Categories: Education, Gospel
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Yesterday I was asked me to give a brief 3-4 minute spiritual thought around the theme of “love life and learning.” Only 3-4 minutes?!? I could go on about that subject for a good half hour, easy. Since I couldn’t do that yesterday, I’m going to do a bit of it today.

When we think of the attributes of God we think of Him as being loving, kind, serving, sacrificing, and we know we need to be like Him in those things. But He is also creative (I have a whole post about the creative nature of God), so we should create. He is also omnipotent, all knowing, so we should know as much as we possibly can.

He comprehendeth all things, and all things are before him, and all things are round about him; and he is above all things, and in all things, and is through all things, and is round about all things; and all things are by him, and of him, even God, forever and ever.
Doctrine and Covenants 88:41

O how great the holiness of our God!  For he knoweth all things, and there is not anything save he knows it.
2 Nephi 9:20

In fact, not only are we generally asked to be like God, but we are also specifically commanded to learn things, and what to learn (hint: everything). The more we know the more useful we are in serving in God’s kingdom.

118 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.
119 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;
Doctrine and Covenants 88:118 – 119

78 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;
79 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—
80 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.
Doctrine and Covenants 88:78 – 80

Every commandment comes with blessings. And the command to learn, gain wisdom and understanding, gather intelligence, is no exception. We will be better able to resist temptation the more we know. And we will have a head start in the eternities.

36 The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth.
37 Light and truth forsake that evil one.
Doctrine and Covenants 93:36 – 37

18 Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection.
19 And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come.
Doctrine and Covenants 130:18 – 19

So, there you go. Learn. Learn as much as you can. Learn wherever you can. In the last week or so Brett has turned to me several times and commented on the great amount of random knowledge I have in my head that I have accumulated over the years. It gives me a feeling of accomplishment when he says that. As I thought about how we are supposed to learn throughout our lives I decided there were three main sources or types of learning we can do – formal, semi-formal, and informal.

Formal learning is that which takes place when you are a matriculated student. You are enrolled in official classes seeking a degree or certificate of some sort. School. Training programs. Those are formal learning situations.

Semi-formal learning, a term I have newly coined, would be things like community ed classes (belly dancing!) or lectures at museums. Things which have been formally arranged by others to some degree but are not large time commitments the way formal education is. I remember my whole family taking ASL classes at night through the community college (I believe) when I was younger, just because we could. That was a semi-formal learning situation.

And then there’s informal learning. And this category is so broad as to include all the rest of life. I’m reminded of Grandpa Giles who used to frequently tell us (especially when we were getting ready to start a new semester or a new degree), “Don’t let the book learnin’ interfere with your education.” My informal learning includes watching PBS, reading National Geographic and Scientific America, reading non-fiction books (I’m on W for the alphabet challenge with Amanda), reading dictionaries (I always get side tracked by interesting words when I’m looking something up in a physical dictionary, it’s lots of fun), going for walks, talking to people, and everything else that life has to offer. I’ve even been putting my “graduate student skills” to use doing something useful lately (aside from graduating) and researching actual vetted information for questions we’ve had. Learning how to look for things and how to judge their authority has been a great skill.

Brett and I frequently tell each other “Be good and learn something.” We say it so much in fact that I have plans to embroider it onto a something and post it next to our front door so we can always remember it as we go out into the world. We always have to report back on what we learn as well.

So, what did you learn today? How have you increased in wisdom and understanding?

4 shared thoughts about Intelligence

  1. Giggle

    From my T book (which is now finished- hooray!), I learned that there at least used to be a ceremonial sword stored in the annex next to one of the lecture rooms in the Salt Lake Temple. I don’t know why or for what, but there it, well, was. Overall, reading that book helped me come to a better understanding of the history of temples and how they really have been a part of the lives of the righteous from the very beginning.

  2. Brett says:

    Informal learning: finding out on the way to Show Low, Arizona, that babies’ eyes are as big when they’re born as they’ll ever be. :brett:


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