Eva Witesman, associate professor in the Marriott School of Management, delivered this week’s devotional address. Witesman spoke about the importance of obtaining education in preparation for the future God sees in all of His children.
As a woman in the business world and mother of four children, Witesman brought a unique perspective and experience to her topic. She used quotes from former prophets and apostles to teach that obtaining an education is a commandment for all. She quoted President Gordon B. Hinckley when he said, “For members of the Church, education is not merely a good idea — it’s a commandment.”
Witesman focused on education as both a spiritual and temporal law, quoting Doctrine and Covenants 29:34, “All things unto me are spiritual, and not at any time have I given unto you a law which was temporal.” She emphasized that the commandment to pursue education — no matter how temporally useful — is really about the development of our spirits and our spiritual gifts. Education has value whether or not someone chooses to enter the paid labor force.
Witesman shared of her own personal education pathway, emphasizing the importance of following God’s will. The road to receiving both her master’s degree and PhD was full of starting a family, supporting her husband’s new job pursuits, seizing various internship opportunities as a couple and ultimately being in tune with the Holy Ghost. As she followed the Holy Ghost in her educational pursuits, all the while remaining fully dedicated to her family, she recognized a future that only God could have seen.
She closed by teaching that gaining education and knowledge is a holy pursuit, one that eventually makes us more like God. “We seek knowledge because it makes us more like God and closer to Him … the more we become like Him through knowledge and the more we hone our ability to hear Him testify of truth through the Spirit, the more these things will lead us to service in every aspect of our lives.” Witesman emphasized the importance of recognizing that obtaining an education is not merely to make ourselves more marketable in the work force but rather an opportunity to serve those around us.
“LDS women are courageous, particularly when they have been emboldened by the knowledge that Heavenly Father has a plan for each of us and that He will qualify us to do the work that lies before us,” Witesman said. “We will seek every good gift in service of our God. All we ask is that you not stand in our way as we pursue the Lord’s errand.”
Next Forum: Amy Harris, associate dean of the College of Humanities
Amy Harris, professor in the History department, will deliver the Forum address on Tuesday, July 18, at 11:05 a.m. in the de Jong Concert Hall.
Harris’ remarks will be broadcast live on BYUtv, BYUtv.org (and archived for on-demand streaming), KBYU-TV 11, Classical 89 FM, BYU Radio and will be archived on speeches.byu.edu.