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Daily Seminary and Institute Program

Encyclopedia of Mormonism

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has established educational programs throughout the United States and in some ninety other countries to provide an effective combination of religious and secular education to its members. The primary aim shared by these programs is to assist students in gaining an understanding and personal witness of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ at the same time as they pursue their secular studies. Latter-day Saints are taught by their leaders and their scriptures to seek after truth in every sphere.

CES comprises the various educational programs of the Church. Brigham Young University, Brigham Young university-Hawaii campus, Ricks College, and LDS business college provide higher education balanced with religious instruction for students attending these Church-owned institutions. Seminaries offer weekday religious instruction for high school students, and institutes offer similar instruction for college students attending non-LDS colleges and universities. Extensive adult and continuing education programs with headquarters at BYU provide educational opportunities for those not officially enrolled in the formal institutions. In addition, the Church maintains a few elementary and secondary schools in less developed nations.

EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY. Since the early days of the Church, leaders have placed a strong emphasis on education. The Prophet Joseph Smith, in discussing the purpose of earth life, consistently stressed learning. He said that one of the fundamental principles of Mormonism is to "receive truth let it come from where it may" (WJS, p. 229). Revelations given to Joseph Smith state that "the glory of God is intelligence" (D&C 93:36) and that "whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection" (D&C 130:18). Other revelations further emphasize the importance of both religious and secular learning: Teach ye diligently and my grace shall attend you, that you may be instructed more perfectly…in all things that pertain unto the kingdom of God, that are expedient for you to understand; of things both in heaven and in the earth, and under the earth; things which have been, things which are, things which must shortly come to pass; things which are at home, things which are abroad; the wars and the perplexities of the nations, and the judgments which are on the land; and a knowledge also of countries and of kingdoms [D&C 88:78-79].

Brigham Young, the second president of the Church, advanced the same concept, teaching that "all wisdom, and all the arts and sciences in the world are from God, and are designed for the good of His people" (JD 12:147). These ideas and scriptures have become the foundation of the educational philosophy of the Church (see Education: Attitudes Toward Education).