Category: From the Archives
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
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
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.
“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
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!
I’ve been working at the Education in Zion Gallery for almost three months and I can barely believe it’s been that long. One reason I feel so at home here is because of the people. The staff are knowledgeable and always willing to help. But it is not only the people who work here who have welcomed me, but also the people in the gallery who I get to learn about every day: their stories and examples have shaped me into a new person with a new perspective.
I knew about some of the people mentioned in the labels before I started working in the gallery, but I didn’t understand who they were. For example, I knew Brigham Young was the second president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He led the Saints west and started Brigham Young Academy (known now as Brigham Young University). But now after learning more about him, he has become one of my heroes! Coming from a poor family and receiving only 11 days of formal education, he was inspired by Joseph Smith’s teaching of eternal progression and became a man who sought education wherever he could. Brigham Young not only encouraged the Saints to seek learning, but he was also a living example of actively seeking and doing. He “became a student of theology, literature, architecture, theater, science, business, gymnastics, agriculture, and everything else that could help him elevate himself or anyone around him.” He stated,
“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.” 
Brigham Young is one of many people who have inspired me! Some others are J. Wyley Sessions, Brigham Thomas Higgs, Karl G. Maesar; the list goes on.
Visit the gallery to see how these people’s lives are more than just nice stories—they are examples from which to learn and to move forward with their faith and strength, edifying us along the way.
Rebecca Soelberg, Gallery Educator
I really enjoy the videos we have here in the gallery. I especially appreciate the inclusion of contemporary teachers from BYU in our last video “Gathering Strength”. In this video, teachers share meaningful lessons they’ve learned here at BYU or hope the students learn.
Brian Lemon, a chemistry teacher from BYU Idaho, shared the story of Dmitri Mendeleev organizing the periodic table. This story is actually quite moving and it resonated with him and infused his teaching (if you skip to 1:15 in the video, his story is really short).
What impresses me is that Mendeleev was someone without knowledge of the Gospel. He didn’t pray for inspiration. Yet he was still rewarded for his work. This fact adds to the principle that the Lord delivers truth in diverse places, in various ways and we seek that knowledge, wherever it may be found. How exciting it is to think that there have been and are Mendeleev experiences happening around the world!
In 1854, President John Taylor told the Deseret News, “If there is any truth in heaven, earth, or hell, I want to embrace it; I care not what shape it comes in to me, who brings it, or who believes in it; whether it is popular or unpopular, truth, eternal truth, I wish to float in and enjoy.”
I had the chance of attending Beauty and Belief in the Museum of Art. I was indeed overwhelmed by the beauty and touched by the belief. The culture was quite different, yet the heart of it didn’t seem foreign at all.
Camlyn Giddins, Gallery Educator
In 1855, many Church members were gathering to Zion. Although some emigrating Saints ended up in the Salt Lake Valley, many settled elsewhere. Throughout the nineteenth century, Mormons built homes and communities as far south as San Bernardino, California, and into Mexico, and as far north as Canada. Unfortunately, some members in these outlying struggled spiritually.
Although reasons probably are as varied as the people involved, I wonder whether geographical proximity played any role? Theoretically, Saints outside the Salt Lake Valley had less interaction with Church leaders, and perhaps that allowed more doubt or bad habits to take root. Maybe Saints in these communities did not adequately teach their children the gospel, and as a result the youth had difficulty developing testimonies. Finally, it’s possible that members were so busy with settling a new area that religion may have been perceived a leisure activity, since their energy was necessarily devoted to farming, ranching, and other endeavors that helped sustain life.
In late 1855, President Brigham Young began sending missionaries to help members recommit to the gospel. Historians have called this period the “Great Reformation” or the “Mormon Reformation.” Jedediah M. Grant, a councilor in the First Presidency, began preaching in many Mormon communities. He first called people to repentance, then he instructed them on what was expected of worthy Saints. As a sign of recommitment, many Church members were rebaptized. In fact, Grant spent so much time in the water re-baptizing that some think the exposure may have been a factor that led to his death. Read more
I am currently taking a class where we discuss women and their place in social and political spheres. Primarily we discuss feminist theory in France but oft times we discuss Anglo-American ideals of feminism in comparison or contrast.
American women were ahead of French women in fighting for their right to vote. On July 19-20, 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York, women gathered to debate of the significance for the allowance for women to receive the right to vote.
Cereal, cup of noodles, macaroni and cheese – that’s the checklist I recite to myself as I put on my boots, gloves, hat, scarf, and coat to go to the grocery store. Despite being bundled up I still freeze when I have to make the hundred foot dash from the car to the sliding doors.
A long time ago, in 1912, there was another girl at BYU. But she was even colder than I am. She came to Provo as a refugee of the Mexican Revolution. She didn’t have boots, gloves, hats, scarves, or even a coat. She too had a checklist of the food she could afford to eat daily: boiled wheat flakes, mashed potatoes, bread and milk. Her name was Camilla Eyring Kimball. Although we may now her best for the wife of the beloved Prophet Spencer W Kimball, her life wasn’t always so ideal sounding. Read more