Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Be Honest With Yourself: Live and Learn Forever

Be Honest With Yourself: Live and Learn Forever

By: Ardis E. Parshall - March 17, 2010

(See here for background)

From 1957 —

Live and Learn … Forever!

This life is for serving and learning; so is the next. Part of life’s lessons we learn by failing first and trying over. Some call it trial and error; another name for it is experience.

A certain amount of trial and error we must accept. It’s good for us. But there’s a short-cut to learning, shorter than trial and error, which each of us should try to find. We should seek this short-cut through thoughtful study, from the experiences of others, by the reading of good books, by going to school. Most folks call this kind of learning “education.”

The chief purpose of education is to prepare us to live happily here and hereafter … and to make the world better for others who follow. The scriptures tell us why: “We are saved no faster than we gain knowledge”; “The glory of God is intelligence.” These lofty concepts of the place of education in the lives of people are the special incentives which spur us on in our search for knowledge.

It has been said even more plainly: “… if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another he will have so much the advantage in he world to come.”

Yes, and in this life, too. For knowledge here is also power – the power to produce the essentials of healthful, happy, comfortable living; the power to govern wisely and effectively; the power to avoid some of life’s unnecessary pains and frustrations which come to the ignorant or unadjusted; the power to recognize and appreciate truth and teach it to others.

These are some of the aims and products of learning and living – now and forever.




  1. I really like the text. The “Be Honest with Yourself” line seems a bit of a non sequitur, though. I’m missing a connection…

    Comment by Martin — March 17, 2010 @ 12:46 pm

  2. Martin, you might want to read the post linked as “background” at the top of the post — this was one of a series of posters/cards with the slogan “Be Honest With Yourself,” and we discussed a little what they might have intended by that slogan.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — March 17, 2010 @ 1:00 pm

  3. I am sure that it is just my modern sensitivities and jadedness, but I love the scare/ironic/air quotes around education used in a non-scary/ironic/airy sort of way. Perhaps the author of this piece is trying to avoid being labeled “fancified” with all of his/her praise for “book-learnin’.” Is it possible to read this line, “Most folks call this kind of learning ‘education,'” without either a southern, rube, or Dixie (UT) accent? I even used one (southern) in my head as I read it the first that time I scanned the line.

    Comment by oudenos — March 17, 2010 @ 1:57 pm

  4. Yeah, you’re jaded! 🙂 It’s impossible not to bring to bear a lifetime of experience with arrogant anti-intellectualism when you read something like this. I *am* glad, though, that encouragement and praise for book larnin’ was considered within the sphere of this campaign.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — March 17, 2010 @ 2:14 pm

  5. Yeah, I didn’t see much of an anti-intellectualism attitude in this post. To the contrary, I thought it was quite remarkably “pro-book-larnin'” (definitely quoted in a non-scary/ironic/airy sort of way). 😉

    Comment by Hunter — March 17, 2010 @ 3:55 pm

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