The Education in Zion Blog
This gallery illuminates several examples of people who exerted themselves in order to receive visionary revelation. Some examples include: Joseph Smith, Karl G. Maeser, George H. Brimhall, and John M. Whitaker. In writing up that list, I noticed I didn’t list any women. I regretfully also noted how difficult it was for me to name any. In my defense, I can think of plenty of women who receive inspiration, but have these women received a singular visionary revelation? This is not to say that those monumental shifts are superior. In fact, I acknowledge those instances are certainly the exception to the rule, but I wanted to place some women on the list. I did gather a list of some names (LDS and non-LDS women) for further research. In my research, I came across Lucy Mack Smith, and I found some stories I really liked.
After six years of marriage, Lucy became very ill, was diagnosed with “confirmed consumption,” the disease from which her sisters Lovisa and Lovina had died. The doctors had given up hope and condemned her to death. Lucy stated she didn’t feel prepared for death and judgment at all. “I knew not the ways of Christ, besides there appeared to be a dark and lonesome chasm between myself and the Savior, which I dared not attempt to pass.” Though fatigued and bedridden, Lucy spent the night pleading with the Lord to spare her life so she could bring up her children and “be a comfort” to her husband.
“My mind was much agitated during the whole night . . . During this night, I made a solemn covenant with God, that, if he would let me live, I would endeavor to serve him according to the best of my abilities. Shortly after this, I heard a voice say to me, ‘Seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you. Let your heart be comforted; ye believe in God, believe also in me.’
Lucy’s recovery began immediately and she began her lifelong search for a religion that would teach her and her family the way of salvation.
Camlyn Giddins, Gallery Educator
Walking one evening, I was amazed by the quietness of the campus enshrouded by the night. Usually I can always spot a few people heading to their destinations. In the summer, however, it is not unusual to not see a single soul on campus after dark.
Even though the campus may be under such a deep sleep, the Education in Zion Gallery is still illuminated as if standing in a spotlight. Mesmerized, I paused to gaze up at the large, curved window panels. The transparency of the windows allowed the gallery to glow among the buildings. Everything inside could be clearly seen, including the signature murals that hang on opposite walls–they were glistering ever so brightly.
It was at that moment that I remembered the scripture prompting us to “let [our] light so shine before men, that they may see [our] good works, and glorify [our] father which is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16). I realized that we as human beings are much like the illuminated gallery. As followers of Christ, we stand out. The world shoves us into the spotlight, scrutinizing everything from our church’s history to individual conduct (or misconduct) because of the cultural climate.
Although I understand that I will inevitably fall short because that is the role of the natural man, through the Atonement of Jesus Christ I can shine forth and illuminate the world with my example. I don’t believe that my being an example means I must maintain a perfect record. It simply testifies that I am willing to mend my ways to become better.
Lucy Lu, Gallery Educator
The central piece of the Education in Zion gallery is a simple yet beautiful clay statue of Christ as the Shepherd, bearing a lamb in His arms. I just returned last week from a Young Single Adult conference in Denmark where I had the opportunity of hearing from Tomas Kofod, the man who played Jesus Christ in the LDS films The Testaments and Finding Faith in Christ.
He told of his experience filming a scene in Finding Faith in Christ where he was supposed to carry a lamb across his shoulders. He said that he had felt a little wary at this prospect after witnessing this wild and rambunctious little lamb. At first it kicked and fought being held. But the moment that he laid it across his shoulders, it relaxed and became completely at peace.
He read this scripture from Luke 15:4-6 in conjunction with his story:
“What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?
And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.”
Brother Kofod then pointed out that this scripture does not say that the sheep begged to be found, that the shepherd chastised the sheep, or that the shepherd just told the sheep to walk home when he found it, but rather that the shepherd went out to seek the lost sheep and that he picked it up and carried it home on his shoulders, rejoicing.
So it is with those who are lost in life. Sometimes they fight being found, but when they are found, the Shepherd, Christ, rejoices and carries them home.
Just as this Shepherd goes forth to find those in need, BYU students are encouraged to “enter to learn, go forth to serve.” Thus, to me, it seems very fitting that the central piece of the Education in Zion gallery is a statue of our example in this, Christ the Shepherd.
Jalena Reschke, Gallery Educator
Most of us are familiar with the Book of Mormon story about Abinadi. He preaches to the people of the wicked King Noah and gets kicked out, but the Lord tells him to return. He is taken prisoner and preaches to the King and his sinful priests.
Abinadi testifies with authority and calls the court to repentance. They try to bind him, but he says that he is not finished yet and he is protected.
One of the priests, Alma, listens, says they should let Abinadi go and is subsequently kicked out of the court and they send soldiers to kill him.
In all of Abinadi’s efforts in the court only one person listened. Only one person cared. Only one person changed.
However, that one convert, Alma, brought many to the gospel. His efforts combined with the efforts of a few others brought thousands to a knowledge of Christ.
During my mission and sometimes during tours and programs at Education in Zion I feel like no one is listening. During New Student Orientation it can be especially hard. It’s hot, or they’re hungry, they’re overwhelmed or excited by all the newness or attractive girls and boys around them.
But it is all worth it; if one person is helped by something we share, it is worth it. If we help to provide an answer to a question they have had, or give them what they need to be able to get an answer, it has been worth it. Over the many New Student Orientations I have done I have had a few kids approach me and share thoughts and insights with me. It makes it worth it.
Not exactly Abinadi, but it is a rewarding feeling to be a tool in the hands of God.
In the opening chapters of Alma in the Book of Mormon, Alma and his people served each other and gave to the poor, generally living in peace. When individuals rose to disturb that peace, the majority rose up to restore it. Yet when these humble, soft-hearted people were faced with an army as numerous as ‘the sands of the sea,’ their enemies fled and fell before them.
There is just no way that a people who diligently seek God, truth, and serve others can ever permanently fall. That course is always up. I physically see that as I sit in this gallery and look out across this hard labored university. This principle means two things: God’s servants have very little to fear. However, they are always in danger because prosperity itself is the gateway to the greatest sin.
Brigham Young said, “The worst fear that I have about this people is that they will get rich in this country, forget God and his people, wax fat, and kick themselves out of the Church and go to hell. This people will stand mobbing, robbing, poverty, and all manner of persecution, and be true. But my greater fear for them is that they cannot stand wealth; and yet they have to be tried with riches, for they will become the richest people on this earth.”
People of God will always prosper and find joy, even while on this earth. The eternal question is if we can handle it and what we’ll do with it.
Camlyn Giddins, Gallery Educator
- It has an incredible view of the mountains.
- It is a quiet environment and a great place to study.
- It’s a great place for family home evening.
- The hidden photo challenge gives a chance to win a $20 Bookstore gift card!
- It’s a perfect place to bring visiting family members because it teaches about BYU history.
- It helps me remember why religious and general education classes are important.
- They keep you posted on what’s happening (Like us on Facebook!)
- It’s a cool escape from the hot summer sun.
- You can come back again and again and learn something new every time!
- Bringing a date will make you look smart, sophisticated, and spiritual.
Kirk Perry, Gallery Educator
This week at Education in Zion we are putting on a very special program for New Student Orientation. During this time, we as gallery educators get to dress up as an important historical people, and inspire the incoming students with their stories. I have the wonderful opportunity to play the young Lorenzo Snow. Although I do not have the beard, I am dressed up in clothing to fit the time period, and armed with an arsenal of Lorenzo’s personal experiences. I get to pretend like I am legitimately him and speak first person.
Before Lorenzo found the church he actually had no interest in religion. In fact, he wanted to become a high ranking officer in the military. The only reason he found the church was because his sister Eliza R. Snow, invited him to come to Kirkland Ohio to learn Hebrew at the School of the Prophets. While he attended classes at the School of the Prophets he was converted while interacting with the prophet Joseph Smith. It is inspiring to me to know that President Snow was willing to sacrifice his worldly ambitions to do what the Lord wanted him to do.
It is incredible to me how much we can learn from the stories of those who came before us. They are not only spiritually strengthening, but also very motivational. This week I have realized that all of us have our own unique stories. I couldn’t help but think what stories a gallery educator would tell about me in the future. Those before us have passed on to us an amazing legacy. The question is, what will we do with this legacy?
Jacob Bromley, Gallery Educator
While doing “the rounds” late one evening to check the gallery and make sure all was in order, I encountered a student sitting in a chair facing the wall of windows in the center of the gallery. It’s not uncommon for students to sit here, but typically they study when they do so.
This young man, however, just sat staring contemplatively out the window. I recognized him from one of my classes, so I said hello and asked what he was doing. Waiting for someone perhaps?
“No. Just sitting here thinking. Pondering. I love this gallery,” he said. “It’s my temple here on campus.”
This statement really hit me; and the more I thought about it, the more I agreed with him. The Education in Zion Gallery is much like a temple here on campus, in the sense that it is a quiet, peaceful place to ponder, feel the Spirit, receive personal inspiration, and escape the stresses of everyday life. Temples are also places of learning and the central purpose of Education in Zion is to inspire learning for the education of the entire soul.
I came away that evening with a new perspective and gratitude for this wonderful little “temple here on campus.”
Jalena Reschke, Gallery Educator
During winter semester I was able to teach a few FHE groups that came into the gallery about some of the “Modern Legacies of Nauvoo,” specifically the temple. We talked about the sacrifices people make to get to the temple to receive blessings and make covenants with God.
A few weeks ago it was a sunny, but brisk Saturday. I decided that I would ride my bike to the temple instead of driving like I usually do. Arriving at the temple as a hot mess wasn’t going to be an issue, so I went for it.
I have a single speed bike (no shifting) and the temple is about three miles from my house, but it is also a steady uphill climb the whole way there. Needless to say, it wasn’t the wisest decision I’ve ever made. By the time I had made it to the MTC my thighs were slipping into the spirit world.
Then I remembered the story we shared in that FHE program from Silvia Allred:
“In 1976, when we were living in Costa Rica, the mission president asked my husband to help organize the first trip from the mission to a temple. The Central America Mission then included Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua, and Honduras. The closest temple was the Mesa Arizona Temple. The trip required us to travel five days each way, crossing six borders. The financial sacrifice for most of those who went was great. They sold their television sets, bikes, skates, and anything else they could sell. We traveled in two uncomfortable buses day and night. Some of the members had used all their money to pay for the bus fare and had taken only crackers and margarine to eat on the way. I have never forgotten the great outpouring of the Spirit we experienced during the three days we spent at the Mesa Temple.” (General Conference October 2008, “Holy Temples, Sacred Covenants”)
For me the sacrifice is usually only one of time during a busy school week or a few hours on a free day, but twenty minutes of leg exhaustion wasn’t so bad when compared to the time and discomfort others have gone through to receive temple blessings.
What sacrifices do you make to go to the temple?
Dan Shirley, Gallery Educator
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are often exposed to culture through missionary work. After a couple of years of service abroad those lands once foreign to them become home. Early Saints also gained an appreciation for different cultures when they arrived from overseas to spread the gospel. Some of them even facilitated the translation of the Book of Mormon into other languages spoken in those lands.
Culture is all I’ve been thinking about as I prepare to leave for my study abroad experience this week. While I am one of the few ethnic minorities in the group, I am impressed with the various cultural experiences of my study-abroad-mates.
Indeed, BYU may not be the most ethnically diverse university, but many students have had unique oversea experiences. Whether those experiences were gained from an LDS mission, a student exchange program, an internship, or a family vacation, their experiences contribute to the BYU culture.
This culture is also manifested in the university’s mission: to educate students to become responsible citizens in the world so they may serve others around them with the skills and talents they’ve developed from school. As we learn from one another and incorporate those experiences into learning of our own, we become living examples of BYU’s mission and followers of Christ.
Lucy Lu, Gallery Educator