The Lord has taught that “the glory of God is intelligence” (Doctrine and Covenants 93:36), which means that education makes one more like Heavenly Father.
“And what are we to learn?” Primary General President Camille N. Johnson asked. Doctrine and Covenants 88 teaches that Church members are to “teach diligently and be instructed in the doctrine of the kingdom and the law of the gospel,” she said, “what I would call spiritual learning.”
During a BYU–Pathway Worldwide devotional broadcast on Tuesday, Oct. 19, President Johnson spoke about the need for students to gain as much education and training as they can.
Education prepares people for all things, such as to serve in the world and in the Church, to be wise counselors and companions to spouses, and effective teachers to children and other young people one may have influence over.
“The more we learn, the greater influence we can assert for good.”
In a spin on the old saying, President Johnson said that giving a girl a fish feeds her for a day; teaching a girl to fish feeds generations. She showed photos of her son Connor teaching his daughter Goldie to fish. Not only was she learning that, but in the process, Goldie’s father taught her “respect for God’s creations, a love of the outdoors, about the fish itself — what it eats, when it can be caught, where it can be caught — every needful thing so that Goldie can be prepared.”
Efforts and sacrifices made to learn will give one knowledge that will bless generations to come.
Heavenly Father wants His children to “seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom, seek learning even by study and also by faith” (Doctrine and Covenants 109:7).
To seek learning by study means to put one’s mind to work, President Johnson said. “We read or listen to the required material, we think about it, we practice, we problem solve, we memorize and complete assignments, and through our diligence we learn. It’s rational and logical. It’s generally line upon line.”
To seek learning by faith not only puts one’s mind to work, but also one’s heart. “It is in our hearts and minds that we will feel the manifestations of the Holy Ghost,” President Johnson said. “And we know that the Holy Ghost testifies of truth.”
She counseled students to not stop at learning by study, but to invite the Holy Ghost to help them learn and retain those facts. “Seeking learning by faith is the process by which we engage the Holy Ghost in our learning so we aren’t just learning facts. We are understanding truth.”
Willing hearts and minds invite the Holy Ghost to testify of truth and bring all things to one’s remembrance.
“My friends, you have wonderful instructors, and they are teaching you to fish.” Through engaging lectures, presentations and experiments, they are teaching facts. But the way to learn truth “is to exercise faith and seek to learn, not just with your head through study, but also with a willing heart through faith,” President Johnson said. “When your heart and mind are aligned and open, it is the Holy Ghost that will testify to you of truth and enhance your learning.”
Effective study, no matter the subject, should always begin with prayer. “Ask for an open mind and an open heart,” she counseled. “Invite the Spirit to your studies. Be worthy of the Spirit’s companionship. I promise that the Holy Ghost is the most committed and devoted of any study companion.”
President Johnson closed with her testimony that “the Holy Ghost comforts, guides, warns and testifies of truth.” Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ want each BYU–Pathway student to succeed and be happy.
“May you always live worthy of the Spirit, inviting the Holy Ghost to fill your open minds and hearts with truth, is my prayer for each of you.”