An overview of LDS principles in education.
Brigham Young taught: I am opposed to free education as much as I am opposed to taking away property from one man and giving it to another…
Ancient Israel Demanded a King
In the Old Testament, we read the account of how the majority of God’s chosen people rejected the Lord’s council en mass.
For generations they were ruled under a system of judges, not drastically unlike our Constitutional Republic. Then, because it was “too much effort” for them to keep their judges in check, they wanted to replace it with one where they wouldn’t have to do anything in regards to their government. Just like the other nations of the world, they would have a king.
“Then the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah, and said unto him, “Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways; now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.”
But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed unto the Lord.
And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee; for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.” (1 Samuel 8:4–7)
This situation is much like what happened when Martin Harris pressed the issue of the 116 manuscript pages of the Book of Mormon against the will of the Lord.
“Some time later Mr. Harris had begun to write for me, he began to importune me to give him liberty to carry the writings home and show them; and desired of me that I would inquire of the Lord, through the Urim and Thummim, if he might not do so. I did inquire, and the answer was that he must not. However, he was not satisfied with this answer, and desired that I should inquire again. I did so, and the answer was as before. Still he could not be contented, but insisted that I should inquire once more. After much solicitation, I again inquired of the Lord, and permission was granted him to have the writings on certain conditions;” (History of the Church 1:20-23)
The first account of disobedience lead to a loss of liberty and the latter lead to the loss of 116 pages of “The most correct book on earth”. From both of these examples we can see that when we seek to listen to our own council over that of the Lords, though he will not stop us, we will lose something that is most precious.
Brief history of Church and education
“It was the will of the Lord, made known shortly after the organization of the Church, that steps should be taken to have the children of the members taught in schools conducted under the influence of those who had faith in the Gospel.”
(Joseph Fielding Smith, Church History and Modern Revelation, 4 vols. [Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1946-1949], 2: 98 – 99.)
Ever since the beginning of the restoration, education has been an important part in building the kingdom. As early as June 1831, the Lord commanded W.W. Phelps to “assist my servant Oliver Cowdery to do the work of printing, and of selecting and writing books for schools in this church, that little children also may receive instruction before me as is pleasing unto me.” (D&C 55:4)
Church schools were set up wherever members of the Church were gathered. After the pioneers had arrived in the Salt Lake Valley and established themselves there, they again organized Church schools for the education and instruction of the youth of Zion. Although these were “Church Schools”, they were not fully funded by the Church any more than BYU is now. Anyone that has personally attended or has had children attend a Church school knows that that they are anything but “free”.
Although there were attendance fees to help pay for full time teachers and other staff, President Brigham Young felt that education was so important that he paid “the school fee of a number of children who (were) either orphans or sons and daughters of poor people.” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 18 p. 357, General Conference April 1877)
During the 1870′s and 80′s (when Utah was attempting to enter the Union), there was again a great outcry from the outside world that the “Mormons” were getting too much power and influence. To help “combat” this, it was proposed that before entering the Union there must be an “establishment of free schools” which would “prohibit the teaching of denominational sentiments in them.” (Boston Watchman, impression of Sept. 5th, 1878)
Additionally, during the 1870s and 1880s, Protestant missionary societies established ninety free schools in Utah, hoping to win Latter-day Saint children away from the faith of their parents through “education.”
With the very natural inclination to want to take the “less costly” option, many Latter-day Saint families started to send their children to these “free” schools set up by the government, which were funded through tax payer dollars, as well as those set up by other faiths. Others just stopped paying the school fees though their children continued to attend the Church schools. This added much financial pressure on the Church schools and, since the teachers received their pay through fees agreed upon that went unfulfilled, many of them were forced to find employment elsewhere.
Throughout this crisis in education, Prophets of the Lord were constantly reinforcing the principles and warning the Saints of what would happen if they rejected the system the Lord had established.
Two principles that they focused on were that:
- Free schools by taxation is theft
- Only Latter-day Saints should teach Latter-day Saints
I will address these principles in order.
Brigham Young taught:
“I am opposed to free education as much as I am opposed to taking away property from one man and giving it to another… Would I encourage free schools by taxation? No!” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 18 p. 357, General Conference 1877)
Why would he be against funding schools through taxes? How else could we ensure that the schools were funded and teachers paid? Since the main argument for funding education through taxation is to provide an opportunity for the poor, who would not otherwise be able to afford to pay for their education, I will treat the subject as another forced charity through taxation.
Regarding forced charity through taxation, President Benson said:
“Occasionally, we receive questions as to the propriety of Church members receiving government assistance instead of Church assistance. Let me restate what is a fundamental principle. Individuals, to the extent possible, should provide for their own needs. Where the individual is unable to care for himself, his family should assist. Where the family is not able to provide, the Church should render assistance, not the government. We accept the basic principle that ‘though the people support the government, the government should not support the people.’” (General Conference April 1977)
Elder Boyd K Packer added,
“If a member is unable to sustain himself, then he is to call upon his own family, and then upon the Church, in that order, and not upon the government at all.” (General Conference April 1978)
Shedding more light on this President Benson says:
“When you accept food stamps, you accept an unearned handout that other working people are paying for. You do not earn food stamps or welfare payments. Every individual who accepts an unearned government gratuity is just as morally culpable as the individual who takes a handout from taxpayers’ money to pay his heat, electricity, or rent. There is no difference in principle between them… The price you pay for “something for nothing” may be more than you can afford. Do not rationalize your acceptance of government gratuities by saying, ‘I am a contributing taxpayer too.’ By doing this you contribute to the problem which is leading this nation to financial insolvency.” (BYU 1977)
Here President Benson teaches that accepting government gratuities in any form is the same. Why is wrong to accept these government gratuities?
In D&C 121 we read;
34. Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen?
36. That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.
37. That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.
From “Many Are Called, But Few Are Chosen”, recommended in General Conference April 1972:
“Men may exercise unrighteous dominion upon one another through the agency of government in just as many ways as they can when acting outside its framework. The most common method, however, is by denying or interfering with the right to own and control property, one of the elements of freedom.
…applying the Golden Rule, put yourself in “A’s” shoes. He has already given all he desires to charity. Are you not violating his conscience when you compel him to give more? Would you enjoy having someone dictate how much you must give to your church, a hospital or college? Would not this be a plain case of theft? And if you pass a law and legalize the taking and the giving, have you really changed the essential nature of the act? Haven’t you merely legalized stealing?” -page 37
The principle being; even if I feel comfortable contributing my money towards something, no matter how noble the cause, I have no right to compel another to do so. To force another to support a cause or institution is unrighteous dominion and theft.
Taught by Latter-Day Saints
“It was the will of the Lord, made known shortly after the organization of the Church, that steps should be taken to have the children of the members taught in schools conducted under the influence of those who had faith in the Gospel.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Church History and Modern Revelation, 2: 98 – 99.)
The Lord commissioned WW Phelps and Oliver Cowdery to help in selecting and writing curriculum for the teaching of young Latter-Day Saints. Why? Why not just go by the recommendations of the most learned professors? Wouldn’t they be more qualified to decipher which books would be best?
When this thought process rears its head in the discussion of educating Latter-day Saint children, this talk by President Benson is the first thing that pops into my mind.
“I would rather have my child exposed to smallpox, typhus fever, cholera, or other malignant and deadly diseases than to the degrading influence of a corrupt teacher. It is infinitely better to take chances with an ignorant, but pure-minded teacher than with the greatest philosopher who is impure.” (General Conference, October 1970)
The importance of having our children taught by Latter-day Saints was made clear by President John Taylor when he said;
“And then we want to study also the principles of education, and to get the very best teachers we can to teach our children; see that they are men and women who fear God and keep his commandments. We do not want men or women to teach the children of the Latter-day Saints who are not Latter-day Saints themselves. Hear it, you Elders of Israel?” (Journal of Discourses 20:179, General Conference April 1879)
Now before you are tempted to say, “Well, that was back then. Times have changed”, I would like to remind you that this was not taught in the vacuum of the 19th century. This exact phrase was quoted and taught again in General Conference of April 1958, and the principle continues to be taught today.
Not only are our children to be taught by Latter-Day Saints, President Taylor questions our ability as parents to enter the Celestial Kingdom if we deprive our children of that blessing;
“I am told in the revelations to bring up my children in the fear of God. Now we are engaged in building our temples that we may become united and linked together by eternal covenants that shall exist in all time and throughout eternity. And then when we have done all this go and deliberately turn our children over to whom? To men who do not believe the Gospel, to men who, according to your faith are never going to the celestial kingdom of God. And you will turn your children over to them. And you call yourselves Latter-day Saints, do you? I will suppose a case. You expect to be saved in the celestial kingdom of God. Well, supposing your expectations are realized, which I sometimes doubt, and you look down, down somewhere in a terrestrial or telestial kingdom, as the case may be, and you see your children, the offspring that God had given you to train up in his fear, to honor him and keep his commandments. And supposing they could converse with you what would be their feelings toward you? It would be, Father, Mother, you are to blame for this. I would have been with you if you had hot tampered with the principles of life and salvation in permitting me to be decoyed away by false teachers, who taught incorrect principles. And this is the result of it. But then I very much question men and women’s getting into the Celestial kingdom of God who have no more knowledge about principles of life and salvation than to go and tamper with the sacred offspring, the principle of life which God entrusted to your care, to thus shuffle it off to imbibe the spirit of unbelief, which leads to destruction and death.” Journal of Discourses 20:107
Elder Boyd K Packer pointed out the effects government schools have had, and the “why” he gives seems to add a lot of credibility to the words of President Taylor.
In 1996, President Packer said,
“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. Look back over the history of education to the turn of the century and the beginning of the educational philosophies pragmatism and humanism were the early ones, and they branched out into a number of other philosophies which have led us now into a circumstance where our schools are producing the problems that we face.” -Charge to the David O. McKay School of Education, December 1996
When we reject the words of the Lord, what else should we expect?
I haven’t heard this before
Why are the Prophets not so bold on this topic anymore? Why do they no longer speak out specifically against education through taxation? President Benson gave a talk in General Conference April of 1965 that answers this question perfectly. He said,
“Usually the Lord gives us the overall objectives to be accomplished and some guidelines to follow, but he expects us to work out most of the details and methods… Sometimes the Lord hopefully waits on his children to act on their own, and when they do not, they lose the greater prize, and the Lord will either drop the entire matter and let them suffer the consequences or else he will have to spell it out in greater detail.”
Based on the scriptures, the Saints should have known and acted. However, they did not so the Prophets had to spell it out in greater detail. We ignored their council demanding the proverbial “King” in educating “us like all the nations” and the Lord has now almost completely dropped “the entire matter” and is allowing us to “suffer the consequences.”
And so, let’s act
It is time to repent of the sins of the past and no longer partake in a system of theft, unrighteous dominion, and spiritual starvation. It was the call for a “King” from the people that got us in this predicament; let us now change the call to a call for obedience to the King of Kings.
The methods may change, but the principles do not. Whether the method is home schooling, private schools run and taught by Latter-day Saints, or a return to Church run schools, I don’t think it will initially matter.
To restore what the Lord has planned for us, we must reject what took us away from that in the first place and then earnestly seek to follow the will of the Lord to the best of our ability.
As we share this information with others and gain in numbers, we could start LDS based private schools. There have been many attempts at this but, without a growth in the number of informed and motivated Latter-day Saints, interest, involvement and therefore viability is too sporadic to provide new comers with any dependable recourse.
Short term, it appears that those outside of Utah have few options outside of home schooling. This just isn’t always a viable option for everyone. Therefore, we must shed our selfish tendency to want to avoid contact with people outside of our comfort zone. We should reach out to others, help them understand these principles, and then help them to act.
When education is solidly based on gospel principles; faith, spirituality, and inspiration increase, leaving us in a better position to fulfill the Lord’s will for us individually and collectively.
Together we can help restore what was once lost through disobedience and accomplish the miracles originally intended for generations past.
This is by no means an exhaustive work on the subjects covered. For more details on these, I recommend “Revealed Educational Principles & the Public Schools” by Jack Monnett, “The Great and Abominable Church of the Devil” & “Many Are Called and Few Are Chosen” both by H Verlan Anderson, & “Seek Learning by Study and Also by Faith” Address given by Boyd K Packer to instructors of religion at BYU April 1974 also available as chapter 5 in his book “That All May Be Edified”. These provide in-depth coverage of the principles discussed.
113 thoughts on “Prophetic Warnings and Promises About Education”
I remember Marx being held up as a brilliant political mind to be looked up to, the legalization of abortion being a wonderful step forward for society, and that our country couldn’t continue without massive social programs.
Everyone I know has some kind of horror story about something their kid had “learned” in public school. Yet when I tell people that my wife homeschools our kids, people look at me like I’m a lunatic.
“the legalization of abortion being a wonderful step in society.”?????????? Really?? I understand those who are raped or can’t have a child without killing them in the process..but the rest is just vulgar and disgusting. This whole abortion thing should be treated the way medicated marajuana is treated. Only given to those who truly need it.
Medical marijuana is a joke. In states where this has been enacted anyone who claims nervousness, upset stomach, difficulty sleeping or any of a variety of claimed concerns can get it. If one doctor says no, just go to a different doctor. Being medical is just a way to open it up to eventual general legality.
Even abortion for rape and incest is wrong. Medical advancements make it so life of the mother isn’t a thing anymore. Killing another human being, whether it is a fetus, baby for the sins of the father is killing an innocent. Killing an Innocent is the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost which shall not be forgiven in this world or in the next.
Not quite true. I had a partially detached placenta at 16 weeks and was bleeding to death. Abortion is what they called it to stop the bleeding and save my life.
Homeschooling is hard work, but it is worth it. I have encountered people who acted as if my wife and I were criminals to “deprive” our children of the social “benefits” of public school. I can’t imagine how much cleaner my mind would be; had I not been exposed to some of the most vulgar speech and behavior as I was in public school.
That’s the truth…..
Dead on. When someone says “social benefits”, I mentally replace it with “abuse” and it is far more accurate. Unfortunately in our day, everyone needs to know how to deal with abuse not only from peers, but also from authority. We can teach our children the correct ways to respond to abuse without them having to bear the scars for 13+ years of their lives.
This is a great article. There are solutions out there.
I homeschooled my children in the 80s. It was not easy because much of the persecution came from within the church. School teachers are put on pedestals because of the noble work they do. There are good people who are school teachers, but their hands (and consciences) are tied by the politics of public schools. Most teachers never make it through their collage educations without being corrupted by “enlightened” professors. Now my daughters homeschool their children. As imperfect as my own efforts were, I am pleased with the results. My son’s wives are public school raised and since the mother has to be the teacher, they are not willing. The I hope the day will come that they will see this higher law for what it is.
It is hard enough to raise kids. I hope you are being nice to your daughters-in-law. I homeschool my kids, but my mother-in-law and parents hate it. I just hope they realize such a decision belongs to the parents, not the grandparents, and appreciate me for the good in me.
Liahona Preparatory Academy is just such an LDS private school in Pleasant Grove Utah. They also have an online distance education program.
My brother-in-law did the correspondence course offered by Liahona prep. It was awesome, Brother DeGraff is an amazing teacher. I was able to watch several of his lectures with him as he was working his way through high school. I would request this course of action to any who wanted to home school their High school aged children. I am not aware of any younger programs available, if some one could enlighten me on this.
American Heritage Academy also has an excellent high school online program. They are of course LDS based curriculm.
Kids can start in kindergarten and go all the way thru high school (i think) at Providence Academy in St. George. I hope we are able to afford it when my boys reach school age. Otherwise I’ll probably homeschool.
My daughter graduated from Liahona Preparatory Academy and so will her younger sister and brother. It is an amazing LDS based private school with a lot to offer homeschoolers through their distance education. They have a junior program that starts at 4th grade. Their link is liahonaeducation.com
This article is so spot on!! My husband and I have home schooled the entire time. American Heritage School and Family Education Center is phenomenal! It was started by Elder Verlan Anderson when the church schools closed. It is an LDS private school. They also have distance education and home schooling programs through their Latter-day Learning outreach. http://Www.american-heritage.org
Quite frankly, this issue causes me more pain and anguish than any other issue, except perhaps the media issue. I am forced to stand and watch with my hands tied behind my back and my mouth silenced as my fellow Latter Day Saints send their children to government schools, allow them to participate in all forms of media, and get drugged up by the medical establishment; then they wring their hands and wail, and “rant upon the rocks” crying, “Where did I go wrong? Why have my children left the church? What could I have done more?” But I know that if I say anything I will be crucified for it.
Too many of the Latter Day Saints are simply NOT PAYING ATTENTION. They simply do not care what the Lord or His prophets have said about education, teaching our children, political science, and many other things. They simply follow the ways of Babylon like goats eating the weeds with the herbs, the garbage with the fruit, completely indiscriminate of whether they are feeding their children wholesome food or poison.
They do not love the Lord or the Kingdom of God; how could they? They do not know who He is, what He represents, or what ZION should even be like. The reason they do not know these things is because they do not search them out in the scriptures. They are not fully committed to keeping all of the commandments; they are compromised.
Please forgive me for speaking so bluntly. It is just that this is so hard to watch with so little power to do anything about it. My wife and I home school and we try to set a good example. Everyone is very impressed with our kids; while many criticize us for home schooling. I hope and pray that some day they will add things up, repent, and keep their covenants–especially those in regard to raising their children in truth and righteousness.
I am glad you are blunt. I am questioned by our own church members. All I can say is that even though it is hard, My husband and I honestly prayed to know if we were to home school our children or not. I look around the Relief Society room and wonder how many people actually knelt down and prayed if they were to home school or public school their children.
Oh, probably less than 5%.
What is so difficult is watching my wife do her best to home school with such extreme heart-ache, sacrifice, and difficulty. If the saints would pull together then they could work together and bear one another’s burdens. Out here in Oklahoma there is next to nil support from members for home schoolers. It is so difficult for me sometimes to love them and not resent them for it.
Strangely this reminds me of a quote from The Addams Family (1964)
Truant officer- “But they’ve got to go to school! Everyone sends their kids to school!”
Gomez Addams- “Ridiculous! Why have children just to get rid of them? I’m opposed to the whole nonsense!”
As a home school Dad I see the education of my children as a way to not only know what my children are learning but also the influences that enter my home. I was raised in a public school and it took the woman I ended up marring to get me interested in gaining a testimony of the gospel. I remember the environment that I lived in everyday at public school, I do not want my children to have to be exposed to that.
Oh my wife was home schooled. She had a stronger testimony at age 16 when we met than I had before I decided to go on a mission. Luckily for us she shares the desire that I have to not send our children to public schools. She loves being home with the children(though she works harder than I ever have, even when I was working two jobs and going to school to make ends meet.)Already I am seeing the benifits of home schooling, My children are well behaved and polite, at least when I am around, I have no complaints from church teachers as to their behavior.
Jared, overall I definitely agree with you. But honestly, you just never know in this life.
As a single mom, I HAD to send my kids to school while I worked in a low paying job that just barely got us by. And I did lose my children as far the gospel goes…..all but one are inactive as adults, though they still believe in God.
Later on, I remarried in the temple, both of us worthy and active, and we had one child whom we homeschooled starting at an early age. We suffered much ridicule and mocking from people in our lds ward for choosing to homeschool. This child’s dad died when this child was 11. I was financially able to stay home and continued homeschooling, “training up in the way this child should go”. This child was happy in seeking the Lord, we enjoyed FHE and daily scriptures/pray, gospel discussions. I was teaching this child just as I had wanted to do with all of my other children. Now at 20, this child not only left the gospel but has chosen to be an athiest. How I wish all that was cherished, taught, and lived in our home had kept this child in the Gospel Net.
That said, we have a wonderful family, all of our children are loving adults/family oriented/good people.
NO, I’m not happy that me and my deceased husband, and one son/his family are the only active lds members; striving to live a life based on the Gospel Plan. Still, I put my hopes in Christ for our family. I live modestly, dress modestly, keep lds standards in my own home, don’t watch R rated movies, etc. etc…. and strive to be an example. Instead of feeling like a failure, I have been guided over these deeply sad events of many years, to pray everyday for our children, always give them love; and prompted by the Spirit to personally continue to grow closer to the Lord in my life. Is it easy? Never. But I pray God will continue to help me put my faith in Him, no matter what….come what may.
So as you can see, even when we parents do our best, or at least think we are trying to do best: there isn’t a guarantee.
Yes, I still think the lds people should get their kids out of the public schools. They are a training ground for the ways and sexuality of the world.
This is a tough issue to address. And as usual, I overstate my case. And sometimes, like Alma, even when we do everything we can for our kids, they still make wrong choices; but also like Alma, our faith can and will bring them back, according to the Lord’s timeline.
My main aggravation is that the members in general are so supportive of the decisively anti-Christ public education system. If we, the LDS people, would unite and work together, even the single parents and under-employed could provide for their children a Christ-centered education. Hence, your difficult experience is an excellent case in point.
Just remember, it’s not over until it’s over. Keep the faith and your children may very well respond to the sealing which is empowered by the atonement and activated by your righteousness.
Thank you, Jared, for your words and for your courage. My family is also being attacked for homeschooling, but to my hurt amazement, the fiery darts are all coming from family and Church leadership; I am currently at odds with my branch president, members of the ward council and a member of the stake presidency; the issue has been brought up repeatedly, even at temple recommend interviews. Even though my children are happy and well-behaved, this is never seen as a product of homeschooling. What I don’t get the most is their denial of two doctrines: the right to revelation and primary stewardship that PARENTS have, and that this SUPERCEDES their authority when it comes to my children. When they deny that to my face, I can’t help but question their authority.
“…but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.” (D&C 121:37)
In the home the authority of parents is sovereign and supreme and supersedes the authority of church leaders. This was addressed in the last General Conference.
My advise is to be meek, stay under the radar, stay true and faithful to the church even when some members and even leaders are blinded by the “mists of darkness,” and most of all to continue doing what you know is right. God bless!
Katie, you are absolutely in the right. Never take anything a church leader says as revelation until you take it to the Lord yourself. My heart aches for your situation. Through bitter experience in my teen years I learned that church leaders are all too human and petty. My wife didn’t learn it until after having children and it’s been a trial. We had one bishop go so far as to tell us that God doesn’t communicate with women directly, that He only talks to women through men. I nodded my head as if I believed him and let my wife know I thought the bishop was nuts when we got home.
Maybe I should stand with fire and conviction and denounce them, but I take the “under the radar” approach.
Thank you for your words. As parents it can be tough to remember that free agency applies to our children as well as everyone else. One comfort I have, is that our omnipotent and loving parents lost 1/3 of their children to the adversary. In their perfection they still allowed their children a choice.
“They do not love the Lord or the Kingdom of God; how could they? They do not know who He is, what He represents, or what ZION should even be like. The reason they do not know these things is because they do not search them out in the scriptures. They are not fully committed to keeping all of the commandments; they are compromised.”
Woah buddy, maybe you should step down from rameumptom for a minute and try to love and understand those around you. If you are resenting them clearly something is wrong, any righteous decisions should help your love and compassion grow for those around you. From what I can tell, I agree with your educational, entertainment and medical ideals, but you sure put yourself on a pedestal above all those who don’t do what you do.
I think you are missing the part where these people are mocking Jared and questioning his sanity for homeschooling. He is obviously above them morally and intellectually. If these people choose to send their children to public hell, fine. I’m sure Jared can respect that, as can I. But when they choose to torment and ostracize him, and me, for home schooling, they have shown how intolerant, unfaithful, and ignorant they are. It’s the ridicule that the supposed “faithful” level at us that reveals what they are. The church is a “stars upon thars” club they are a part of, nothing more. They belong firmly on the side of the world, which is satan’s right now.
Please give more detailed references in the quotes. I like to pass these things on but some of the people I send them to would like to “check out” the references. Thank you. Great article and I entirely agree. We are sacrificing a generation of children on the “free” public school altar–but oh, the true cost…..
Do you have an email address that I could use to send a file to you as an attachment? It is a paper I wrote on homeschooling. I would like to share my ideas with others and would be interested in feedback on it.
I would love to see the paper you wrote. I just left the public system this year.
Equating taxes to theft ignores the fact that a person lives and functions within a society. An individual benefits from being in a society and therefore has certain duties, i.e. paying taxes. Also getting rid of public education is a draconian action that would hurt the people who need the most help, the poor. Thinking that all the poor would be ok because people would donate money seems naive to me.
Also there is a difference in the materials being taught at schools and in churches. One is educational and the other is religious. They can both have a place in a person’s life but when they are mixed into one a person’s education and their mind is what suffers.
Thanks for being logical.
Wow! You sure have a cynical view of your fellow man. All the good people I know would gladly do all they could for the poor of their own free will; but it sure makes it hard when the government is always steeling them blind, ruining the economy, and destroying business incentive.
I don’t need the government to spell out my duty; I can figure that out on my own. I’ll always be first in line to help the poor if I can; but put a gun to my head and force me to do it and I will resist to the death.
37 That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.
38 Behold, ere he is aware, he is left unto himself, to kick against the pricks, to persecute the saints, and to fight against God. (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 121:37 – 38)
Government/Priesthood force is only ever justifiable in the defense of fundamental equal rights; not in the defense of equal things–especially things people have not earned.
Ditto Jared. Liberty and Truth first, all else lieth at the door.
Soren, my concern with part of your reply is:
if public education, and the evil it has become, is there for the poor, then the poor will be brainwashed by the evils in the public school system, thus becoming enemies of God.
You are wrong Soren. Compulsory taxes are theft. Government has no legitimate power beyond that which an individual has. Since individuals don’t have the power to force someone to pay for a homeless person’s meal, government has no legitimate power to do so either.
Taxes should be voluntary. A gas tax is a good example of a voluntary tax. You can avoid it if you are opposed to it.
Your “society” is a tyranny. We are forced to pay for immoral wars, murder of the innocent unborn, anti-Christ education, police brutality, crony capitalism, the list of evils we are compelled to support is infinite in your “society”.
Truth is truth, God and correct education don’t even need mixing. Now atheism, that religion is tough to mix with truth. By definition it is close minded.
Public schools = theft? Public roads = ? Anyone drive? Better start walking or you won’t make it to the CK
Public schools were specifically mentioned by the prophets as being contrary to the will of the Lord. Roads are not mentioned. Show me some prophetic quotes on roads and we can talk otherwise see the quote from Eastly’s article below.
“Arrogance is the belief and attitude that what you do not know or understand is not important. …..Those who are true and faithful in all things look unto the Lord and His servants for guidance in all aspects of life: religious, political, academic, vocational, everything. Those in a state of apostasy both resent and despise those messengers of truth which witness of the true vine, the more sure way, and the abundant life which is alive in Christ.”
There is also such thing as a voluntary tax. If we were not forced to pay taxes with threat of imprisonment or deadly force, I think people would be very willing to voluntarily pay taxes on a monthly or annual basis. People could decide for themselves how much; then fill in on a bubble sheet where they want their tax dollars to go with a percentage next to each bubble with the requirement that the total percentages equal 100%. If people want it, they choose to pay for it: Roads, City Council, Public Funds for Education, etc…
Right now most states spend between $6000 and %12000 per year per student; but only for those who choose the Public Schools–those who choose private schools or home school get none of it. A voluntary tax could easily fix that.
Just a thought Mr. Fox!
Isn’t it amazing how inflexible and uncreative people’s minds are? It seems those who accept the status quo are nearly brain dead. “It’s the only way it works!” Geez! A) It ISN’T working. B) There are infinite other ways of funding the government’s ONLY legitimate function, protecting life, liberty, and property.
User fees. Tax gas, pay for roads = only people who use the roads pay for them. Yep. Those who use them less (no autos) still contribute when they buy things that are transported on the roads. There you go. perfect way to have those who use them more pay for them more. You really truly don’t have to steal from your neighbor ever.
Your thought is a good one, but it is uninformed. The use of public roads is a constitutionally protected privilege of every individual. It was never intended that the public pay for public roads. Taxes for that purpose have been defined as the responsibility of anybody enacting commerce upon public roads. Perhaps as we decide to follow the Lord’s council we will become privy to many abuses we have allowed. http://educate-yourself.org/cn/drivingisrightnotprivledge07apr05.shtml
There are many such atrocities that are permitted because the information is not common knowledge.
Here is a better reference to support my claim of traveling as a right rather than a priviledge. http://www.realtruth.biz/driving/supremecourt.htm
This argument really scares me. What about “ye are the light of the world”? I would that more people would be able to teach their children in their homes how to discern between truth and right- allowing them the agency and ability to choose for themselves. They won’t always be exposed to only mormon influences, and in business environments, might have to face situations and scenarios working with others who hold non-traditional LDS perspectives. Aren’t we meant to lift those around us? By pulling out the “righteous” from the world- church leaders would be stunting the ability for latter-day saints to be an influence for good. I don’t like institutions training or setting the standards of morality, but while families are still intact- moral standards should be taught in the home. I have a greater problem with how schools are run in general than I do with the fact that latter-day saints attend public institutions.
I am willing to homeschool my neighbor’s kids along with mine. In fact, we have converted other homeschool families. I don’t see very many of my LDS friends interacting with anyone not in their wards, and I don’t live in the west.
This is the number one response I receive from LDS parents upon hearing we homeschool our children. My answer is always the same.
When Jesus said, “Ye are the light of the world…” he was saying it to adults about themselves. When the prophets have spoken about the evils of public education they were very specifically talking to parents about the proper way to educate their children. In order to follow your logic I would have to take the words of Jesus out of context and apply them in a manner contrary to that which his prophets have said in regards to raising my children.
The light of the world, yes, once we are also. I will never again put my kids in public school any more than I’d give them a machine gun and send them to Iraq. They aren’t ready and I don’t want them attacked while unarmed and untrained. In our public schools they hardly have the equivalent of a machine gun nor proper instruction on how to use it.
My lds kids are in a Baptist school because I can’t home school this year and there’s no lds school. I’m thankful they took us in.
Fascinating ideas being shared here. Going to copy and save the above blog post for later use.
I’m surprised you guys didn’t mention the only place in the entire Standard Works, where public education is mentioned – Mosiah 24. That system was set up by a vicious apostate and was a prelude to persecution and eventually bondage. But that could NEVER happen in America…. wait… that WAS in ancient America wasn’t it? ;)
Jared, you noted that the public schools spend at least $6000 per student. I’m fleshing out a business plan right now for a very innovative private school where after we get 200 students the cost to the family will drop to $2,340 a year. The plan is to work it down to $1000 a year, or maybe even free, eventually.
Discovered this past week that our school system was imported directly from the Prussians by Horace Mann (see his entry at Wikipedia.org). After having just been whacked by Napoleon, the Prussians (Germans) decided they needed to condition their youth for unquestioning obedience to authority (and we all know how that worked out for the Germans.)
I’ve been reading Johann Gottlieb Fichte’s “Speeches to the German People” – he was the architect of the Prussian model and I’ve already found 3 quotes in the first dozen pages that clearly show he was all about ridding the students of their free will.
Think about it! For some strange reason, our society believes that if we deny our children nearly every Constitutional right, all day every day for twelve years, somehow they are supposed to magically wield those rights responsibly when they turn 18! It is simply unfathomable.
You remember that old poem that says, “If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn” etc.? Well, I’d like to add another line or two. Here one:
(it’s a tad long, but I think it would be an improvement to the poem).
I have one grandchild and two on the way. I want my posterity to enjoy freedom — forever. I would love for my grandchildren to experience an environment every day where real freedom and self-government, the rule of law, and the right to a trial by a jury of their peers are all held sacred. These American values are all starkly absent from our nation’s application of the Prussian model.
So, I’ve decided it’s time to take action. I’m founding a private school where children live all day every day under a real constitution, where the students learn Roberts Rules of Order the same way they learned to walk and speak English. I’m starting a school where the students make the laws they have to live by, where their rights to property are not violated through confiscation, where all bullies are taken to court, where their right to a trial by jury is honored. Where they can learn to be free citizens so that when they get out into the world — into the mess we’ve made of our free nation — they not only can recognize tyranny when they see it, but that the Spirit of Freedom will burn in their hearts, and they will have the self-confidence and the wisdom to stand up to would-be dictators and say, “Not while I take breathe!”.
Hmm… this sounds like a speech in the making…. I think I’ll finish it off and title it, “Preserving The Constitution In The Hearts of Our Children”. Maybe I could give it on Constitution Day this year! Anyone know of an event being planned?
I’m a parent, and as such it is MY stewardship to determine what kind of education my children receive. When first studying out homeschooling for myself , I ran into that last John Taylor quote you cited. It was this thought, above all others, that lingered with me and did not go away. I know I blame my parents for things they should have done better with raising me, and my children will probably find things to blame me for… but to never even BOTHER to do the best I could for them when here a prophet has plainly spelled out what the Lord defines as the best education… I just couldn’t forsake my kids. Sure, it’s hard to face the criticism of the world, but I’d rather face that now than that of my children at a future day. (1 Ne 8:34, Moses 5:13,Mosiah 26:1-4)
The oppsoition from latter-day Saints to homeschooling is schocking to me! I guess I never heard much opposition being in a singles ward. I think there are some homeschoolers in my current ward but I haven’t heard much about it. I knew a girl who thought of homeschooling, but then she decided she could do more missionary work if her children were in Godless Socialist government schools. Her dad was a counselor in the Stake Presidency. I think he talked her out of it. I also read several articles about homeschooling at Meridian Magazine several years ago. I thought more parents would want their children to get a great education.
When you are attacked by anyone who thinks homeschooling is bad or wrong it is easy to explain how government schools turn a persons brain to mush-generally speaking. Government schools don’t usually teach based on the classical model. If you can homeschool, a good book I read about it a few years ago is: The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home By Professor Susan Wise Bauer (American Literature, College of William and Mary) and Jesse Wise. Professor Bauer was homeschooled in the 70’s because her mom didn’t like what was being taught then! She learned Latin, Classical Greek (she doesn’t think it’s that difficult) and tutored upperclassmen in Greek when a freshman. Also learned other languages. She homeschools her children with her husband.
Mrs. Wise and her daughter quote H. McCurdy, “The Childhood Pattern of Genius”
The Smithsonian Institution’s recipe for genius and leadership: (1) Children should spend a great deal of time with loving, educationally minded parents; (2) Children should be allowed a lot of free exploration; and (3) Children should have little to no association with peers outside of family and relatives.
Kids become geniuses not around lots of kids all day? They are actually smarter and they become leaders when around adults and their siblings-instead of 30 kids and 1 teacher. Another great reason not to have your children a gov. school.
I’m trying to find the full talks that you quote in your article as a way to further study this subject. We homeschool and get lots of sly and rude comments about this choice. It would be nice to have more quotes like this to respond to people with. LDS.org only has General Conferences from 1971 up. How does one find these talks? Like the quotes from 1970 and 1897. Thank you
Dang. Guess my parents won’t be making it to the CK since they sent me to public school…
I guess we will be in great company with plenty of prophets, bishops and stake presidents families… I am ok with that! We will make our own!! :P
yeah, but what if your child won’t homeschool? i tried, and tried, and tried. my 8 year old did a semester homeschooled. i thought “i may die before she ever does anything!”. i spent hours reminding her to stop playing and to do her work. our relationship deteriorated and her rate of learning significantly decreased. i have four children. i have meals to prepare, laundry to do, a house to clean, and bills to pay. i don’t have an entire day (not even four hours) to sit right by her to make sure she is doing her work. if i owned a large home, and could convert a room to a classroom it might be different, but i don’t. she needs to be somewhere she can focus on learning, and that is school. if there was a free LDS school…i’d be there. even $1000 is too much
When children go from public school to being home schooled, it takes about a year to “detox” and start to enjoy learning again. Be patient with your children, and perhaps change your expectations of home school. The idea isn’t to bring public school methods to your kitchen table (worksheets, busy work, etc), but instead to inspire the child to learn the principles being presented. This is more work, but the end result is a much happier child (and family). Treat each school day as an adventure, not a list of tasks to be done. And most importantly: allow the children time to play, for this is the way that they learn. You will find as they play make believe, they are imitating what you have said or taught them. Make learning an event and not a destination.
I love your honesty here! We homeschool five of our seven kids. We don’t have a classroom. We cram all nine of us, a big lab, three cats, two fish and our year’s supply into about 1800 sq/ft. Money is tight. This article indicts me for accepting public assistance.
We struggle with the same thing with ALL our kids. They goof off a ton and don’t do their work consistently. It’s HARD. As a punishment we sent them to public school for a year. We found it harder to make them do their public school work. If you choose not to homeschool, I understand! I’m just saying you aren’t alone, and I encourage you to keep trying.
This article is truly a treasure.. Thank you so much for taking the time to research and articulate these important truths.
I am looking for anyone who knows any parents or students who are in the Bingham school boundaries (even Jordan District) or attended the play they put on in March, Dead Man Walking. It is the epitimy of what you are saying only on steroids. This play was dark and had obscene language, sexually inappropriate language, teens fake smoking, lighting fake cigarettes and smoking them. The social engineering was rampant. Did I mention DARK! Whatever happened to fun, happy plays that made poeple feel good when they left. It is in my opionion inappropriate for all audiences, but especially students. If you know anyone, please contact me.
I live in those boundaries and homeschool. Have you connected with a local group yet? There’s a Yahoo group for South Jordan homeschool families.
You’re welcome to contact me; email@example.com
I recently discovered and began reading through several of your articles here and so far have enjoyed and agreed with much of what you have written. I look forward to reading and sharing more in the future as time will permit.
Having said that, I would offer a slightly different take on a subject that is admittedly not the focus of your article, but is referred to in your title and is addressed in John Taylor’s remarks. It is also alluded to by several of the comments on this article and is a popular “sacred cow” among many of us as members of the LDS faith.
I refer to the feeling which we often have as parents, that our children’s eternal welfare is somehow directly dependent upon our choices and actions, or lack thereof, as parents.
It is a notion that can be, and often is, very motivational to a parent in terms of being willing to work diligently and sacrifice in fulfilling our duty to raise up our children in righteousness. There is no question, but that we have a responsibility to the Lord and to our children to teach them correct principles. It is also absolutely true that our children, and future generations, will bear the consequences of our mis-steps as parents.
However, it is equally true that each of us will be held accountable for our own choices based on our individual level of understanding of right and wrong at the time we make those choices.
While I may thoroughly mess up my children’s mortality and heavily inflict negative consequences on them by my own mistakes, I am only affecting the quality of their journey, not their ultimate destination (and I will pay a price for that if I fail to repent).
The Lord, in His perfect application of justice, will judge them based on their choices according to their understanding and their willingness to obey God’s laws as they learn them. An understanding shaped and molded by parents, friends, and a myriad of life experiences, not to mention the eons of time learning and developing prior to coming here. To do otherwise would be perceived as unfair and violate the very nature of a just God.
We will all have ample opportunity to embrace whatever level of law we are willing to live by before any final judgement is pronounced upon us. If it were not so, He would cease to be God (Alma 42) because His creations would lose faith and trust in the idea that He is perfect in dispensing justice.
You referenced a few books by H. Verlan Andersen (which I highly recommend to your readers) and in one of his books he presents the idea that the main standard by which God will judge us is by our ability to obey the Golden Rule. This is a beautiful concept because it is the perfect measurement of our perception of right and wrong at any given time.
I won’t regurgitate it here, but it is very applicable and I believe it is found in “Many Are Called But Few Are Chosen”
We came to the earth to learn to become as our Father is, and I think we can all agree that parenting is one of life’s greatest learning labs which offers powerful lessons if we will choose to learn from our mistakes as well as our successes. That is the way it’s been done for millennia. By no means am I downplaying the real and painful consequences of less than perfect parenting, to both parents and children alike, but let’s not let the adversary use those temporary consequences to convince us that all is lost if our children don’t receive the perfect upbringing. After all, our childhood wasn’t perfect either.
I would suggest that the choices we make as parents and our willingness to do our best in raising our children has much more to do with our own final destination than that of our children. If we are selfish and consciously choose our own self interests over those of our children, is that not an indication to God that perhaps we are not yet fit to continue parenting in the next life? In the end, it seems most important to counsel with our Father in Heaven and seek His guidance on the particulars of raising our children.
LDS based instruction in private school or at home is the preferred option, and should be the goal and direction in which we head, but if it is not a viable option, we can only do our best and seek the Lord’s guidance and blessing as we teach our children correct principles by precept and by example so they can recognize and embrace truth and reject error.
With respect to the remarks by John Taylor, I would say that he was using a powerful idea to make a point about free public education, not declaring official doctrine about the intricacies of final judgement. He was also not speaking as the Prophet of the Church as he made those remarks in 1878 and did not become Prophet until 1880.
continued… (does he ever quit?)
I apologize for the verbose comment and I do not wish to be disagreeable in my opinion. I just see so many members beat themselves up over the learning process of parenting. Perhaps you could tackle this topic in a future “sacred cow” posting. Keep up the good work and I’ll keep reading (and unfortunately commenting from time to time).
continued no more…!
“Schools in Washington were vastly different from those in Utah. Most dignitaries sent their children to private schools, but Ezra and Flora did not follow suit. The Benson children found themselves attending public schools with peers they did not know. But the girls participated fully, and Bonnie was even voted the ‘friendliest girl’ in her high school.”
Sheri Dew, regarding then-Apostle Ezra Taft Benson, on moving to Washington D.C. to serve as Eisenhower’s Secretary of Agriculture.
From “Ezra Taft Benson, A Biography,” page 284.
“In addition, the children were expected to take their schoolwork seriously and to do their best. Gordon apparently kept abreast of their progress, as indicated in a letter he sent to the elementary school commending one of Dick’s teachers: ‘I was unable to get to any of the PTA meetings, but saw [William Naylor’s] exceptionally good work reflected in my own boy and others of his students…'”
From “Go Forward with Faith: The Biography of Gordon B. Hinckley,” by Sheri Dew, p. 165. Brackets original.
“In light of recent criticisms of the public school system, some parents have taken their children from public schools and are providing school at home. There is no official Church position on home schooling. Such decisions are left to the parents’ best judgment.”
“Public schools have played, and are playing, an important role in the education of Latter-day Saint youth. They are not perfect, and the past decade has been a particularly trying time for many of them. But many of the problems they face are not without solution, and the Church has not withdrawn its traditional support for a strong public school system.”
“I Have A Question,” Ensign, October 1986.
My following comment is not an argument that those who send their children can not attain Celestial Glory, nor is it a statement that your overall argument is incorrect. It is only a point of thought:
The Church today, in those articles states a support for a public schooling system. This does not mean, however, that it endorses public schools as they are-rather that it supports education generally. In a wider view, it does not mean that public education isn’t a form of “lesser law”. The Church in the days of Israel fully endorsed and supported the king when that came to be the life and standard that the people adopted, but that doesn’t mean the bottom-up form of government that they abandoned for a king isn’t still the ideal they should reach for.
“The Church has always had a vital interest in public education and encourages its members to participate in parent-teacher activities and other events designed to improve the education of our youth.”
“Precious Children—A Gift from God,” by Thomas S. Monson, Ensign, November 1991. Reprinted in Liahona, June 2000.
Let us assume that you are right, that “Government Schools = No Celestial Kingdom”. Elder Benson and his wife decided to send their children to public school. Does this equation hold true for him as well?
“Schools in Washington were vastly different from those in Utah. Most dignitaries sent their children to private schools, but Ezra and Flora did not follow suit. The Benson children found themselves attending public schools with peers they did not know. But the girls participated fully, and Bonnie was even voted the ‘friendliest girl’ in her high school.”
Sheri Dew, regarding then-Apostle Ezra Taft Benson, on moving to Washington D.C. to serve as Eisenhower’s Secretary of Agriculture.
From “Ezra Taft Benson, A Biography,” page 284.
A direct quote from lds.org, “The Journal of Discourses is not an official publication of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is a compilation of sermons and other materials from the early years of the Church, which were transcribed and then published. It included some doctrinal instruction but also practical teaching, some of which is speculative in nature and some of which is only of historical interest.”
I fully plan to homeschool my children. But I cannot expect people to be open minded and non judgemental about my choice if I am going to be closed minded and judgemental about theirs.
Homeschooling is a very extreme lifestyle choice that I would not wish upon anyone who does not feel fully equipped, and called to do so.
I already get the awkward silences. And the subject changes. But I have also already learned that this is MY journey. And I need neither seek nor expect approval from anyone but my spouse, and the Lord. However, It is very arrogant of us, as homeschooling parents to assume that we are the only inspired ones. Prayerful people, who are trying to be good parents, would be guided to homeschool if it were right for them.
I think we can be judgemental about man different ways of educating our children don’t you? I find your arguments compelling and well written. I find the arrogance lies in the above comment.. That you believe your argument to be the great and unchanging “truth.”
While it is likely to be true that it IS that type of truth.. In your case.. Like many good things, it does not apply across the board. As much as I dislike America public schools, I dare not ever say to someone that it is the wrong choice for their family. We all have our own journey. The commandment “thou shalt not kill” has always been pretty easy to apply across the board, but individually Nephi, and Abraham, and many others were personally commanded to do just the opposite.
We home school most of our 12 kids, but many have attended public schools K-12 and community college. Our oldest just graduated from BYU. Public education is not evil just as money is not evil (or good).
The following is from LDS.ORG (please read the entire article): https://www.lds.org/ensign/1986/10/i-have-a-question/i-have-a-question?lang=eng&query=public+education
“There is no official Church position on home schooling. Such decisions are left to the parents’ best judgment.”…”Public schools have played, and are playing, an important role in the education of Latter-day Saint youth. They are not perfect…But many of the problems they face are not without solution, and the Church has not withdrawn its traditional support for a strong public school system.
I honestly don’t know how I feel about this article. I prayed and poured my heart out to know if I should homeschool my son and fully intended on doing so starting this past year. I didn’t receive my answer that he needed to be in public school until right before the school year started. Maybe it was because of his ADHD and autism. Or maybe it was because I’ve been very sick lately and am suffering from severe depression and possible bipolar issues, but I know I made the right choice to send him to public school.
At home we teach him as much as possible when it comes to spiritual matters and helping him see that not everyone believes as we do and will sometimes teach, say, or do things that we know to be wrong.
I hope that some day, when we have better resources and a better grip on our personal struggles, that we will home school. Right now my son’s school gives him structure, something I can’t give because my mental life is in turmoil. To be told that I may not make it to the Celestial Kingdom because I sent my kids to public school hurts this soul who is already doing all she can to get by and stay strong spiritually because of depression.
Everyone’s situation is different and not everyone is able to home school or afford private religious education and I feel the Lord would be very unmerciful to those who didn’t home school or send their children to a religious private school because their situation didn’t allow it.
I have the same issues. I struggled for 10 years homeschooling my children. Two on autism spectrum. I worked so hard but they refused to do their work. I can’t beat them and I did take away literally everything of theirs but they still wouldn’t do it. I had mental health issues too, and dealing with this just made my depression so much worse. I love the idea of homeschooling and wish I could but I know will children will not cooperate. I try to be aware of what there are being taught at school and have discussions with them regarding science, history, chastity, health, etc. It all takes a lot of prayer and study. Don’t feel guilty.
I have homeschooled my 9 children on and off for the last 11 years. I have tried just about everything and even public school. I just found something that I think will work for me and my kids, it’s Kimber Academy. They have a distance program where they stream the lessons into your home for $150/mo per family. They incorporate the gospel into every subject they teach. It seems like a good fit for us because I had such a hard time with being the teacher myself, yet I can’t stand sending my kids to public school, it feels like I am sending them off to thier slaughter. It’s pretty affordable compared to other private schools. You can also have them attend classes at the academy for $300/mo per child (still cheaper than most). I think it’s a good option!
I was educated in the public school system. I went onto college and then graduate school. And yet throughout my entire public school years, I had a loving mother and father who taught me at home about the gospel and the teachings of Christ. The daily scripture study, seminary, and church activities solidified my believes in the church. I was able to share my love of the gospel with non-LDS friends. I had 3 friends that joined the church during high school and they are still very active in the church today. If I had not been at that school, they may have never learned of the church. Homeschooling is not for everyone. People should not be critical of the way people choose to educate their children. That is between them and the Lord.
Wow! I never said that you encouraged homeschooling. I just find it hard to believe that myself and all those educated in the public school system would be denied the celestial kingdom. I live a Christ like life. I pay my tithing, hold church callings, attend the temple consistently, read, study and pray about the scriptures daily, and follow the church leaders. So because of my education, I would be denied the blessings of the celestial kingdom? I will leave that decision up to the Lord when I am judged in the afterlife. I have lived my life preparing for my life on the other side. Public education or not, I am confident that my actions in this life will take me to the celestial kingdom. We can agree to disagree on how education will impact the afterlife.
So essentially you are saying that my parents who were “forced” to go to public school will be allowed into the CK, but then gave up that blessing by “forcing” their children to attend public schools. Seems to me that the CK, according to your interpretation of the scriptures and doctrine, will be a very lonely place.
Not every parent has the ability or the means to educate their children at home or send them to a “LDS” school. I am a widow with school age children that attend public schools so that I can support my family. So should I instead stop working, homeschool and then live on the government’s dime? I am confident that The Lord would rather I be a contributing member of society and instill the values of the gospel to my children, as my parents did with me.
Are you the prophet now who can tell people that if they send their kids to public school they won’t be in the Celestial Kingdom? Looks to me like you are ark steadying here.
Nothing you quoted said those who use public education are denied the Celestial Kingdom.
I homeschool my kids and I am LDS. I do not think that because of this, my chance is any better to make it into the celesial kingdom. I am hoping more saints choose to home educate each year. I pray that those who want to but cannot see a way there, will find the help they need so that they can.
Thanks, I appreciate the quotations used (a lot of them new to me) I see parallels with this topic and the when members stopped using midwives and starting having their babies in hospitals.
“Only a fool would let his enemy teach his children.” – Malcom X.
I am amazed at the self righteous pride exhibited in some of these comments. Brigham Young said a lot of things based on opinion not cannonized scripture. If sending children to public school denies you the Celestial Kingdom then it would be reason to deny a temple recommend. Which it is not. Most prophets were educated in public schools exposed to evil but choosing righteousness because they had a home of refuge and righteousness. As a mom who did both public school and home school I agree that home schooling is the best shield but never would I pretend to be better than others because I chose home schooling. Both my home schooled and public educated children are righteous individuals and know right from wrong.
It’s pretty superficial to pin the content of the article on Brigham Young. It is the word of the Lord, and His servants that were used. It’s pretty popular right now to throw the prophet Brigham Young under the bus for teachings not popular with the world, but it is intellectually dishonest to say this was his teachings and not the Lords.
I’m curious. I see where you list the first principle as “Free schools by taxation is theft”.
I wonder: When the US government was taking your tax dollars (and mine, as well, as a Canadian who lived and worked and paid taxes in the US from 2008 to 2014) to spend TRILLIONS of dollars at the Pentagon, much of which is untraceable (i.e. no one knows where those trillions of dollars went!), to both find new and exciting ways to kill people (e.g. the F-35) or to ACTUALLY kill over a MILLION people, mostly vulnerable innocents in Iraq, did ANY of you call it “theft”? I sure did! I’d MUCH rather my tax dollars be used to CARE FOR vulnerable people, to feed and house and clothe and heal them, than to kill them. WWJD?
Oh, and add “educate them” to my penultimate sentence, please.
we are against BOTH. This isn’t an either or. I am glad you would much rather do that, but do not force me to pay for your beliefs.
So, no taxes ==> no government ==> every man for himself? Sounds like the opposite of a Zion society.
Sounds like a strawman argument that no one made from a dishonest person
Well then, educate me. Do you envision a society without taxes? (Still in our telestial world here, I’m sure everything will be much better after Christ returns.) If so, how would that society work?
For starters, I would recommend D&C 134 and Benson’s talk, “The Proper Role of Government”.
Um… I love how everyone is so against government and taxes. I laugh so hard at the thing that you are all missing. We are commanded to be loyal to government. Don’t believe me? Correct me if I am wrong, but don’t “We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law”?
Yes, your interpretation of that is dead wrong and counter to what god has always taught.
In the Doctrine & Covenants, section 98 verses 5-7 lays out what “the law” is:
And that law of the land which is constitutional, supporting that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind, and is justifiable before me. Therefore, I, the Lord, justify you, and your brethren of my church, in befriending that law which is the constitutional law of the land; And as pertaining to law of man, whatsoever is more or less than this, cometh of evil.
Any law that is not Constitutional or fails in “supporting that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges” is evil. In verse 11 the Lord tells us what we should do with such evil when He says, “And I give unto you a commandment, that ye shall forsake all evil”. Therefore, according to an actual revelation, the Lord tells us to forsake any laws that are unconstitutional or that violate principles of freedom. This conclusion is also supported by several statements from modern prophets.
In addition to this commandment from the Lord in this the last dispensation, we have precedence that reveals this as a universal principle.
Here are just a few examples:
We all remember the Sunday School lesson about Daniel and the lions den. Why was Daniel, a Prophet of God, sent to the lions den? He was sent there by the government because he violated the “law of the land”!
Daniel knew it was against the law to pray to God (Dan 6:10)
Daniel openly defied the law (Dan 6:10)
We should also remember Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, the three Hebrews that were sent into the fiery furnace because the disobeyed the “law of the land” that went against the law of God. (Dan. 3:12–30)
Let’s skip now to modern examples:
Polygamy as practiced by Joseph Smith and contemporary apostles was against “the law of the land” in every single state they were in.
John Taylor said, “We believe in … loyalty to our country, but when they enact laws, forbidding us the free exercise of our religion, we cannot submit. God is greater than the United States; and when the government conflicts with Heaven, we will be ranged under the banner of Heaven against the government… If the United States say different the Saints cannot obey it. … [W]e will worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience.” (1/6/1880)
Heber J. Grant: “No matter what restrictions we are placed under by men, our only consistent course is to keep the commandments of God. We should, in this regard, place ourselves in the same position as that of the three Hebrews who were cast into the fiery furnace.” (4/5/1885)
George Q. Cannon: “I admit that those raising children by plural wives are not complying with man-made laws, but in the sight of God they are not sinning, as there is no sin in it.” (Reed Smoot Hearings 1:9)
Wilford Woodruff: “God says, “We shall be damned if we do not obey the law.” Congress says, “We shall be damned if we do.” It places us precisely in the same position that it did the Hebrews in the fiery furnace, and Daniel in the den of lions. … Our enemies have pursued the same course … and made it a law of offense to obey one of the laws of our God. Now who shall we obey? God or man? My voice is that we obey God.” (4/21/1879)
Apostles Penrose & Richards wrote a letter to John Taylor stating: “We then say, we consider the law of God superior to the law of the State, and if we have to break the law of the State to keep the law of God, we will stand by the consequences.” (2/16/1887)
The First Presidency: “God is superior to governments and courts. But he tells his Church to befriend the constitutional law of the land. If it is not constitutional, He says it comes of evil. It must support the principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges; if not, it comes of evil. Who is the Lord directing? His Church. Whatever is contrary to the freedom guaranteed by the Constitution, which includes not mere belief but the “free exercise” of religion, He does not command His people to obey, but says they shall do His will.” (First Presidency 7/7/1886)
John Taylor: “I defy the United States. I will obey the will of God. These are my sentiments, and all of you who sympathize with me in this position raise your right hand.” (1/6/1880)
It is dangerous to take one statement, or verse, or part of a verse in a vacuum, with no context. That is how we get all the false creeds of men that lead to the great apostasy. Prophets, both ancient and modern, are clear on this principle.
God’s law is supreme, and all laws that violate His are to be “forsaken”.
yep… This is why people think the LDS church is a cult.
An intellectually lazy comment.
There is a new private, faith- based school opening 2015 in the Henderson/ Las Vegas area. It’s called JOY Academy of Southern Nevada. Check out the website for more info. Joy-Academy.org
I will never tell a parent that sending their children to public school is wrong, but for us, there is no returning. We reached a breaking point with the system seven years ago. That’s when we decided we’d had enough of the bullying, the access to drugs and alcohol, the immorality, the profanity, the indoctrination, the worldliness and the separation of church and state. Oh the true stories we could share with you. In my opinion, there is more bad and ugly in the system than good, so long as the federal govt. is involved and our constitution ignored. All I can see is Satan’s hand in public education today. If you want to change a society, start with the children. I honestly feel public schools today are spiritually unsafe. Homeschooling has truly blessed my family.
“Only a fool would let his enemy teach his children.” – Malcom X
Does anyone know of such a school in az???
This should settle political doctrine for ALL members of the church.
Did you think of those who are not from America?
I agree with many of the principles about the role of the government, but it’s not always possible. I am from Hungary, which used to be a communist country until 1989. There are very few letter day saints here, we don’t have a temple, and we have only one stake. In my school I was the only letter day saint. Even finding a spouse from the Church seems like an unattainable thing for many members here. Most people here are not able to afford private education. And what about universities? I go to medical school here in Hungary, and luckily it is free, and I only need to pay my education cost back if I leave the country after school and choose to pay taxes elsewhere. I think I am quite lucky with that. It would be almost impossible for me to pay for medical school, as for most people living in this country. Even now many people choose to work instead of further education because they have to take care of themselves and they can’t afford to go to school instead of work even though it is free. What would you suggest to us? Would the Lord want me to leave medical school? Would the Lord want me to separate myself from everyone except for the few local church members here? I don’t think it would be wise.