Henry B. Eyring named three enemies of learning in a 1984 essay:
I’ve learned as student and teacher to recognize three main enemies of learning. They are attitudes in the student: self-doubt, indifference, and pride. If you doubt your capacity to learn, you are right to doubt. If you don’t care whether or not you learn, you won’t. And if you want to learn without correction from someone else, you have chosen the harder way. But if you believe you can learn, if learning rivets your attention, and if you take counsel easily, then you can learn. And you can create for yourself excellence in education.
“Excellence in Education,” by Henry B. Eyring, from Excellence, Deseret Book, 1984, p. 19.
I have come to believe that in most, if not all, instances of that miracle and mystery of having some piece of knowledge move from the head to the heart–whether in language learning or in the gospel–grace is involved. As we do all we can do, grossly inadequate as it is, the Lord in His time, and when we are ready, can and will make up the difference and actually change us, writing on our hearts the knowledge that we have so carefully stored in our heads.
Dill Parkinson, Professor of Arabic, Brigham Young University Devotional
I love this quote from President Hinckley given at a November 1998 BYU devotional titled The Quest for Excellence:
I speak to you this morning not only about a little more effort, a little more self-discipline, a little more consecrated effort in the direction of excellence in your studies. I speak of it also in terms of your lives.
This is the great day of preparation for each of you. It is the time of beginning for something that will go on for as long as you live. I plead with you: Don’t be a scrub! Rise to the high ground of excellence. You can do it. You may not be a genius. You may be lacking in some skills. But you can do better than you are now doing. You are students at BYU. Most of you are members of this great Church whose influence is now felt all over the world. You are people with a present and with a future. Don’t muff the ball. Be excellent.