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Education for Eternity

Updated: Nov 14, 2023

Leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ have consistently taught about the importance of an education. That means that as educators, we have an immense responsibility of educating God's children for eternity.

Jan E. Newman, the second counselor in the Sunday School General Presidency gave a conference address in April of 2021 titled "Teaching in the Savior's Way." In his talk, Brother Newman recalls multiple teachers who made an impact on him throughout his years of schooling and how those teachers changed his life. He said, "The responsibility rests squarely upon each of us to follow the example of the Master and teach like Him."

As a freshman in college taking prerequisite classes for the elementary education major, I loved learning about how to model our teaching after the Master Teacher, Jesus Christ. However, I knew that in a public school setting, I would not be able to bring my own religious views into the classroom. One suggestion that a professor made has stuck with me throughout these past few years in college... pray for your students. I think that oftentimes we underestimate the power of prayer, but we never walk alone. There will be hard days when teaching, and the best thing to do on those days is to get on your knees while the kids are at recess or lunch and pray to your Father in Heaven.

Elder Robert D. Hales discussed the importance of an education in his October 2015 conference address, "Meeting the Challenges of Today's World." He said, "Education prepares you for better employment opportunities. It puts you in a better position to serve and to bless those around you. It will set you on a path of lifelong learning. It will strengthen you to fight against ignorance and error."

Barbara Morgan Gardner, a professor of religion at BYU, recently spoke at an educator's society conference. She spoke about the influence and responsibility of teachers. I will never forget her story of when she was teaching seminary one day, and an overwhelming feeling of love for the students in her class came over her. We are teaching children of God. These are children of divine descent, and we are being trusted to educate them for eternity. A teacher's job is not merely "babysitting", but educating a rising generation.

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