By Chris Kinghorn
During my Book of Mormon class I was very impressed by the way in which my teacher analyzed The Book of Mormon from an intellectual perspective. What impressed me even more was that I was able to use those new intellectual insights to strengthen my spiritual understanding. One of the gallery’s main themes is combining the sacred and the secular, coupled with the influence of the Holy Spirit, in the quest for greater intellectual and spiritual understanding.
In the gallery we have a video clip featuring Matthew Holland, the current President of Utah Valley University. He talks about the joy that he experienced as a political science professor at BYU when his students were able to use their intellect to grasp spiritual concepts. He found great joy in watching his students progress along the pathway of deeper spiritual and intellectual understanding. Prof. Holland said, “The pursuit of the Gospel in an intelligent way strengthens people’s testimonies that they come away realizing just how profound the gospel really is.”
Let us all embrace our intellectual pursuits as we pursue our goals of lifelong learning, and also for progression in our spiritual and gospel understanding. How wonderful it is that God is the source of all truth. The gallery reminds us of these wonderful truths, and let us always remember, “to be learned is good if . . . [We] . . . hearken unto the counsels of God.”
 Video Matthew Holland EIZ content
 2 Nephi 9:29
by Alyssa Blake
That first day of school feeling never gets old to me, even as a 22 year-old college student. No matter how hard finals were the previous semester, it’s a good feeling to have new classes, new professors, and to be one semester closer to graduation. Progression is a wonderful feeling.
However, after I buy all my textbooks, turn in my first assignments, and come to know my class schedule like the back of my hand, other emotions show up such as fear, anxiety, stress, sadness, disappointment, helplessness, heartbreak, loneliness, etc. Brigham Young University is a big pond, and it’s easy to feel like a very small fish. What do we do when we start to feel this way? In the gallery, there is a video of President Thomas S. Monson counseling the students of BYU. He says, “Should you become discouraged or burdened down, remember that others have passed this same way. They’ve endured and then have achieved. When we’ve done all that we’re able to do, we can then rely on God’s promised help.”
Our great heritage has showed us that if we get to the point in our trials where we feel like giving up, we have a Father in Heaven to rely on. We need to rely on Him and His son, our Savior Jesus Christ. If we do, we can meet our challenges with great strength and the ability to enjoy our journey. The video ends with this thought, “My young brothers and sisters, don’t take counsel of your fears. Don’t say to yourselves, ‘I’m not wise enough,’ or ‘I can’t apply myself sufficiently well to study this difficult subject or in this difficult field, so I shall choose the easier way.’ I plead with you to tax your talent, and our Heavenly Father will make you equal to those decisions.”
It’s a hard trail we’re blazing, but don’t let the big pond get you down. With Heavenly Father’s help, you’ll learn that you’re a bigger fish than you ever realized.
- Monson, Thomas S. “Life’s Greatest Decisions.” lds.org. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
By Brady Misustin
Brigham Thomas Higgs, originally from Castle Valley, moved to Provo with his family in 1895 so that his children would have the opportunity to attend Brigham Young Academy. To provide for his family, he took a job working in the heating plant of the Academy. In his spare time, he would help with carpentry and other repair projects that the school needed. After only a couple years of working for the early Academy, Brigham was asked to take a position as a professor of carpentry and woodworking, which he graciously accepted.
While working as a professor, he also served as the superintendent of buildings and grounds. There, he would gather the students on the custodial crew in the mornings to teach them the value of work and virtuous living. He found it a vital part of his role to not only teach them technical skills, but also to help them develop into the men that he knew they could be. He would even visit the boarding houses of those he worked with to assure that their needs were being met. One student said of him, “He was more than a builder of saw mills, and grist mills, and bridges, and houses; he was a builder of character, a builder of men.”
This attitude of building men permeated his work, even when at the age of fifty-eight he suffered a serious accident while installing a heating system. The injuries left him in a full-body cast, which would be humiliating and debilitating for most. Brigham was still described as, “smilingly and courageously supervising” the students who worked with him and “always carrying more than his share” even in his weakened state. He was a man of character who helped others achieve the full stature of their potential.
1- Emma Higgs Wakefield, “Life Sketch of Brigham Thomas Higgs,” 1, MSS SC 1570, Brigham
Higgs Papers, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young
University, Provo, Utah, paraphrasing Brigham T. Higgs, “Talk to a Group of College Boys
Doing Janitor Work at B. Y. U. University,” typescript, May 5, 1934, 1, MSS SC 1570, Brigham Higgs Papers, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young
University, Provo, Utah.
2- Emma Higgs Wakefield, “Life Sketch of Brigham Thomas Higgs,” 3, MSS SC 1570, Brigham Higgs Papers, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young
University, Provo, Utah.
3- R. H. Boyle, address given in honor of B. T. Higgs, Manavu Ward meetinghouse, July 15,
1939, , MSS SC 1570, Brigham T. Higgs Papers, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B.
Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
By Annilyn Spjut
On the Church website, it says that the purpose of Family Home Evening is to help us learn, grow in faith, and strengthen our relationships with each other. While my family’s Family Home Evenings weren’t always perfect growing up, they always strove to accomplish those purposes. I loved FHE growing up and was excited to be able to continue going to FHE when I got to BYU. However, I was disappointed when I discovered that too often the only goal of single ward FHE was pure entertainment. Granted flirting at FHE can fulfill the strengthening relationship purpose, but too often I came home from FHE uninspired.
About a year ago, I started working at the Education in Zion Gallery, and I was assigned to work Monday nights, helping with our FHE programs. This experience has rekindled my love and testimony of Family Home Evening. I love to see how different groups come together each Monday night to learn, play, and be uplifted. While most are attracted by the refreshments, I know they leave with much more. As we’ve learned about the stories behind popular Church hymns and sang together, I have felt the Spirit. I have been inspired by the insights shared as we have talked about the magnificent gift of the human body. I laughed hard at skits portraying dating at various points in the history of BYU. In the gallery, I have seen how Family Home Evening can help us have fun together, grow closer together, and be inspired, and I hope to apply what I have learned in my own family someday.
 “100 Years of Family Home Evening.” LDS.org. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Oct. 2015. Web. 19 Jan. 2016.
By Anna Hawkes
A defining feature of Karl G. Maeser’s teaching and administration was the concept of self-governance. He wanted to emulate the prophet Joseph Smith, whom he said “taught his people correct principles and they governed themselves accordingly.” He put this into practice by following the idea that “whatever can be done by the pupils, the teacher should never do himself.” Students helped with many things, including establishing order in the classroom and assisting in religious learning.
It was a senior student’s responsibility to prepare the class for the teacher’s lecturing. Some of the tasks associated with the responsibility were to organize the desks, call role and announce the subject of that day’s lesson. Before beginning his lesson, the teacher would ask, “Class in order?” to which the student would respond as appropriate. Only after a response to the affirmative would the formal learning begin. The role of the senior student was fundamental in creating a successful classroom environment.
Students were also selected to act as “repetitors”. Once a week the students of Brigham Young Academy would meet to discuss what they had been learning in their theology classes. The repetitors would facilitate the experience, allowing it, as one BYA teacher observed, to become “a free-for-all discussion . . . which did more to arouse interest and rivet conviction than ten times the amount of passive listening would have done.” The repetitors were expected to exemplify BYA standards and be able to identify and meet the needs of the students in their groups. These students played an important role in facilitating spiritual growth and finding ways to help students meet their needs.
The students who attended Brigham Young Academy were driven and determined to make the most of their time there. With Maeser’s focus on self-governance, those students found greater success than most. I hope we can follow that example and be more self-motivated in our own progress as students here at BYU. We have all the resources we need—let’s use them to make a difference!
(All citations are from the gallery)
“The Brigham Young Academy,” Deseret Evening News, April 25, 1879, 2.
Mary John’s record of Maeser’s remarks in “Minutes of Priesthood Meetings Held in Brigham Young Academy, 1879–1881,” typescript, October 19, 1880, 24, in Priesthood Records of Brigham Young Academy, 1879–1881, UA 70, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
- Karl G. Maeser, “The Monitorial System,” Juvenile Instructor 36, no. 5 (March 1, 1901): 153
- Karl G. Maeser, quoted in Alma P. Burton, Karl G. Maeser: Mormon Educator (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1953), 54–55,[link] paraphrasing John Taylor’s quotation of Joseph Smith in “The Organization of the Church,” Millennial Star 13, no. 22 (November 15, 1851): 339: “ I teach them correct principles, and they govern themselves.”[link] See also Jeffrey R. Holland, “Nailing Our Colors to the Mast,” devotional address, Brigham Young University, September 10, 1985, 3.[link]
By Myunghee Tuttle
One of my favorite things about the Education in Zion gallery are the windows on the East side. Through the windows, you can see the beautiful mountains that change colors according to the different seasons, the blue sky with white fluffy clouds, and the view of the lively campus. The Education in Zion gallery provides one of the most outstanding views of the campus. Aside from these beautiful sights, my other favorite part of the windows is the natural light that comes through them.
With the light coming through the windows, everything inside the gallery looks more beautiful. Everything is brighter and more refreshing. Just as the gallery is more beautiful and brighter with light, so can our lives be more beautiful and brighter with light. In the gospel, light represents truth, knowledge, and Jesus Christ. Our lives can be more beautiful and brighter with more truth, knowledge, and more faith in Jesus Christ.
We can obtain more light in our lives through education. The permanent exhibition “examines the importance of educating the whole soul.” In the gallery, we learn about finding truth, knowledge, and faith in Jesus Christ through our education. The windows and the light remind us of this important lesson. When we find light through our education, our lives can be more beautiful and bright.
When you come to the Education in Zion Gallery, take a moment in front of the windows to ask yourself these questions: Have you found light in your education? Through your education, have you found truth, knowledge, and faith in Jesus Christ? Does your life feel more beautiful and brighter because of your education? When you do this, you may feel that the light in your education has made your life more beautiful and brighter, just as the gallery has been with light.
By Allyssa Jex
When I give introductory tours in the gallery, I like to ask visitors about the architecture and artifacts in the gallery. I ask, “What stands out? Why?” After observations of the architecture and paintings in the gallery have been mentioned, I lead my tour groups to the center east side of the gallery where, in the middle of the rug on a wooden table, there stands a small statue of Jesus Christ. I then ask this question: “In a gallery where most things are so large and grand, why is this statue of Christ so small? Don’t you think that someone so important, even the most important, should be the largest and most noticeable thing in the gallery?”
This question usually takes a while for people to answer, but I love watching the wheels turn in their mind as they ponder Christ. It is this point in the tour that is the most enlightening to me as a tour guide. I have discovered that even though I have asked the same question so many times, I get so many different answers. This is a natural result of the various backgrounds of our visitors. I also believe that at this point of the tour, when we take time to focus on Christ and ponder who He is and what He has done for us, He teaches us.
It is the same with our education. In John 15:5, Jesus Christ says, “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit.” As students we are in the midst of papers, labs, exams, talks and Church callings. It is easy to feel lost or behind. But as we make an effort to focus on Christ and make Him the center of our education, He will teach us. Who could be a better teacher?
By Anna Romney
Many who have participated in BYU’s legendary choirs have fond memories of the Madsen Recital Hall. This space is used for choir rehearsals, student recitals, guest artist concerts and many more music-related activities—a fitting tribute to the woman for which it was named, Florence Jepperson Madsen. Florence had an auspicious beginning receiving the calling of ward organist at the age of nine, and becoming a contralto soloist for the Provo Tabernacle at the young age of thirteen. After completing her education at Brigham Young Academy and teaching there for a year or two, she continued her musical training at the New England Conservatory in Boston. Within a short period of arriving there, she was already performing at some of the most prestigious venues in the city, a feat which most locals would never dream of achieving in their own careers. After 14 years of acclaimed performances, Florence returned to Utah and became chair of the BYU music department. During her administration, she brought in a number of well-qualified musicians who helped the program flourish. Some of the programs she put together with her husband, Franklin Madsen (for whom the rehearsal space is also named), became established traditions.
After Florence had returned to Provo, she received word that one of her close friends in Boston had passed away, leaving three girls behind. This widow had no one to care for her daughters and wished for Florence to adopt them. Florence stood up to the task and returned immediately to the East Coast to retrieve the girls. In the midst of anti-Mormon criticism, Florence attend a number of court hearings to obtain guardianship. During this trying time, she received letters of support from prominent Utahns and easterners alike. These and her promise to marry and then raise the girls in a family setting swayed the court and allowed her to bring her new daughters back to Utah.
Florence Jepperson Madsen is an incredible example of using one’s talents for the benefit of others. May we all be aware of the talents we have been given and find ways to help others with them.
By Sebastian Romero
Being a busy student at BYU, it is sometimes easy to get so caught up with school work that I stop appreciating the education that I am acquiring. Despite what you’ve heard from your friends in the accounting program, school is not supposed to be miserable and dreadful. It should require sacrifice and hard work, but that same hard work is supposed to bring us happiness and satisfaction. One of Karl G. Maeser’s quotes in the gallery helped me realize this. He said, “Eagerness to earn bread and butter has overshadowed many a golden opportunity.” This means to me that, the purpose of an education is not simply to get a job, make money and eventually retire and move to Florida. Education means much more than that.
True education is supposed to inspire, motivate and change students. Now, this is easier said than done. I mean, after reading 60 pages of a textbook, the only thing I am inspired to do is burn the book. For this reason we must always be looking for these golden opportunities Maeser referenced. We must find joy along the journey, as it is often said. We can do this by looking for opportunities to serve, meet new people, and experience new things during our college years.
This is part of what God envisioned for us when we came to earth. Lehi said in the Book of Mormon, “Men are that they might have joy.” I’ve seen too many times, friends feel guilty for enjoying themselves. As if success in school is the only reason for coming to earth. The prophets have instructed us to show moderation in all things. I believe this includes studying as well. My intention is not to excuse poor academic standing as a part of “enjoying the journey.” To the contrary. If Maeser taught us anything, it is that, as members of the restored Church of Jesus Christ, we must excel in academics and all other aspects of life. Anyone can be a good student if he or she is willing to shirk on all of their other life responsibilities. But it takes real commitment, discipline and prayer to be able to be a good student while still experiencing and participating in other aspects of life.
The real growth in life will not take place in front of a text book, or in the testing center. The real growth is achieved when we allow our education to become who we are and allow it to mold us into a better friend, disciple and child of God. So let us press on, always striving to become like our Savior, Jesus Christ and enjoy every moment we have been given.
By Jessica Reschke
One of BYU’s contributors, Abraham O. Smoot, was highlighted during this year’s Homecoming. Smoot served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Brigham Young Academy, where he applied his great leadership skills. Some of these skills had come from his past experience serving as mayor of Salt Lake City and Provo.
Smoot demonstrated dedication and sacrifice, and also provided financial support to the growing academy. Shortly after creating the Academy in 1876, Brigham Young asked Smoot to support the growing academy. Even though President Young died in 1877, he continued to give further instruction to Smoot through visitations. Around 1890, President Young took Smoot to a city where Christ had visited and told Smoot, “You are not to come here until those buildings for the Brigham Young Academy are completed. The growth of the [C]hurch depends upon the growth of the Brigham Young Academy[,] for it is only through knowledge that people will come to understand the Church.” Furthermore, in 1892 Smoot recalled that President Young “appeared to me and . . . said[, ‘] . . . [Y]ou need not worry about the Academy or about how means can be obtained to build the structures which have been commenced, for the way will be opened.[’]
Abraham O. Smoot should be greatly respected for his obedience and willingness to take on such an immense task of helping to build up the Academy in spite of the limitations and financial difficulties at that time. Smoot is a great example of acting in faith and being in tune with the Spirit to receive revelation and guidance. Thanks to Brother Smoot’s efforts and contributions, Brigham Young Academy was able to grow and be strengthened, which helped to establish what is known as Brigham Young University today.
1 Abraham O. Smoot. Photograph. byu. Harold B. Lee Library, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, 09
Sep. 2015. Web. 12 Oct. 2015.
2 Abraham O. Smoot, “Abraham O. Smoot’s Mission” Education in Zion Gallery.