Families, communities, and nations are strengthened as individuals seek greater knowledge. This is the fifth in a series on the Young Women values. The first post in the series can be found here. It discusses the Young Women values and the Personal Progress program that assists women of all ages to develop these attributes. Each value is represented by a specific color.
The fourth Young Women value is Knowledge, and it is represented by the color green. Since green is the color of springtime when new growth takes place, green reminds us to keep growing and gaining new knowledge.
The quest for greater knowledge has been important to leaders and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since the early days of the Church. In a revelation received by the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Lord says,
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. (Doctrine and Covenants 130:18-19)
Two of my favorite latter-day prophets are Gordon B. Hinckley and Spencer W. Kimball. Both of them spoke about the importance of seeking knowledge. Under the topic “The Lord Wants You to Be Educated,” President Hinckley says,
You have a mandate from the Lord to educate your minds and your hearts and your hands. The Lord has said, “Teach ye diligently … of things both in heaven and in the earth, and under the earth; things which have been, things which are, things which must shortly come to pass; things which are at home, things which are abroad; the wars and the perplexities of the nations, and the judgments which are on the land, and a knowledge also of countries and of kingdoms – that ye may be prepared in all things” (Doctrine and Covenants 88:78-80).
The Lord wants you to train your minds and hands to become an influence for good as you go forward with your lives. And as you do so and as you perform honorably and with excellence, you will bring honor to the Church, for you will be regarded as a man or woman of integrity and ability and conscientious workmanship. In addition, your education will strengthen your service in the Church. A study was made some years ago that indicated the higher the education, the greater the faith and participation in religious activity.
The Lord wants you to educate your minds and hands, whatever your chosen field. Whether it be repairing refrigerators, or the work of a skilled surgeon, you must train yourselves. Seek for the best schooling available. Become a work man of integrity in the world that lies ahead of you” (Gordon B. Hinckley. “Words of the Prophet: Seek Learning.” New Era, September 2007).
Some years previous to President Hinckley’s talk, President Spencer W. Kimball also spoke about the importance of seeking knowledge. He says,
Of all the treasures of knowledge, the most truly vital is the knowledge of God, of his existence, his powers, his love, and his promises. Through this knowledge, we learn that our great objective in life is to build character. In fact, we learn that the building of faith and character is paramount, for character is higher than intellect, and perfect character will be continually rewarded with increased intellect.
Thus, our real business on earth is to master self. And as we master ourselves, we will learn to master the earth and its elements. Most important, we will learn how to help others overcome and perfect themselves in all ways of living. (Spencer W. Kimball. “Seek Learning: Even by Study and Also by Faith.” Ensign, September 1983.)
According to these two latter-day prophets, the Lord desires us to gain all the knowledge that we can during our time on earth. He wants us to learn about the earth and the heavens, secular as well as spiritual. As the above quoted scripture says, we can take all the knowledge that we gain with us when we leave this earth. It is the only thing that we can take. Meanwhile, we can strengthen our families, communities, and nations by continually seeking new knowledge.