Brigham Young's metaphor for life was the academy, and the principal schoolmaster was his beloved Joseph Smith. Of Joseph he said, "He took heaven, figuratively speaking, and brought it down to earth; and he took the earth, brought it up, and opened up, in plainness and simplicity, the things of God; and that is the beauty of his mission."15 How plain was that view of life? How simple? To Brigham Young, quite simple. "What are we here for?" Brigham asks, then answers, "To learn to enjoy more, and to increase in knowledge and in experience."16 "The object of this existence is to learn," he taught.
How gladly would we understand every principle pertaining to science and art, and become thoroughly acquainted with every intricate operation of nature. . . . What a boundless field of truth and power is open for us to explore! We are only just approaching the shores of the vast ocean of information that pertains to this . . . world, to say nothing of that which pertains to the heavens.17
Hugh Nibley says, "The treasures of the earth are merely to provide us with room and board while we are here at school."18 And Brigham Young, speaking of property and possessions, said, "They are made for the comfort of the creature, and not for his adoration. They are made to sustain and preserve the body while procuring the knowledge and wisdom that pertain to God and his kingdom, in order that we may preserve ourselves, and live for ever in his presence."19 "And when we have lived millions of years in the presence of God and angels, . . . shall we then cease learning? No, or eternity ceases."20("A School in Zion;" 1988 BYU Devotional address)
Scripture of the Day: D&C 56:16