In the town of Nahualá, Guatemala, a miracle is taking place among a circle of attentive Indian sisters gathered in Relief Society: They are hearing the lesson in their native language of Quiché. The teacher, an Indian sister dressed in traditional Mayan corte and huipil (a heavily embroidered handwoven skirt and blouse), translates from Spanish into Quiché as she teaches.
In an area where opportunities for schooling are limited, particularly for women, this teacher learned to read through her own study and devotion. And she has also begun teaching another sister to read. Because of her hours of personal study, the spirit of learning pervades the whole Relief Society group. Together, the sisters of Nahualá are “feasting upon the word of Christ” (2 Ne. 31:20).
Relief Society sisters everywhere are enlarging their gifts and sharing the power of the word of God as the Savior commanded: “Teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom” (D&C 88:77).
How can learning help us enlighten ourselves and others?
We begin to learn at birth—and should never stop. Sister Camilla Kimball, wife of President Spencer W. Kimball, set an example of continued learning. She enrolled in one or two college classes each year, even when she was in her seventies. Sister Kimball said, “Learning means keeping the mind open to all kinds of experiences.” She suggested that besides taking classes when appropriate, we should have “an open mind, an alert eye, and a wish to understand other people, other places.” She also suggested that we should help our children love learning.
“Seek ye diligently,” said the Lord, “and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith” (D&C 88:118).
How can we continue our education at our own stage of life?
Whatever our situation in life, we can seek light and truth for ourselves and others. “When we have knowledge and wisdom, we are able to discern truth from error and make better choices. We are better able to understand God and our fellowmen, and we have a deeper love for them. … To become self-reliant, we should:
“Improve our ability to read, write, and do basic mathematics.
“Study the scriptures and other good books.
“Learn to communicate effectively with others.
“Take advantage of opportunities to gain more knowledge.” (See Providing in the Lord’s Way: A Leader’s Guide to Welfare, page 6.)
In many parts of the world, women do not have the chance to learn to read and write well. We may help remedy this situation by volunteering our service to literacy programs in our own communities. In some societies, few books are available. The Book of Mormon fund makes it possible for millions of people to receive this treasure in their own language.
How can we help spread light and truth in our families and communities?