17) APPLICATION: Can there be true learning without application? Is it better to learn a few things well, than be battered with multitudinous facts?

Prophetic Statements

John Taylor

In relation to the education of the world generally, a great amount of it is of very little value, consisting more of words than ideas; and whilst men are verbose in their speaking or writing, you have to hunt for ideas or truth like hunting for a grain of wheat among piles of chaff or rubbish. . . . That education which but amounts to a little outward appearance and applies only to a few conveniences of this life is very far short of that education and intelligence which immortal beings ought to be in possession of. The education of the present day is generally misapplied; indeed, men have misapplied the education which they have received for generations and generations. [1]

Joseph F. Smith

“The mere stuffing of the mind with a knowledge of facts is not education. The mind must not only possess a knowledge of the truth, but the soul must revere it, cherish it, love it as a priceless gem; and this human life must be guided and shaped by it in order to fulfill its destiny.” (Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, page 269)

David O. McKay

But gaining knowledge is one thing, and applying it, quite another. Wisdom is the right application of knowledge, and true education — the education for which the Church stands — is the application of knowledge to the development of a noble and Godlike character. [2]

Joseph Fielding Smith

“We believe that worship is far more than prayer and preaching and gospel performance. The supreme act of worship is to keep the commandments, to follow in the footsteps of the Son of God, to do ever those things that please Him. It is one thing to give lip service to the Lord; it is quite another to respect and honor His will by following the example He has set for us.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, “I Know That My Redeemer Liveth,” Ensign, Dec. 1971, 27.)

Opposing Statements


Supporting Statements

Benjamin Franklin

Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn. [3]

  1. John Taylor, Journal of Discourses 5:259-260
  2. David O. McKay, Conference Report, April 1968, p. 94
  3. Benjamin Franklin
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