“Since the organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1830, education has been vital in the endeavor to become a Zion people—a people who are pure in heart and mind and live together in peace and unity.” – C. Terry Warner
“Our education must never stop. If it ends at the door of the classroom on graduation day, we will fail.” – Henry B. Eyrin
“Education is the power to think clearly, the power to act well in the world’s work, and the power to appreciate life.” – Brigham Young
“It is so important that you young men and you young women get all of the education that you can. The Lord has said very plainly that His people are to gain knowledge of countries and kingdoms and of things of the world through the process of education, even by study and by faith. 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…” – Gordon B. Hinckley
As Church leaders throughout history have affirmed, education is one of God’s priorities for His children.
Modern revelation makes our Heavenly Father’s opinion even clearer,
“And I give unto you a commandment that you shall teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom.
“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—
“That ye may be prepared in all things when I shall send you again to magnify the calling whereunto I have called you, and the mission with which I have commissioned you” (D&C 88:76–80).
For me, the realization that all things pertain to the kingdom of God and are therefore expedient for me to understand was a humbling moment. In order to be an effective servant in my Father’s kingdom, I need to learn everything I can.
Given our recent celebration of Pioneer Day, I wanted to highlight the way our ancestors have focused on education and learning by putting in a plug for BYU’s Education in Zion exhibit. Located in the Joseph F. Smith building, the permanent exhibit features quotes, stories, videos, and artifacts documenting the Church’s history of education. One of my mentors at BYU suggested that we, as future teachers, visit the exhibit once a semester to renew our perspective and recommit to our choice to teach. I haven’t always gone that often, but I’ve visited it many times and definitely feel like a more purpose-centered educator for having gone. It’s on my list of top five things I would encourage everyone who visits BYU to see. So if you haven’t been, or if you have but it’s been awhile, consider this an invitation to learn and be edified.
In the words of Brigham Young, “A good school teacher is one of the most essential members in society.” So it’s quite appropriate that at a university bearing his name, we have this unique opportunity to learn about our role in the society of the Saints.