the school of experience
We talk about experience, and we have had a great deal of experience, and we are constantly in the school of experience. But I am inclined to think that it may be the case with us in that school as in other schools. We sometimes improve by what we experience, adding to our store of knowledge; and then, again, we may experience very considerable from which we derive no particular benefit, like the scholar that attends school, but from inattention, a failure to apply himself properly to his lessons and to the acquirement of the knowledge that is imparted, he fails to comprehend the truth to the extent that he might otherwise have done; and hence he is not benefited to the extent that he might have been, although he has been in the school.
Well, as Saints and as children of God, we are in the school; and if there is any higher purpose connected with our being in the school—connected with living in the world, and connected with all our labours in the world, and what we are supposed to be here for,—if there is any higher object than the attainment of the knowledge that will save us, I do not know it: I never have heard of anything greater or more glorious, or more to be esteemed, than our being saved. It is simply for this that we are being taught and that we are learning: it is for this that we are required to be obedient: it is for this that we are obedient.
When we have been obedient to every requirement—made every possible attainment that can be made, what is our condition? We are saved from the bondage of sin and darkness, the consequences of ignorance.
Amasa Lyman, Journal of Discourses 5:302