Intellectual brilliance and knowledge without gospel application is not "wholeness or happiness" and is not the way of Jesus Christ, Elder Neal A. Maxwell, a member of the Council of the Twelve, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, advised the first-day audience attending Brigham Young Univer-sity Education Week Tuesday morning in the Marriott Center.
"Knowledge, if possessed for its own sake and unapplied, leaves one's life unadorned. A member might describe the Lord's doctrines but not qualify to enter the Lord's house," Elder Maxwell said."One could produce much commentary without being exemplary. One might be intellectually brilliant but Bohemian in behavior. One might use his knowledge to seek pre-eminence or dominion. Such are not Jesus' ways, for he asks that perception and implementation be part of the same spiritual process. We `give place' for the good gospel seed to grow."
Elder Maxwell said Christ does not dominate by his intellect but rather by example and love. He said there is "no comfort zone for vanity or hypocrisy" and attributed the explosion of salvational knowledge to the Restoration.
He also said some modern individuals miss the mark by ignoring the obvious.
"Exciting exploration is preferred by them to plodding implementation, as speculation and argumentations seem more fun to these few individuals rather than consecration, so they even try to soften the hard doctrines. By not obeying, they lack knowing and thus cannot defend their faith, and a few become critics instead of defenders," he said.
Still, stressing the importance of secular knowledge itself, Elder Maxwell said Latter-day Saints should have the same excitement the rest of the world has in the adventure of learning and that this is a part of going "about (our) Father's business, which should bring genuine zest for learning."
Elder Maxwell also explained how the very method God uses to reveal truth creates skepticism among many people and that this holds them back from a "leap of faith" because they may have already jumped to "Korihor conclusions" - that man cannot know what he doesn't see, that there is no redeeming Christ and that death is the end.
He said God does not choose to "dazzle his audiences with data concerning the creation" because he is more interested in the central needs of his children.
"Salvational truths combine longevity and relevancy; they contain span and significance! However, education only "for a season" is narrow," Elder Maxwell said. "It pertains only to a knowledge of things as they temporarily are, like today's weather forecast or an airline schedule. Temporary facts are useful but terminal."
Elder Maxwell concluded his address by advising the audience to keep truths in essential balance and said Christ is perfect in both knowing and in doing "and he has challenged us to become like him!"
BYU Education Week continues through Friday, Aug. 21, with an estimated 30,000 participants. Free shuttle buses begin running daily at 7:30 a.m., with a bus planned to arrive at each campus stop every 10 minutes.