In today’s world, the word education is almost synonymous with the word degree. Graduating from a college or institution is often considered the pinnacle of a person’s learning career. Rarely is there talk of education after an individual earns the credibility of a formal education. But is one’s education mastered once he or she receives a graduation certificate?
Members of the Church have been counseled to obtain as much education as possible. President Gordon B. Hinckley said to “take advantage of every educational opportunity that you can possibly afford,” (“Inspirational Thoughts,” Liahona, June 1999, 5). Many General Authorities have explained that this means education should not conclude at graduation, but instead, expand and accumulate for the rest of our lives.
This process of lifelong learning brings personal fulfillment and enriches life. Elder Dallin H. Oaks said: “There are few things more fulfilling and fun than learning something new. Great happiness, satisfaction, and financial rewards come from this. An education is not limited to formal study. Lifelong learning can increase our ability to appreciate and relish the workings and beauty of the world around us” (“Learning and Latter-day Saints,” Liahona, Apr. 2009, 31). When people continue their education, they are growing—they become more interested and interesting, they develop skills that the modern job market requires, and they are informed and engaged in the world around them. On the other hand, if people believe their education is complete or “ripe,” it will slowly go to waste. In an address given to institute students in Moscow, Idaho, Elder Henry B. Eyring said, “Our education must never stop. If it ends at the door of the classroom on graduation day, we will fail” (“Education for Real Life,” Ensign, Oct. 2002).
With an ever-changing job market and more people receiving degrees than ever before, it is becoming increasingly important for individuals to find ways to stand out to employers when searching for a job. Continuing education after college to increase your variety of skills may make you a more marketable candidate for employment. Find community courses and Internet tutorials to learn new office skills and software; read books on writing and editing to improve professional communication; study a language that would be useful in a global market; endeavor to become more expert in your own field. As the dimensions of your skills and knowledge expand, you will become even more attractive to an employer than your degree alone can afford you.
Not only will continuing education increase your opportunities in the work field, but it will increase your ability to serve in the Lord’s kingdom. Pray for the Spirit to direct you as you search for more educational opportunities. The scriptures teach us to increase our knowledge of things both secular and spiritual, “that ye may be prepared in all things when I shall send you again to magnify the calling whereunto I have called you, and the mission with which I have commissioned you” (see D&C 88:76 – 80). The Lord knows your gifts and hidden talents and how they may benefit you as well as those He would have you serve. As you faithfully continue your education, doors of opportunity will open and you will be able to serve to a greater capacity in the Lord’s kingdom.
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