You Can Bank on It!


A man once remarked that his wife had only three topics of conversation: births, deaths, and marriages. Apparently this is all she ever had on her mind. There was nothing else in store for her to draw from. Her conversation displayed her limited mental account.

The human mind is an unbelievable bank of knowledge. It is capable of depositing and holding tremendous amounts of information and data. At a moment’s notice it is able to recall and deliver much of the information it has collected and stored.

Our mind might be compared to a savings account at the bank. With just a small deposit we are permitted to open an account. There is no age or IQ level required to be a depositor. Once we have opened an account, we may add to it at any time. Our deposits may be made in large amounts or they may be periodic small amounts. Small amounts deposited regularly soon amount to a great deal. There is no limit to the amount we can save. We cannot make a withdrawal from our account without having first made a deposit. Interest is earned on every account.

The same rules apply to a mental account. Once it is opened, it may be increased by either a large deposit, such as formal schooling, or by small home-effort amounts. There are no restrictions. Anyone may be a depositor. It should be pointed out, however, that unlike a bank account, our mental account can never be overdrawn. No matter how much we use our mind, we never seem to use it all up. In fact, our mental account is an eternal account. The Lord has told us that “whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection.” (D&C 130:18.)

Nevertheless, as with a savings account, we cannot make mental withdrawals without having first made mental deposits. Most women do not have time to make large deposits, but they can make small deposits in spare moments while they are raising their families. Remember, a small amount deposited regularly soon amounts to a great deal.

Many years ago a woman developed an unusual mental account while she raised nine children and at the same time served as postmaster in her community. Each morning it was her assignment to meet the mail wagon at 5:00. Between that time and the time to awaken her family and get them started for the day, she spent her time reading and studying. Because she had not been able to receive much formal education, and because she had a great desire for knowledge, she outlined a course of study that she conscientiously carried out for many years.

In addition to her study of the scriptures, each year from January until December she sent for books, pamphlets, and any other information she could obtain on one subject. One year she studied American history, another year she studied biology, and another year she studied botany. She continued this habit, a few minutes a day, for many years. She became as knowledgeable as many college graduates on a variety of subjects. Her mental account was phenomenal.

In our day it would be much easier to build such an account. Good books, magazines, and pamphlets are available on a countless number of subjects. Adult education classes are offered in many communities. Libraries are better than ever. The Relief Society offers classes that give women enlightenment on many subjects. Latter-day Saint women should be mentally some of the wealthiest women in their communities.

A good slogan might be “Don’t delay—open a mental account today.” Read a good book! Learn something new! It is the mental reserve we prepare now, and the interest it will earn, that will keep us interesting and interested until our account on earth is marked “Closed.” And it is a marvelous savings that you can take with you. You can bank on it!

Sister Jolley, who served for three years on the Children’s Friend editorial board, was recently appointed to the Sunday School general board. The mother of seven children, she lives in Yalecrest Ward, Bonneville Stake.