“In the Church young women are encouraged to marry. How should this affect a girl’s educational plans?”

Print Share

    Answer/Sister Shirley Burnham

    The fact that a young woman plans to marry should stimulate her to make education a way of life.

    “Too great care cannot be taken in educating our young ladies. … Let the women of our country be made intelligent and their children will certainly be the same. The proper education of a man decides his welfare; but the interests of a whole family are secured by the correct education of a woman.” (George Q. Cannon, Gospel Truth, Deseret Book Co., 1974, 2:138.)

    All wholesome skills and studies are useful and beneficial to a mother. She will be regarded by her young ones as the fountain of knowledge. A young girl should prepare a vast reservoir of knowledge prior to marriage and continue learning throughout her life. During child-raising years she will be drawing far more from this reservoir than she puts into it. A woman who puts her knowledge to use in the home produces an enriched home environment and becomes a wise, richly experienced woman.

    I will list three things one can do to make education a way of life.

    1. Develop your curiosity. Ask questions and plan to retain what you learn. We let many learning experiences slip by, thinking perhaps that the information isn’t valuable or that we’ll learn it another time. The girl who eagerly shares with her mother the household chores—cleaning, cooking, washing, and sewing—recognizes the valuable training opportunity at hand. The girl who shuns these chores or does them carelessly will live to regret the loss of a training experience.

    2. Be prepared to learn good things from anyone. I recall a new convert being asked by our five-year-old to offer prayer at family home evening. The brother said, “I don’t think I can.” The child replied, “I’ll teach you.” This brother who was willing to learn from a child serves effectively on a high council today.

    3. Plan and save money for as much formal schooling as your circumstances will allow. When the chance to take a course or class or to study a trade or go to a university occurs, seize that opportunity.

    Finally, I would like to add a word about priorities. “Can you see that the spiritual knowledge may be complemented with the secular in this life and on for eternities but that the secular without the foundation of the spiritual is but like the foam upon the milk, the fleeting shadow?” (Spencer W. Kimball, cited in Life’s Directions.)

    Daily scripture study takes first place. “But to have a race of capable women, they must be healthy. … If the choice must be made between the mind and the body, and only one of these can receive proper training, we would say, much as we would deplore the absence of mental cultivation, let it be the body. It would be better for posterity and the future of the world for the physical portion of woman’s nature to receive the proper care than for the mind to be developed at the expense of everything else.” (Gospel Truth, 2:138.)

    Happy, healthy, and blessed is the home where the wife and mother has and is conscientiously taking care of her spiritual, physical, and secular education.

    Show References

    • Mother of nine, wife of Stake President, Vernon, British Columbia, Canada