Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Devotional Address by Elder Robert D. Hales

While I'm waiting, I want to record this thought, which will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me: I over think things. I overplan, I overanalyze, I overworry about things that generally work themselves out. (Ryan's going, "Yeah, trial runs, anyone?" Okay, okay, yes, you're a genius, no one needs to do trial runs of every aspect of their life, which is the tendency I have, I think in a vain attempt to control things out of my control. Today my thought is this: I spent literally hours poring over the catalog of classes, agonizing over the exact perfect combination of parenting, marriage, personal development, and gospel classes, that are simultaneously meeting all of my personal needs, yet are not too far to walk from one building to the next. Hours and hours, no joke. Today I still hadn't decided which classes to take for sure, there were just so many options. But the first hour I only had to decide between two, so I went to the Being Enough class. The teacher said that when she was agonizing about a previous ed week class, a friend told her that it doesn't matter what she prepares - people are led to the classes they need to attend, and the spirit will tell them what they need to learn from that teacher. And it's so true. I'm trying to learn to be a better mother, but every class that I take tells me how to love more, like Christ. What could make me a better mother than that? I want to learn more about the gospel, have a deeper understanding of the scriptures, and every class uses the scriptures to teach. It doesn’t matter what class I take and which I skip, the spirit is telling me what I need no matter where I am. I think that's a valid lesson that I didn't have to take a class to learn.

Quest for lifelong learning

in choosing to come to earth, we chose to progress, to know, to gain more knowledge. Lifelong learning is not only secular, it is eternal. You cannot take it with you, but knowledge has eternal significance. D&c scripture - what intelligence we obtain in this life will go with us.

Earth is a great school. Part of our eternal education. As children we learned because our parents made us, with the reward of being self-sufficient. If that is our only motivation, we will stop learning when the degrees are earned and the parents leave us alone. We need to learn for the joy of being edified rather than being entertained. Their desire is to learn to change their behavior, to improve themselves and the world.

The scriptures give us the curriculum of the lifetime learner - things of the world and of heaven, things of nations, wars, judgments on the land, countries and kingdoms.

Nephi was taught somewhat in all the learning of my father. The lifelong learner knows no boundaries in their quest for knowledge. They have an insatiable desire to learn of all subjects and disciplines, on all the wide subjects that interest them.

Is it a genetic gift, or can you learn the desire for learning? Anyone willing to pay the price, heavenly father will bless us with the drive to become lifelong learners.

how can we improve our desire and the desire of others to be lifelong learners?

Attributes of lifelong learners:
Faithful desire
willingness to share what we've learned

Courage - to overcome fear of leaving limits of comfort zone and enter unknown. We dwell in our strengths, avoid our weaknesses. Dwell in security of our past, fear of ignorance. Need courage to have faith in darkness.

Faithful desire - insatiable unselfish desire to gain knowledge for the mere joy of obtaining knowledge without need for rewards. Desire for self-improvement, happier life, knowledge that will help them be better mothers, wife, servants in the kingdom. Seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom.

Humility - recognize the source of all knowledge is a gift of god. The humble will be blessed. Intelligence is a gift of god, don't become prideful of i.q. or accomplishments. God metes out each piece of intelligence in his time, in his way. The lord gives knowledge and wisdom to us. We should use that to lift and strengthen other. Learning is a gift of the spirit.

Patience - understand that diligence and energy and time are needed to gain knowledge. Sometimes what we learn today doesn't seem valuable for months or years. Ponder the knowledge so we can put the knowledge to use when needed.

Curiosity - as children, curiosity is instinctive, learners find techniques that surpass what they learn at school. They don't lose curiosity. Ask question why, and then finding answers. The thrill of investigating and finding answer didn't know is wonderful. Personal aha moments when wee see larger picture all at once. Edison - I have not failed, I’ve found 10,000 ways that didn't work.

Communication - find joy when those they teach by sharing knowledge are uplifted. Communicate with god to give thanks for knowledge. Sharing with other learners, great teachers are also great listeners. Great teachers produce lifelong learners - don't provide all answers, but lead them to fountain and give them desire to drink.

Scripture study is a lifelong learning experience. Now matter how many times we read it, through Holy Ghost we will gain new insights to meet life's challenges. Yesterday's meal is not enough to meet today's needs.
gospel learning comes one precept at a time, must read over and over.

Mosiah didn't teach sons how to read to get ahead in the world, it was so he could be spiritually wise. Lehi took plates in wilderness so they could remember how to be children of god. It's why scriptures are for us at this time.

Sincere desire, faith, prayer, obedience aid scripture study. It doesn't require years of formal education. Unlearned and ignorant like peter and john gained gospel knowledge by listening to words of the savior. Masters degree in theology is less important than the degree of knowledge we can gain from the Master.

Learn principles and doctrines, not places and names. Find insights for your life, it's an instruction manual for becoming like the savior. It's a quest for spiritual insights and understanding and growth that comes from application.

We grow in spirit as we care for our neighbors and the world around us.

Results of learning are not reflected in grades and honors, but who we become. Our qualities, faith hope and love are most important ways to progress as individuals. As we increase mental capacity we receive new insight, if we ponder we can get additional insight that solves a question or one of life’s' problems. That is the sweet mystery of lifelong learning. When we experience leap of faith.

Have prayer before and after scrip study - before, to prepare, after to give thanks and gratitude for what has been given us.

Scriptures and gospel are eternal curriculum. Learn why we are here.

Lifetime learning past present and future. Learners see connection between what we learned in past, with what we are learning in the present and what we can learn in the future. Always open for idea sin future, spending lives learning, being better than our best. Personal progress is simply that, best of today is not good enough for tomorrow.

Michael Phelps set world record in 2004, but now needed to be better than his best to win this Year. he shaved off a whole minute from the 1904 time. What an example of being better than your best. If we don't try to grow every day, we won't be able to meet demands of tomorrow.

Sometimes learning is limited by capacity of our mind, and we have to expand the capacity of our mind. Or we place limitations on ourselves.

never dwell on the past or attempt to protect your comfort zone against changes on future advancements that will be needed.

D&c 138 - gave people hope
like Christ, our endings usher in new eras. Lifelong learners don't dwell on past, they build on past.

Milestones seem like ultimate goal, then leave us depressed, then ask your self what next? The end is only the dawn of a new beginning. Enjoy a moment of satisfaction of progress you've made, then turn around to see what new peaks are now in sight and set a course to climb higher into he future. The achievement on the past will help you achieve in the future.

Time stops for no man. What we do with our time will determine the degree of lifelong learning we will bring to the eternities.

Motherhood is the ideal opportunity for lifelong learning. Leaning grows as she nurtures child in development years. They learn and mature together. It is exponential not linear learning. Each child brings added dimension to learning. Their needs are so demanding and different. A mother learns so much of psychology, education, biology, development of gifts, nursing, etc. Think of spiritual learning that is required to teach gospel principles, to teach fhe, relief society, primary, etc. A mothers opportunity for learning is universal - don’t' sell yourself short as a woman. Or as a mother. The world would stand that a woman is in a form of servitude that doesn't allow her to express talents. Don't let the world define denigrate or limit your feeling of lifelong learning and motherhood and benefit you give to your children and husband. Learning helps self-worth, is invigorating mentally, and improves self-doubt. Progress and improvement are essence of lifelong learning.

Only goal is living eternal life and faithfully enduring to the end - everything else is corollary. Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, that gets understanding. (O.T.?)

glory of god is intelligence. To basic intelligence we add knowledge, to that we add experience, and that equals wisdom. With all thy getting get understanding. The world stops at wisdom, the lord teaches us understanding.

Wisdom plus gift of Holy Ghost give us understanding. We will no more desire to do evil, wee will long for returning to father.

Ponder and seek to acquire the attributes of lifelong learners. Ask what is the meaning and value of each characteristic to me? How do they apply to me? How can it make it a part of my life? How ca I enhance these qualities in my life? If you only seek to improve one quality in your life it will make a difference in your life and your future.

We cannot only believe but to know that god lives. Seek to know, and it will be granted to you. Seek to let others know that the gospel is restored.

1 comment:

Frazier Family Blog said...

Thank you for this devotional! I have been wanting to download it off of the byu broadcasting data base and was becoming increasingly impatient.