Mormons Value Education For Its Own Sake

We Learn So We Can Be Godlike and Serve Others, As Well As Ourselves

woman studying
Young woman studying. Photo courtesy of © 2011 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved

Gaining a good education can mean graduating from a university or learning a professional trade or skill. Mormons, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, believe and teach that a good education is important for a number of reasons. We also believe that it is necessary to learn throughout our lives. Whatever formal education we are able to attain should be complemented with lifelong learning.

Education Helps Us Become Like God

God has a perfect knowledge and knows all things. He is omniscient. We believe we are the spirit children of our Heavenly Father. We should always seek to increase our learning. We have this capacity, because we are children of deity.

In the D&C we are told:

The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth.

This quote enjoys prominence at all the Church schools.

Education is For Our Eternal Growth

Becoming more like God through increased knowledge, education and abilities is part of our eternal progress. The Lord taught:

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.

The more we learn in this life, the farther along we will be in the next life.

We do not fully understand why. However, we know it to be so.

Education is For Our Good

Gaining an education, or marketable trade, is extremely important for us and our families while we are here on earth as well.

As we increase our learning, knowledge, and abilities, we increase our ability to take care of ourselves and our families, both in and out of the home.

This is why the Church operates church schools and other educational programs.

In higher education these include the following, all located in the United States of America:

  • LDS Business College (LDSBC) in Salt Lake City, Utah.
  • Brigham Young University-Hawaii (BYU-Hawaii) in Laie, Hawaii.
  • Brigham Young University-Idaho (BYU-Idaho) in Rexburg, Idaho.
  • Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo, Utah

Only by attaining and improving our knowledge and skills can we truly become self-reliant. Once you become self-reliant, it is also crucial to remain self-reliant. Prosperity is a desirable side benefit of the high importance we place on education and self-reliance.

Many LDS members around the world have limited resources to pursue learning. The Church is developing resources for all members everywhere.

One of these is the Perpetual Education Fund or PEF. Patterned after the Perpetual Emigration Fund, also called the PEF, this revolving fund lends money to members to gain valuable knowledge and skills. After being gainfully employed, they pay back these funds and a small amount of interest. Donations built this fund and they continue to augment it. It is slowly becoming available all over the world.

LDS Women do not get educational short shrift. Mormon women are encouraged to get all the education and learning they can, just like the men.

Serving God and Others

One of the main purposes of life is to learn how to serve God by serving others. Working to better our knowledge and education will better help us in the service of God and our fellowman.

President Henry B. Eyring teaches this principle. He cautioned that if we seek learning only to exalt ourselves, only pride and selfishness will result. If we seek learning to serve God and His children, we will enrich our capacity to serve.

Jesus Christ spent His life serving and we are told to follow His example in this thing, as well as everything else he modeled for us.

We have all been given a unique set of gifts. Developing these gifts and talents is one of our responsibilities in this life.

Education and Being a Lifetime Learner

Gaining knowledge is not just for the young, but for all ages. We should always be a lifetime learner and continue to increase our talents, skills and knowledge.

Education should not stop with the end of our formal education. Some view a diploma as permission to spend the rest of their lives recreating and enjoying leisure pursuits. When finished, you simply cash in on your investment.

Formal education on earth does not end learning, nor should it. Everything we learn makes it easier to acquire more learning. Learning is an eternal pursuit, not just an event.

Updated by Krista Cook.