One of the points of regret in my life was that I never completed college. I got married 11 months off my mission in 2002 and always worked in hospitality or retail management. The crazy hours of a salaried retail employee made it extremely difficult to do well in school. Plus I was making great money and didn’t think it was a huge priority when compared to spending time with my wife, kids, and video games. So I stopped going after a few semesters.
During the General Priesthood session of October 2006 Gordon B. Hinckley gave the talk, Rise Up, O Men of God. It is one of my favorite talks because he talks about slouchy dress, using the internet for good, and improving our lives. He said, “I call your attention to another matter that gives me great concern. In revelation the Lord has mandated that this people get all the education they can. He has been very clear about this.”
I felt a bit like Joseph Smith, when he said “Never did any passage of scripture come with more power to the heart of man than this did at this time to mine. It seems to enter with great force into every feeling of my heart. I reflected on it again and again…” I knew right then, that I needed to complete my degree.
President Hinckley went on to offer promises to those who continued their education, “In addition, your education will strengthen your service in the Church. A study was made some years ago that indicated the higher the education, the greater the faith and participation in religious activity.”
Seven years have passed and I have felt the sting every time I fill out a form or survey and fill the bubble “Some College.” Last Friday though I got notification that I have been accepted to the BYU Idaho Pathway Program. It is a 3 semester program that after the completion of, I can become eligible to continue on and earn an online degree from BYU Idaho. (Like those flyers you see in the hallways at church with the eyes punched out with pushpins.)
I am really excited to continue my education and so grateful for church leaders who inspire and encourage us to learn and improve ourselves.