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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Discussion Question #2

Thank you to everyone who commented on the first discussion question! This second discussion question comes from essay by Paul Alan Cox, Journey to City Creek: Adding Scholarship to Discipleship. We look forward to reading your thoughts and insights.

Dr. Cox talks about the word scholar being used in a general context- referring to anyone who seeks learning (p. 19). How does disciple-scholarship apply to learning that happens outside the classroom? In what ways will you prepare yourself for "lifelong learning," (see the "Aims of a BYU Education") while you are at BYU?


  1. Learning does not only happen within the classroom. As others have pointed out in the first discussion, a disciple-scholar should always show humility and have a desire to learn. I believe real life is one of the best teachers for we learn from our personal experiences and do actually learn more from our mistakes than from our achievements.

    At BYU, we do not only focus on improving our skills and physical development but also on spiritual growth. By continuing learning about God and strengthen our spirit, we have taken the first step in preparing ourselves for a "lifelong learning". And in this aspect, we could say that BYU is a great place for you can really feel the spirit everywhere, from your professors to your colleagues. As my elders often say, "Surround yourself with positive people if you want to become a positive person".

  2. We learn or at least have the opportunity to learn from everyday and every experience. Also if we have the gospel in our lives and live by it we will then create spiritual experiences.

    At BYU we will all have the amazing chance to grow tremendously from both teachers and fellow classmates. It is up to us though what we do with that opportunity. We can stand idly and watch it pass us by or we can grab on to it and strengthen ourselves. Depending on what we do will determine if we find joy in learning or not. The joy is always there we just have to put the effort into finding it.

  3. Some of the greatest learning that one will ever do is without the guidance of a classroom. Disciple-scholarship applies because it describes how to learn. To learn, you have to be humble, you have to seek to understand, and you have to give it time. So no matter what you are learning (or where you are learning it), all of the same principles apply.

    In order to be a life long learner, one has to first come to enjoy learning. If you don't like something, chances are you won't keep doing it when you're not forced to. One can come to enjoy learning by going above and beyond. Read books that you are interested in, not just the ones that are assigned. Participate in groups around campus that spark your interest. Once you are hooked on learning, being a life long learner becomes easy. Find something that you enjoy and dive in. You will be surprised at how far you can go.

  4. To me, when it comes to being a lifelong learner, discipleship is key. At the collegiate level, it is safe to assume that every student is a scholar according to the general definition of the word. Every tuition-paying participant, from the C average to the genius level, attends classes in order to learn and to be trained. Even outside of the classroom, these students continue to learn through their studies and other preparations for the next round of lectures. However, when it comes time to graduate and move on with life, focus is suddenly shifted from learning to other activities, such as work and family. However unfortunate, learning for the sake of learning does not pay one's bills and so attention must be diverted from that endeavor in order to sustain oneself and one's home.

    That is why discipleship is key. There is a scripture that illustrates this, found in D&C 76:5-10. Paraphrasing, the Lord promises those who serve Him faithfully will be rewarded with gifts of knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom. Again, in the 89th section the Lord promises that those who obey his word will receive great treasures of knowledge. Though one may acquire a great love of learning and pursue it all their days, a true lifelong learner will pursue learning with the same amount of enthusiasm as their pursuit of the light and truth of the gospel.

  5. Outside the classrom, learning is not as obvious. Things we need to remember aren't always repeated several times or written on a chalkboard. Thus, it takes humility to first notice it and then be prepared to allow those experiences to teach us. What we learn outside the classroom can be taught in some of our most powerful learning experiences, but only if we allow it. It takes a different type of commitment and study to learn outside the classroom. If we are to be life-long learners, this is one of the best ways to ensure continuing education. The keys to being a disciple-scholar are the same inside and outside the classroom. It requires humility, patience, love, submissiveness, meekness, and mercy.

    BYU is a wonderful place to begin to hone these attributes. Service opportunities abound, and what we learn in the classroom can prepare us for what we will be taught outside its walls. No place is perfect, but the spiritual atmosphere at BYU will certainly help. It would be more difficult to be taught during a rock concert than where we can hear the whisperings of the Spirit. BYU is a place to learn HOW we learn, which is an important knowledge as we continue our education.

  6. I've had the opportunity this past week to visit a friend in London. I brought the summer reading book along to all the tourist sites looking for that perfect place for the photo contest. In my visits to St. Paul's Catherdral, the Tower of London, and Westminster Abbey, I didn't bother posing for a picture with the book because although I had learned a lot, I didn't think pictures in front of non-LDS churches was what the contest was looking for. They don't have quite the light that comes from the spirit dwelling in our places of worship.
    Later that night, I sat in my bed reading Bro. Cox's essay, I was really touched when he mentioned Brigham Yound visiting all the churces I had just seen in London! "The value of learning in preparation for service to the kingdom" was demonstrated by Young as he studied those architectural monuments to inspire his design of the Salt Lake Temple. Cox's essay had a big influence on how I looked at worldly learning. I felt stupid because I could not see the light that Missionary Brigham Young saw in these same historic churches.
    To be a lifelong scholar, I think it is important to study many things (outside the classroom) and take what I learn to help serve the kingdom.

  7. One of the things that seems to surprise people most, when I tell them about LDS church services, is the fact that I still go to Sunday school.

    In their traditions, Sunday school is just for kids. Apparently, adults and teenagers have either learned everything or cannot learn any more. But for us, Sunday school lasts a lifetime because ther is always more to learn about the Word of God.

    Scripture study, both personal and communal, is something I am just beginning to learn to do right, something that I will spend a lifetime mastering.

    BYU religion courses and student wards, although similar perhaps to student wards and institute courses anywhere, allow gospel study to be more easily integrated with our secular studies, serving to remind us of our eternal priorities.

    If we stay focused on reaching eternal life with our Father in Heaven, then the principle of lifelong learning becomes ever more profound.

  8. One of the most effective ways to learn is outside of a classroom. I admire people who have the desire and ambition to pick something they're interested in and get onto the internet or go to a library and read up on it.

    One of the whole points of disciple scholarship is to take charge of our own educations and pursue not only those subjects taught at BYU but also all others that we think are of worth and value. Disciple scholars especially will seek after learning that doesn't come spoon fed in lectures and textboks, I think, because they understand that one day they might need extra knowledge and know how-- to fix the family car, to give insight in a sunday school lesson, or to eventually create and sustain life in the eternities.

    Personally, I think one that one of the best ways we can develop our capacity to learn through our entire lives is to avidly and constantly discover new things. So at BYU, I hope to do as "Mindylou" said and learn not only inside the academic arteries of the classroom setting but also through the many smaller veins of the extracurricular studies and activities as well.

  9. James Jardine mentions it more, but disciple learning is an attitude--an outlook on life. By adopting this attitude we can avoid over-specialization and embrace all knowledge and truth.

  10. I think that learning outside of the classroom gives us a much broader spectrum for learning that inside a classroom. Everything that we can learn in life is not going to be in a classroom--I think about 60% of it will be out! The church encourages us to study the gospel on our own; this also applies to other subjects. Learning even after college keeps our mind active.
    I think the thirteenth Article of Faith applies to this: "If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things." This includes good books, movies, music--anything that can bring us closer to God would be classified as learning, I believe.

  11. The account Dr. Cox gave of Elder James E. Talmage gives a perfect example of diciple-scholarship. Elder Talmage was not ever seeking to write a masterpiece, he was only humbly using his talkents to serve God. He did his best at learning because he knew this is what he should do and that the Lord wouls bless him for his obedience. His attitude of diciple-scholarship prepared him for the opportunity to write Jesus the Christ, which not only taught Elder Talmage, but everyone who reads this book.

    I can prepare for lifelong learning just as Elder Talmage; I can seek to be a diciple-scholar by learning as much as I can at school, home and work and to become a good diciple by being obedient to God's commandments and seek a knowldge and stronger testimony of spiritual things

  12. Being a disciple-scholar is just as valuable inside the classroom as it is outside of it. Although each lesson we learn is different, a true disciple-scholar carries the same meekness to each experience. Learning how to help a friend in need or giving a religious testimony is equally important as the pursuit of academic knowledge.

    In most settings, I believe that the differences between learning inside and outside the classroom would be more obvious, and as a result it would harder to distinguish which one held more importance. BYU reinforces the principles of being a disciple-scholar by integrating students’ academic and religious environments. This philosophy is clear in BYU’s mission statement, which states the intent to “develop students of faith, intellect, and character”. Such a unique, equal emphasis on these qualities is a truly invaluable experience for all aspiring disciple-scholars. I plan to make the most of this opportunity by actively participating in all aspects of the BYU community. BYU lays an excellent foundation to becoming a disciple-scholar and serving the Lord.

  13. The integration of disciple and scholar into one entity covers both sides of the spectrum of knowledge -- a scholars learns, and a disciple applies. A scholar goes to lectures, to books, to universities (like BYU!) and gathers information. A Disciple puts this knowledge and information gained to the test, and thereby gains, not just knowledge, but wisdom. Therefore, a disciple is active mostly outside the classroom, in experiencing and doing.

    I must admit, I have a harder time putting knowledge to work in the real world. I am much more comfortable curled up with a book than going out and doing things. But, in going to BYU, I hope to find the kind of environment that will encourage me to get up and get out -- one of the many reasons I knew I should come here. I believe it to be a place where the spirit dwells comfortably, and that is an encouraging thought in and of itself! I will ever strive harder to be a better disciple of Christ and emulate his active life of service, faith, wisdom and charity.

  14. There are so many things that can only be learned outside of a classroom. A true disciple scholar should try to gain as much knowledge as possible, in all fields of knowledge. I like what Ashley said about the scholar learning and the disciple putting the knowledge to use. Without that partnership of characteristics, knowledge and wisdom would be useless.
    At BYU, I hope to be able to use my knowledge to see the world more clearly, and be able to become a better disciple of Christ by learning all that I can.