GS 120L: Lesson 3

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Speaking Partner Appointment: Education

Four students studying together at a table

You have now learned more about “Learning in the Gospel Perspective and Adjusting to College.” For this assignment, practice reading the text below with your Speaking Partner, and then answer the questions that follow.

As you read the excerpt to your Speaking Partner, write down words or phrases that you do not understand. When you have finished reading it through one time, discuss the vocabulary words that you did not understand. Then, re-read the excerpt with your Speaking Partner.

Education and the Gospel

Education matters to everyone, but it has special value for those who sense the deeper meaning and purpose of life. My grandfather had that kind of big-picture view of education. He wrote these words to his colleagues: “… Man is in the image of God, destined to go on learning and perfecting himself throughout eternity.”

Joseph Smith applied this principle in his own life. His family’s poverty prevented him from attending school past the second grade. However, he spent his life studying many of the subjects mentioned above—astronomy, history, languages, law, and others. Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the First Presidency of the church Joseph Smith established, has said this about him:

"Joseph Smith, as a very young man, translated the Book of Mormon from plates inscribed with a language no one on earth understood. He did it by a divine gift of revelation from God. But he later hired a tutor to teach him and other leaders of the Church ancient languages. Joseph Smith had essentially no formal schooling, yet the effect of the gospel of Jesus Christ on him was to make him want to learn more so that he could be more useful to God and to God’s children."

(from Henry J. Eyring, Major Decisions, 2010)

You may want to discuss the following:
  1. What is the meaning and purpose of life? Or, why are we here on earth?
  2. What does the quote mean that man will “go on learning and perfecting himself throughout eternity”?
  3. How was Joseph Smith able to translate the Book of Mormon?
  4. What effect can the gospel have in our lives with learning?