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Elder David A. Bednar: Repetitious learning and teaching brings understanding

REXBURG, IDAHO — In an address at Brigham Young University-Idaho on Tuesday, Elder David A. Bednar explained the spiritual value and importance of repetitious learning and teaching.

A member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Elder Bednar referred to the four appearances of the angel Moroni to Joseph Smith during the night and morning of Sept. 21-22, 1823.

“In each of the four appearances of Moroni to Joseph Smith, the core message was identical. But in a line upon line and precept upon precept pattern of revelation and learning, additional knowledge and instruction were given in the second, third, and fourth manifestations: a foretelling of future events, a personal warning, and a commandment. All of the messages were the same and were different in a pattern of repetitious teaching and learning,” Elder Bednar said.

Repetitious teaching, he noted, is a hallmark in the ministry of any General Authority or auxiliary leader. “For example, I frequently and repeatedly teach about and testify of the divinity and living reality of our Heavenly Father and His Only Begotten Son; of our resurrected Redeemer; of the basic doctrine, principles, ordinances and covenants of the Savior’s restored gospel; of the reality of the latter-day Restoration; and of the essential nature of priesthood authority and keys. ...

“Repetition is a vehicle through which the Holy Ghost can enlighten our minds, influence our hearts, and enlarge our understanding.”

In a spirit of practicing what he was teaching, Elder Bednar repeated a warning and a promise he made in two earlier addresses, one in 2006 when the school was Ricks College:

“In the authority of the holy Apostleship, I now raise a voice of warning and make a solemn promise. If the day ever were to come that intellectual arrogance, a lack of appreciation, and a spirit of demanding entitlement take root on this campus —among the students, faculty, employees or the administration, or within the community — then in that day the Spirit of Ricks will be well on the way to being extinguished — and the heavenly influence and blessings that have prospered this institution and the people associated with it will be withdrawn. Conversely, as long as intellectual modesty, humility, gratitude, obedience, and frugality continue to characterize those who learn and serve at BYU-Idaho, then this university will shine forth ever brighter as a beacon of righteousness and of inspired educational innovation.”

gerry@deseretnews.com