Sunday, June 11, 2006

A Religious Educational Study

Mosiah 23:14
And also trust no one to be your teacher nor your minister, except he be a man of God, walking in his ways and keeping his commandments.

“Any man who will question the divinity of the mission of the Lord Jesus Christ, or will deny the so-called miracles of the scriptures is unfit to be a teacher of Latter-day Saint children.” (Improvement Era Vol. 21, p. 104)
-Joseph F. Smith

So who is supposed to teach our children?

“There is no knowledge, no learning that can compensate the individual for the loss of his belief in heaven and in the saving principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. An education that leads a man from these central truths cannot compensate him for the great loss of spiritual things.” (Doctrines of Salvation, 1:321-322.)
-Joseph Feilding Smith
“But some Latter-day Saints are so liberal and unsuspecting that they would just as soon send their children to Mr. Pierce down here as to anybody else. I would not do it. However good a man Mr. Pierce may be, he should not teach one of my children as long as I had wisdom and intelligence to teach him myself, or could find a man of my own faith to do it for me.” (Journal of Discourses 14:287-288)
-Joseph F. Smith

Doctrine and Covenants 93:39-40, 42
And that wicked one cometh and taketh away light and truth, through disobedience, from the children of men, and because of the tradition of their fathers. But I have commanded you to bring up your children in light and truth... You have not taught your children light and truth, according to the commandments; and that wicked one hath power, as yet, over you, and this is the cause of your affliction.

Does Satan use the common educational system to take away light and truth? Are there any afflictions associated with what is being taught in the public schools?

Henry B. Eyring
“The world in which our students choose spiritual life or death is changing rapidly. When their older brothers and sisters return to visit the same schools and campuses they attended, they find a radically different moral climate. The language in the hallways and the locker rooms has coarsened. Clothing is less modest. Pornography has moved into the open. Tolerance for wickedness has not only increased, but much of what was called wrong is no longer condemned at all and may, even by our students, be admired. Parents and administrators have in many cases bent to the pressures coming from a shifting world to retreat from moral standards once widely accepted. The spiritual strength sufficient for our youth to stand firm just a few years ago will soon not be enough. Many of them are remarkable in their spiritual maturity and in their faith. But even the best of them are sorely tested. And the testing will become more severe.” ("We Must Raise Our Sights," CES Address, August 14, 2001)

“Shall we employ teachers that will turn the infant minds of our children away from the principles of the gospel and perhaps lead them to darkness and death? ...I would like to know if a Methodist would send his children to a Roman Catholic School, or vice versa? I think not. Do either send their children to "Mormon" schools, or employ "Mormon" teachers? I think not. Do we object to it? No, we do not; we accord to all classes their rights, and we claim rights equal with them. Well, shall we, after going to the ends of the earth to gather people to Zion, in order that they may learn more perfectly of His ways and walk in His paths, shall we then allow our children to be at the mercy of those who would lead them down to death again? God forbid! Let our teachers be men of God, men of honor and integrity, and let us afford our children such learning as will place our community in the front ranks in educational as well as religious matters. But would we interfere with other religious denominations? No. Prevent them from sending their children where and to whom they please? No. Or from shipping where they please? No. I would not put a hair in their way, nor interfere with them in any possible way; they can take their course, and we want the same privilege.” (Journal of Discourses 19:249-250)
John Taylor

D&C 55-4 And again you shall be ordained to assist my servant Oliver Cowdery to do the work of printing, and of selecting and writing books for schools in this church, that little children may also receive instruction before me as is pleasing unto me.

“We had to pay our own schoolteachers, raise our own bread and earn our own clothing, or go without; there was no other choice. We did it then, and we are able to do the same to-day. I want to enlist the sympathies of the ladies among the Latter-day Saints, to see what we can do for ourselves with regard to schooling our children. Do not say you cannot school them, for you can... I understand that the other night there was a school meeting in one of the wards of this city, and a part there--a poor miserable apostate--said, "We want a free school, and we want to have the name of establishing the first free school in Utah." To call a person a poor miserable apostate may seem like a harsh word; but what shall we call a man who talks about free schools and who would have all the people taxed to support them, and yet would take his rifle and threaten to shoot the man who had the collection of the ordinary light taxes levied in this Territory--taxes which are lighter than any levied in any other portion of the country?” (Journal of Discourses 16:19-20) Brigham Young
“I can say that it is good and wise and judicious in parents to instruct their children in the way. If they wish the word of the Lord upon the subject, I will give it to you and you may, any of you, write it down if you please. It is the will of the Lord our God that we teach our children the way of righteousness from the Holy Scriptures and there is no better method than for mothers to teach them at home, and in the Sunday Schools.” (The Teachings of President Brigham Young, Vol. 3)
So what other reasons are there to seek alternative routes to the popular mainstream method of education?

To give them the education that the parent (and child) think is the best and most beneficial to the child.
To protect them from evil and just inappropriate things in the public school curriculum.
“We urge families to protect their children in every way possible. We live in a permissive world, but we must make certain that we do not become part of that permissive world... The home is the teaching situation." (Ensign, Nov. 1974, p. 7) Spencer W. Kimball
To reclaim the time with the child.
To provide them with a more well rounded social environment.
To be the primary influence on shaping their character.
To keep the family unit in tack.
To keep the child safe.
“In many places it is literally not safe physically for youngsters to go to school. And in many schools - and it's becoming almost generally true - it is spiritually unsafe to attend public schools. Look back over the history of education to the turn of the century and the beginning of the educational philosophies, pragmatism and humanism were the early ones, and they branched out into a number of other philosophies which have led us now into a circumstance where our schools are producing the problems that we face.” (Charge to the David O. McKay School of Education at BYU, October 9, 1996) Boyd K. Packer
More flexible lifestyle and schedules.
To keep the child safe.
For health reasons.
To provide a more sound spiritual education
To Teach them truth
“This is one of the great obstacles in the way of the education of our children: the books which are in our schools, and from which our children are taught, contain theories that are unsound; they are based upon false premises that lead to wrong conclusions; and it requires the utmost care on the part of parents and teachers to prevent bad effects following education based upon such textbooks... It is a difficult thing, in the midst of...false doctrines and theories which come to us and our children in the guise of science, to prevent the spirit of unbelief from influencing us.” (Gospel Truth, p. 245) Joseph Feilding Smith

So why do we educate children at all?
To develop character, right thoughts and right actions
“Character is the aim of true education; and science, history, and literature are but means used to accomplish the desired end. Character is not the result of chance work but of continuous right thinking and right acting. . . . True education seeks, then to make men and women not only good mathematicians, proficient linguists, profound scientists, or brilliant literary lights, but also honest men, combined with virtue, temperance, and brotherly love -- men and women who prize truth, justice, wisdom, benevolence, and self-control as the choicest acquisitions of a successful life. . . . It is regrettable, not to say deplorable, that modern education so little emphasizes these fundamental elements of true character. The principal aim of many of our schools and colleges seems to be to give the students purely intellectual attainments and to give but passing regard to the nobler and more necessary development along moral lines.” (Gospel Ideals p. 440-441)David O. Mckay
To give them job skills
To make them more interesting to talk to and have more things that they can relate to during life
To help them understand other times, cultures and peoples so that they can build connections and understand similarities and differences
To understand the facts of situations and not be mislead by made up facts, for instance many people believe that education is part of the constitution or at least one of the amendments but as Ezra Taft Benson says “There is absolutely nothing in the Constitution which authorizes the federal government to enter into the field of education. Furthermore, the Tenth Amendment says: "The powers not delegated to the United States Government are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." Nothing could be more clear. It is unconstitutional for the federal government to exercise any powers over education.” (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 298.) I would say that most Americans have not read the constitution and because of that and in my opinion their lack of logic studies they are persuaded to believe the constitution says things that it does not.
To help them to be able to think so that they will not be swayed be popular opinion
To be able to express themselves and persuade others to the right
It is a commandment from God

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