Preparing for Life’s Opportunities


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When your homework starts to pile up and you wonder if all the effort is worth it, remember this counsel from the First Presidency. Their words of wisdom can help you make it through the next stack of notes with a little extra motivation.

Since education has a huge influence on your future and is “an important part of Heavenly Father’s plan to help you become more like Him” (For the Strength of Youth [2011], 9), you’ll discover it’s worth every effort.

President Thomas S. Monson

Heavenly Teaching

President Thomas S. Monson

“Some lessons in life are learned from your parents, while others you learn in school or in church. There are, however, certain moments when you know our Heavenly Father is doing the teaching and you are His student.”

“Who Honors God, God Honors,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 48.

The Sea of Life

“Life is a sea upon which the proud are humbled, the shirker is exposed, and the leader is revealed. To sail it safely and reach your desired port, you need to keep your charts at hand and up-to-date. You need to learn by the experience of others, to stand firm for principles, to broaden your interests, to be understanding of the rights of others to sail the same sea, and to be reliable in the discharge of your duty.

“Your efforts in school will have a notable effect on your opportunities after you leave school. As you struggle for that grade point average, don’t overlook the importance of really learning to think.”

“Great Expectations” (Brigham Young University devotional, Jan. 11, 2009), 4; speeches.byu.edu.

Preparation Precedes Performance

“Preparation for life’s opportunities and responsibilities has never been more vital. We live in a changing society. Intense competition is a part of life. The role of husband, father, grandfather, provider, and protector is vastly different from what it was a generation ago. Preparation is not a matter of perhaps or maybe. It is a mandate. The old phrase ‘Ignorance is bliss’ is forever gone. Preparation precedes performance.”

“Duty Calls,” Ensign, May 1996, 43.

President Henry B. Eyring

An Attitude to Learn

President Henry B. Eyring

“As a child of God, your destiny, if you work hard enough and are faithful, is to become like Him. That means that there is nothing that is true that you cannot learn, because He knows all truth.

“Most people stop learning out of fear. They are afraid they cannot learn. You need never have that fear if you are faithful. Your formal schooling may be interrupted for some reason, but I want you to know with absolute certainty that you can learn whatever God would have you learn. Great learners believe that. They have the attitude that they can learn.”

“Do What They Think You Can’t Do,” New Era, Oct. 1989, 6.

The Lord Knows You

“Your life is carefully watched over, as was mine. The Lord knows both what He will need you to do and what you will need to know to do it. You can with confidence expect that He has prepared opportunities for you to learn. You will not recognize those opportunities perfectly, as I did not. But when you put the spiritual things first in your life, you will be blessed to feel directed toward certain learning, and you will be motivated to work harder.”

“Real-Life Education,” New Era, Apr. 2009, 6.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Commanded to Learn

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

“For members of the Church, education is not merely a good idea—it’s a commandment. We are to learn ‘of things both in heaven and in the earth, and under the earth; things which have been, things which are, things which must shortly come to pass; things which are at home, things which are abroad’ [see D&C 88:79–80].”

“Two Principles for Any Economy,” Liahona, Nov. 2009, 58.

Patient Persistence

“When I was 10 years old, my family became refugees in a new land. I had always been a good student in school—that is, until we arrived in West Germany. …

“Because so much of the curriculum was new and strange to me, I fell behind. For the first time in my life, I began to wonder if I was simply not smart enough for school.

“Fortunately I had a teacher who taught me to be patient. He taught me that steady and consistent work—patient persistence—would help me to learn.

“Over time, difficult subjects became clearer—even English. Slowly I began to see that if I applied myself consistently, I could learn. It didn’t come quickly, but with patience, it did come.”

“Continue in Patience,” Liahona, May 2010, 57.