Why Learn Languages

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” (Nelson Mandela)

–D&C 90:15: We are to be familiar with good books, languages, and cultures.
–President Ezra Taft Benson alluded to its (the Adamic language) possible universal reinstatement to resolve linguistic diversity (Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson [Salt Lake City, 1988], p. 93; cf. Brigham Young JD 3:100). (http://eom.byu.edu/index.php/Adamic_Language)
– Zephaniah 3:9,possibly referring to the future of the Adamic language, says, “I will turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord.” The word pure comes from the Hebrew berurah, from barar, “to cleanse” or purify; also “to choose.” (http://eom.byu.edu/index.php/Adamic_Language)
–“At home. Continued my studies. Oh, may God give me learning, even language; and imbue me with qualifications to magnify his name while I live” (Joseph Smith; History of the Church 2:344; )
–“I am determined to pursue the study of languages, until I shall become master of them, if I am permitted to live long enough” (Joseph Smith HC 2:396)
-“My soul delights in reading the word of the Lord in the original, and I am determined to pursue the study of the languages, until I shall be come master of them, if I am permitted to live long enough. At any rate, so long as I do live, I am determined to make this my object; and with the blessing of God, I shall succeed to my satisfaction.” (Joseph Smith Journal February 17th, 1836)
-Many of the General Authorities, despite their many other duties, take the time to study foreign languages

-see book Life Everlasting page 210-212 etc. on how we need interpreters in the spirit world, and they are in short supply and high demand, and people can still only speak their native tongue in the spirit world, still having knowledge only from this life. There are accounts which show such in that text

-Joseph Smith said that if he had more time he would learn all the languages on this earth

-Hugh Nibley says we have a full-time job in exploring this world

-when you know nothing of other languages you know nothing of your own

-all are promised to hear the gospel in their own tongue, and we have promised to bring it to them

-there are few ways to express love more for another person than to speak to them in their language

-each nation has its own strengths, and to collect them all in yourself, it would be well to learn their tongue to speak with them

-many early Christian texts and a thousand years of history are kept in Latin

-many bible translations are ambiguous, and translators have chosen what they liked, but if we get acquainted with the gospel we can have even more power to have the spirit guide us in making more perfect translations of the scriptures.

-Brigham Young said that if a person can do so, he is under the obligation to render a more perfect translation of the bible

-Joseph Smith said that the languages in the world today all have fragments of the Adamic or perfect language, since it was split up at the time of the tower of babel.

-As we learn to speak more of the perfect language, we will have power to think in ways as never before, and express ourselves as never before, and without knowledge, no person can be saved, so the more we can speak and understand, the sooner we can get and give knowledge, hence the sooner we can be saved and save others.

-Elder Holland in Preach My Gospel says that missionaries should try to learn all aspects of their mission languages and maintain such throughout their lives

-knowing foreign tongues we can negotiate peace in time of war

-scripture and modern prophets say the times of the gentiles are ending and the times of the Jews are commencing. Who will preach them the gospel in their native tongue?

-Hugh Nibley says we have a full-time job learning about the history of this earth

-see also my missionary work essay “Give an answer to EVERY man”.

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