Chapter 17: Continue in the Great Process of Learning

I love Gordon B. Hinckley Chapter 17: Continue in the Great Process of Learning. It's a topic that I get easily passionate about. I'm bummed I can't do a video about it because I have been looking forward to it for a while now! I have to concede some things during these first few months of leukemia though.  


One of the reasons I continued this blog all those years ago was because I wanted to continue my knowledge. I stopped teaching Relief Society and was put in Young Women's but I still wanted to learn what the Relief Society was learning. Blogging gave me a great way to do that. What do you want to learn? Where does your passion lie? Sometimes it seems overwhelming- all these invitations every week to do and be more but when you combine it with passion and baby steps, it is not so scary anymore. We can't become afraid to learn. That's what stops our progression. Some information and types of learning are much more overwhelming than others but we must keep trying to move forward. We cannot become comfortable with stagnation. We must press forward. 

Questions to Ponder

Some of these questions are from the manual, others are ones that I thought of- use them in your preparation, lesson, or to help you think of your own.

  • Why is it important to "acquire more and more light" through education? (section 1)
  • How can learning help us progress individually?
  • In what ways does learning help you "illuminate a darkened world"?
  • How can you help your family develop a love for learning?
  • How can you help children desire to seek learning from sources that enlighten and motivate for good?
  • In what ways does education "unlock the door of opportunity" for youth and young adults? (section 3)
  • How can youth and young adults be resourceful in taking advantage of opportunities for education?
  • How would you explain the meaning of the phrase "the schooling of the spirit"? (section 4)
  • How can you educate the heart, character, and spirit?
  • In your life, how have spiritual and secular learning complemented one another?
  • Why should you continue to learn throughout your life? (section 5)
  • How can you maintain a lifelong love for learning?
  • What have you learned recently that has been especially valuable to you?
  • What can you learn from President Hinckley's example in the introduction?
  • How has your knowledge been a contribution to society?
  • How does understanding D&C 93:36 affect your perspective of the importance of learning?
  • In what ways does your knowledge bring honor to the Church?
  • What do you think President Hinckley meant when he stated, "It is not enough just to live, just to survive"?
  • In what ways is knowledge light?
  • What things have you done in order to make your home a house of learning?
  • What can you do to continue your spiritual education?

Teacher Study

Here are some articles to study as you continue to prepare for your lesson. They should NOT replace the manual but rather help answer questions and strengthen your own testimony so that it is easy to teach with confidence and answer questions that arise during your lesson. 

"For Our Spiritual Development and Learning" by Elder W. Mark Bassett

"Learning in the Priesthood" by President Henry B. Eyring

"Seek Learning: You Have a Work to Do" by Sister Mary N. Cook

"Gospel Learning and Teaching" by Brother David M. McConkie

"Rowing Your Boat" by Sister Chieko N. Okazaki

"Learning with Our Hearts" by Elder Walter F. González

"Women and Education: "A Future Only God Could See for You" by Sister Eva Witesman (BYU Devotional) 

Deseret Bookshelf PLUS books

Remember, as a Deseret Bookshelf PLUS member, you can access these eBooks or audio books anytime. Find out more about Deseret Bookshelf PLUS.

"The Temple: Gaining Knowledge and Power in the House of the Lord" by Ed J. Pinegar

The Truman G. Madsen Collection- 7 of his classic talks

And of course, anything else you want to specifically learn about- I like to search on my computer and add them to my device online.

Suggested Videos

Standards: Education- The Glory of Intelligence (about 3 1/2 minutes)- Message about the importance of lifelong learning.

Elder and Sister Bednar- Secular and Spiritual Learning (about 7 1/2 minutes)- Words from Elder and Sister Bednar.

Seek Learning (about 1 minute)- Quote from Sister Mary N. Cook

Learning with Our Hearts (about 2 minuets)- Quotes from Elder Walter F. Gonzalez

Scripture Study

These are the same scriptures mentioned at the end of the manual. I include them here because of the importance in reading our scriptures as we prepare.

Proverbs 1:5

2 Peter 1:1–8

2 Nephi 9:28–29

2 Nephi 28:29–30

D&C 6:7

D&C 90:15

D&C 131:6

D&C 136:32–33

Teaching Thoughts

These are my ideas. My hope is that reading my thoughts will be a springboard to finding the right plans for your class. 

  • Start with the scripture D&C 88:78-80 and untangle all the knowledge we should be seeking. How does this type of knowledge help us? How does it grow the kingdom of God? Why this council? It's a great scripture to get the discussion going from the beginning. 
  • There is so much you can incorporate with light in this lesson. One way is compare ourselves to lighthouses. In order to shine a light for others to follow, you must first develop your light- your own knowledge. What kind of beacon are you? The light you send out is to help others find their way to Christ. 
  • Have you ever thought about bringing honor to the church through your education? President Hinckley mentions it several times throughout this chapter. How does your knowledge and training bring honor to the Church? What does honor mean? 
  • Use this great quote as a focal point in your lesson- go back to what it means, why it's important in each of our lives as you continue to discuss the different points in the manual. You can handout a copy to everyone before class to take notes on throughout or encourage people to take it home and write down the new things they learn throughout the year on it and see what it looks like come Christmas. I won't be able to email individual files for this one but there are two sizes for you to print. 
  • In section 1, President Hinckley says, "There can be no doubt, none whatever, that education pays. Do not short-circuit your lives. If you do so, you will pay for it over and over and over again." Discuss how we might short-circuit our lives. You can even bring a robot or a simple circuit to show how they work. Sometimes the circuit doesn't work because of our own failings, sometimes it's circumstances (which is why the Perpetual Education Fund is so important), sometimes it is our own fear, or lack of faith, sometimes we fail to take the opportunity when it is presented to us. Sometimes the circuit is loosely connected not allowing us to reach its full force. What other comparisons can you make?
  • I loved the line in section 1 of the manual, "It is not enough just to live, just to survive." There is more, if we can, we need to seek for the more. Sometimes we go into survival mode out of necessity and sometimes out of habit. Draw on the board a table of what our thinking and progressing is in survival mode and what it is when we are in our regular modes. What is the difference? Why is survival mode not enough? What more can you gain if you aren't constantly merely surviving? This is also a great way to tie in the parable of the talents. The one who had just one talent went into survival mode while the others flourished. How can you get yourself out of survival mode?
  • Take 5 minutes at the beginning of class and let everyone learn one new thing about their neighbor. You can have get to you strips, have the ask about a hobby or their profession, whatever. Just learn something new. 
  • Another way to tie in light is to discuss why and how light attracts more light. When we learn, we want to learn more. And when we share our knowledge it's almost like a bug zapper sometimes where they can't help but go to the light. There is a law in heaven where we seek light. Knowledge is light. The glory of God is light and truth. Demonstrate how we look towards the light with a package of glow sticks. Break the first one and add to it with one more at a time until you have a giant bundle. Which is easier to see- the one glow stick or the bundle? You can even have people that comment and read add a glow stick to the bundle throughout your whole lesson closing with the focus on the end result.
  • Continue the light theme with these bookmarks and more from My Computer Is My Canvas.
  • One of the most important reasons to continually learn all our lives is found in D&C 130:18-19 “Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection. And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come.” Number 1) What is the one thing we can take with us when we die? OUR KNOWLEDGE Number 2) It is to our advantage in the next life to gain as much as we can here so we can continue our education there. Just like it was to our advantage to develop talents in the pre-mortal existence, it will be for there. We are preparing ourselves for what comes next. We have this life to prepare ourselves- are we using this time well? Do we have that in our sights? 
  • In section 2, President Hinckley discusses the good and bad that comes from technology. Discuss how you balance, protect, and prioritize the use of technology in the home.
  • Make a sharing board to showcase how some have make their homes houses of learning. You can have people joint down some words on the board beforehand or do it Pinterest style. Review the ideas to give everyone some application ideas. It's important to point out that President Hinckley wasn't some great scholar but he learned early to appreciate the goodness in learning and therefore sought it often. 
  • Play "What's behind door number 1?" Education opens all sorts of doors so what are some doors it opens for the people in your ward? You can make paper doors to put on the board to demonstrate this and either have your own answers from the manual behind the doors or fill them in with your class.
  • Be prepared to share places and methods people in your class can continue their education. This may include trade schools, community college, online classes, or even a list of what some people in your ward are willing to teach. 


See the hymns under the topics of Self-Improvement, Wisdom and Knowledge, and Teaching.