TREASURE UP THE WORD OF GOD
Laying hold upon the word of God in the scriptures and in the words of the prophets signifies our faith in, the priority of, and the importance of the word of God at BYU-Idaho. The word of God is the anchor. It is the standard against, and the lens through which, all things in every discipline are measured and evaluated. We seek excellence in our academic disciplines as we strive to understand them in the light of the restored gospel.
Learners and teachers at BYU-Idaho seek to master the learning and knowledge of their respective disciplines, but they do not "lay hold" on that knowledge if it conflicts with the word of God. When learners and teachers at BYU-Idaho use the word of God in this way, they are able to "lay hold upon every good thing" (Moroni 7:25).
INSIGHTS FROM STUDENTS
"Yea, we see that whosoever will may lay hold upon the word of God, which is quick and powerful, which shall divide asunder all the cunning and the snares and the wiles of the devil, and lead the man of Christ in a strait and narrow course across that everlasting gulf of misery which is prepared to engulf the wicked." Helaman 3:29
"Teach ye diligently and my grace shall attend you, that you may be instructed more perfectly in theory, in principle, in doctrine, in the law of the gospel, in all things that pertain unto the kingdom of God, that are expedient for you to understand; Of things both in heaven and in the earth, and under the earth; things which have been, things which are, things which must shortly come to pass; things which are at home, things which are abroad; the wars and the perplexities of the nations, and the judgments which are on the land; and a knowledge also of countries and of kingdoms- That ye may be prepared in all things when I shall send you again to magnify the calling whereunto I have called you, and the mission with which I have commissioned you."
"Thou shalt give heed unto all his words and commandments which he shall give unto you as he receiveth them.... For his word ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth.... For by doing these things the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; yea, and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his name's glory."D&C 21:4-6
See also 2 Nephi 32:3; Alma 33:2; D&C 124:45-46; Joshua 1:8; John 5:39; James 1:22-25
"Search the Scriptures, search the Prophets and learn what portion of them belongs to you and the people of [today]."
Jeffrey R. Holland, "A School in Zion," Educating Zion, 1996, p. 155
"That is the real merging we someday have to do here-not only organizing, pruning, and prioritizing the world's knowledge all about us, but also fusing gospel insights and gospel perspectives into every field and discipline of study."
Edward L. Kimball, The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, 1982, p. 387
"Many in the secular world are often adrift and anchorless. Only an education which educates for eternity has the wholeness which humans need. When we separate learning from divine moral truth it quickly deteriorates into a restless, roving search for meaning and often drifts into a sensual selfishness."
Boyd K. Packer, "Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled", Ensign 1991, p. 102
"It is the tendency for many members of the Church who spend a great deal of time in academic research to begin to judge the Church-its doctrine, organization, and leadership, present and past-by the principles of their own profession.... A member of the Church ought always, particularly if he is pursuing extensive academic studies, to judge the professions of man against the revealed word of the Lord."
- Begin each class with prayer.
- With the word of God as a lens, seek to see and understand the truth in all fields of study.
- Seek to master the rigors of the field of scholarship, recognizing that the word of God is the ultimate arbiter of truth and falsehood.
- Seek to bring the revelations of the Restoration into the classroom. Apply principles derived from the word of God to the process of learning and to the problems of academic disciplines.
- Explain, demonstrate, and promote the fusion of faith and reason.
- Testify of truth whenever appropriate.
- Recognize and help others to recognize Heavenly Father as the source of all truth.
- In philosophy or sociology, the current scholarship is dogmatic that gender is purely a social construct; the only real difference between men and women is biological. There is, according to this theory, no such thing as "maleness" or "femaleness." Teachers and learners recognize that they must do everything in their power to understand, master these concepts, and become proficient in the current scholarship. However, "laying hold" on the word of God would require that they measure and evaluate those concepts in light of The Family: A Proclamation to the World where it states, "Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose."
- An economics class contrasts the principles and conditions which resulted in the Zion society described in Fourth Nephi to the principles of socialist theory and their results in modern countries.
- A learner in the social sciences evaluates competing theories of human behavior and motivation based on her knowledge of the true nature of man as a spirit child of God.
- Do I spend sufficient time studying the scriptures and the teachings of modern apostles and prophets? Do I dig deep (Luke 6:48) to establish my foundation?
- As both a learner and a teacher, do I base my actions on the word of God?
- Can my fellow learners and teachers tell me that I am rooted and settled in the gospel?
- Where are learners most likely to encounter conflicts between faith and reason in my field? How do I deal with that conflict? How might I assist others who are struggling?
- Do I apply study and reason to my pursuit of spiritual truth? Do I exercise faith and seek inspiration in my pursuit of scholarly truth?
- What can happen if I keep scholarly and spiritual learning separate? What can happen as I allow these two kinds of truth to merge and influence each other?