Education Quotes - 2

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Spiritual and Secular

Children should be taught, as President Hugh B. Brown paraphrased, that,

"What one knew at 21 or 35 or 60 is never enough to last a lifetime.  The degree of our achievement in business, profession, home, family life, social affairs, civic duties—in fact, our religious and personal philosophy—is largely determined by our education."

(As quoted in Continuing the Quest [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1967], p. 328.) (Also quoted in Making Your Home a Missionary Training Center, Joe J. Christensen)


"God desires that we learn and continue to learn, but this involves some unlearning.  As Uncle Zeke said:  'It ain't my ignorance that done me up but what I know'd that wasn't so.'  The ultimate evil is the closing of the mind or steeling it against truth, resulting in the hardening of intellectual arteries."

Hugh B. Brown  (From a baccalaureate address, Utah State University, Logan, Utah, 4 June 1965;  quoted by James E. Faust,  Ensign,  Nov 1985, p. 7)


"The more you read, the more you know. 
The more you know, the smarter you grow. 
The smarter you grow, the stronger your voice, 
In expressing your view, or making your choice."

Quoted in John Bytheway's book:  What I Wish I'd Known in High School, p. 6


"The mere stuffing of the mind with a knowledge of facts is not education."

Joseph F. Smith (Gospel Doctrine, page 269)


Elder Neal A. Maxwell, then commissioner of the Church Educational System, gave the best analysis of the academic's divided loyalties in his unforgettable metaphor of the passport:

"The LDS scholar has his citizenship in the Kingdom, but carries his passport into the professional world--not the other way around."

(Address at BYU College of Social Sciences Symposium on the Behavioral Sciences, Feb. 1976).


"The most important knowledge in the world is gospel knowledge."

Joseph Fielding Smith  (Ensign, May 1971, page 2)


"You will see the day that Zion will be as far ahead of the outside world in everything pertaining to learning  of every kind as we are to-day in regard to religious matters.  You mark my words, and write them down, and see if they do not come to pass. [Journal of Discourses 21:100]

President John Taylor: Quoted by President Merrill Bateman,   BYU Annual University Conference, Aug. 24, 1998


"The first step to knowledge is to know that we are ignorant."

Lord David Cecil


"We...encourage our people to study and prepare to render service with their minds and with their hands.  Some are inclined toward formal university training, and some are inclined toward the practical vocational training.  We feel that our people should receive that kind of training which is most consistent with their interests and talents.  Whether it be in the professions, the arts, or the vocations; whether it be university or vocational training, we applaud and encourage it."

President Spencer W. Kimball ("The Foundations of Righteousness."  Ensign, November 1977, p. 4)


"We must gain learning, but we must apply it wisely. Otherwise, we have politics without principle, industry without morality, knowledge without wisdom, science without humanity!"

Russell M. Nelson - "Protect the Spiritual Power Line"   (Ensign, November 1984, page 30)


"Some 'learned' souls delight in leading others astray, all in the so-called name of learning.  Years later their victims may realize that they have climbed their ladder of learning, only to find it leaning against the wrong wall."

Russell M. Nelson   (Ensign, November 1984, page 30)


"Not all truth is of the same value or importance.  Some truths are greater than others.  The greatest truth, or the greatest truths, we find in the fundamentals of the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

First of all, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Redeemer of the world, who came into this world to die that men might live.  That truth we should know.  It is far more important to know that Jesus Christ is our Redeemer, that he has given unto us the principles of eternal life, than it is to know all that can be obtained in secular education."

Joseph Fielding Smith: "Conference Report",  April 1955,  p. 51


"I have learned that it is much easier for the Lord to make a good man or woman smart than to make a smart man or woman good.

Richard N. Williams, BYU Devotional, Feb. 1999


"...I have no fear of learning, of the pursuit of knowledge, for any of our young people, if they will keep in mind diligence and obedience--obedience to the commandments of God, diligence in keeping close to the Church, in keeping active, keeping prayerful, keeping clean, keeping circumspect in their conduct. 

It isn't learning or the love of learning, or knowledge, or the pursuit of any subject that would take from a man his faith, but it is failure to keep the commandments, the failure of a man to feed all sides of himself..."

"Conference Report",  April 1956,  p.44


"We cannot justify mentally shifting into neutral and failing to exert our efforts to progress intellectually. Whether or not you are in school, the challenge is the same. We should continue learning throughout our lives."

Joe J. Christensen, New Era, Jan. 1998 


"Talk about accelerated learning programs.  Do not underestimate the Lord's power and His willingness to bless your lives if you ask with a sincere heart and real intent.  He has instructional designs and learning theories that the world's educational psychologists haven't even imagined yet."

L. Tom Perry,  CES Fireside, BYU, March 5, 1995


"No matter how old we become, we can acquire knowledge and use it.  We can gather wisdom and profit from it.  We can grow and progress and improve - and , in the process, strengthen the lives of those within our circle of influence"

Gordon B. Hinckley, "Standing for Something", p 59


"God's ways are higher than man's ways.  We, as his children, barely understand the minutia of the multiplication tables of human existence, let alone the calculus of the cosmos.

God could tell us neither how he brought to pass the Creation nor how he made possible the reality of the Resurrection, because, in our present condition, we would not be able to understand it fully."

Neal A. Maxwell "Our Acceptance of Christ," Ensign, June 1984, p. 71


"Get over the idea that only children should spend their time in study.  Be a student so long as you still have something to learn, and this will mean all your life."

Henry Doherty,  1870 - 1939


"Remember these three beliefs:  First, there is no limit to your potential learning as a child of God.  Second, childlike humility is the key to teachableness.  And third, living a clean life will allow the Holy Ghost to confirm and expand your learning. 

"If these are your beliefs, and if you live by them, then you too will be able to do what they think you can't do."

Henry B. Eyring, Commencement Address, Ricks College, April 21, 1988 
New Era, October 1989


"True knowledge never shuts the door on more knowledge, but zeal often does."

Hugh Nibley (Of All Things, 2nd Ed, Deseret Book, SLC, 1993, page 218)


Topic: Education        

"You are all in school.  Do not waste your time. This is a time of great opportunity that you will never have again as long as you live.  Make the most of it right now.  It is wonderfully challenging, it is hard, it is tough.  But what a wonderful thing to go and learn of all the accumulated knowledge of all of the centuries of time that is at your disposal. 

Go on to college or whatever school, vocational school, whatever your choice is.  But take advantage of every opportunity that you have, because the Lord has laid upon you a mandate through revelation to the Prophet Joseph Smith concerning not only spiritual learning but secular learning, and yours is the responsibility and you can't afford to waste your time.

There is so much to learn.  Be smart.  Give it the very best that you have' 

(Youth Meeting, Denver, Colorado, 14 Apr. 1996)." Gordon B. Hinckley "Inspirational Thoughts" -  Ensign,  Aug. 1997,  p.  5


"If the gospel is only for the learned, how few there are of us who could have any use for it."

J. Reuben Clark, Jr. (General Conference Report, April 1934, page 93)


"I make progress by having people around me who are smarter than I am--and listening to them. And I assume that everyone is smarter about something than I am."

Henry Kaiser


Elder Neal A. Maxwell cautions that "the LDS scholar has his citizenship in the kingdom, but carries his passport into the professional world, not the other way around."

Neal A. Maxwell, "Some Thoughts on the Gospel and the Behavioral Sciences", Ensign, July 1976,  p. 7


"Education is the key to opportunity. The Lord has placed upon you, as members of this Church, the obligation to study and to learn of things spiritual, yes, but of things temporal also. Acquire all of the education that you can, even if it means great sacrifice while you are young."

Gordon B. Hinckley, Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, 72


"In the pursuit of education, individual desire is more influential than institution, and personal faith more forceful than faculty. "

Elder Russell M. Nelson  -  Ensign, Nov. 1992, 6


"Education is a progressive discovery of our ignorance." William James "Will" Durant (1885-1981) American historian, "The Story of Civilization."


"Gradualness, gradualness, and gradualness. From the very beginning of your work, school yourself to severe gradualness in the accumulation of knowledge."

Ivon Petrovich Pavlov (1849-1936)
Russian physiologist best known for discovering conditioned response, 1904 Nobel Prize. 


Topic: Desire to Learn

"'Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.' (Matt. 5:6.) The scripture from ancient America adds, 'shall be filled with the Holy Ghost.' (3 Ne. 12:6.)

"A young man approached Socrates and asked him to be his tutor and to teach him what he knew. Socrates took the young man to the seaside and out into the water. Then he pushed his head under the water for almost too long.

The young man struggled, came up gasping for air, and demanded the meaning of such an unwarranted action. The great Socrates responded, 'When you want to learn as badly as you want a breath of air, only then can I teach you what you want to know.'

To understand the gospel of Jesus Christ, one must first have a strong desire to learn and a willingness to study."

Royden G. Derrick, "The Way to Perfection," Ensign (CR), May 1989, p.76