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The Deseret Bookshelf version is enhanced with video.
To completely engage the reader and enhance the learning process, the book features a blend of print, media and online resources. For example, at the end of each chapter, readers are invited to ask questions, ponder and apply the principles being taught. The margins of the book are extra-wide and there are blank pages for jotting down notes.—
“The overarching purpose of Heavenly Father's great plan of happiness is to provide His spirit children with opportunities to learn,” writes Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. But how can we best learn the things we need to know and do?
Elder Bednar emphasizes concepts, patterns, and processes that invite each of us to act and learn fundamental truths for ourselves. Declaring that answers to our questions always are found in the doctrines and principles of the restored gospel, he provides a framework in this book for learning those doctrines and understanding with our hearts.
This new interactive book will help you acquire one of the most important skills you'll ever possess: the power to learn. With its unique blend of print, media, and online resources, it provides patterns for spiritual learning that will lead you to understand and act on gospel truths. Learn how to get the answers you need for yourself!
- Features extra-wide margins for recording thoughts and invites readers to ask, ponder, and then apply what they are learning.
- Links throughout the book lead to teaching moments on the DVD, which includes a Q&A session and an exclusive interview with Elder and Sister Bednar.
- Available as an enhanced ebook with embedded video content (features on our free Deseret Bookshelf app), and as a standard ebook on other e-readers.
- Chapters from the book are linked to Seek, an online content library and community. Available at seek.deseretbook.com/learning
About the Author
ELDER DAVID A. BEDNAR was ordained a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 2004. Prior to his call, he had served as an Area Seventy, regional representative, and stake president. He served a mission to southern Germany, then attended Brigham Young University, where he received a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree. He received a Ph.D. in organizational behavior from Purdue University and was a professor of business management at Texas Tech University and the University of Arkansas. Elder Bednar served as the president of BYU–Idaho from 1997 to 2004. He and his wife, Susan, are the parents of three sons.
Increase in Learning
I love to learn—and I love learning about learning. This book focuses upon concepts, patterns, and processes that can help you and me learn for ourselves the fundamental doctrines and principles of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
The title of this book comes from the ninth chapter of Proverbs: “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding” (Proverbs 9:9–10; emphasis added). This volume discusses why we should and how we can “increase in learning.”
Throughout my life I have been drawn to the scriptural injunction to “seek learning, even by study and also by faith” (Doctrine and Covenants 88:118). And I have come to know ever more completely that the true and trustworthy teacher is the Holy Ghost—who shall “teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance” (John 14:26) and “teach you the peaceable things of the kingdom” (Doctrine and Covenants 36:2). As a result, I have attempted in this book to link together some of the spiritual gifts associated with the companionship of the third member of the Godhead, even the Holy Ghost, and our individual responsibility to learn “the doctrine of the kingdom . . . [and] all things . . . that are expedient for you to understand” (Doctrine and Covenants 88:77–78).
I admittedly have had reservations about writing this book, as I have been concerned that words on a page alone cannot fully communicate my intended message or, more important, facilitate the pattern of spiritual learning that is activated by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Through the Savior’s Atonement, you and I as learners are blessed with the gift of moral agency. Because of that supernal blessing, we are agents with the capacity and power “to act” and are not merely objects “to be acted upon” (2 Nephi 2:26).
Learning and living the gospel of Jesus Christ require us to:
• read and study the scriptures and the teachings of living prophets and apostles—as agents and not as objects;
• pray and ask in faith and submit to the will of the Father—as agents and not as objects; and
• worship and serve God with all of our heart, might, mind, and strength—as agents and not as objects.
I personally do not know of a principle more central, important, or essential to spiritual learning than the principle of acting as agents and not being acted upon as objects.
This volume is not intended to be a quick, casual, or relaxing read. It also does not describe or prescribe specific study habits or methods, and you will not find lengthy lists of recommendations or things “to do.” This book does not purport to give definitive doctrinal answers to the pressing questions and issues of our day.
Rather, I invite you throughout the book to engage in various learning experiences so you can increasingly “stand independent” (Doctrine and Covenants 78:14) and learn how to find answers to your own questions. Consequently, as you progress through the chapters you will need to read, study, ponder, search, ask, knock, record thoughts and feelings, link, connect, revise, rethink, ask again, start again, and, most important, act. For this reason the book is formatted with extra wide margins and blank pages in the back so you can make notes, jot down impressions, and record questions that will facilitate your acting and learning. Experiencing this book will require diligent work and sustained commitment. Only as we “act in doctrine” (Doctrine and Covenants 101:78) can the Holy Ghost ultimately be effective as the teacher of all truth.
As you endeavor to increase in learning, please remember that the doctrines and principles of the restored gospel should be considered in their totality. In other words, attempting to understand a doctrine or principle by examining a single scripture or prophetic statement in isolation from all else that has been revealed on the subject is generally misguided. True doctrines and principles are emphasized repeatedly in the standard works, by the prophets and apostles, and through the illuminating and confirming power of the Holy Ghost.
In addition to the text material contained in this volume, additional learning resources are available both on the DVD that accompanies the hardbound book and online at seek.deseretbook.com/learning. The DVD contains an interview with Elder and Sister Bednar discussing the concepts in the book as well as a live Q&A discussion with Elder Bednar and a group of young adults. Links to relevant segments of the DVD and to online resources are provided throughout the book. Please remember, however, that the written text, the questions to consider, the questions you pose at the end of each chapter, the readings, and the additional resources are not complete in and of themselves. Each has been designed to complement and enhance the others.
At the end of each chapter are related readings that expand on and emphasize many of the concepts taught. Most of these readings are taken from talks that were reprinted in the Ensign. In some cases, the wording has been altered slightly in this book to eliminate occasion-specific references and repetition.
My hope is that the combination of your faith in Heavenly Father and the Savior, your willingness to act as an agent, the text, and the learning experiences in which you will engage will invite the Holy Ghost to help you more fully understand basic gospel truths and a powerful spiritual pattern—to the end that each of us may INCREASE IN LEARNING.
Great Way To Increase The Spirit
by Connie - reviewed on February 29, 2012
As a reader who looks for uplifting books, I found "Increase In Learning" to be one of the best books on increasing the Spirit in everyday life, on the market. This book is a great tool to access the readers life and motivate him/her to reach for a higher standard. This book is a great tool for each family member to study and write personal thoughts on each page. The pages have space on the right side to add plenty of notes for easy viewing at a later date or just for writing thoughts as they come to mind. Give yourself plenty of time to read this book because it is very thought provoking. I loved this book and ended up purchasing one for each of us so we could keep it with our journals.
I increased my learning...
by Carol - reviewed on August 07, 2012
Now I am trying to apply the increased learning that I did! I watched the first segment but decided that it wasn't quite what I had hoped for. It seemed to be scripted. BUT I did take notes in my book - nice margins - and I appreciated the summary at the end of each chapter that I could think about what I had learned and form some personal questions of my own. The back-up talks were helpful, one of them happened to be a General Conference favorite.
Spiritual Genius At Work
by Shawnie - reviewed on May 01, 2013
Exceeded my expectations. Awesome, modern format with one to four minute videos of Bednar explaining concepts along the way. Well worth the investment of money and time.
Excellent Self Help book for Saints of God.
by Edward - reviewed on October 26, 2012
This book has been an extremely helpful book and guide for gospel and all literature learning. I will keep this book as a constant companion to read and reread again and again. It is simple, strait forward and powerful. This is a must read for all the saints of God.
by Customer - reviewed on November 25, 2011
This book is amazing. I love that the extra video content is right in the text of the ebook. I hope Deseret Book has more interactive ebooks to follow. Elder Bednar is such a great teacher!
Great ebook--videos require YouTube access
by David - reviewed on January 30, 2012
This is a great book--I highly recommend it to everyone. I downloaded the book for my iPad through Deseret Bookshelf. The only reason I didn't give it 5 start is because the embedded videos require an Internet connection to access them on YouTube. My iPad only has wireless, so I can't always watch the videos. Also, YouTube is blocked at all Church buildings. I've passed my concerns to the folks at Deseret Book using their live chat. Perhaps that will help resolve the issue in future ebooks.
For Those Who Ernestly Strive to Follow the Will of the Lord
by Phil - reviewed on December 11, 2011
I was prompted to write this review because through Elder Bednar's teachings, especially in the video segments, I recognized the pattern the Lord has used to teach and work with me all my life! I shared this with my wife, Becci, who with joy, also recognized this pattern in her life. This has been very affirming and has helped us to see Heavenly Father's hand in our lives more clearly and has increased our love and appreciation for Him immeasurably. My wife and I can testify that his teachings to give greater emphasis to "doctrines and principles" instead of just "applications" is true. Our parenting philosophy stemmed from what Joseph Smith explained, that he taught "correct principles and the people governed themselves." Our family is happier because of it. You can know for yourself the Gospel truths and stand independent as a witness for the Savior.
Revelatory! Motivating! Wonderful content and format!
by Steven - reviewed on January 14, 2012
I love this book and am beginning my second read - this time a more in-depth study. I appreciate Elder Bednar's constant reminder that the Holy Ghost is the teacher and the answers are in the doctrine and principles. He clearly points the way, but places the responsibility for learning squarely where it belongs - on each of us individually. Highly recommended.
by Angie - reviewed on December 02, 2011
Love Elder Bednar's perspective. There is something to using more of your senses to learn--Love the embedded videos! As another reviewer mentioned, I hope to see more books done this way.
by Michael - reviewed on January 22, 2012
Probably the best gospel tretis on finding answers for yourself. A must buy for any and all members of the church!
by linda - reviewed on February 23, 2012
Transforming. Makes you reevaluate the way in which you live the gospel. You feel like a new member of the church doubling down on the methods you've always used but with dramatic new results. The iPad version with videos was rewarding. Elder Bednar's teaching style is highly effective. I've added this book to my daily gospel study for the benefit of reinforcing his teachings.
by Customer - reviewed on December 10, 2011
I've been charged for this eBook, but have not yet received it. I clicked on Sync eBooks and nothing has happened. How do I get my book?
by Marilyn - reviewed on December 05, 2011
This book is amazing and very powerful! It has made me think about areas in my life differently. I know now that I must act and then my faith will keep me going. Then the Lord will be able to communicate and bless my life more.
What a fantastic book. I have learned so much!
by Lenore - reviewed on January 09, 2012
This book has been a thrilling way to learn. I have read it half way through and am excited to finish. Thank you Elder Bednar!!
This book is amazing!
by Melanie - reviewed on March 26, 2012
Increase In Learning is such a wonderful book. We all know it is our responsibility to learn while we are here on this earth, but the actual process of doing that is harder than it sounds. This book illustrates what we can do to become better learners and teachers. Increase In Learning teaches us “how we can best learn the things we need to know and do”. Elder Bednar has such a skilled writing technique. He includes many quotes and sources so it is not just a book of opinions. He includes different ideas from different people and general authorities and authors. Bednar is a very clear writer; he presents things in a way that people of any age or circumstance can understand. I also appreciated the way he had paragraph titles, it really organized the writing in an easy to read format. I know I have been seeking answers to questions that have been on my mind for a while and after reading this book I feel like a have a better idea of how to find those answers. This book presents "Spiritual patterns for obtaining your own answers". This book is truly inspired and I will use the teachings I have learned for the rest of my life. I would recommend this book to everyone!
by Cameron - reviewed on May 21, 2012
One of the most enlightening texts relative to the responsibility of learning while in this mortal sojourn, as well as teaching the doctrines and principles of learning by the Spirit in such a way as to empower the reader to act as an agent in obtaining the knowledge and understanding necessary to wade through the travails of life. I highly recommend this book to anyone. True doctrine understood changes attitudes and behavior than a study of behavior changes behavior. We all need to rise up and live our lives as the Master would have us and break the shackles of idleness and despondency that plaque society.
Learning is Important
by Customer - reviewed on July 09, 2012
What a divine book! I use the word divine in every sense of the word. The ability to give words, which seem to come from heaven above, is one that never fails whenever an apostle of the Lord, such as Elder David A. Bednar, speaks. This book is no different. Elder Bednar puts us all in the same setting of needing to seek learning out of everything we can in life. I like how he puts us all on the same level; indicating that learning is not only for those who are young and haven’t lived all of life yet. This book is most definitely worth every penny you spend, buying it. The lessons you can learn from this book is so much more worth any material thing in existence right now. If you enjoy applying the principles from something you read to real life, you will enjoy this book quite thoroughly. Faith is definitely something that is not fully utilized by the world today. This book helps with understanding just how much faith has to do with us learning anything in today’s world. This is one of those books that you don’t only read, but feel at the same time. You can feel the power behind the words Elder Bednar uses. Elder Bednar does a very good job at laying out the steps of learning and anything else.