Knowledge plays an important rule in our purpose of life. But not just knowledge of the spiritual things, but also a knowledge of earthly skills and sciences. All the latter-day prophets have taught, including Joseph Smith himself. Unknown to most people, when Joseph and the Saints founded the city of Nauvoo, Illinois they also founded the 'University of the City of Nauvoo.' Students of this university learned a variety of subjects including: Math, History, Foreign Languages, Literature, and Sciences. It was this university in Nauvoo that influenced the universities set up under direction of Brigham Young in Utah.
"Knowledge does away with darkness, anxiety, and doubt," the Prophet Joseph taught, "for these cannot exist where knowledge is."
The Church of Jesus Christ teaches that men, if they live according to the commandments of God, can one day be like God. One of the characteristics of God, as explained by Joseph Smith in his Lectures On Faith, is that God knows all things. He understands all the sciences, maths, spiritual and physical creations, things which have been and things which will be. And he wants us to know "of things both in heaven and in the earth, and under the earth; things which have been, things which are, things which must shortly come to pass; things which are at home, things which are abroad; the wars and the perplexities of the nations, and the judgments which are on the land; and a knowledge also of countries and of kingdoms." (D&C 88:79)
Additional Reading and Resources:
Education For Real-Life
Education in the City Beautiful