Learning: We've been told to…

Are You Still Learning?

Are You Still Learning?

Sometime ago, and yes I’ve forgotten what the name of the talk was – but I know who it was by. It was given by Cleon Skousen. It mentioned that David O. McKay wanted to have current events discussed in Priesthood meeting, but ultimately was afraid of the backlash it would cause. Then more recently, like yesterday I started reading (listening) to Jack Monnett’s book “Awakening To Our Awful Situation” that again made mention of being commanded in studying current events along with histories.

I really wanted to put some validation to this. While I have been unable to find much with what I heard from Cleon Skousen, I was able after a little while digging around the internets to put some validation to being commanded in continual learning.

Before I continue, I just want to take a moment to explain why it’s made such an impact and why I’m writing about this. As someone who wasn’t the most thrilled about school, learning, or even church in my younger years – I have grown into an adult who does actually like to learn. Whether it’s for my current career of web developer or my thirst for understanding the gospel better. I want to learn more! Even at the risk of putting my soul in jeopardy (I think I’ll explain this latter).

So, back to my discovery – some may already know this, or might even have different references to this, but I found this in a talk given by President Spencer W. Kimball entitled “Seek Learning, Even By Study and Also by Faith”[1. Spencer W. Kimball, “‘Seek Learning, Even by Study and Also by Faith’,” Ensign, Sep 1983, 3]

77 And I give unto you a commandment that you shall ateach one another the bdoctrine of the kingdom.

78 Teach ye diligently and my agrace shall attend you, that you may be binstructed 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 aheaven and in the earth, and under the earth; things which have been, things which are, things which must bshortly come to pass; things which are at home, things which are abroad; the wars and the perplexities of the cnations, and the judgments which are on the land; and a dknowledge also of countries and of kingdoms—
80 That ye may be prepared in all things when I shall send you again to amagnify the calling whereunto I have called you, and the bmission with which I have commissioned you.[2. D&C 88:77–80]
Now I know it’s a little veiled here, it doesn’t exactly come out and say “study current events”, but this one of those awesome examples of why we have modern day prophets.
Spencer W. Kimball had this to say about current events:
To study “things which have been” is to delve into history, a lifetime challenge. In addition, current events, or history in the making, should give us concern for careful study.
Add to that:
The “wars and perplexities of the nations” is a great concern to us now that the world is a large community. Perplexities afflicting one people affect the lives of others distantly removed.

And that brings me to my ulterior motive of this post, why should we learn about current events, histories, other countries, politics, etc. I’ll let President Ezra Taft Benson explain it in his straight forward, yet eloquent manner.

One of our most serious problems is the inferiority complex which people feel when they are not informed and organized. They dare not make a decision on these vital issues. They let other people think for them. They stumble around in the middle of the road trying to avoid being “controversial,” and get hit by traffic going both ways. In this mighty struggle each of you has a part. Every person on the earth today chose the right side during the War in Heaven. Be on the right side now. Stand up and be counted.[3. Teachings Of Ezra Taft Benson p387]

I bring this up because of my current reading and other readings. We [LDS] have been warned of impending calamities. We’ve been warned of Constitutional failures, and Secret Combinations.

Are you doing anything? I don’t mean that as condemnation, the Lord(D&C 60: 2) takes care of that, and I’m more asking what can I do. I mean my family has passed this question around and sometimes one might get caught up in the idea of being one person, and what can one person do? I like to think (and I’m probably wrong) that my mass emails to family and friends about certain current events are something, while more likely woefully inadequate.

I look around my ward and wonder how many people in my ward actually understand what is happening in the world – beyond the MSM induced coma that we are presented through the TV. I worry about even bringing something up to them because people can get very sensitive to either something contrary to their brittle vision of the world, or being forced out of blissful ignorance, or even being told that even though they are active and participating LDS members they are guilty of letting things happen because of their lack of doing something.

Brethren, if we had done our homework and were faithful, we could step forward at this time and help save this country. The fact that most of us are unprepared to do it is an indictment we will have to bear. The longer we wait, the heavier the chains, the deeper the blood, the more the persecution and the less we can carry out our God-given mandate and world-wide mission. The war in heaven is raging on earth today. Are you being neutralized in the battle?[4. Ezra Taft Benson - Conference Report April 1965 p125]

Luckily, the scriptures offer a ray of sunshine on all this doom and gloom, found in D&C 58:27–28, we read:

27 Verily I say, men should be aanxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness;

28 For the power is in them, wherein they are aagents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their breward.[5. D&C 58:27–28]
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