We (sometimes) read and study and occasionally pray for knowledge, we gather little snippets about this and that, and we try to fit these scattered morsels of doctrine into a coherent picture. The picture we come up with tends to work well enough for our purposes, because most of the time we don't pick up new knowledge very quickly, and when we do, we're good enough at accepting cognitive dissonance that we have no trouble smoothing over the rough edges that don't fit our pre-existing mold.
But what if we really don't know anything at all? What if there are oceans of detail in between the snippets of doctrine we've learned, about which we have no concept, and if we've surrounded our nuggets of pure doctrine in layers of misconception? Really, the best way to learn is not by "the best books," but by that faith that we don't all have, according to the scriptures.
We home-school our children, and in that effort, we first make sure they can read well. Once they can do that, they're well-suited to learn on their own. When we as a people study the gospel, perhaps our first goal ought to be to gain faith, so we can use it to gaze into heaven, and fill in the enormous gaps that exist between the bits of doctrine we've learned.