President Marion G. Romney of the First Presidency said: "I believe in study. I believe that men learn much through study. ... I also believe, however, and know, that learning by study is greatly accelerated by faith" (Learning for the Eternities, comp. George J. Romney , 72).
President John Taylor, the third President of the Church, said: "We ought to foster education and intelligence of every kind; cultivate literary tastes, and men of literary and scientific talent should improve that talent; and all should magnify the gifts which God has given unto them. ... If there is anything good and praiseworthy in morals, religion, science, or anything calculated to exalt and ennoble man, we are after it. But with all our getting, we want to get understanding, and that understanding which flows from God" (The Gospel Kingdom, sel. G. Homer Durham , 277).
While serving in the Quorum of the Twelve, Elder Gordon B. Hinckley gave an address in which he quoted the Savior's injunction "Learn of me" (Matthew 11:29). Then he said: "I should like to suggest that you follow that injunction given by the Son of God. With all of your learning, learn of him. With all of your study, seek knowledge of the Master. That knowledge will complement in a wonderful way the secular training you receive and give a fullness to your life and character that can come in no other way" (in Conference Report, Oct. 1964, 118; or Improvement Era, Dec. 1964, 1092).
Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve said: "Because of our sacred regard for each human intellect, we consider the obtaining of an education to be a religious responsibility. ... Our Creator expects His children everywhere to educate themselves" (in Conference Report, Oct. 1992, 5; or Ensign, Nov. 1992, 6).
President Gordon B. Hinckley taught young people the value of education: "It is so important that you young men and you young women get all of the education that you can. The Lord has said very plainly that His people are to gain knowledge of countries and kingdoms and of things of the world through the process of education, even by study and by faith. Education is the key which will unlock the door of opportunity for you. It is worth sacrificing for. It is worth working at, and if you educate your mind and your hands, you will be able to make a great contribution to the society of which you are a part, and you will be able to reflect honorably on the Church of which you are a member. My dear young brothers and sisters, take advantage of every educational opportunity that you can possibly afford, and you fathers and mothers, encourage your sons and daughters to gain an education which will bless their lives" ("Inspirational Thoughts," Ensign, June 1999, 4).
President Brigham Young taught, "Our education should be such as to improve our minds and fit us for increased usefulness; to make us of greater service to the human family" (Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. John A. Widtsoe , 255). How can education help us serve our families? How can education help us serve others? How can education help us in our efforts to help build the kingdom of God? Invite class members to share experiences in which their education has helped them in their efforts to serve.
While serving in the Quorum of the Twelve, Elder Gordon B. Hinckley emphasized the importance of encouraging children to read: "You know that your children will read. They will read books and they will read magazines and newspapers. Cultivate within them a taste for the best. While they are very young, read to them the great stories which have become immortal because of the virtues they teach. Expose them to good books. Let there be a corner somewhere in your house, be it ever so small, where they will see at least a few books of the kind upon which great minds have been nourished" (in Conference Report, Oct. 1975, 57; or Ensign, Nov. 1975, 39).
President Thomas S. Monson reminded us that little children can understand the teachings in the scriptures: "A ... hallmark of a happy home is discovered when home is a library of learning. ... The Lord counseled, ‘Seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith' (D&C 88:118). The standard works offer the library of learning of which I speak. We must be careful not to underestimate the capacity of children to read and to understand the word of God" (in Conference Report, Oct. 1988, 81-82; or Ensign, Nov. 1988, 70).
President Ezra Taft Benson of the Quorum of the Twelve taught: "Today, with the abundance of books available, it is the mark of a truly educated man to know what not to read. ... Feed only on the best. As John Wesley's mother counseled him: ‘Avoid whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, takes off your relish for spiritual things, ... increases the authority of the body over the mind' " ("In His Steps," in 1979 Devotional Speeches of the Year , 61).
Elder John A. Widtsoe of the Quorum of the Twelve taught: "The temple is a place of instruction. Here the principles of the gospel are reviewed and profound truths of the kingdom of God are unfolded. If we enter the temple in the right spirit and are attentive, we go out enriched in gospel knowledge and wisdom" ("Looking toward the Temple," Ensign, Jan. 1972, 56-57).
Elder Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve said:
"The temple is a great school. It is a house of learning. In the temples the atmosphere is maintained so that it is ideal for instruction in matters that are deeply spiritual. ...
"The temple ceremony will not be fully understood at first experience. It will only be partly understood. Return again and again and again. Return to learn. Things that have troubled you or things that have been puzzling or things that have been mysterious will become known to you. Many of them will be the quiet, personal things that you really cannot explain to anyone else. But to you they are things known. ...
"So look toward the temple. Point your children toward the temple. From the days of their infancy, direct their attention to it, and begin their preparation for the day when they may enter the holy temple.
"In the meantime, be teachable yourself, be reverent. Drink deeply from the teachings-the symbolic, deeply spiritual teachings-available only in the temple" (The Holy Temple [pamphlet, 1982], 6-8).
President Wilford Woodruff counseled, "Do not be discouraged because you cannot learn all at once; learn one thing at a time, learn it well, and treasure it up, then learn another truth and treasure that up, and in a few years you will have a great store of useful knowledge which will not only be a great blessing to yourselves and your children, but to your fellow men" (The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, sel. G. Homer Durham , 269).