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Overview of the True Purposes of Education

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In the 17th and 18th centuries, the Lord counseled people to organize themselves and teach one another. Acting on the revelation, the Saints started working to “establish a school for the Prophets” in Kirtland. In this “house of God”, Young men and women were encouraged to work hard to learn technical skills and to obtain a knowledge of history, and of countries through all good books. Education strongly links to building Zion, and “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.” However, we often don’t know the “why” of learning while understanding the “what” and the “how” of learning nowadays. If we don’t know the purposes of education, some forms of education could just make some truths to be blindly accepted without thinking and discovering for ourselves.

What is the true purpose of education? In the worldly sense, some people say that education enables an individual to distinguish between the true and false. Some people say that education just distinguishes human being from other creations. However, education is so much more than that in the gospel sense. The whole purpose of an education is not just to receive systematic instruction in order to get a good job, but there are three important purposes: 1) Education molds character and comprehend who we really are; 2) Education helps us to know the relationship between God and us; and 3) Education helps us to awake a love for truth and ultimately leads to our salvation.

The purpose of true education is character. Character is not one time thing, but is constant right thinking and right acting. Right thinking is the power to control our thoughts and requires greater concentration. Also, great right thinking translates to right acing. Jesus Christ is the example of educated person who said “do what I do” instead of “do what I said”. While He was performing the Atonement, His will were completely swallowed up in the will of the Father and His character has been molded to perfectly follow eternal principles. Isaiah 64:8 says “But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand”. The more we become more like the Savior Jesus Christ, the more we become closer to ourselves because the more we put efforts on studying, the more substance there is to our souls. We become more substantive and, it is easier to “find” ourselves because there is so much more of us to find. The word ‘education’ is originally derived from Latin word ‘Educare.” It means to train, to bring and to nourish. It brings up to developing and shaping up our character to know who we truly are.

Secondly, education helps us to know the relationship between God and us. There’re three examples of non-LDS professionals from the different field. First, this Olympic figure skater says good performance comes when you focus on the connection between very inside of yourselves and outside of yourselves. It’s all about what you can bring out from your inside. Second, this world-famous violinist says that “Dig deep down inside and look within yourself. Good sound of violin comes by asking “What can I bring out?” instead of asking “What can I put in?” Finally, this popular painter says that successful painting doesn’t come from materials, mixing color or any other external consideration but your personal vision and desire. In other words, painting is an inside job. God has all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. We are the spirit descendants of God with inborn spiritual traits that give us the sacred inner potential to become like our Heavenly Father. Without knowing God, we cannot comprehend the true character of ourselves. However, through a correct education, we discover a meaning for life and open the eyes of the soul to His great plan for us and divine connection between us.

Education helps us to awake a love for truth and ultimately leads to our salvation. Truth is “knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come”. This “truth abideth and hath no end; and if it be in you it shall abound” and Intelligence will rise with us in the resurrection. There’s the vital connection of intelligence to truth, and of truth to Godliness. In the revelation the Lord says ‘Intelligence or the light of truth is not created, neither can be.’ He also says ‘The glory of God is intelligence or, in other words, light and truth.’ A system of intelligence that cleaves knowledge, as light attracts to light, intelligence to intelligence, and truth to truth. “That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth clight, and dcontinueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day.” As Joseph Smith reminds us, “Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection. 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”. Intelligence is often confused with schooling. Intelligent people are not always school-educated people. It is possible for the students to enter the school and graduate without being intelligent. The only way to find the truth is through uncompromising self-education and self-honesty which leads to the salvation.

To conclude the essay, we need to understand things both in heaven and in the earth 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. Eternal progression comes when you trust God’s unlimited wisdom and choose to creators of circumstance rather than trusting our limited knowledge and becoming the creatures that carried by circumstance. Because we at its core divine as a spiritual being, truth is something “you hear is as the voice” which is Spirt. Some people may work in the arts, enjoy music, or work in a profession of sports or math. However, David A. Bednar said “As important as such activities and occupations can be, they do not define who we are.” No matter what we study, it is essential that we “seek learning, even by study and also by faith” with the power of the Holy Ghost. Brigham Young said, “Every accomplishment, every refined talent, every useful attainment in mathematics, music, and in all sciences, and art belong to the Saints. We must recognize that excellence and quality are a reflection of how we feel about ourselves and about life and about God.” Education molds character and comprehend who we really are, Education helps us to know the relationship between God and us; and Education helps us to awake a love for truth and ultimately leads to our salvation.

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