So what is Education Week? When I first heard of it, I automatically assumed it was some kind of workshop for future/current/past educators. But I was very wrong. In a simple quick explanation, Education Week is a week full of learning. Different classes, taught on a plethora of subjects, are offered and literally you just sit in class and listen to lectures. Boring? You might think that, but it was the farthest thing from boring. Beautiful and inspiring words and information were being poured into my mind and and even more, in my heart. It was amazing!
The theme for Education Week 2011 was "That All May Be Edified" (D&C 88:122). The dictionary definition for edify is "to instruct or improve (someone) morally or intellectually." Knowing this was the theme, I desired to improve my mind [through top notch instruction] and to gain some new light and knowledge that I could apply in my life.
So how do I sum up a week of beauty? Because literally beauty is the only word that I can think of to describe how I felt about the week. I could make a whole blog post about one single class. Seriously. But that would result in approximately over 20 posts....holy smokes. I would even be sick of reading that. So I will condense each day with a brief outline and some killer quotes from the classes of the day.
Moments of Monday
Monday started off a little rocky. Let's be honest. First: we had to park miles (or at least it felt like miles) away from campus. Who knew that parking would be a joke? Well, we probably should have figured that considering 20,000 people were there for the week. Second: the class we were trying to get into was completely full. As in we couldn't even find two single seats. But after that, things went uphill. We took some awesome afternoon classes on based off of the Lectures on Faith, taught by David A. Christensen.
"Faith is absolute power. It is the principle power existing in God."
"Human testimony is the basis of faith that there is a God."
"To come to know God is what faith is all about."
Monday night, I went with my mom, Brad, and Whit (who happened to be in Provo that weekend. Best surprise ever!) to the oh-so-delicious Brick Oven. I had never been there before so it was fun to try something new. It came with high recommendations and I was not disappointed one bit.
Treasures from Tuesday
Tuesday began great. We went to a few different classes, including the weekly devotional by Elder Jay E. Jensen. You know that feeling when you are in a college class and the teachers are flying through slides and you are doing everything in your power to write down all of the information. But just as you begin writing a sentence, the next sentence is being said. Then the next, and the next, and finally, you don't even remember the original sentence. Yep, that's how my whole day was. There was so many good quotes that I wanted to write them all, but it was just impossible. So here are some favorites:
"The Lord can take your desire and remove thoughts or images form your mind that you cannot take yourself." -Kevin Hinkley
"Being a just person is to be righteous or to conform to the words of God." -Jay E. Jensen
"A talking head in a classroom setting is the worst kind of teaching. Teachers and listeners must create a climate that the Spirit can enter, uplift, and edify." -Jay E. Jensen
"The Lord uses the desire and abilities of people to create and inspire through music. Immerse yourselves in music that HAS A GOOD MESSAGE." -Marvin Goldstein
"The hymns are prayers. If you choose to not sing, you are refusing to pray." -Marvin Goldstein
"Showing friendliness and love (attention) can make more of a difference than we might know. If we show a little bit of love to someone, it becomes real. We will genuinely feel love for those people." -Randal A. Wright
"There is no earthly force greater than the divine power within women to accomplish and do the things we do." -Barbara Barrington Jones
"If Satan can jam the channels between you and the Father, then he can make progress on your destruction. Prayer is our LIFE LINE to God. We cannot let Satan win." -Barbara Barrington Jones
Tuesday night we went to a community production of Aida performed at the De Jong Concert Hall. The music from that show is pretty bomb.com. The group did a nice little job putting the show on too. Here is a clip from the Broadway production of Aida...what I would give to have seen that one :)
This song is awesome! It's probably not the most entertaining scene ever, and heck, they just might get a little friendly, but just listen to the voices. They are unreal.
Wednesday's Words of Wisdom
My favorite class (or at least in the top 3) of the week was the "one-day special" for Young Single Adults offered on Wednesday morning. I'll give you one guessas to what the top was about. Yep. Marriage. Go figure. And call me a total nut job for even going to the class, but it was awesome! It was entitled "One of the Most Important Decisions You Will Ever Make: Whom You Will Marry." Well, if you ask me, it isn't one of the most important deciison but THE most important decision. Hi, we're talking eternity here! Scott R. Braithwaite, a [young] psychology professor from BYU taught the course, and he was fantastic! It was his first year at Education Week and he was great. He emphasized showing legitimate statistics along with quotes from the brethren on carious apsects of the whole dating/marriage thing. Let me show you:
"Marry the right person in the right place by the right authority." -Bruce R. McConkie
"We can predict 94% accuracy if a marriage will fail or succeed."
Birds of a Feather or Opposites Attract? "Difficulties and hazards are increased when backgrounds are different." So the correct answer? BIRDS OF A FEATHER!
"The more education, the more stable the marriage. Marriages where women are more educated than the husband are more likely to end in divorce."
"Shorter periods of acquaintance and/or courtship are more likely to end in marital dysfunction... Don't get married too soon, don't get married too late."
"Single Best Predictor? Negative Patterns of communication."
"Choose who you love and love who you choose. I choose you. I will continue to choose you."
"Soul Mates? I do not believe in predestined love." -Boyd K. Packer
"Both people must be willing to pay the price for a successful marriage." -Spencer W. Kimball
"Be the person you want to marry. Know yourself well."
"There's a fine balance between agency and inspiration. Revelation in 95% hard work." -Bruce R. McConkie
What is love? "It is not just a feeling. That feeling will come and go."
"The decision may be gradual in our minds, not all at once. Line upon line, precept upon precept, with small simple assurances that they are a remarkable and spiritual child of God." -David A. Bednar
Nurture your marriage. "Love is like a flower--it needs constant feeding. It can't be expected to last forever without constant work and care."
We attended some good classes afterwards that dealt a lot with addictions. We didn't meant to go to them, but ended up there. However, I learned so much in those classes. Addiction is something that everyone can struggle with. And just because some isn't an "addict" doesn't mean they aren't struggling with addictive behaviors. Of course, the professors have to jab in some jokes about dating here and there, despite their teaching subject, so my favorite silly quote from the afternoon was this:
Possible truth to this statement? :) haha.
Thoughts from Thursday
Thursday was amazing. The classes we attended were definitely meatier. There was a lot of deep doctrine we learned about, including women of the church, covenants, media influences and the Atonement. My mind was seriously edified this day!
"Women of Deseret became to speak up and speak out. We can see their influence in the history of the church." -Susan Easton Black
"God will never force us into making a covenant." -Victor L. Ludlow
"It is not just what we experience in this life, but what we do with the experience. It is how we react." -Victor L. Ludlow
"The media is not the problem. It's how the media is used that is the problem." -Randal A. Wright
"If you are exposed to something inappropriate it is not your fault. However, if you choose to see and focus on it, that is different." -Randal A. Wright
"Certain things are expected with certain kinds of music. Bad music will trump good parenting." -Randal A. Wright
"It is one thing to be willing to die for others and another to be able. Christ was the only one authorized, capable, and qualified. The Atonement is infinite and eternal." -Brad Wilcox,
"Why do we believe in Jesus?
-We have the Book of Mormon.
-We have apostles and prophets.
-We have the spirit who assures us we are correct.
-Joseph Smith saw the Father and the Son." -Brad Wilcox
"The Book of Mormon clarifies and verifies the Bible." -Brad Wilcox
"If an experience were not accompanied by the Spirit, we would forget it. The Spirit can reach through the thickest of walls and hardest of hearts." -Brad Wilcox
Thursday night was great. We ate at Zuppas, which was quoted as the place where you can get "a total chick's kind of meal" aka: soup, salad, sandwiches. I was also introduced to the best liquid I have ever partaken of in my life. Cookies n' Creme chocolate milk. The most flowery and elaborate words couldn't properly describe how awesome this drink was. Thank you BYU creamery for making such a guilty pleasure of mine. Not to mention, the excessive amount of calories that little bottle contains. But I just try really hard not to think of that as I'm drinking it!
Friday was the final day of Education Week and perhaps had the most impact. I felt the Spirit so strongly that day.
"We should concern ourselves with specific sins, but we must know that sinfulness give rise to sins. Repentance is much more than just stopping the sin. We must experience the change that makes us not even want to do it." -Robert L. Millet
"We must pray to have no patience with sin, yet infinite patience with sinners, including ourselves." -Robert L. Millet
"We want a change of character resulting from a change of nature leading to a change of conduct." -Robert L. Millet
"True repentance isn't just cleaning the bathroom--it's cleaning the whole house." -Robert L. Millet
"I think I'll be delightful today...it is a choice to feel/be delightful." -John G. Bytheway
"Treat a man as he is and he will act how he is. Treat a man as he can and should be and he will act as he can and should be." -John G. Bytheway
"Music is a communication not needed to be articulated to be understood. It can lead us to moments that touch the infinite." -James Oneil Miner
"The miracle of the Atonement is that we can be TRANSFORMED. One who truly chooses Christ chooses change and to be changed. Come unto Christ and be perfected with (in) Him." -Brad Wilcox
"Suffering alone is not a change agent. Christ is the change agent. Seeing Him doesn't change us, accepting Him does." -Brad Wilcox
"If he had continually held my head about the water, would I have ever learned to walk?" -Brad Wilcox
That afternoon after the last class I was shocked that it was all over. I guess the saying is true, "time flies when you're having fun." Don't judge me USU friends, but I didn't want to leave Provo. Taking a week off of reality and having my bucket filled, you could say, was a refreshing break from the regular weekly routine I had been living all summer long. Now, I'll admit that my feet were a little tired from all the walking, my hand was permanently cramped from the never-ending-note-taking, and I was sick of eating out. But it was a delightful week.
It was lovely to spend time with my mom. She is one ball of energy, excitement, and mild sarcasm, and she is a wonderful woman. It was fun spending time with good friends and strengthening those friendships. I learned a lot about myself this week. I was given good counsel through words of the instructors, quotes from the prophets, advice from a friend, and wisdom from the scriptures. I am so grateful for the opportunity that I had to go. The first of many I hope! Gosh, if I could go back and relive my Education Week, I would, because it truly was a week for "education." Education on so many levels.