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latter-day saint education – why now?
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From the Prophet Joseph Smith to the present day, Prophets and Apostles have warned us about the dangers of secular education.
In 1888, the Church sought to rectify the educational situation by establishing stake run academies for the K-12 education of Latter-day Saint youth.
But, the membership rejected the academies for the more glitzy and free schools of public education.
One result is what we are experiencing today – a loss of many of our youth and young adults.
In October, 1970, General Conference, Elder Ezra Taft Benson stated,
“As a watchman on the tower, I feel to warn you that one of the chief means of misleading our youth and destroying the family unit is our educational institutions.”
On October 9, 1996, Elder Boyd K. Packer in his address to the David O. McKay College of Education stated,
“In many places it is literally not safe physically for youngsters to go to school. And, in many schools, and its becoming almost generally true, it is spiritually unsafe to attend public schools. …our schools are producing the problems we face.”
In schools today, 2019, our children are often subjected to a literal ‘Sodom and Gomorrah’ atmosphere, where civic activism is taught in the place of real history, and science and political correctness are held sacrosanct. Worst of all, God is banned and patriotism is curtailed or outright scorned.
(Sources: Revealed Educational Principles & the Public Schools, by Jack Monet, Archive Publishers, 1999. Get Out Now, by Mary Rice Hasson and Theresa Farnan, Regnery Gateway, 2018)
The Solution: Latter-day Saint Education
Latter-day Saint Education as conceived by our prophets has several hallmarks. These are:
• The foundation of studying the Scriptures and words of the modern prophets.
• Practical education, meaning all subjects are taught from a Gospel perspective, and a practical, useful point-of-view.
• Scholarship is rigorous, meaning learning is in-depth and not superficial.
• Subjects are taught by and with the aid of the Spirit by Latter-day Saint teachers to Latter-day Saint youth, thereby enlarging and edifying the individual.
• Faith and testimony are grown, and one’s relationship with Deity more fully understood and cultivated.
Many Latter-Day Saints have already left the educational system, opting for home school. Many have opted for a private education in local academies or online.
Our family did the same, trying a local academy and doing home school. In 1997, after trying a local high school part-time for a year, our younger son came home and stated: “If I’m going to get a good education, it’s going to have to be at home.” Simply, he wanted more and better than the local school offered: “A Better Education in a Better Environment.”
Thinking that there were others in the same situation as our son, in September, 1997, we started our local academy in St. George, Utah. This year, we added the Online School, which offers the same curriculum.
There is one more characteristic of true Latter-day Saint Education which we wish to mention:
3 Nephi 6:12 reads: “And the people began to be distinguished by ranks, according to their riches and their chances for learning; yea, some were ignorant because of their poverty, and others did receive great learning because of their riches.” This was the situation about four years before the Resurrected Savior visited the Nephites.
This verse tears at my heart, especially when I know that there are many who would opt for a Latter-day Saint Education if they could. Therefore, we have set the tuition as low as we possibly can and still pay our staff adequately.
When establishing the stake academies in 1888, the Brethren envisioned that those who could pay, would help those who couldn’t pay, by paying the small tuition for them. Therefore, we ask the same. Those of you who can, if you have those within your local areas who cannot afford any or all of the monthly tuition, please help them out. We do not at present handle these charitable funds, nor do we feel to do so. Direct giving is far better and requires the recipient to be more accountable to the giver. Thank you.
A final word. In our day, President Russel M. Nelson has stated: “Your mind is precious! It is sacred. Therefore, the education of one’s mind is also sacred. Indeed, education is a religious responsibility…”
Mary C. Kessler,
Founder & Director