The Church’s high priority toward education has its roots in specific scriptures in the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price, which assure Church members that “to be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God” (2 Ne. 9:29).
Early Church leaders saw little division between correct secular and religious learning, believing that they go hand in hand. The Church has made many educational efforts, beginning in 1833 with the School of the Prophets in Kirtland, Ohio. That school was devoted to the study of history, political science, languages (including Hebrew), literature, and theology. Its main purpose was to prepare Church leaders to magnify their callings as missionaries, to warn all people, and to testify of the gospel (D&C 88:80-81).
Today the Church operates three different universities, BYU in Provo, Utah; BYU–Hawaii in Laie, Hawaii; and BYU–Idaho in Rexburg, Idaho; and a two-year college, LDS Business College, in Salt Lake City, Utah. In addition, the Church operates seminary and institute programs all over the world. The website www.besmart.com was created in an effort to prepare students to receive a higher education. Applications to and information about the different Church schools is available at the site. The site also features helpful information relating to spiritual, academic, financial, and extracurricular preparation for college.
Seminary and Institute
The seminary and institute programs were developed to further students’ religious education and to give them a gospel-oriented preparation for life. Seminary focuses on study of the scriptures, while institute offers scripture study as well as courses such as mission preparation or courtship and marriage. Both seminaries and institutes are operated at no cost to students, ensuring that anyone interested can participate. To learn more, visit the Church’s seminary site and institute site.
Perpetual Education Fund
An additional education program is offered for Church members whose circumstances prevent them from pursuing further education by their own means. The Perpetual Education Fund, established in 2001, provides assistance tailored to the individual student’s needs. The intent of the program is to assist Church members and their families to rise out of poverty through education and hard work.
LDS Website on Education
Find information about all of these educational opportunties and programs at the LDS website on education.