, 10 March 1844 Joseph Smith
  20. 20. 20 • “O that cunning plan of the evil one! O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish.” • 2 Nephi 9:28
  21. 21. 21 Back Up Slides
  22. 22. 22 • “The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator.” • Alma 30:44
  23. 23. 23 • Pleased with the Saints’ early efforts, the First Presidency wrote to the Church on April 7, 1851, “School houses have been built in most of the wards, both in the city and country, and schools have been sustained therein the past winter, and we joyfully anticipate that the time has arrived when our children may be partakers of the blessings of constantly continued schools in their several wards.” • https://www.lds.org/manual/by-study-and-also-by-faith/prologue- foundations-of-education-in-the-church-1830-1911?lang=eng#36- 00334_000_prologue
  24. 24. 24 • “The interest in education that had been manifest in Kirtland was expanded in Nauvoo. Private schools preceded the more extensive public efforts that resulted from the passage of the Nauvoo Charter. At least eighty-one people—forty-eight men and thirty-three women—made part of their living teaching in Nauvoo. Over eighteen hundred students were enrolled in school.” • https://www.lds.org/manual/church-history-in-the-fulness-of-times-student- manual/chapter-nineteen-life-in-nauvoo-the-beautiful?lang=eng
  25. 25. 25 • A Church publication in 1838 said: “As intelligence is the great object of our holy religion, it is of all things important, that we should place ourselves in the best situation possible to obtain it. And … to obtain all the knowledge which the circumstances of man will admit of, is one of the principle objects the saints have in gathering together. Intelligence is the result of education, and education can only be obtained by living in compact society.” • “To the Saints Abroad,” Elders’ Journal, vol. 1, no. 4 (Aug. 1838), 53.

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