Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Glenn Reynolds posts a lot about a higher education bubble, as job prospects for graduates seem to have dried up. I decided in high school that the academic nose grind was largely pointless. A lot of people who got Ds in English or Math excelled in skills I'll never master, skills which I began to appreciate after I took a typing class and could earn no better than a C+. People who can make fix electronics, weld, do carpentry and cabinetry remain a mystery to me. Now that my sedentary and stressful life has left me in poor health, I realize that I took the path that was open to me, which my native intellect made possible, but that there's nothing intrinsically more valuable or useful to society in being a lawyer than in being an excellent craftsman.

If I had my choice, I'd rather have been an inventor, but I didn't have the chops. I think that many of those who count on higher education to take them where they want to be are timid souls who seek an assured result. If they succeed, they often find themselves interested in something else. One of the greatest blessings is in recognizing where one's bliss lies and pursuing it. I'm still not sure I know, although my primary interest in life has been trying to understand the truth in religion and reconciling its paradoxes. I have received a knowledge that God is real and personal, and resolved to try to stop talking about him as though he were only theoretical or real only for me. I don't like the overbearing way that some religious people behave and I learned long ago that I'm no salesman, but I can state what I have experienced and discovered for myself, which is all that anyone can do. The prophetic calling and message is to testify and warn, but not to condemn or seek worldly power. I don't claim to be a prophet, but one teaching of Joseph Smith that makes me believe that he was one is this:
Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen?
35 Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men, that they do not learn this one lesson—
36 That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.
37 That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.
38 Behold, ere he is aware, he is left unto himself, to kick against the pricks, to persecute the saints, and to fight against God.
39 We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.
40 Hence many are called, but few are chosen.
41 No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood [ecclesiastical authority], only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;
42 By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile—


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