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Section 9.6 - Knowledge

Knowledge and Leadership

My favorite scripture on this topic is in Doctrine and Covenants 130:18-19.   I had this quote hanging in my room all the way through high school and college.  It contributed to the motivation I needed to drive forward with my studies.  
 18 Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection.
 19 And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come.
Having the advantage in the post-mortal world is nice, but how does it help you be a better leader in this life?

Zig Ziglar is credited with this quote,"Rich people have small TVs and big libraries, and poor people have small libraries and big TVs.”

Joseph taught the Saints that knowledge was a necessary part of our mortal journey, for “a man is saved no faster than he [gains] knowledge,” [Joseph Smith, in History of the Church, 4:588.]

History is littered not only with great leaders who were avid readers, but with leaders who believed that reading a varied of subjects helped them cultivate the knowledge that helped them improve their organizations.  Reading can improve intelligence and as a result lead to greater innovation and insight.  Reading expands your vocabulary and improves your abstract reasoning skills.  Reading increases your verbal intelligence making you a better communicator.  It gives you a basis for greater empathy and understanding.  There is also evidence that it improves your health and improves the longevity of the you mind.  With so many leadership benefits tied to pursuit and acquisition of greater knowledge It is difficult to understand why any leader wouldn’t seek to cultivate the critical leadership trait of knowledge.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said it very well:
     "Brethren, you have a duty to learn as much as you can. Please encourage your families, your quorum members, everyone to learn and become better educated. If formal education is not available, do not allow that to prevent you from acquiring all the knowledge you can. Under such circumstances, the best books, in a sense, can become your “university”—a classroom that is always open and admits all who apply. Strive to increase your knowledge of all that is “virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy.” (Articles of Faith 1:13) Seek knowledge “by study and also by faith.”  (D&C 109:7) Seek with a humble spirit and contrite heart. (See  D&C 136:33)  As you apply the spiritual dimension of faith to your study—even of temporal things—you can amplify your intellectual capacity, for “if your eye be single to [God’s] glory, your whole [body] shall be filled with light, … and [comprehend] all things.” (D&C 88:67)
     "In our learning, let us not neglect the fountain of revelation. The scriptures and the words of modern-day apostles and prophets are the sources of wisdom, divine knowledge, and personal revelation to help us find answers to all the challenges in life. Let us learn of Christ; let us seek out that knowledge which leads to peace, truth, and the sublime mysteries of eternity. (See  D&C 42:61) (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Two Principles for Any Economy”, October 2009 LDS General Conference. 
Cross References: 

  • 2 Nephi 9:13-14
  • D&C 93:36
  • Abraham 3:19, 22
  • D&C 88:7


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