Sunday, February 7, 2016

Youth Lesson - Why Is Learning An Important Part of Heavenly Father's Plan?

What have you been learning about in your personal gospel study this week?

As we talk together today, think about why learning is an important part of God's plan?

“One of the main reasons Heavenly Father sent us to earth was to give us experiences that would help us learn and become more like Him. If we are obedient and teachable, He will help us learn what we need to know, line upon line, throughout our lives. Heavenly Father expects us to use the knowledge we gain to bless others and build His kingdom.” - From the manual

Father sent us to earth to learn. Were we only sent here to earth to learn about the scriptures? What else were we sent here to learn?

The For the Strength of Youth manual had this to say about education.  Who has their For the Strength of youth manual with them?

“Education is an important part of Heavenly Father’s plan to help you become more like Him. He wants you to educate your mind and to develop your skills and talents, your power to act well in your responsibilities, and your capacity to appreciate life. The education you gain will be valuable to you during mortality and in the life to come.

“Education will prepare you for greater service in the world and in the Church. It will help you better provide for yourself, your family, and those in need. It will also help you be a wise counselor and companion to your future spouse and an informed and effective teacher of your future children.

“Education is an investment that brings great rewards and will open the doors of opportunity that may otherwise be closed to you. Plan now to obtain an education. Be willing to work diligently and make sacrifices if necessary. Share your educational goals with your family, friends, and leaders so they can support and encourage you.”

For the Strength of Youth closes with this question for us to think about.  “How can an education benefit me and my future family?”

We learn that we may be enabled to magnify our callings and be better.
Doctrine and Covenants 88:77-80
77 And I give unto you a commandment that you shall teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom.
78 Teach ye diligently and my grace shall attend you, that you may be instructed more perfectly in theory, in principle, in doctrine, in the law of the gospel, in all things that pertain unto the kingdom of God, that are expedient for you to understand;
79 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
80 That ye may be prepared in all things when I shall send you again to magnify the calling whereunto I have called you, and the mission with which I have commissioned you.

How do you teach someone to multiply?  It is very difficult for someone to teach us to multiply numbers if we have not learned to add numbers. There are many things in life that make no sense until we learn other things first. Thus we must be diligent in always learning and perfecting our skills in the basic things of life, so that we are prepared for the more advanced things God wants to give us when we are ready.

President Uchtdorf shared in October 2014 general conference
A Parable of Dandelions
Once there was a man who enjoyed taking evening walks around his neighborhood. He particularly looked forward to walking past his neighbor’s house. This neighbor kept his lawn perfectly manicured, flowers always in bloom, the trees healthy and shady. It was obvious that the neighbor made every effort to have a beautiful lawn.
But one day as the man was walking past his neighbor’s house, he noticed in the middle of this beautiful lawn a single, enormous, yellow dandelion weed.
It looked so out of place that it surprised him. Why didn’t his neighbor pull it out? Couldn’t he see it? Didn’t he know that the dandelion could cast seeds that could give root to dozens of additional weeds?
This solitary dandelion bothered him beyond description, and he wanted to do something about it. Should he just pluck it out? Or spray it with weed killer? Perhaps if he went under cover of night, he could remove it secretly.
These thoughts totally occupied his mind as he walked toward his own home. He entered his house without even glancing at his own front yard—which was blanketed with hundreds of yellow dandelions.

Do we focus on the things we need to learn or do we spend our time telling others what they need to change?

Elder Oaks talked of our responsibility to learn in Learning and Latter-day Saints in the April 2009 Ensign:
"Our religious faith teaches us that we should seek learning by the Spirit and that we have a stewardship to use our knowledge for the benefit of mankind."

What do you think about that?

Elder Oaks continues :
"A learned Latter-day Saint should seek to understand the important religious, physical, social, and political problems of the day. The more knowledge we have of heavenly laws and earthly things, the greater influence we can exert for good on those around us and the safer we will be from scurrilous and evil influences that may confuse and destroy us."

If we are not diligent in learning true things we can end up being taught things that are not true with trying.

If we have more knowledge about how the physical world works we are less likely to be taken advantage of by people who would seek to deceive is for their gain.

Elder Oaks continued,  "As we seek to receive and apply the guidance of the Spirit in a world driven by the trends and issues of the day, we are confronted by an avalanche of often erroneous and trivial information served up by modern technology."
"We are also bombarded by popular talk show hosts, television psychologists, fashion magazines, and media commentators, whose skewed values and questionable practices can drive our opinions and influence our behavior."

One example of where people are being taught falsehoods is in defining men's and women's roles.

President Kimball said,  "“There has never been a time in the world when the role of [women and men] has been more confused.” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W Kimball, p 222)

Ephesians 4:11-14 tells us of some of the tools God had given us to help us avoid being misled by ideas created without understanding God's plan.
11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

By knowing and understanding the scriptures and the words of the prophets we will not be confused by what the world is trying sell us as truth.

Knowing What to Study
Sometimes as we prepare for the future parts off or life we do not know how to prepare and what we should study.

We need not fear. President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, taught: “The Lord knows both what He will need you to do and what you will need to know. He is kind and He is all-knowing. So you can with confidence expect that He has prepared opportunities for you to learn in preparation for the service you will give. You will not recognize those opportunities perfectly. … But when you put the spiritual things first in your life, you will be blessed to feel directed toward certain learning, and you will be motivated to work harder.”6