The Education in Zion Blog

Recently my attention has been drawn to Brigham Young, especially his influence on the early saints and the outcome of this University. After electronically searching the gallery text, I discovered that Brigham Young’s name is found in every room of the gallery, either directly or in reference to the school’s title (Brigham Young Academy, Brigham Young University). Why such emphasis on Brother Brigham with regards to education?

Brigham received only eleven days of formal education, and possessed no desire to further his education until after meeting Joseph Smith and joining the church. At that time, Brigham learned of the eternal nature of education, and the everlasting opportunity given to mankind to strengthen and enlarge the human mind. He went on to study a variety of different subjects so as to enrich himself and uplift those around him. In 1860, Brigham Young further exemplified his love for learning with the following quotes.

“I shall not cease learning while I live, nor when I arrive in the spirit-world [,]… and when I again receive my body, I shall …still continue my researches [1].”

We often remember President Young as a great leader of the church, but this account provides insight into a lesser known aspect of his life. Through word and example, Brigham Young reminds us of the importance of knowledge—an aspect of education which goes far beyond exam scores, letter grades, or degree titles.

Students of BYU are blessed to receive an exceptional education in all the ways Brigham Young foresaw when he established this institution. May we remember Brigham Young’s enthusiasm for learning and knowledge, and remind ourselves to take advantage of our education with that same kind of enthusiasm. As the stresses of the semester periodically ensue, briefly browse around the Education in Zion Gallery to be reminded of the eternal nature of education, and be prepared to experience a change in perspective.

[1] Quoted in Susa Young Gates, The Life Story of Brigham Young (New York: Macmillan, 1930), 283.

Melinda Clark, gallery educator

This General post was written on March 7, 2013

The weekends are often quiet, but with President’s Day, last past weekend was even more quiet than normal. At the end of my Saturday shift, with less than 15 minutes until I would close the gallery, a group of visiting Chinese professors walked up the spiral staircase. They were guided by someone I recognized and I thought all was well. However, the man I knew quickly introduced them to me and then rushed off. I felt honored he had entrusted me with a group of foreign visitors, but also inadequate with my Chinese. I felt daunted by the task at hand, but keeping a prayer in my heart, I started the tour.

I talked about my interpretation of the symbols in the gallery and the aims of a BYU education—learning both the secular and the spiritual, building character, and fostering a desire of lifelong learning. I then continued talking about the history of the Church and its effort to educate the youth since its beginning.

These good people sat patiently, listening to my full discourse, now entirely in English with a few Chinese words interjected. I was anxious and nervous, worrying so much about their ability to understanding me that I forgot to allow moments of reflection. My audience seemed to find a real connection when I told them of the stories of BYU’s forefathers who had made many sacrifices and worked to perpetuate the future of the school. These Chinese professors shared their desires in educating and building the characters of their students.

Although our understandings of God are different, the truth is universal. Those who come to campus, and especially to the gallery, can feel a spirit of adherence to truth on this campus. I’m grateful for the chance to learn and I hope these professors have also gained something valuable from this experience.

Lucy Lu, gallery educator

Education in Zion has graciously welcomed an increase in guests since the beginning of Winter Semester, largely due to gallery-related class assignments. Although first-time visitors to the gallery are generally unsure of what lies beyond the spiral staircase, they most often find themselves pleasantly surprised. With the amazing influx of visitors, I have enjoyed witnessing guests’ reactions to the gallery.

Last week during my Wednesday night shift, a woman entered the gallery about an hour before closing time. She opted to walk around on a self-guided tour, but  she stopped by the information desk to share her experience when she finished.

The woman’s instructor had encouraged the class to read their patriarchal blessings prior to visiting the gallery so they might feel prompted about what paths to follow after leaving BYU. It was easy to see this woman had truly been touched by her experience. She told of how she believed the spirit of the gallery to be much like the spirit found in the temple.  Her experience added an entirely new dimension to my understanding of the gallery and the role it can play in the lives of those who visit.

Some individuals say they do not understand why they have been assigned to visit the gallery, while others believe that after one visit that there is nothing more to learn. However, after reading hundreds of pages of information and working at the gallery for three months, I know I am just beginning to recognize all this gallery has to offer. In fact, the file with all the label text and footnotes equals 150 pages, so  there is a lot information in the permanent exhibition.

The Education is Zion Gallery is filled with beautiful artwork and touching accounts of inspired individuals and the spirit of their sacrifices and testimonies can be felt strongly in the gallery. I firmly believe visiting Education in Zion will provide inspiration each and every time an individual accepts the opportunity to attend with an open mind and willing heart.

Melinda Clark, gallery educator

As the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the College of Nursing comes to an end, I have been reflecting on the many activities of the year, especially the college’s display at the Education in Zion Gallery. Thanks to the vision of our former dean, Dr. Beth Cole, and the support of our current dean, Dean Patricia Ravert, we have been able to collect and share some wonderful memorabilia and stories with the university community. I am especially proud of the pictures depicting students and faculty working together to bring the blessings of the Healer’s Art to many areas of the globe.

Over the past decade, the College of Nursing has developed a unique, worldwide nursing program. Many of the pictures in the display feature nursing students teaching and healing. Some of these populations include US veterans returning from war, American Indians on reservations, children from leprosy-afflicted families in India, and families in Tonga and Africa. The College of Nursing has truly embraced the university’s motto “the world is our campus.”

Personally, as the faculty curator of this exhibition, I have delighted in discovering the rich and unique heritage of our college. Starting from our Relief Society roots in pioneer Utah and spanning to our modern, worldwide influence, our history is filled with incredible stories and inspiration.

This project was made possible through the efforts of many faculty members, nursing administrators, exhibit experts, and our wonderful students—both past and present—who make all our efforts worthwhile. I would like to extend my appreciation to all of the contributors. May the next few decade
s be as rich and fulfilling as the past.

Karen Lundberg, College of Nursing Faculty

One of the things I love most about Education in Zion is the quotes found throughout the gallery. To me, the quotes are more than just nice stories. Even though the people quoted may have lived a hundred years before us, we can learn from what they have said. I wanted to share a few of my favorite quotes and some of the meaning they have to me.

“Knowledge is not power unless sustained be character.” Karl G. Maeser

I love this one because it changed my perspective on what my knowledge can be! It can change you and help you become your best self. Knowledge in spiritual and secular matters contribute to who we will become, yet it is our responsibility to do something with it.

 “I tell you, my young brothers and sisters, [once] you have been caught up in the spirit of

Brigham Young University you will never be the same. . . . Each of you has a spark inside you

which the Lord will someday kindle and make of you an instrument in His hands to bring the

world not only sorely needed secular excellence of the University, but the spirit of the Church,

the spirit of BYU, and the spirit of the gospel, which I testify to you to be one and the same.”

Albert Swensen, class of 1938

The Education in Zion Gallery focuses on an “Education for Eternity.” This quote helps to illustrate the role Heavenly Father plays in my education. BYU offers such a unique experience, and, knowing this, I am better able to take advantage of the opportunities it presents me.

Rebecca Soelberg, gallery educator

 

This General post was written on February 4, 2013

During these cold January days, we often look forward to summertime.

For many, summer is a time of relaxation and traveling. During the summer months, many BYU students participate in university-sponsored study abroad programs. During spring term, students in the College of Nursing participate in a global health course to learn more about other cultures. Students recently traveled to India, Ghana, Tonga, Taiwan, Russia, and Finland to learn more about healthcare in other countries and to be immersed in the culture of those countries. Students also had opportunities to learn more about US veterans, the Navajo Nation, and other local at-risk populations.
With a growing influx of immigrants coming to the United States, it is increasingly essential for nurses to provide culturally competent care. Understanding how people from other cultures perceive and respond to various aspects of healthcare is central in providing quality care. Through this nursing course, students have amazing opportunities to be immersed in the culture of another country and learn concepts in providing culturally appropriate care.

The Healer’s Art: A Celebration of the College of Nursing is on display at the Education in Zion Gallery. One of the focal points is an exhibit of nursing students’ experiences during this global health course. On display are memorabilia exhibiting pictures and writings from students working with orphans in Finland, cleaning leprosy wounds in India, building homes in Ecuador, and serving in remote areas of Tonga. What interesting and inspiring stories!

In addition to the experiences of nursing students, there are other accounts of BYU College of Nursing graduates involved in humanitarian and international activities. These accounts include displays of nurses who have served tours of duty on the hospital ship the USS Mercy and nurses who have been involved in neonatal resuscitation efforts with LDS Humanitarian Services.

During this semester, I encourage you to come and see for yourself some of the ways that nurses are making a difference in the lives of others—both locally and in various locations around the globe.

Cheryl Corbett, BYU College of Nursing

Learning the Healer’s Art

From the Archive

The time had arrived to begin my new clinical rotation. With trepidation, I made the drive from Idaho State University to the State Mental Hospital in Blackfoot, Idaho. I left the environment of a college campus with its purpose and promise and entered the stark, locked confines of a mental hospital.

In the 1970s, state mental hospitals were still large facilities warehousing patients whose lives had been decimated by mental illness. Medications like Thorazine and Haldol were available to treat severe mental illnesses, but the side effects were often severe, such as uncontrollable contorted muscular movements. It was disconcerting to see patients rocking back and forth and talking to themselves.

I entered the adult male ward and felt nervous when I met my patient, a Native American male in his late twenties. He suffered from schizophrenia. My instructor had told me that the most important skills I would be using in the psychiatric rotation were my “presence” and “communication.”

My patient showed me drawings of mystical women with magic powers, drawn with colored pencils. I wondered why he was fascinated with these depictions, and I found myself drawn into trying to comprehend his world. Each week we looked at his pictures and talked. Over the course of my clinical rotation, I began to see him as a person—not a delusional, mentally ill man. I found it hard to say goodbye to him when the 14 weeks ended.

Now I am a Brigham Young University professor and psychiatric mental health clinical specialist. I know the students feel frightened and apprehensive as they begin their psychiatric rotation, but I encourage them to use their “presence” and “communication” skills in addition to all of the nursing knowledge they have gained in school. I tell them to listen to their patients and try to understand the person experiencing psychiatric illness. Through their experiences, they learn, as I did, of the amazing strength and courage of individuals who are a part of this vulnerable population.

Linda Mabey, BYU College of Nursing Faculty

Editor’s note: For more stories of nurses working with underserved populations, visit The Healer’s Art: A Celebration of the College of Nursing on the third floor of the gallery.

Embracing all Truth

From the Archive

“The first and fundamental principle of our holy religion is that we believe that we have a right to embrace all and every item of truth, without limitation or without being circumscribed by the creeds or superstitious notions of men.”

—Joseph Smith, 1839

In the 1830s the idea of having the freedom of mind to be able to make a statement like this makes it all the more remarkable. We slip into the mistake of believing that this thought would have been accepted among everyday society, but it was not. This auspicious statement was a revelation about our first and fundamental right as people who believe in Christ and who choose to worship without the notions of men limiting us in our pursuit of divine truth.

 “The mind must not only possess a knowledge of truth, but the soul must revere it,cherish it, love it as a priceless gem; and this human life must be guided and shaped by it in order to fulfill its destiny .”

—Joseph F. Smith, First Presidency, 1895

We are counseled here how to hold truth in its proper and exalted position within our own lives, and that to do so will be the only way we can fulfill our God-given destiny. What a bright promise!  Each a son or daughter of our Father in Heaven has a unique destiny that can be revealed to us only by our choice to follow divine truth.

 

Reggie Voyce, Gallery Educator

The theme of the November Family Home Evenings was “Like a Prayer unto Thee: Our LDS Hymn Tradition.” In order to prepare to host FHE last week, I spent time reading about various influential contributors to the LDS hymn book. Although we chose to focus largely on W.W. Phelps during our FHE, I also spent time reading about Eliza R. Snow. She wrote the lyrics of 10 hymns, some of the most well-known being “Oh My Father” and “How Great the Wisdom and the Love.”

From her youth, Eliza grew up in a highly religious family, but the family decided none of the churches on the earth followed the pattern of Christ’s original church. Eliza and her family would later join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and gather in Kirtland.

Following the death of the Prophet Joseph, Eliza traveled to Utah with the Saints. In Utah, she would go on to serve as the second General Relief Society President of the Church. Throughout Eliza’s presidency, the Primary and the Young Women’s Mutual Improvement Association were organized, the Woman’s Exponent was created, and welfare program was introduced. Also, she was well known for her beautiful poetry, and wrote over 500 poems throughout the course of her life. Additionally, her younger brother, Lorenzo Snow, would later become the fifth president of the Church [1].

In an 1887 Relief Society Conference, Eliza said, “To be able to do Father’s will is what I wish to live for” [2]. I was touched by her testimony and realized the great power that one individual can have on many generations. Sister Snow understood her mission as a Daughter of God, and I look to her as a stalwart example of a Latter-day Saint woman. As we sing Eliza R. Snow’s hymns and hear her name from time to time, may we be forever grateful for her great faith and dignified leadership.

Melinda Clark, Gallery Educator 

 


[1] “Eliza R. Snow.” Relief Society General President. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Nov. 2012. <http://www.lds.org/callings/relief-society/relief-society-presidents/eliza-r-snow?lang=eng>.
[2] Eliza R. Snow, address given at Salt Lake Stake Relief Society conference, Sept. 15, 1887, in “Salt Lake Stake,” Woman’s Exponent, Oct. 1, 1887, 70.
This General post was written on November 27, 2012

This fall, Education in Zion opened a photo exhibit at the bottom of the JFSB spiral staircase. The exhibit links Cosmo to the Four Aims of a BYU Education. It was a wonderful experience to reflect on the opportunities and benefits we are given as we are educated at BYU, but also to view fun photos of Cosmo living the aims!
How blessed we are to attend a university whose mission is to “assist individuals in their quest for perfection and eternal life.” BYU is not just focused on its students’ temporal knowledge and well-being, but their eternal education and welfare. This focus is clearly seen in the BYU aims.  According to the BYU website (aims.byu.edu), “A BYU education should be: spiritually strengthening, intellectually enlarging, character building, and leading to lifelong learning and service”.

We had a lot of fun putting together photos of Cosmo that related to each aim, including him leading hymns, studying, dancing, cleaning, and swimming. We even got to have a photo shoot with Cosmo in the gallery!

I am grateful for those who have sacrificed to make BYU an institution that provides such a wonderful eternal education for us. After checking out the Cosmo photo exhibit, come up the spiral stairs to the gallery and learn more about the people who dedicated their lives to BYU! Go cougars!