Education in Zion is the product of eight years of planning, construction and research. The Joseph F. Smith Building was designed with the exhibition in mind, thus providing the beautiful gallery space.

Development of Education in Zion began in 2000 under the direction of Dr. C. Terry Warner, now professor emeritus of philosophy. Over the process of several years, Dr. Warner led a large team of mainly BYU students and recent graduates in developing, researching, designing, and installing the gallery spaces and permanent exhibition. They compiled stories of individuals who founded Brigham Young University and the educational system in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. These are individuals who were examples of seeking light and truth, and collectively their stories form a greater one of the importance of lifelong, eternal learning.

The goal in creating Education in Zion was to present the stories of our educational pioneers—those who initiated and those who now carry on our distinctive tradition of faith and learning. Stories were highlighted as the main feature of the exhibition because they are understandable, interesting, and memorable to people of all ages, cultures, and educational backgrounds. These stories allow each individual to find in them a meaning he or she is prepared to receive and apply.

Researchers collected the primary and secondary materials used in Education in Zion primarily from the archives of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and from Perry Special Collections at the Harold B. Lee Library. Other sources come from the archives of the University of Utah, Utah State Historical Society, and the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers.

Education in Zion opened in Fall 2008 and is now under the direction of the Harold B. Lee Library.