Finally: the Recap On Celestial Education

I keep thinking, after such and such is over with, I will have more time to blog. About five blog topics bounce around inside my head at once such as the following:


  • how to “play the queen” like it says in “When Queens Ride By”
  • how fun my Zion Finishing School is
  • Valor’s trips home from college
  • how sometimes when I feel like weaning my toddler simply weaning from certain nursing times actually works better. In other words, the night weaning has worked!
  • how I am getting a tad frustrated with rude people who ask me if I’m pregnant (I’m not, just fat) or don’t identify themselves on the phone when I pick it up after it rings and just start asking questions of me
  • how my little girl actually thanked me for helping her clean her room.
  • the new Relief Society book
  • my conference coming up that I am putting on for LDS moms
  • .the Relief Society General Women’s Meeting, with President Uchtdorf’s forget me not talk on waiting for your Golden Ticket.
  • the pilot project LEMI is doing for self-directed scholars
  • how to love your naturally curly hair
  • following the prophet’s last General Conference counsel about doing more temple work

Life just happens too fast to blog about it all. Sigh.



On Saturday before the Relief Society broadcast I finally got to pick up the newer edition from the library of Fascinating Womanhood after having it on hold for several weeks. It has more stories than the original edition that I read. Helen Andelin even mentions homeschooling in it!



While I was gone to the library picking up that book, Valor, who left for college over a month ago, four hours away, apparently stopped by to get something!!! When I got home Cowboy told me he saw Valor. “Right, ” I said, totally thinking he was kidding. It turns out he wasn’t. Valor popped in, totally unannounced, on his way to Idaho for a friend’s mission non-farewell. What a surprise! We get to see him when he comes back every three weeks for his ortho appointments. For his first night back he picked Mexican lasagna for the menu. I was happy to oblige. I had forgotten that is a great dinner. This time I didn’t follow a recipe and it turned out the best ever. After 20 years of homemaking and marriage I follow a recipe less and less.



Speaking of recipes, that makes me think of Celestial Education. There isn’t an exact recipe for Celestial Education, only guidelines. That’s because it involves the Holy Ghost, telling you what you need to do as a mother/mentor for each child to assist them in gaining that education. There’s no cookie-cutter formula. For one child it might mean having him in public school, for another it might mean homeschool, and it can change every year for each child. Here’s more of what I learned from the fireside that I hosted with Aneladee Milne on the topic. She shared what she learned from a conference sponsored by the Sutherland Institute on agency-based education.



  • Celestial Education is the same thing as agency-based education. Agency-based education is education that allows for the freedom of the student to choose what he/she wants to study. Neil Flinders wrote about it in his book, Teach the Children. Oliver DeMille has written about the idea in his book Thomas Jefferson Education to appeal to a broader audience.



  • Telestial education is based on force and rules. Terrestrial education is based on morals, choice, and love. Celestial education is based on conversing with the angels. Aneladee says you can not give celestial education to your child/student, you can only create an environment that invites the child to seek it for her/himself.




  • it is possible to have homeschool LDS seminary. Aneladee is doing it. She told the long story of finally getting her dream of this after asking for ten years. She has worked it out with a teacher at Woods Cross UT Seminary. The kids*  meet once a week with the seminar teacher at Woods Cross Seminary at 7:30 AM. They review the previous assignment, discuss the scriptures, and get a new assignment, based on the scriptures.



  • Aneladee recommended three books to read: Revealed Educational Principles in the Public Schools by John Monnett, Teach the Children by Neil Flinders, and Educating Zion, by BYU Studies. (Hey, I have that book, I got it at D.I. for only 3 bucks!)


  • BYU-Idaho was charged by the prophet five years ago to be the educational college of the church, based on principles of education found in Doctrine and Covenants 88 (see below). BYU-Provo is the research college. To fulfill this charge BYU-Idaho started the following  things:
  • BYU-Idaho no longer offers tenure to its professors.
  • BYU-I no longer has intercollegiate sports, only intramural.
  • BYU-I is to be very affordable.
  • BYU-I was to extend its reach over the world through online courses offered at local Institutes of the LDS Church.


  • Steve Adams, a graduate with his bachelor’s degree from GWU, is now the director of curriculum at BYU-I.
  • BYU-I hired a disruptive innovator to help it achieve the above goals.
  • BYU-I has the following steps for its students as the teaching/learning model, see :
  • Every student comes to class prepared
  • Every student is expected to teach one another (Does this sound straight out of the Doctrine and Covenants: “The teacher is no better than the learner”?)
  • Every student is to ponder and prove the course material.
  • BYU-Idaho has these five principles for the students, straight out of Doctrine and Covenants 88:
  • Students/teachers exercise faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as a source of action and power.
  • Students/teachers  learn by the Holy Ghost.
  • Students/teachers  lay hold of the Word of God.
  • Students/teachers act for themselves with responsibility.
  • Students/teachers love, serve, and teach one another.


Aneladee shared a funny story. So the director of curriculum started going around telling professors that the new format was no more 100% lecture. The new format is discussion. One professor had a difficult time accepting that. “What? I know so much more about this subject than these students! For over 20 years I have been lecturing in my class the whole time! We’ve never had a discussion.”


The director responded by saying, “We understand you have been on an ego trip for 20 years. The prophet has said, ‘ No more ego trips!’ ” LOL!


Wow, I am thinking that BYU-I is educational nirvana! Anyone out there with a child at BYU-I (Cyndi?) want to comment…?


*all the kids in this seminary class are homeschoolers, from SDLA, a commonwealth school in Bountiful, Utah. If you don’t know what a commonwealth school is go to and read the book




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