What Do Mormons Believe: Education

“The Lord commands us to ‘seek learning, even by study and also by faith’ (D&C 88:118). President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008) taught: ‘We believe in education. This Church encourages education. There is incumbent upon every member of this Church, as a mandate from the Lord, to get all the education you can get. … There is incumbent upon the Latter-day Saints a dictum from the Lord Himself to educate our minds and our hands.5

“Gaining an education was the goal of Roberto Flete Gonzalez of the Dominican Republic, who enrolled in college shortly after returning from his mission. His father agreed to cover his living expenses so that Roberto could focus on his studies, but a short time later, Roberto’s father died, leaving the family in a dire financial situation.

“Roberto quit school and began working to support himself, his mother, and his sister. He wondered how he’d ever be able to finish school.

“Weeks later President Hinckley announced the Perpetual Education Fund (PEF), ‘a bold initiative’ that would help youth in developing areas ‘rise out of the poverty they and generations before them have known.’ 6 Roberto applied for and was granted a PEF loan, which allowed him to continue his studies. This opportunity not only helped with immediate finances, but it also helped Roberto have the faith to marry and form an eternal family because he knew he would be able to provide for them.

“Roberto finished medical school while serving as a bishop and became the first Church member on the National Board of Dominican Medical Schools. But the best results, he says, have been at home. ‘There have been changes in my family as we are now further removed from the cycle of poverty,’ he says. ‘I am grateful that my son won’t have to live the same way I did because we’ve stepped out of that cycle.'” (“Catching the Vision of Self-Reliance,” Ensign, June 2011)

“For members of the Church, education is not merely a good idea—it’s a commandment.” (“Two Principles for Any Economy”, Ensign, Nov. 2009)

For more information, visit the Education and Literacy section of providentliving.org and visit besmart.com , a website to help Latter-day Saint youth prepare for higher education.

What Do Mormons Believe: Self-Reliance

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the welfare plan of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Church Security Plan—which would later be renamed the Church Welfare Plan—was first announced in April 1936 in the Great Depression era by president Heber J Grant. The program helps people through temporally difficult circumstances in order to help them become self-reliant.

“The intent of the Church’s welfare plan … involves promoting self-reliance as a way of life. President Thomas S. Monson has taught that self-reliance—’the ability, commitment, and effort to provide the necessities of life for self and family1 —is an essential element of our temporal and spiritual well-being.2

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