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Guest post by Noah Blaylock,

The Lord has admonished us to “And as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom, seek learning even by study and also by faith.”1 We also know that the Lord teaches and instructs us through revelation:

What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same. 2

So, what have the Presidents of the Church had to say regarding education? While this is far from being an exhaustive compilation, the following contains some highlights.

President Brigham Young

President Brigham Young taught in 1877:

I am opposed to free education as much as I am opposed to taking away property from one man and giving it to another who knows not how to take care of it. . . . I do not believe in allowing my charities to go through the hands of a set of robbers who pocket nine-tenths themselves, and give one-tenth to the poor. . . . Would I encourage free schools by taxation? No!3

It is a common complaint that schools are underfunded. “If only they had the proper funding, they could do better!” is the common lament. But this perception is contrary to the facts and data. Did you know the United States spends more annually on education than it does on the defense budget?

Total expenditures for public elementary and secondary schools in the United States in 2017–18 amounted to $762 billion – the National Center for Education Statistics.4

For comparison, the United States Department of Defense budget for 2018 was $682.49 billion. Education spending continues to increase every year. Are we being plundered, not by vikings, but by politicians under the guise of caring for your children? 

Source: Coulson, Andrew J. “Public School Spending. There’s a Chart for That!” Cato Institute, September 6, 2012.

President Brigham Young also taught: 

We had to pay our own schoolteachers, raise our own bread and earn our own clothing, or go without; there was no other choice. We did it then, and we are able to do the same to-day. I want to enlist the sympathies of the ladies among the Latter-day Saints, to see what we can do for ourselves with regard to schooling our children. Do not say you cannot school them, for you can… I understand that the other night there was a school meeting in one of the wards of this city, and a part there–a poor miserable apostate–said, “We want a free school, and we want to have the name of establishing the first free school in Utah.” To call a person a poor miserable apostate may seem like a harsh word; but what shall we call a man who talks about free schools and who would have all the people taxed to support them, and yet would take his rifle and threaten to shoot the man who had the collection of the ordinary light taxes levied in this Territory–taxes which are lighter than any levied in any other portion of the country?5

Conservatives talk about small limited government, yet many still want the state to be the foundation for the vast majority of the populations’ lives. Government education results in the first 13 years of a man or woman’s continuous memory being centered around a government program that has failed to provide data and evidence of its success. Would this not be an effective way to condition a population to be unwilling to curtail expansive government?

President John Taylor

President John Taylor taught in 1883:

It is highly necessary that we should learn to read and write and speak our own language correctly; and where people are deficient themselves in education, they should strive all the more to see that the deficiency be not perpetuated in their offspring. We ought to take more pains than we do in the training and education of our youth. All that we can possibly do by way of placing them in a position to become the equals, at least, of [mankind], we ought to take pleasure in doing; for in elevating them we bring honor to our own name, and glory to God the Father. To do this requires labor and means, and it also requires perseverance and determination on the part of all concerned.6

The most important part of this quote is President Taylor’s emphasis on parental responsibility. Do we realize the danger of placing our child on the bus and letting the state usurp the role as educator? Normal parenting work aside, would you consider your efforts to educate your child as a “labor”? Have you “pained” yourself to educate them?

Whatever you do, be choice in your selection of teachers. We do not want infidels to mold the minds of our children. They are a precious charge bestowed upon us by the Lord, and we cannot be too careful in rearing and training them. I would rather have my children taught the simple rudiments of a common education by men of God, and have them under their influence, than have them taught in the most abstruse [or complex] sciences by men who have not the fear of God in their hearts.7

Parents say that they would never want their child in schools where there is critical race theory, Marxism, or pornographic sexual education. They acknowledge the insanity in “other” schools, but always insist that their child’s school is an exception. I’d ask parents not to say their child’s school is good, but to ask “Is it good?” Do you really know whether of not teachers are presenting harmful ideologies and graphic sex education? Or do you just assume it isn’t happening?

President Ezra Taft Benson

President Ezra Taft Benson taught in General Conference, October 1970:

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. President Joseph F. Smith referred to false educational ideas as one of the three threatening dangers among our Church members. . . . 

Said Karl G. Maeser, “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.8

President Benson’s statement was made prior to the height of the sexual revolution and before the expansive and destructive evolution of sex education programs, yet he used such strong language at the time. What would he think today, I wonder?

The tenth plank in Karl Marx’s Manifesto for destroying our kind of civilization advocated the establishment of “free education for all children in public schools.” There were several reasons why Marx wanted government to run the schools. . . . one of them [was that] ‘It is capable of exact demonstration that if every party in the State has the right of excluding from public schools whatever he does not believe to be true, then he that believes most must give way to him that believes least, and then he that believes least must give way to him that believes absolutely nothing, no matter in how small a minority the atheists or agnostics may be . . .

It is self-evident that on this scheme, if it is consistently and persistently carried out in all parts of the country, the United States system of national popular education will be the most efficient and widespread instrument for the propagation of atheism which the world has ever seen.9

Notice President Benson did not say ‘a pretty destructive instrument’ or even ‘the most efficient instrument for atheism in our country.’ He said it would be the “most efficient” instrument for spreading atheism “which the world has ever seen.” That’s not an understatement or hyperbole. The evidence is clear and abundant to verify it as completely literal.10


God has not been silent on the issue of education. He wishes that parents will educate their children in such a manner that their sons and daughters will walk uprightly before him. But there are some false notions of education in our day that threaten the job of parents in raising their children righteously. I’ve seen in multiple wards full primary programs, but youth programs that are much smaller than their primary. I wonder why? Are the parents magically leaving the church around the time their child hits middle and high school? Or perhaps after being immersed in the culture of Babylon for 5 to 12 years, have children decided that belief in God, or at least adherence to organized religion, is dated and backwards? With rates of atheism, agnosticism, and mysticism on the rise, I am putting my money on the latter.

The responsibility of children’s education is that of the parents. This teaching has been emphasized and advocated by leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for decades. It is worth your time and your child’s soul to research how to homeschool.

Noah Blaylock,

  1. D&C 109:7
  2. D&C 1:38
  3. Journal of Discourses 18:357.
  4. “Fast Facts.” National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed May 30, 2022.
  5. Journal of Discourses 16:19-20. Emphasis added.
  6. Journal of Discourses 24:167-168. emphasis added.
  7. Journal of Discourses 24:168-169. emphasis added.
  8. Benson, Ezra Taft. “A Plea to Strengthen Our Families.” Latter-day Conservative, October 1970. Emphasis added.
  9. Benson, Ezra Taft. “A Plea to Strengthen Our Families.” Latter-day Conservative, October 1970. Emphasis added.
  10. Newman, Alex. “Alex Newman : Rescuing Our Children.” YouTube. Experience, July 15, 2019. (2:20)
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