“Education prepares you for better employment opportunities. It puts you in a better position to serve and to bless those around you. It will set you on a path of lifelong learning. It will strengthen you to fight against ignorance and error. As Joseph Smith taught: ‘Knowledge does away with darkness, suspense and doubt; for these cannot exist where knowledge is. … In knowledge there is power. To be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God.’ Education will prepare you for what is ahead…” – Elder Robert D. Hales, Oct. 2015
Last fall, I had no intention of watching the Saturday afternoon session of LDS General Conference. I was going to take a nap. Instead, I kept the TV on and cuddled up on the couch ready to fall asleep. Then Elder Hales spoke. It was because of Elder Hales that my life has changed dramatically in the past six months. Because of his counsel, I made a choice I never wanted to make, but one I knew was right.
When he spoke the above words I knew I should get my MBA. All other degrees I had been considering flew out the door. I needed to get an MBA, a degree I didn’t (and still don’t) want, didn’t think I needed, and had absolutely no desire to get. When I heard those words I knew what I should do. I knew what was right. It wasn’t a happy feeling…it was more like, “Oh, crap. I should have taken a nap.” But it was right.
Throughout the next day I analyzed the pros and cons, but I ultimately knew what my decision would be. It was something I didn’t want to do, but it was something good and right. For some reason, not doing the right thing never even occurred to me. I applied for the program when I got to work on Monday.
Did I know why I had to get my MBA? No. Did I suddenly have a change of heart and was excited at the prospect? No. Was I going to do it cheerfully? Not a chance — as anyone who has even mentioned it to me can attest. But I was going to do it. Yes, I was like Laman and Lemuel and have murmured the ENTIRE time. But I never once thought about not doing it. I often joked about dropping out, but knew I never would. The Lord had inspired me to do something. I didn’t know why, or even how I would do it, but I knew He would help me along the way because He had commanded it.
When I graduate in a couple months – approximately 7 months from when I started in November – I will be ecstatic, but not for one second will I think I got through it on my own. He helped me through each and every class. He spent countless hours helping me focus and remember what I studied. Every class I pass I know it’s because of Him. He’s helping me do what he wanted me to do.
For the first time, I can now say that General Conference has literally changed my life. A man called of God spoke inspired words and for that I will always be grateful.
So instead of watching General Conference this weekend, I encourage you to take a nap. Otherwise you just might end up with the inspiration and guidance needed to change your life.