Learning Is Everybody’s Business

    “Learning Is Everybody’s Business,” Ensign, Feb. 1979, 64–65

    Learning Is Everybody’s Business

    We ought to be real students—students like no one else. Rather than shifting into neutral and coasting through religion classes—whether at universities, in institutes or seminaries, priesthood quorums, family home evening, or Sunday School—we should move into high gear and study as in no other area. The subject matter merits of us the best intellectual and spiritual effort we can muster; for if we, in this lay Church, don’t become proficient in learning the gospel of Jesus Christ, who on earth will? If the elders of Israel do not become profound theologians, who on earth will? If you mothers and mothers-to-be don’t learn the gospel sufficiently to teach your children, who on earth will? And, you missionaries, if you don’t learn the message the Lord would have you teach, who on earth will? Many painfully discover the obvious—you can’t teach well that which you do not know!

    Someone has said that the Church is never more than a generation away from extinction, and so it is if truths are not taught effectively. Each generation has the responsibility of teaching these truths effectively to each succeeding generation.

    I believe that one of the major reasons many in the world have been so weakened in their moral fiber is because they have not had an effective religious educational program based on true principles. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we have that; and, furthermore, we are committed. Our leaders are committed. We make no apology to anyone because we plan, organize, and invest resources of time and money. We drive countless miles to haul children to and from Primaries, early-morning seminaries, Church-sponsored Scouting activities, Sunday Schools, sacrament meetings, and quorum activities. We print manuals by the hundreds of thousands for parents and teachers to use in teaching. We establish seminaries, institutes of religion, schools, colleges, and even universities.

    Why? So that these truths can be taught and learned. So that circumstances can be created in which the Spirit can testify to all our spirits of the eternal truths of the gospel. This “Spirit” is really the basic distinctive feature of true “religious education.” Without it we cannot succeed, and when teachers and students have it, we cannot fail. Joe J. Christensen, Associate Commissioner for Religious Education (Brigham Young University devotional address.)