젊은이 여러분, 세미나리에 참여하시기 바랍니다. 매일 경전을 공부하십시오. 교사가 하는 말을 주의 깊게 들으십시오. 배운 것을 기도하는 마음으로 적용하십시오.”
-토마스 에스 몬슨 회장
“가정의 밤 교재가 경전에 역점을 두고 만들어 진 것이 얼마나 감사한지 모르겠습니다. 마찬가지로 세미나리와 종교 교육원 교과 과정에서도 경전이 강조되며 학생이 경전이 지닌 활력과 의미를 내면화하는 데 도움이 됩니다.”(President Thomas S. Monson, Pathways to Perfection [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1973], 98.)
“거룩한 경전과 부모님의 인도, 초등회, 청녀회, 주일학교, 성찬식, 세미나리 등에서 끊임없이 받는 가르침은 여러분이 될 수 있는 가장 최고의 사림이 되겠다는 여러분의 결심을 크게 강화시켜 줄 것입니다.”(토마스 에스 몬슨 회장, 해의 왕국으로의 여행,성도의 벗, 1999년 7월호, 115쪽)
“초등회, 주일학교, 세미나리 등에서 받는 모든 수업은 - 모든 신권 임무지명은 그 자체보다 더 큰 목적을 내포하고 있습니다. 조용히, 거의 부지불식간에, 삶이 형성되고, 경력이 시작되며, 한 인간이 양성됩니다.”(President Thomas S. Monson, Priesthood Profiles, New Era, June 1987, 4).
평일에 이루어지는 종교 교육 프로그램도 전진해 가고 있습니다. 어디에 교회가 조직되든지, 그곳에는 세미나리 프로그램이 존재합니다. 마찬가지로, 종교 교육원도 대학생 연령의 젊은이들을 위해 훌륭한 봉사를 하고 있습니다. 1995년과 1996년 학기에 세미나리와 종교 교육원에 등록한 학생은 583,000명이 넘었습니다. 저는 오늘 밤 이 자리에 계시는 젊은이 여러분이 대부분 이 훌륭한 교회 프로그램의 수혜자라고 믿습니다. 세미나리나 종교 교육원에 참석하고 계시는 분들은 잠시 일어나 주시면 감사하겠습니다. 저것을 보십시오. 바로 저것입니다. 대단히 감사합니다.
“우리는 이 프로그램[세미나리와 종교 교육원]에 참여할 수 있는 모든 사람들이 그 혜택을 누리기를 바랍니다. 복음에 대한 지식이 커지고, 신앙이 강화되며, 여러분과 같은 신념과 가치관을 가진 사람들과 우정을 나눌 수 있게 됩니다.” (고든 비 힝클리, 선교 사업과 성전과 청지기 직분에 관하여,성도의 벗, 1996년 1월호, 58쪽)
“해당되는 분들은 모두 세미나리에 참석하시기 바랍니다. 이 조직에서는 여러분을 행복으로 이끌어 주는 교리를 배울 수 있고 여러분과 같은 사람들과 어울릴 수 있는 훌륭한 기회가 있습니다.”(고든 비 힝클리, 참되고 충실하라,성도의 벗,1996년 7월호, 93쪽)
“교육 분야를 보자면, 교회가 있는 곳이면 우리는 어디에든 세미나리와 종교 교육원 프로그램을 실시해왔습니다. 이 프로그램은 전 세계에 있는 학생들의 삶에 선한 영향을 끼칩니다. 종교 교육원에서 대학생 연령의 젊은 학생들은 즐겁게 교제하고, 배움과 사회 경험을 쌓으며 같은 신앙을 가진 남편과 아내를 찾기도 합니다.”(고든 비 힝클리,이 위대한 새천년의 해,리아호나,2001년 1월호, 80~81쪽)
복음에 대한 이해를 넓히는 기회를 최대한으로 이용하십시오. 세미나리와 종교 교육원 프로그램에 참석하도록 노력하십시오.(고든 비 힝클리,십일조: 우리의 신앙을 증거하는 기회,성도의 벗, 1982년 7월호, 67쪽)
우리의 위대한 교회 교육 프로그램은 계속 전진해 나가고 있습니다. 세미나리와 종교 교육원 프로그램을 통한 학생 훈련 사업은 계속 확대되고 있습니다. …… 우리는 이 프로그램에 참여할 수 있는 분들에게 모두 그 혜택을 받게 되시기를 권합니다. 우리 는 여러분이 이 프로그램에 참여할 때, 여러분의 복음 지식이 증가되고, 많은 훌륭한 친구들을 사귀어 우정을 맺게 되리라는 것을 확실히 약속드립니다. (고든 비 힝클리, 신앙으로 가능케 된 기적,성도의 벗, 1984년 7월호)
여러분이 어디에 있던 그 순간의 기회를 잡으십시오. 여러분이 선택한 학교를 사랑하며 그곳이 여러분의 소중한 어머니, 곧 진정한 모교가 되게 하십시오. 여러분의 모교가 제공하는 가장 최상의 것을 취하십시오. 그리고 계속해서 종교 교육원 프로그램을 고수하십시오. 학교와는 떨어져 있는 이러한 시설에 여러분의 또래들과 함께 모이십시오. 훌륭하고 유능한 교사들의 말씀을 귀담아 듣고, 사교 프로그램에 참여하십시오. 연구에 따르면 여러분이 마치 교회 소유의 학교에서 공부하는 것처럼 이렇게 했을 때 성전 결혼을 할 가능성이 높다고 합니다. …… 종교 교육원 프로그램은 우리 학생들이 어디에 있건 종교 훈련 및 교회와 함께할 수 있는 기회를 갖도록 하기 위해 교회 교육기구가 기울이는 매우 중대한 노력을 나타냅니다.(Gordon B. Hinckley, “Be Not Afraid, Only Believe” [CES devotional for young adults, Sept.9, 2001], 2).
“I am grateful for the seminary system in the Church and for the institute program of the Church. I want to urge every high school student here to take advantage of the seminary program. Your lives will be blessed the greater if you do. Every college and university student should take advantage of the institute program. It is the best place in the world to find your eternal mate, and you will be grateful all your lives if you do” (Gordon B. Hinckley, Excerpts from Recent Addresses of President Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, Dec. 1995, 67).
“We now have some 403,000 seminary and institute students enrolled worldwide. Additionally, some 46,500 students are enrolled in Church universities and schools. This is a huge and costly undertaking, but it yields noteworthy benefits in the lives of our youth in terms of spiritual enrichment, moral strength to resist the evil that is all about us, as well as a tremendous increase in gospel scholarship.” (Gordon B. Hinckley, The State of the Church, Ensign, May. 1991,51).
“As we look to the future, I see our young people in the Church. I see a lot of them. I see them all over. And I am absolutely enthusiastic about the quality of their lives, their strength, their goodness, their faithfulness. I haven't the slightest concern about the future of this Church as I see our young people. They study the scriptures. They go to seminary and institute. They pray about their decisions. They socialize among themselves in a wonderful atmosphere of faithfulness. They are on their way to becoming strong, and faithful, and able Latter-day Saints, who will deliver when they are called upon to do so” (Gordon B. Hinckley, “Messages of Inspiration from President Hinckley”, Church News, Dec. 2, 2000, 2).
“I hope every one of you goes to seminary. I am glad you do. It is good for you. Go there to learn and become acquainted with the gospel. Some day every one of you is going to have to defend this Church, to explain it to others. Now is the time to prepare” (Gordon B. Hinckley, 'Messages of Inspiration from President Hinckley', Church News, Aug. 3, 1996, 2).
“We have a great responsibility ... in the Church to make sure our own members, our own young people, do not fall into that unfortunate category of being blinded, of being good, fine, worthy young men and women who are kept from the truths of the scriptures because they do not know where to find those truths and because they do not possess confidence between the covers of their standard works.... We ought to have a Church full of women and men who know the scriptures thoroughly, who cross-reference and mark them, who develop lessons and talks from the Topical Guide, and who have mastered the maps, the Bible Dictionary, and the other helps that are contained in this wonderful set of standard works” (Howard W. Hunter, Eternal Investments [Address to CES religious educators, Feb. 10, 1989], 2-3).
“Those who delve into the scriptural library, however, find that to understand requires more than casual reading or perusal - there must be concentrated study” (Howard W. Hunter, Reading the Scriptures, Ensign, Nov. 1979, 64).
“We must put God in the forefront of everything else in our lives. He must come first.... When we put God first, all other things fall into their proper place or drop out of our lives. Our love of the Lord will govern the claims for our affection, the demands on our time, the interests we pursue, and the order of our priorities.... We should give God, the Father of our spirits, an exclusive preeminence in our lives” (Ezra Taft Benson, The Great Commandment - Love the Lord, Ensign, May 1988, 4-5).
“Regularly attend seminary and be a seminary graduate. Seminary instruction is one of the most significant spiritual experiences a young man can have” (Ezra Taft Benson, To the "Youth of the Noble Birthright", Ensign, May 1986, 44).
“We must balance our secular learning with spiritual learning. You young men should be as earnest in enrolling in seminary and learning the scriptures as you are in working toward high school graduation. Young adults enrolled in universities and colleges or other postsecondary training should avail themselves of the opportunity to take institute of religion courses or, if attending a Church school, should take at least one religion course every term. Joining our spiritual education to our secular learning will help us keep focused on the things that matter most in this life. Though I am speaking to you priesthood holders, the same admonition applies to the women of the Church as well as to the men” (Ezra Taft Benson, Godly Characteristics of the Master, Ensign, Nov. 1986, 46-47).
“For our teenage young men and women, one of the best preparations for a mission is provided by the Church through seminary and institute of religion classes. We hope you will urge your children to take part in this inspired program” (Ezra Taft Benson, Our Responsibility to Share the Gospel, Ensign, May 1985, 7).
“Many in the secular world are often adrift and anchorless. Only an education which educates for eternity has the wholeness which humans need. When we separate learning from divine moral truth it quickly deteriorates into a restless, roving search for meaning and often drifts into a sensual selfishness” (Spencer W. Kimball, The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball , 387).
“Knowledge is not merely the equations of algebra, the theorems of geometry, or the miracles of space. It is hidden treasures of knowledge as recorded in Hebrews, by which 'the worlds were framed by the word of God' (Heb. 11:3); by which Enoch was translated that he should not see death; by which Noah, with a knowledge no other human had, built an ark on dry land and saved a race by taking seed through the flood.... The treasures of both secular and spiritual knowledge are hidden ones - but hidden from those who do not properly search and strive to find them....
”Spiritual knowledge is not available merely for the asking; even prayers are not enough. It takes persistence and dedication of one's life. The knowledge of things in secular life are of time and are limited; the knowledge of the infinite truths are of time and eternity. Of all treasures of knowledge, the most vital is the knowledge of God: his existence, powers, love, and promises“ (Spencer W. Kimball, in Conference Report, Oct. 1968, 129).
”The secular without the foundation of the spiritual is but like the foam upon the milk, the fleeting shadow. Do not be deceived! One need not choose between the two ... for there is opportunity to get both simultaneously; but can you see that the seminary courses should be given even preferential attention over the high school subjects; the institute over the college course; the study of the scriptures ahead of the study of the man-written texts; the association with the Church more important than clubs, fraternities, and sororities; the payment of tithing more important than paying tuitions and fees?“ (Spencer W. Kimball, The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball , 390).
”Youth, beloved youth, can you see why we must let spiritual training take first place?-Why we must pray with faith, and perfect our own lives like the Savior's? Can you see that the spiritual knowledge may be complemented with the secular in this life and on for eternities but that the secular without the foundation of the spiritual is but like the foam upon the milk, the fleeting shadow?
“Do not be deceived! One need not choose between the two but only as to the sequence, for there is opportunity for one to get both simultaneously; but can you see that the seminary courses should be given even preferential attention over the high school subjects; the institute over the college course; the study of the scriptures ahead of the study of man-written texts; the association with the Church more important than clubs, fraternities, and sororities; the payment of tithing more important than paying tuitions and fees?
”Can you see that the ordinances of the temple are more important than the PhD or any and all other academic degrees?“ (Spencer W. Kimball, ”Beloved Youth, Study and Learn“, in Life's Directions: A Series of Fireside Addresses , 190).
”We are sending you out as artists, scientists, teachers and philosophers. Will you never forget the theme of the lesson we are talking about, that you are but branches of a divine tree and that of yourself you can do nothing? All truths, whether called science or religion, or philosophy, come from a divine source.... You then, I plead with you, do not in your search for truth, allow yourselves to become severed from the 'vine.' In all your learning, measure it and test it by the white light of truth revealed to the prophet of God and you will never be led astray“ (Harold B. Lee, ”Life under Control“ [BYU commencement address, June 4, 1951],19).
”We ought to understand that we have espoused a system of religion that is calculated in its nature to increase within us wisdom and knowledge.... The whole idea of Mormonism is improvement - mentally, physically, morally, and spiritually. No half-way education suffices for the Latter-day Saint“ (Lorenzo Snow, The Teaching of Lorenzo Snow, comp. Clyde J. Williams , 26-27).
”The mere stuffing of the mind with a knowledge of facts is not education. The mind must not only possess a knowledge of truth, but the soul must revere it, cherish it, love it as a priceless gem; and this human life must be guided and shaped by it in order to fulfil its destiny. The mind should not only be charged with intelligence, but the soul should be filled with admiration and desire for pure intelligence which comes of a knowledge of the truth. The truth can only make him free who hath it, and will continue in it. And the word of God is truth, and it will endure forever“ (Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine , 269).
”I served as Commissioner of Church Education for a number of years, so I've had a chance to see that there are three powerful things seminary can do. First, it puts young people together who share the same values. Youth like to be with others who share their faith and who love the scriptures. Second, it puts youth together with a teacher who has a testimony, and they can feel the fire of it when it is borne. Third, seminary gets young people into the scriptures. Seminary teachers have tried all sorts of methods - scripture chases, assignments, and scripture mastery. Success varies from student to student, but when seminary works, you find a teacher who has a testimony and who loves the young people“ (Henry B. Eyring, "A Discussion on Scripture Study", Ensign, July 2005, 25).
[To parents:] ”If you want your children to grow spiritually, teach them the doctrines of the gospel.
“If you want your son to play the piano, it is good to expose him to music. This may give him a feel for it and help greatly in his learning. But this is not enough. There is the practice and the memorization and the practice and the practice and the practice before he can play it well.
”If you want your daughter to learn a language, expose her to those who speak it. She may get a feel for the language, even pick up many words. But this is not enough. She must memorize grammar and vocabulary. She must practice pronunciation. There is rote learning without which she will never speak or write the language fluently.
“So it is with the gospel. One may have a feel for it. But some time one must learn the doctrine. Here, too, rote learning, practice, memorization, reading, listening, discussion, all become essential. There is no royal road to learning...
”The Church can help parents because this kind of learning is effectively given in a classroom setting. So we have seminaries, institutes, religion classes; there are priesthood, Sunday School, and auxiliary classes. The curriculum for all of them centers in the scriptures and the history of the Church. Spiritual development is tied very closely to a knowledge of the scriptures, where the doctrines are found.
“A school library may hold a world of knowledge. But unless a student knows the system of cataloging, a search for that knowledge will be discouraging; it will be an ordeal. Those systems are really not too difficult to learn. Then all of the knowledge in all of the books is opened to him. Searching becomes very simple indeed. But one must find it and read it. One must earn it.
”It is so with the scriptures. They contain the fulness of the everlasting gospel, an eternity of knowledge. But one must learn to use them or the search will be discouraging. Again, there is a system. Learn about the concordance, the footnotes, the Topical Guide; memorize the books of the Bible and the Book of Mormon. And the scriptures will then yield their treasure. All of this is taught in the seminary and institute classes. The teachers are both worthy and well trained. But they cannot help if your students are not enrolled.
“There is a revolution in progress. The silicone chip has changed our future. We move from the Industrial Age to the Age of Information. And schools are tooling up to meet the challenge. Graduation requirements for high schools and entrance requirements for colleges are being tightened up. Elective courses are being reduced in number, and they must be carefully selected.
”Students, if your values are in place, you will not hesitate to forego an elective class that may decorate your life in favor of instruction which can hold together the very foundation of it. Then, once enrolled, attend, study, and learn. Persuade your friends to do the same. You will never regret it; this I promise you.
“Without guidance, your student may choose another elective instead of seminary, or another course instead of an institute class. That would surely be a mistake. It would be like adding one more brick to the house of knowledge when there is little mortar to hold it all together. Parents, encourage, even insist, that your students register for seminary or institute. Presidents, bishops, youth leaders, you are responsible to encourage every youngster, without exception, to enroll. Few things you do will benefit them quite as much.
”Parents, you are greatly indebted to teachers. Somehow you must show it by supporting them. Very few teachers are unworthy of support. If there is a problem, too frequently and all too quickly some parents side with their child against a teacher. As a rule of thumb, we have told our youngsters that disrespect for teachers, in public schools or in Church schools, brings trouble at home as well. This year two hundred thousand students are enrolled in seminary, and over one hundred and twenty thousand in institutes of religion in eighteen languages in sixty-eight countries. Whether it be released-time, the early-morning, or the home-study programs, the courses are the same. They center in the scriptures; they teach the doctrine and history of the Church.
“Some classes are very humble indeed. President Kimball and I once attended a seminary class in North Dakota. We did not meet in a fine room with a blackboard and projector and special school chairs. We met in the very small bedroom in a very small house.
”The teacher, Sister Two Dogs, sat on the edge of the bed. The students crowded together on the floor. It was no less a class than one held in a beautiful building. The most important ingredient, the Spirit of the Lord, was there. I attended a seminary graduation in Omaha, Nebraska. The speaker, again a young man, described this experience.
“'Each morning I awoke to the sweet voice of my mother calling out, 'John, John, time to get ready for seminary!' The year rolled on and the mornings grew cold and wet and dark; still the happy voice of Mother would sing out, 'John, John, time to get up for seminary!' Then he added, 'I learned to hate that sound!'
”But then, choking back the tears, he thanked his mother for what she had given him. And I think only later did he realize that she had to be up first every morning.
“The temptation your children will face will not come at home nor in the seminary class. It will come later, when they are away from both teacher and parent. One day you must set them free. When that day comes, how free will they be, and how safe? It will depend on how much truth they have received. I know of a young missionary who, half a world away from his parents and teachers, faced the testing that comes to young manhood. There, beyond the control of either of them, he made a decision. Later he wrote: 'I'm so glad I stayed, because during this last month I found something-I found myself.'
”I thank God for teachers in the Church, you who have chosen, and have been chosen for, the better part.“ (Boyd K. Packer, Agency and Control, Ensign, May 1983, 67).
”Institute, too, has its fun and games and a course in courtship and marriage. Now the boy-girl chase becomes more exciting because they begin to catch one another! The percent of temple marriages among graduates of seminaries and institutes is more than double the Church average. I repeat: The percent of temple marriages among the graduates of seminaries and institutes is more than double the Church average. Do you need any better endorsement than that?
“All of these courses in seminary, in institute, and at Church schools are taught by dedicated teachers. They deserve our respect, our deep gratitude, and our full support. Every parent, every Church leader, should act as an enrollment agent for seminaries and institutes. Parents and priesthood leaders, check on your college students. See that they attend the institute.
”Years ago, I was in Arizona with Elder Kimball. He gave a powerful endorsement of seminary and institute to the people of his home stake. Afterward I said, 'I will be quoting you all over the Church.' He replied, 'You do that. And if you can think of anything better to say, say it and quote me“ (Boyd K. Packer, The Library of the Lord, Ensign, May 1990, 38).
”In the history of the Church there is no better illustration of the prophetic preparation of this people than the beginnings of the seminary and institute program. These programs were started when they were nice but were not critically needed. They were granted a season to flourish and to grow into a bulwark for the Church. They now become a godsend for the salvation of modern Israel in a most challenging hour. We are now encircled. Our youth are in desperate jeopardy. These are the last days, foreseen by prophets in ancient times“ (Boyd K. Packer, "Teach the Scriptures" [address to CES religious educators, Oct.14, 1977],3).
”Seminaries and institutes of religion spread across the world. The teachers and students learn and teach by the Spirit (see D&C 50:17-22), and both are taught to understand the scriptures, the words of the prophets, the plan of salvation, the Atonement of Jesus Christ, the Apostasy and Restoration, the unique position of the restored Church, and to identify the principles and doctrines found in them. Students are encouraged to develop a habit of daily scripture study“ (Boyd K. Packer, On Zion's Hill, Ensign, Nov. 2005, 73).
”There are those who have made a casual, even an insincere effort to test the scriptures and have come away having received nothing, which is precisely what they have earned and what they deserve. If you think it will yield to casual inquiry, to idle curiosity, or even to well-intentioned but temporary searching, you are mistaken“ (Boyd K. Packer, We Believe All That God Has Revealed, Ensign, May 1974, 95).
”Don't neglect the opportunity of attending seminary and institute classes. Participate and gain all you can from the scriptures taught in these great religious-education settings. They will prepare you to present the message of the restored gospel to those you have opportunity to meet.“ (Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, ”Raising the Bar,“ Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2007, 48.)
”I know the power that comes from associations in the seminary and institute programs. It has enriched my life, and I know it will do the same for you. It will put a shield of protection around you to keep you free from the temptations and trials of the world. There is a great blessing in having a knowledge of the gospel. And I know of no better place for the young people of the Church to gain a special knowledge of sacred things than in the institute and seminary programs of the Church.
“Many years ago I had the privilege of teaching early-morning seminary. The class was held between 6:30 A.M. and 7:30 A.M. each school day. For two years I watched sleepy students stumble into class, challenging their instructor to wake them up. After prayer was offered and an inspirational thought given, I watched bright minds come alive to increase their knowledge of the scriptures. The most difficult part of the class was to terminate the discussion in time to send them on to their regular high school classes. As the school year progressed, I watched each student gain greater confidence, closer friendships, and a growing testimony of the gospel.
”A few years ago I was in a grocery store in a city not far from here when I heard someone call out my name. I turned to greet two of my former seminary students. They were now husband and wife. They introduced me to their four beautiful children. As we visited I was amazed with the number of seminary classmates they still had contact with after all these years. It was an evidence of a special bonding that had occurred in that very early morning seminary class. As we parted, a scripture came into my mind: 'I will call you friends, for you are my friends, and ye shall have an inheritance with me' (D&C 93:45). There is a special strength we gain from associations with each other, especially in gospel settings“ (L.Tom Perry, Receive Truth, Ensign, Nov. 1997, 61-62).
”Plan on completing the full four years of seminary. You know the institute is available for all students and nonstudents between the ages of 18 and 30. Are you enrolled? If not, I invite you to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity. And to you who are enrolled, study diligently to learn the gospel. I promise you that the foundation you receive in these two great programs will bless you throughout your lives. This is my witness to you in the name of our Lord and Savior, even Jesus Christ, amen“ (L.Tom Perry, Receive Truth, Ensign, Nov. 1997, 62).
”There must needs be an order to our learning, the same order indicated by the Savior's teaching: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33). Learning about sacred things should come first, providing a context and a need for secular learning. If we want to return to our Heavenly Father's presence, our first priority should be to learn about his ways and his plan. The world might fool you into believing there is insufficient time to engage in both spiritual and secular learning. I warn you not to be deceived by these philosophies of men. Your learning about sacred things will facilitate, even accelerate, your secular learning....
“If we provide a spiritual foundation for our secular learning, not only will we better understand the laws of nature, we can gain a deeper understanding about art, languages, technology, medicine, law, and human behavior never before imagined possible. We can see the world around us and understand it through God's eyes.... Do not underestimate the Lord's power and his willingness to bless your lives. ... He has instructional designs and learning theories that the world's educational psychologists haven't even imagined yet....
”So never worry about the time it takes to learn of spiritual things. It is time well spent. It provides a foundation for secular learning. Indeed, the Lord will bless you if you trust in him and learn about his eternal plan first. And the eternities offer an infinite amount of time to acquire secular knowledge. We are talking about a widening, not a narrowing window of opportunity to learn if we attend to first things first“ (L.Tom Perry, Enter to Learn-Go Forth to Serve [CES fireside for young adults, Mar. 5, 1995], 3-4).
”Take part in seminary and institute to gain vital understanding of truth“ (Richard G. Scott, Realize Your Full Potential, Ensign, Nov. 2003, 42).
”The seminary programs will help you as a young man or woman to lay a foundation for happiness and success in life“ (Richard G. Scott, Now Is the Time to Serve a Mission!, Ensign, May 2006, 88).
”I know that to gain knowledge of great worth requires extraordinary personal effort. This is particularly true when our desire is to obtain spiritual knowledge. President Kimball said it this way: “The treasures of both secular and spiritual knowledge are hidden ones-but hidden from those who do not properly search and strive to find them. ...Spiritual knowledge is not available merely for the asking; even prayers are not enough. It takes persistence and dedication of one's life. ... Of all treasures of knowledge, the most vital is the knowledge of God” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, pp. 389-90).... Profound spiritual truth cannot simply be poured from one mind and heart to another. It takes faith and diligent effort. Precious truth comes a small piece at a time through faith, with great exertion, and at times wrenching struggles. The Lord intends it be that way so that we can mature and progress“ (Richard G. Scott, Acquiring Spiritual Knowledge, Ensign, Nov. 1993, 87-88).
”Their [young members“] spiritual education ... will shape the purpose and speed the process of their secular learning....It is clear that our first priority should go to spiritual learning. Reading the scriptures would come for us before reading history books. Prayer would come before memorizing those Spanish verbs. A temple recommend would be worth more to us than standing first in our graduating class....
”Putting spiritual learning first does not relieve us from learning secular things. On the contrary, it gives our secular learning purpose and motivates us to work harder at it. If we will keep spiritual learning in its proper place, we will have to make some hard choices of how we use our time. We generally know when papers will be due, when tests must be taken, when projects must be completed. And we know when the Sabbath will come. We know when the institute class will be held. We know when the prayers at the beginning of a day and those at the end should come. We know about how long it takes in reading the scriptures before we begin to feel the Holy Spirit. We know about how many hours it takes to prepare and to perform our service in the Church.
“When we see life as it really is, we plan for a time and a place for all of those things. There will come crises when there does not seem to be enough time. There will be many instances when one thing crowds out another. But there should never be a conscious choice to let the spiritual become secondary as a pattern in our lives. Never. That will lead to tragedy. The tragedy may not be obvious at first, nor may it ever be clear in mortal life. But remember, you are interested in education not for life, but for eternal life. When you see that reality clearly with spiritual sight, you will put spiritual learning first and yet not slight the secular learning. In fact, you will work harder at your secular learning than you would without that spiritual vision....
”There is another way to look at your problem of crowded time. You can see it as an opportunity to test your faith. The Lord loves you and watches over you. He is all-powerful, and He promised you this: 'But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you' (Matthew 6:33). That is a true promise. When we put God's purposes first, He will give us miracles. If we pray to know what He would have us do next, He will multiply the effects of what we do in such a way that time seems to be expanded.... The real life we're preparing for is eternal life. Secular knowledge has for us eternal significance. Our conviction is that God, our Heavenly Father, wants us to live the life that He does. We learn both the spiritual things and the secular things so that we may one day create worlds and people and govern them (see The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball ,386)“ (Henry B. Eyring, ”Education for Real Life“ [CES fireside for young adults, May 6, 2001], 2-3, 5).
”There is spiritual learning just as there is material learning, and the one without the other is not complete; yet, speaking for myself, if I could have only one sort of learning, that which I would take would be the learning of the spirit, because in the hereafter I shall have opportunity in the eternities which are to come to get the other, and without spiritual learning here my handicaps in the hereafter would be all but overwhelming“ (J.Reuben Clark Jr., in Conference Report, April 1934, 94).
”It is a paradox that men will gladly devote time every day for many years to learn a science or an art; yet will expect to win a knowledge of the gospel, which comprehends all sciences and arts, through perfunctory glances at books or occasional listening to sermons. The gospel should be studied more intensively than any school or college subject. They who pass opinion on the gospel without having given it intimate and careful study are not lovers of truth, and their opinions are worthless“ (John A. Widtsoe, Evidences and Reconciliations, arr. G.Homer Durham , 16-17).