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Why is it important for me to gain an education and develop skills?

Education is an important part of our Heavenly Father’s plan to help us become more like Him. Obtaining an education provides understanding and skills that can help us develop self-reliance. Education will also prepare us for greater service in our families, the Church, and the world.

Prepare yourself spiritually

What scriptures and talks will help the young women understand the value of an education?

Proverbs 4:7; 2 Nephi 9:29; D&C 88:76–80, 118; 90:15; 93:36; 130:18–19 (We should seek wisdom and knowledge)

Proverbs 31:10–31 (A virtuous woman seeks wisdom and skills to care for her home and family)

Joseph Smith—History 1:11–17; 1 Nephi 11:1–6; D&C 138:1–11 (Examples of people in the scriptures who sought knowledge)

Mary N. Cook, “Seek Learning: You Have a Work to Do,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2012, 120–22

Education,” For the Strength of Youth (2011), 9–10

Share experiences

At the beginning of each class, invite the young women to share, teach, and testify about the experiences they have had applying what they learned in the previous week’s lesson. This will encourage personal conversion and help the young women see the relevance of the gospel in their daily lives.

Introduce the doctrine

Choose from these ideas or think of your own to introduce this week’s lesson:

  • Read as a class Doctrine and Covenants 88:118, and discuss why learning is an important principle of the gospel.
  • Invite the young women to imagine that a friend from church tells them she is going to drop out of school, explaining, “I’m going to get married someday, and my husband will support me, so I don’t need to keep going to school.” How would the young women encourage her to continue to pursue an education? Ask them to write their responses on a piece of paper. Collect the papers, and read and discuss the responses with the class. At the end of class, give them the opportunity to add to their responses based on what they learned during the lesson.

Learn together

Each of the activities below will help the young women understand the importance of education. Following the inspiration of the Spirit, select one or more that will work best for your class:

  • Divide sections of Mary N. Cook’s talk “Seek Learning: You Have a Work to Do” among the young women, and invite them to read their sections and underline ideas that are important to them (they could also watch a video of the talk and write down important ideas). Invite them to share what they underlined with the class and explain how their education can bless them and their future families.
  • Assign the young women to read individually one of the five paragraphs from the “Education” section of For the Strength of Youth or the statements by President Gordon B. Hinckley and President Thomas S. Monson at the beginning of the talk “Seek Learning: You Have a Work to Do.” Ask them to explain to the class what they read, and discuss why it is important to work diligently now to gain a good education. Invite the young women to think about and share their goals to gain an education.
  • Divide the class into three groups. Ask the first group to read Proverbs 31:10–31, ask the second group to read the scriptures in this outline that teach that we should seek wisdom and knowledge, and ask the third group to read the scriptures in this outline that give examples of people who sought knowledge. Ask each group to discuss what their assigned scriptures teach them about the importance of pursuing education and developing skills. Invite each group to share with the rest of the class what they discussed. How will gaining an education help the young women in their lives? How will it help them become better wives and mothers?
  • With permission from the bishop, invite a few women from the ward to share how gaining an education is blessing them and their families. How has it helped them become a contributing member of God’s kingdom? Encourage the young women to ask any questions they have about gaining an education.

Ask the young women to share what they learned today. Do they understand the importance of gaining an education? What feelings or impressions do they have? Do they have any additional questions? Would it be worthwhile to spend more time on this doctrine?

Live what we are learning

Invite the young women to consider how they will live by what they have learned today. For example they could:

  • Complete one or more of the following from Personal Progress: Individual Worth value experience 4, Individual Worth value project 5, Knowledge value experience 1 or 5 or value project 2
  • Make a list of things they want to learn and make plans to learn them. After they have fulfilled their plans, they could share their experiences with the other young women.