Throughout the month, lots of kids across the U.S. are heading back to school.
For some of us here in Arizona we are in week 5 of school. That’s halfway through the first quarter!
In theory, school is a place where we receive an education or training. This is how we learn or gain knowledge in particular areas.
Nelson Mandela has said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
So why is school or learning so important?
And how is school different from being educated?
In school you receive instruction, study materials and take tests to gauge your understanding or comprehension of the materials. That’s how you “get good grades”. Good grades are often held as societal measures for your educational success.
But what about when you perform well on tests and then forget the materials you studied? Is that education?
And can we be educated without formal schooling?
I love the thought that true education is our ability to learn how to learn.
For me, I believe we are designed to continue learning and developing throughout our lives. Doctrine and Covenants 93:36 states, “The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth.”
Sometimes the word intelligence is misinterpreted to mean academic skill or ability. However the dictionary definition of intelligence is, “the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills.”
And the American Psychological Association in their Dictionary of Psychology defines intelligence as, “the ability to derive information, learn from experience, adapt to the environment, understand, and correctly utilize thought and reason.”
So if we are developing our intelligence, and seeking light and truth, how do we learn to recognize truth?
One definition of truth “is knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come.”(D&C 93:24)
The scriptures teach us to seek learning by study and by faith (see D&C 88:118).
So if intelligence is the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills, wouldn’t that lead us to more knowledge and skill? I believe, yes.
How do we do that by study and by faith?
The “by study” seems pretty simple. We can learn from those who know more than we know and increase our knowledge that way.
That might be in the form of formal instruction or it could come in other forms. Maybe it is online instruction. Maybe it is self-directed video or audio learning. Maybe it is reading and learning from the text. It can look lots of different ways.
But what about “by faith”? For me there are questions and knowledge that I can’t truly learn from someone else. Some things I have to learn for myself. Some things I have learned from experience and from a higher source.
As we read Hebrews 11:1 it teaches us that “faith is the substance (or in other translations the assurance) of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (KJV)
Elder David A. Bednar talked about the three basic elements of faith in Jesus Christ in this way:
“(1) faith as the assurance of things hoped for that are true, (2) faith as the evidence of things not seen, and (3) faith as the principle of action in all intelligent beings.”
“I describe these three components of faith in the Savior as simultaneously facing the future, looking to the past, and initiating action in the present.”
I’m Michelle. I am learning how to minimize my overwhelm, perfectionism, and people-pleasing and I am ready to help you do the same. I’m a certified Life Coach and a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Come with me and learn how.
“Assurance, action, and evidence influence each other in an ongoing process. This helix is like a coil, and as it spirals upward it expands and widens. These three elements of faith—assurance, action, and evidence—are not separate and discrete; rather, they are interrelated and continuous and cycle upward.” “Seek Learning by Faith” (Ensign, Sept. 2007, 61–63).
Since I am “behind” this month on posting, this is like 3 weeks of perspective combined together.
For me, the spiritual form of learning is seen in the “by faith” form that we discussed. It allows us to tap into our natural wisdom and for me my relationship with a Higher power. That learning offers comfort in difficult times and allows me the chance to find inner strength and resilience. It helps me to increase my emotional intelligence as I learn to show compassion, empathy and gratitude for myself and for the people around me. It helps me to see the shared humanity with the millions and billions of people in the world around me.
The physical learning comes in the act of learning. That could be by study or by faith. But learning requires a physical engagement on my part. As I participate in the act of learning I develop other skills such as discipline and persistence. I learn the value of hard work and overcoming challenges. I can see and come to understand my own personal growth and development.
The social piece of learning comes into play as we learn and see the benefits of education on our society. Education in society leads to more employment opportunities, higher incomes, improving the collective economy, developing problem-solving skills, creating opportunities for family stability and a prosperous life and future, as well as developing empowerment in ourselves and those around us. In these ways we are able to shape a better society to live in as we learn how to interact with different people to exchange ideas and knowledge.
I love learning and truly believe this is one of the greatest gifts we have been given. It is an innate desire to grow learn and become more. Not out of a need to be better or to “fix” what we might be lacking, but simply because we were created to evolve and progress. And as we progress individually we can progress collectively as well. Just look at the advances that have occurred in just the past 100 years!
I LOVE learning!!! Send me a message and tell me the ways that you continue learning. Do you learn more by “study” or by “faith” or a combination of the two? Let me know by clicking the link to “Contact Me”. Share with me how you continue to develop this relationship and what you find most challenging. Tell me what, if anything, you find difficult in learning. If you prefer, you can “Schedule a Conversation” for a free session to discuss what you want to learn for yourself and how to get started.
Remember…..It’s ALL good!!