Learning is Eternal

Diligently Preparing for Spiritual Learning

Part 3 of a 5 Part Series

Seek Learning by Faith

By Elder David A. Bednar Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Liahona September 2008

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We encourage you to click on the link provided and read the entire article. Although highlights of the article is included below, only by reading the full article can you capture the spirit and full message. Please study and ponder these messages, you will be blessed.


"Preaching by the Spirit and learning by faith are companion principles that we should strive to understand and apply concurrently and consistently. ... as we look to the future and anticipate the ever more confused and turbulent world in which we will live, I believe it will be essential for all of us to increase our capacity to seek learning by faith."

"A teacher can explain, demonstrate, persuade, and testify, and do so with great spiritual power and effectiveness. Ultimately, however, the content of a message and the witness of the Holy Ghost penetrate into the heart only if a receiver allows them to enter. Learning by faith opens the pathway into the heart."

The Principle of Action:

  • Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ
  • "faith is "the first principle in revealed religion ... it is faith as the principle of action that is so central to the process of learning and applying spiritual truth."

Learning by Faith: To Act and Not to Be Acted Upon

  • "Learning by faith and from experience are two of the central features of the Father's plan of happiness. The Savior preserved moral agency through the Atonement and made it possible for us to act and to learn by faith."
  • "Learning by faith requires both "the heart and a willing mind" (D&C 64:34). ... Learning by faith cannot be transferred from an instructor to a student through a lecture, a demonstration, or an experiential exercise; rather, a student must exercise faith and act in order to obtain the knowledge for himself or herself."

Implications for Teachers:

1. The Holy Ghost is a teacher from the Father

  • "We should always remember that the Holy Ghost is the teacher who, through proper invitation, can enter into a learner's heart.
  • ... we are conduits and channels; we are not the light." "For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you" (Matthew 10:20)

2. We are most effective as instructors when we encourage and facilitate learning by faith.

  • help them learn by doing
  • "...an answer given by another person usually is not remembered for very long, if remembered at all. But an answer we discover or obtain through the exercise of faith, typically, is retained for a lifetime. The most important learnings of life are caught - not taught."
  • We are to "seek learning, even by study and also by faith" (D&C 88:118)

3. Our faith is strengthened as we help others seek learning by faith.

  • "Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself?" (Romans 2:21)

"The responsibility to seek learning by faith rests upon each of us individually, and this obligation will become increasingly important as the world in which we live grows more confused and troubled. Learning by faith is essential to our personal spiritual development and for the growth of the Church in these latter days. May each of us truly hunger and thirst after righteousness and be filled with the Holy Ghost (see 3 Nephi 12:6) - that we might seek learning by faith."

"Seek Learning By Faith," Elder David A. Bednar
Brought to you by the Gettysburg Ward Bishopric and Sunday School Presidency.