The Education in Zion Blog
As I walk through the rooms of the Education in Zion Gallery, one simple phrase seems to echo through them all: “Enter to learn, go forth to serve.” The gallery walls are full of Saints that were willing to sacrifice everything for the seemingly small privilege of being in a classroom. They were seeking Christ not only through faith but also though academics. The early Saints were pioneers geographically and intellectually.
As I ponder over the early Saints’ great examples, I wonder how I can do a similar work in my time. Why must I give seemingly needless things more attention than my own education? If I truly want to be an agent of change in the world, must I not first prepare myself with such useful tools?
Just like the efforts of the early Saints have transcended their eras to bless our lives today, I hope that my own actions will do the same for others. The student I am today will determine my capacity to serve in the future. Therefore, I must not succumb to the indifferent attitude that is often seen in society, but instead be actively involved in my education. I must learn today what I want to teach tomorrow. Then—and only then—will I be able to “go forth to serve.”
The Education in Zion gallery is filled with quotes from church leaders and other historical characters that help us recognize the kind of attributes the Lord wants His disciples to possess. One of my favorite quotes in the gallery is from President Gordon B. Hinckley:
“My plea is that … we look for strength and goodness rather than weakness and foibles in those who did so great a work in their time. We recognize that our forebears were human. They doubtless made mistakes … But the mistakes were minor when compared with the marvelous work they accomplished … The Lord has used imperfect people in the process of building his perfect society. If some of them have occasionally stumbled, or if their characters may have been slightly flawed in one way or another, the wonder is the greater that they have accomplished so much.” (Gordon B. Hinckley, First Presidency, 1986)
This can help us understand many things about life. Not only does it help us understand that our leaders—despite their imperfections—were great, but it also teaches us how to view our peers and ourselves.
What if we were to only focus on our strengths and goodness rather than our weaknesses and foibles? What if we were to focus on the talents and good of those surrounding us instead of their shortcomings? President Hinckley taught us not only a way to approach the study of church history, but also a way for us to live our day-to-day lives.
Questions are an essential part of our lives. In the academic sphere, the scientific method starts with a question. In history class, my research paper must not be based on a topic but on a question. This principle is true in our lives in many other ways: even when I babysit my nieces and nephews, I notice that they constantly identify problems, ask questions, and seek answers.
Have you ever felt that your questions have gone unanswered? I love the counsel given by President Howard W. Hunter. He taught that true principles are part of one great whole, and that when we encounter apparent conflict in our studies it is because we see only a part of this great whole. He said that this apparent conflict is only a prelude to a new understanding and will yield, in God’s own time, to those who seek wisdom by study and by faith.
Faith is the key to our learning. When we apply faith to our academic, spiritual, and intellectual learning, we ultimately have the fullest understanding.
That is just one of the many reasons I love the Education in Zion Gallery. There are many examples of the founders of BYU and that talk about how faith and questions are an integral part of our pursuit of an education for the whole soul. Ask questions, have faith that the Lord knows all things, and believe and trust in Him.
With graduation quickly approaching, I find myself reflecting on my undergraduate experience at Brigham Young University. In just over two weeks, the BYU class of 2013 will begin a new phase of life, one that will be largely shaped by the lessons we have learned in college.
Brigham Young Academy began its first semester in 1876 with just under 30 students, and —although the student body from 2012-2013 is now more than 30,000 students—the purpose of the university remains the same. The academy was designed to combine spiritual and secular education in a way that would strengthen students’ character. Today, the four aims state that a “BYU education should be: spiritually strengthening, intellectually enlarging, character building and leading to lifelong learning and service.” 
During my time at this university, each of the four aims of a BYU education has played an integral role. First, my testimony of Jesus Christ and God the Father has been strengthened as I have learned to lean on and trust in their miraculous power. Further, I hold deep respect for the highly qualified professors who teach secular principles with a spiritually inspired mindset. Additionally, I have created amazing memories with wonderful friends while also maintaining my standards through the honor code. Lastly, the university’s emphasis on service encouraged me to serve at both a local nursing home and a school for children with autism.
Ultimately, I know that my life has been influenced for the better because of my opportunity to attend Brigham Young University. I will be forever grateful for the sacrifices of those throughout the university’s history who held onto the vision of this divinely inspired institution. Best wishes to the Brigham Young University Class of 2013 as they prepare for life outside of BYU, as truly the world is now our campus.
Melinda Clark, gallery educator
 “The Mission of Brigham Young University.” Mission and Aims of BYU. http://aims.byu.edu/.
Growing up on the banks of the Hudson River at West Point Military Academy, I was immersed in the army culture of the historic campus where “Duty, Honor, Country” was the enduring motto of the “Corps of Cadets.” My father, Colonel Amos A. Jordan, was a “permanent professor” at West Point, meaning we spent many uninterrupted years there as he led the Department of Social Sciences.
In the tumultuous years of the 1960s, as the Vietnam War continued to rage, we saw many cadet graduates lead troops in combat far from home. With tears and sadness, we received the news of the heroic sacrifices and deaths of these young men who served their country. Our home had been a haven for the LDS cadets, who regularly joined us for Sunday dinners and holiday celebrations, and we knew many of them well.
My parents spent twenty years at West Point, my father retiring as a Brigadier General. He is now 90 years old and most of his classmates of “the greatest generation,” having served in World War II and the Korean War, are now gone. When I think of my father and mother’s dedication to “Duty, Honor, Country” and the military men, women and families across the world, I am filled with gratitude.
What an astonishing thing it is to embody the scripture found in John 15:13: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” I remember the faces of the young cadets at the dinner table; the lives lived and lost for our great nation. I am humbled by their love of country and dedication to their fellow citizens.
May we truly respect and appreciate every man and woman who wears the uniform of the United States of America and every family who endures the separations that deployment brings. As nurses, may we give an extra measure of devoted care to those who have given us the greatest gift of all, freedom.
Linda Mabey, BYU College of Nursing Faculty
Something that sets The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints apart from other religions is its emphasis on living prophets. Throughout my time working at the Education in Zion Gallery, I have loved learning more from early prophets and leaders, including Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Karl G. Maeser, George H. Brimhall, Jeffrey R. Holland, Gordon B. Hinckley. What a blessing it is that the Lord communicates to his children lovingly through prayer, but also through our leaders!
I have been pondering the significance of living prophets as I get ready to listen to general conference this weekend. It is a wonderful opportunity to hear from our leaders, either in person or through technological means. In preparation for conference, the Church has come out with an infographic that explains the meeting and its significance. It goes through how people watch or listen live, what is taught and what happens afterward.
I was particularly interested in what happens after the conference. It is amazing to me how much technology has increased the ability to spread knowledge, including spiritual knowledge. The video and audio of the conference are available in 70 languages and on mobile applications including iTunes, Roku and Comcast. In fact, there were over 50,000 tweets about the October 2012 general conference , making it one of the top ten trends in the United States.
General conference is an exciting time to be spiritually educated from our leaders. We are so blessed to be able to hear from them directly in such an intimate setting. Make sure to tune in to lds.org!
One of the four aims of a BYU education is lifelong learning and service. I’ve been thinking about how BYU is preparing me for this, and I came across this video showing the Church building wells and various water systems throughout drought-stricken parts of Africa. Many people have to be involved in these projects—engineers, community organizers, and businessmen and women, just to name a few.
So much of what we learn here in an academic setting can be put to use to serve other people. I believe the spirit of BYU is focused on using the knowledge we are fortunate to gain at this institution to not only better our lives here on earth, but also better the lives of other individuals, communities and the world. Watching this video puts my purpose on this campus into perspective and has motivated me to serve within my own community.
Recently I’ve had the opportunity to volunteer for a social work class assignment by making sack lunches for the homeless and needy at the Food and Care Coalition in Provo. This organization is privately run by a member of the Church who received his Master of Public Administration with the goal to become involved with nonprofits.
Although the main service at the Food and Care Coalition is basically a soup kitchen, the environment was different from any other soup kitchen that I’ve seen. The building was beautiful, warm, friendly, and uplifting. The volunteers and staff reflected the deep love of the pictures of Christ found on almost every wall of the building. I was in awe at the quality of food and services they provided, really focusing on the dignity of their clients and working to make the building a retreat for those stricken with poverty. It was a great example to me of the carefully chosen motto of Brigham Young University; “Enter to Learn; Go Forth to Serve.”
Eryn Lane, gallery educator
As I entered The Healer’s Art: a celebration of the College of Nursing during the College of Nursing 60th Anniversary celebration, I was immediately impressed! The video was entertaining and fun to watch. The display cases were put together well and very informative and the pictures on the wall were arranged in such an intriguing way. The information was also organized in an appealing way, helping to grab and to keep my attention.
I had the pleasure of going to the exhibit with my mother who graduated from BYU College of Nursing in 1976. Going with my mom made the idea of going to the exhibit even more fun. I was able learn her perspective about her days as a student and learn about her having to work when dresses were being phased out.
The Healer’s Art evoked conversation between us about the past and made our mother-daughter nursing bond even stronger. This exhibit made me proud to be a nurse and proud to be a part of an occupation with such a rich history.
Not only is there a rich history for nursing in general, but BYU nursing. Learning the healer’s art has been the greatest joy I have even known. To put into action my desire to serve my fellow man and learn the skills that enable me to do so has been invaluable. I know that in order to honor those who went before me, I must enact the lessons I have learned in the past and forge the future. We students are the future, learning from foundations of the past.
Laura Boone, BYU Collegte of Nursing student
In January and February, the Education in Zion Gallery reached all time highs in the number of visitors to the gallery. A large part of the increase in numbers is thanks to the numerous professors who had creative assignments for their classes in the gallery.
For example, several anatomy classes came through with an assignment. We frequently had time-pressed students say they did not see how this gallery was relevant to anatomy. I would smile to myself because, as a biased gallery educator, I could see incalculable connections to their education and how they could approach the study of anatomy. This gallery offers principles in approaching study in any subject.
There was one situation where a group of anatomy students chose to go through the gallery together. As I gave them a tour, I noticed the students were taking notes. On the north side of the gallery, one of them made a connection to the student-leader study system set up in the anatomy department, similar to what Maeser and other pedagogical leaders of the Church encouraged. Another student voiced how BYU is one of the few universities in the country that lets undergraduate students work on cadavers (in reference to the principle of access and ‘education for all’).
I really appreciated their participation because these were things I didn’t know myself. I couldn’t make all the connections for them. The time-pressed students were looking for the word “anatomy” on the walls, but this group of students found this is a gallery of principles. They were able to apply those principles to their own experiences as well as to their subject.
Camlyn Giddins, gallery educator
During fall and winter semesters, the Education in Zion Gallery hosts individuals and student groups to showcase their musical talents on Fridays from noon to 1 pm. We have hosted harpists, violists, violinists, pianists, euphoniumists, and jazz groups. There is some incredible musical ability on this campus, and the gallery’s atmosphere lends itself to the gift of music.
Two weeks ago, we had a young man who spent an hour performing both modern songs and hymns with his personal arrangements. It was an especially wonderful hour to be in the gallery! His hymns, played against the backdrop of the magnificent Wasatch Mountains, were spiritually overwhelming. The other gallery educators and I wished we could have let him play for hours more.
That same day, a young man stopped at the desk as he ran up the spiral staircase. He told us he has class until 12:50, but runs to the gallery to listen to the last 10 minutes of Music Fridays. He is a musician himself and enjoys both the music and the talent of the students who perform. .
Come join us in the Education in Zion Gallery each Friday from 12 to 1 pm for the gift of music to refresh you before hurrying off to class. Join us, even if it is for only a few minutes. You will be very glad you did!
Reggie Voyce, gallery educator