For more information on this topic read “Learning with Our Hearts,” by Elder Walter F. González, Ensign, Nov. 2012, 81.
Today, surrounded by so much information, we might think that navigating millions of web pages will give us all that we need to know. We can find good and bad information on the web, but information alone is not enough. God has give us another source for greater knowledge, even knowledge sent from heaven. Our Heavenly Father can give us such knowledge when we navigate the celestial web in our hearts and minds.
(Elder Walter F. Gonzalez, “Learning with Our Hearts,” Ensign, Nov. 2012, 81.)
“Thy Holy Word,” Hymns, #197
And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 16:16–17)
Read together 1 Corinthians 1:18–25 and ask:
• What did Paul teach about the wisdom of God and the foolishness of men?
• How is God’s wisdom different from the world’s wisdom? (See Isaiah 55:8–9; D&C 38:1–2.)
• What are some examples of God’s wisdom making foolish the wisdom of the world?
• In what ways can worldly wisdom and learning be a blessing to us?
• In what ways can it be a serious problem? (See 2 Nephi 9:28–29.)
• Why is it important to take time to know the “things of God”?
Read aloud 1 Corinthians 1:25–27. Ask:
• What did Paul mean when he said that God had chosen “the foolish things of the world to confound the wise” and “the weak things of the world to confound the . . . mighty”? (Verse 27)
• Why does God often choose the “weak things of the world” to fulfill his purposes?
• In what ways are missionaries good examples of “foolish things of the world” who will “confound the wise”?
Many years ago, when I taught elementary school, I had a parent-teacher conference with the mother of one of my students. She expressed her deepest gratitude for a miracle that she felt had taken place. Her fourth-grade daughter was experiencing some learning difficulties and had struggled for months with the seemingly impossible task of mastering long division. But earlier that day she had come home in ecstasy, exclaiming, “Mom, I can do it!” Her mother thanked me for “saying it right,” for “unlocking her little girl’s mind,” as she put it.
I didn’t tell that mother that as a child I myself had mastered the art of figuring everything out the wrong way before I found the right way, and that I could therefore track her daughter’s thought process. At that moment all of my own personal struggles with learning in years past seemed worth the effort. I thought of the admonition to “teach one another.” (See D&C 88:77.) That day was a great payday for me as a teacher and as a person.
Each of us can be learning every day of our life. Time goes so fast that it makes fast learners of all of us—if we are seeking diligently. . . . I remember one time asking my father in anguish, “If the glory of God is intelligence and you are not smart, what will happen to you?” And my very wise and learned father, who never graduated from high school but who was self-taught and intelligent through diligent study and great faith, eased my concern when he explained, “My dear child, if you are diligent in your studies and do your very best and are obedient to God’s commandments, one day, when you enter the holy temple, the university of the Lord, you will be prepared in your mind and spirit to learn and know all you need to know to return to your Father in heaven.” It was faith in that promise that seemed to unlock my mind. It was study and faith working together.
But that was years ago, when spelling bees and times tables measured one’s preparation for the future, at least for the next grade. What of today, with its computers, space travel, satellites, and newfound truth? Will we keep up? Should we? What learning should we seek? And what should we teach, write about, and talk about?
For each of us the challenges of today require the greatest preparation of mind, body, and spirit. Education presupposes the wide use of knowledge and should prepare people to develop the skills, attitudes, and values to build the kingdom of heaven here on earth. Our homes are a part of the kingdom. They should reflect some of the spiritual beauty of our celestial homeland, even when they are surrounded by storm clouds of darkness and are under attack.
The highest priority should always be to enrich, to protect, and to guard the home. To do this, we must have the Holy Spirit to guide us in our individual lives. We must know the truth and not be deceived. Our learning, our study, and our faith should be focused on that preparation which will strengthen the home and the family.
(Ardeth Greene Kapp, I Walk by Faith, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1987], p. 93.)
Cut the following sentences into strips and place in a bowl:
How to make cookies.
How to wash a dog
How to clean your bedroom
How to wash your hair
How to make and eat on ice cream cone.
How to watch TV and eat at the same time.
How to brush your teeth from start to finish.
How to get dressed in the morning.
How to make a sandwich.
How to clean the bathroom.
How to set the table.
Describe a sacrament meeting.
Begin by having someone draw one of the strips out of the bow and start talking about the topic written on the paper. (Someone older should go first so the younger members of the family can see how it is to be done.) As the person talks about the topic, he or she is to slip in things that are not true. The other family members should listen carefully and yell “stop” when they think something has been said that is wrong. They must say what it is that is wrong. This activity could end after each person has had a turn talking about a topic or when all of the strips have been drawn.
Explain to the family that this activity is much like the way Satan works. He mixes truth with lies. Just as we had to listen carefully to the things each person was telling us, we must listen carefully to what we are told in the world. There are many things that may sound good but that are really Satan’s traps. Sometimes the only way we can recognize these lies is to listen carefully to the things that Heavenly Father teaches us.
(Allan K. Burgess and Max H. Molgard, Fun for Family Night: Book Two, Church History Edition, [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1992], p. 53.