“Ricks College Education Week Emphasizes Family,” Ensign, Sept. 1998, 80
Almost 2,000 participants gathered to Church-owned Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho, on 4–6 June to attend Education Week classes about the family, homemaking, self-improvement, and human relations.
Participants could choose from among 14 classes each hour and attend a devotional each morning. Devotional speakers included Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, general Relief Society president Mary Ellen Smoot, and Ricks College president David A. Bednar.
The theme was “Every Home Is a House of Learning,” selected from a 1993 general conference address by Elder Wirthlin: “Every home is a house of learning either for good or otherwise. Family members may learn to be obedient, honest, industrious, self-reliant, and faithful in living gospel principles, or they may learn something else. Learning the gospel in the homes of Church members should be centered on the scriptures and on the words of latter-day prophets” (“Spiritually Strong Homes and Families,” Ensign, May 1993, 70).
In his address, Elder Wirthlin reiterated his conference statement, saying that the home is “far and away the single most important institution of learning in this Church and in the world. … Strong families who teach and practice in their homes enduring values, based on true principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ, are this world’s best hope for a better future.”
Elder Wirthlin cited the proclamation on the family as a response to Satan’s attack on families. “The proclamation powerfully reminds us of the importance and sacredness of family life and of our responsibilities to foster and protect strong families,” he said. He also stressed the importance of prayer, fasting, learning, faith, and order as taught in Doctrine and Covenants 88:119 [D&C 88:119]. “When parents fully realize, accept, and carry out their divine duty as partners with God the Father in accomplishing his work and his glory, they teach their children that they are God’s children and they teach them how their Heavenly Father wants them to live to be happy and to earn the blessings of eternal life,” he said.
Sister Smoot spoke about families in her address, outlining what she called the “quintessential elements of a happy family.” She also quoted the proclamation on the family: “Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ” (Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102).
In his address, President Bednar reflected that although many young members of the Church know they should pray and read their scriptures, some don’t know why. He stressed the importance of meaningful obedience to God’s commandments and the teachings of his prophets.
The next Ricks College Campus Education Week will be held 3–5 June 1999. According to Doug Stutz, Ricks College event coordinator, next year’s program will include more classes for youth ages 14 and up.