We know from the scriptures that “the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just—yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else, which had happened unto them…” but what about when even that is not enough? When Alma went to preach the gospel to the Zoramites, he had great success. But when all was said and done, there was still great wickedness among the people. So Alma changed his approach slightly. What did he do?
“Now Alma, being grieved for the iniquity of his people, yea for the wars, and the bloodsheds, and the contentions which were among them; and having been to declare the word, or sent to declare the word, among all the people in every city; and seeing that the hearts of the people began to wax hard, and that they began to be offended because of the strictness of the word, his heart was exceedingly sorrowful.
“Therefore, he caused that his sons should be gathered together, that he might give unto them every one his charge, separately, concerning the things pertaining unto righteousness. And we have an account of his commandments, which he gave unto them according to his own record.”
Okay, so obviously the most ideal way to get an education in most fields is to go to college, and for many jobs out, it is required. But let’s face it, there are so many fields out there. If you’re like me, you have so many interests that it is impossible for you to get a college education in all of your interests.
Also, many people are not in a position to go to college at the moment.
Here are a few ideas for getting an education outside of the school system:
The Internet has an endless supply of phenomenal information in thousands of fields. You’ve just got to know where to look for it. Here are a few sites I like – (maybe not Ph.D material, but interesting stuff nonetheless):
http://google.com – good ol’ Google search. You can learn just about anything with that… *
http://www.youtube.com/edu – you know about Youtube. Well, this is a branch of Youtube that specializes in good educational material. Not just anyone can get stuff on here, so it’s a big step up from regular Youtube, and it’s a fun source of learning in all kinds of fields.
http://www.ted.com/ – again, not a place to earn a degree, but if you want to get excited about learning, this is a fun place to go. TED is a collection of fascinating lectures (yes, lectures CAN be fascinating!) that give an interesting perspective on various fields.
http://www.openculture.com/2007/07/freeonlinecourses.html– if you prefer getting your information from reputable colleges, here’s a directory of podcasts that are done by colleges such as Stanford, Harvard, Yale, etc. Just putter around the site to find the subject you’re looking for.
Check the Thrift Stores: As soon as a book becomes obsolete (by college standards that can mean the book has been published for a year and a half and now the photos in the book need to be reorganized), the thrift stores such as D.I. fill up with college textbooks. After I paid nearly $100 for an astronomy book in college, I found a stack of twenty of them at D.I. the next semester for two bucks a piece. Ugh… but that’s good for people who are wanting an education outside of school.
Libraries: They’re still around, believe it or not. In this “Google any question” era that we live in, this is easy to forget. Pick a topic, go to the library, and read all you can on the subject.
School libraries: Most school libraries are open to the public. You may not be able to check things out without a student card, but you can read what you want while you’re there, and if you take your digital camera, you can get instant copies of pages you want to read more about.
This is NOT a comprehensive list. Fill us in! What ways have you found for educating yourself on different topics?
* Clearly there is a lot of junk out there, and one of the great purposes of education is to train you to recognize credibility and bias. You need to learn to check the sources on information. Just because it sounds legit, or the information is worded in an educated manner doesn’t mean the content is of any real value. The best lies are coated in great disguises. So check your sources!
I don’t know if playing music by ear is a gift that can be inherited, but if it is, I can’t take full credit for what I have learned. I have a long ancestral line of musicians, including trumpeters, harmonica players, singers, band leaders, songwriters, whistlers, and of course, piano players. My Grandpa Hathaway played the piano by ear. I never asked him what kind of technique he used to learn what he played, but I have vivid memories of watching his fingers dance across the keys as the sounds of Beautiful Dreamer and Memories filled my grandparents’ living room. Their house always had a classic, well-cared for style, with curio-cabinets and intricate mementos of their lives and era. The piano was situated in the tightest corner of their beautiful living room, with only enough room for the piano and a player, but the music carried throughout the whole house. Not only did Grandpa teach himself to play that piano, he essentially put the thing together himself – at least after taking it completely apart. When he and Grandma bought it, they wanted to put it in the downstairs living room, but their stairway was too narrow for a full-size piano. So Grandpa disassembled the whole thing – with every key removed, and took it down into the living room in pieces. Grandma hassled him that he would never be able to get the thing back together, but he did, and it is still there today. I suppose that piano will stay with the house forever. We had a piano in our living room, too, though we didn’t have to take it apart to get it there. I was fourteen when I decided I was going to really learn to play the piano, and that year Grandma and Grandpa Hathaway came for Thanksgiving Dinner. During those contented hours between the feast and the serving of pie, I found myself Continue reading Musical Memories: My Grandpa →
I know every person out there has had a lifelong burning desire to learn to play the Australian didgeridoo, so I’m going to teach you how to do it. The best part is, all you need is a pipe – mine’s PVC. Of course, I painted it to look all cool and stuff, but you can use a vacuum pipe or thick wrapping paper tube if you want.
Tis the season to feel guilty,
Mourning that the house is filthy,
Screaming kids and lazy father,
Makes me wonder why I bother,
Now that mother’s day’s approaching,
Listen to the old-folks’ coaching,
Think of all your rotten mistakes
Work, and just ignore the back-aches
Every year I hear the wonderful things about mothers, and I love it, but every year I hear mothers complain because it makes them feel so terribly inadequate.
I think it’s sad that mothers hearing about how wonderful mothers are makes them feel guilty. Of course they feel inadequate! They’re are inadequate.
Has any mother really been adequate to Continue reading Tribute: I Love You, Mom! →
My Grandma was an amazing woman. She died about 16 years ago, but she left some tapes behind for her posterity. She was a writer, and a very talented one. Here she speaks about it, and though writing is the subject, her words can apply to any art.
I’ve decided to try to take a moment each day to teach each of the kids some important gospel principle. They are so young, and it would be easy to start the habit now. If I wait, it will get tougher to do later.
Some say that they will make church available to their kids, but will allow them to choose whether or not they want to attend.
This idea is terribly lacking. Our children cannot choose between good and evil if they do not get sufficient encouragement toward the good. Just by living in the world, they will see all the bad they need to in order to know what the bad choices are.
If we do ALL WE CAN to teach, guide, and encourage, our children to live the gospel – if we live the gospel as conspicuously as we can, and do all we can to help our kids know how a righteous person lives the gospel, then and only then will they have sufficient knowledge to choose whether to accept or reject it.
The world will not offer them the fulness of the gospel. You must do that. Then, when they are mature enough, and have had enough exposure to know the blessings of a Christ-centered life, they will choose.
And a good parent will never give up, no matter how how strongly the child turns against the truth, they will continue to love, encourage, exemplify, and teach their children the Lord’s way to live.
That is how we give our kids agency. Anything less is denying them the opportunity to choose.