Growing up, I didn’t love school. I thought it was only good for the social aspect. I thought it was usually so boring and I remember my last days of high school, thinking, “I am done with school-FOREVER!!” Years later, after more life experience, travel, and learning just how much there is out in this big world, I decided to go back to school. I was married and had two little ones at the time and I felt this great hunger to go to college. I regretted not using my time better as a teenager and wanted the chance to learn again-about history, psychology, science, even a little math if I had to. I was excited to be accepted to a local college and began my journey of truly learning-this time my heart was in it. I felt so grateful for the opportunity! Years before school felt like a dreaded waste of time, and now here I was giddy about the chance to learn-to hand in assignments and take tests.
Each class was a faith promoting experience. I remember reading about the founding fathers and feeling immense gratitude for their sacrifices-and a feeling that they were inspired men. I learned in Near Eastern Studies about conflicts that have been going on for thousands of years. I learned more of other religions and my understanding grew of other people and cultures. I remember studying physical science and biology-more of how the earth works and our body’s DNA. Math isn’t easy for me but I would study and concentrate-sometimes looking at things over and over until my brain could grasp it. I don’t recall ever taking a class that felt like a waste of time. I preferred psychology over math any day-but I learned and valued each class-even if it was just learning that I could figure it out.
There are so many opportunities for learning. I know it doesn’t have to be in a classroom-anywhere we are and everyday we live, we can be learning. Life is one big learning opportunity. Learning with the Spirit is different than just reading stuff and wasting time. I’ve done both and I can feel the difference. And the Spirit can lead us to what is best for our individual learning and growth. With the Light of Christ-we can search through information, knowledge and literally everything we are presented with and learn what is truth-and what is not. With opposition in all things, we will constantly be confronted with truth and lies-and the Spirit can guide us to truth. Through the Spirit…through faith and obedience to God, we can find the truth of all things (Moroni 10:5).
A few years ago I read a book about science. This book could have been written by an atheist for all I knew, but as I read about the details of the earth and the discoveries made over centuries of learning-my faith in God grew. The more I read about the science of the earth, the more I believed in God-the creator of the heavens and the earth. The scientific process was all so beautiful. It’s AMAZING. From the tiny little bugs that creep and crawl-to elephants and lions. Volcanos, canyons, the ocean, space-it’s all so beautiful. When I learn more about the earth and history-anything really, I am reminded that all things denote there is a God (Alma 30).
“Seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.” (D&C 88:118)