By Veritas Libertatis
As I walked into the Library of Congress, it was like being slammed to the ground by a tidal wave. The architecture and symbolism within the building are both stunning and magnificent. Along the very top of the building are a series of quotes. One was taken from Henry VI, by William Shakespeare and goes, “Ignorance is the curse of God. Knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven.” Knowledge is the foundation for which anything great is built, without it we are nothing, and with it, we can aspire to heaven.
Man is unique to any other creation because he can think and control how we think. Former President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Thomas S. Monson, said, “Man alone received intelligence-a brain, a mind, and a soul. Man alone with these attributes, had the capacity for faith and hope, for inspiration and ambition.” There is no doubt that humankind stands out amongst all other creations. We are who we are because we have intelligence. We can believe and come to know a God because we have a mind and soul. God created man differently from other creations when he gave us intelligence, this is a sign from Him we were created to think and learn. When we obtain knowledge we answer the ends of our creation.
The compelling attribute of knowledge and learning is that the more you gain the more you want. As your understanding of yourself, nature, and other people increase you develop a thirst to learn more. Similarly, the more you learn the easier it becomes to learn. Just like a baby bird learning to fly, we struggle, sweat, and even fall on our quest to obtain knowledge. Progressively flying becomes possible, fun even. The more you fly the easier it becomes, at some point, along with your bird lifespan, you can fly without thinking about it. This does not mean you are finished, just imagine all the places, heights, and adventures you can have once you master flying? Learning never gets old, the more we have the more we want, and the more we can do.
I return now to the quote resting in the Library of Congress, “Ignorance is the curse of God. Knowledge the wing wherewith we fly to heaven.” God does want us in heaven, but He cannot help us if we remain in ignorance. The power is within us. We can choose heaven, but we have to learn what heaven is and live so that we could feel comfortable there. If we choose to remain in ignorance we curse ourselves; we become our own stumbling block. Knowledge empowers us to act, it teaches us how to act, and with it, we can “fly to heaven.”
The first prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Joseph Smith Jr, said “In knowledge there is power. God has more power than all other beings because He has greater knowledge; and hence He knows how to subject all other beings to Him. He has power overall.”