Introduction to Educational Advancement
Education: Everyone has some; everyone needs more.
Education is more than about wanting to get ahead. Education is a commandment for Church members; it brings blessings in this life and the next. In that context education is a temporal activity that needs to be linked to spiritual growth. The Lord says his temporal commands are also spiritual commands (D&C 29:34). Members should approach schooling with the dignity placed upon them when they were chosen to be part of this dispensation. Continual learning in this life is as important as eternal progress is for the next. Education is part of the bridge between our prior life and our next life.
The imparting of heaven’s knowledge for this day of preparation is accelerating. Continual education is essential for economic security and family enrichment as well as spiritual progress. Education is about the whole self and what it is becoming. That requires a purpose that goes beyond self.
How does an LDS church member anticipate and prepare for the future?
In the midst of rapid change, preparing for the future is tricky. Thousands of job titles exist today that did not exist ten years ago. Companies are doing more of their own training because colleges can’t keep up or cover the breadth of educational need. Blended majors or a blend of formal and informal education is often required. Specialized online courses are proliferating. And given the knowledge explosion, what are the basics? They used to be conveyed in general education courses as defined by university “experts.” Employers have a different idea; they clearly state that their basics include the soft skills, including communications skills, dependability, reliability, initiative, and teamwork, plus skills in math, reading, and computing. For Church members the basics relate to core values and core principles of the gospel and their application to daily life.
In today’s world the term “college” includes any type of formal education beyond high school, whether technical or academic. Higher education institutions are being much more flexible in granting degree-related credit. Many are willing to grant credit for work experience toward specialized degrees. Special certificates of mastery are growing in popularity.