Thursday, August 16, 2012

Seek Learning

This is an excerpt from a talk given by President Gordon B. Hinckley in September 2007.  I thought this would be good to share with the beginning of a new school year just around the corner for a lot of you.

Many years ago I worked for a railroad.  I was in charge of what is called head-end traffic.  One morning I received a call from my counterpart in Newark, New Jersey.  He said "Train number such-and-such has arrived, but is has no baggage car.  Somewhere, 300 passengers have lost their baggage, and they are mad."

I went immediately to work to find out where it may have gone.  I found it had been properly loaded and properly trained in Oakland, California.  It had been moved to St. Louis.  But some thoughtless switch-man in the St. Louis yards moved a small piece of steel just three inches, a switch point, then pulled the lever to uncouple the car.  We discovered that a baggage car that belonged in Newark, New Jersey, was in fact in New Orleans, Louisiana - 1,500 miles from it's destination.  Just the three-inch movement of the switch in the St. Louis yard by a careless employee had started it on the wrong track, and the distance from its true destination increased dramatically.  That is the way it is with our lives.  Instead of following a steady course, we are pulled by some mistaken idea in another direction.  The movement away from our original destination may be ever so small, but, if continued, that very small movement becomes a great gap and we find ourselves far from where we intended to go.

It is the little things upon which life turns that make the big difference in our lives.

There can be no doubt, none whatever, that education pays.  Do not short-circuit your lives.  If you do so, you will pay for it over and over and over again.


  1. Amen to that message! As I prepare for another school year of teaching 6th grade I am so thankful for this opportunity to touch the lives of young people. I'm excited to teach content but also excited to just get to know them, interact together and learn together. Teaching 6th grade is an interesting time. Boys this age turn 12 and receive the priesthood, so we have priesthood holders in our classroom! Girls are so excited to be joining Young Women. They have a chance to learn from the older girls in their ward and believe me it can be a real force for good. 6th graders are still wiggly, giggly bundles of budding hormones, but they are also on their way down the path to being strong, happy, righteous future leaders. (I remind myself of this often on days when things don't go so well...) Hooray for the beginning of another school year!


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