The Commandment from Doctrine and Covenants 88
It’s often repeated that with great power comes great responsibility. It is also said that knowledge is power. Likewise I believe that with knowledge comes responsibility.
As Latter-day Saints we believe that it is important to “teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith” (D&C 109:7).
Additionally we have been commanded to teach one another “the doctrine of the kingdom… that you may be instructed more perfectly in theory, in principle, in doctrine, in the law of the gospel, in all things that pertain unto the kingdom of God, that are expedient for you to understand” (D&C 88: 77–78)
What specifically are these things we should learn and teach?
From D&C 88:
- things both in heaven and in the earth, and under the earth
- things which have been, things which are, things which must shortly come to pass
- things which are at home, things which are abroad
- the wars and the perplexities of the nations
- the judgments which are on the land
- a knowledge also of countries and of kingdoms
Why should we learn these things?
“That ye may be prepared in all things.”
Then what do we do?
“…and it becometh every man who hath been warned to warn his neighbor. Therefore, they are left without excuse, and their sins are upon their own heads.” (D&C 88:82)
President Uchtdorf, during the Priesthood Session of the October 2009 General Conference, stated that “for members of the Church, education is not merely a good idea – it’s a commandment.”
Hopefully we are not just learning for the sake of learning, but learning and applying that knowledge. You’ll notice that the topics listed in D&C 88, regarding what we are to learn about, are for the purpose of being prepared in all things. These things, in practice, might range from being prepared for emergencies, food storage, getting out of debt, learning to live off the land, being more self-sufficient, being more health conscious and becoming familiar with natural remedies (Alma 46:40), even understanding correct political principles, and learning correct principles so that we are not deceived by the false teachers of this world. This education should also lead to an awakening to our awful situation, and a desire to repent of our sins (Ether 8: 20–26). As we share this knowledge with others we free ourselves from the sins of this generation (D&C 88:82).
Without a sufficient understanding of the principles of the Gospel, which encompass all areas of life, we give the adversary power over us, and will be more easily deceived and swayed to follow the ways of Babylon.