Nauvoo was a culturally exciting time for the Church. The town was built fairly quickly after the Saints arrived and it soon thrived. Several of the buildings constructed there were of great importance to the Church.
The Red Brick Store had many different roles. It was not only a general store, but it was also the unofficial headquarters of the Church because Joseph Smith owned it and often conducted Church business there. Joseph Smith even had an office on the second floor. On March 17, 1842, the Relief Society was organized formally by the Prophet in this upper room on the second floor. In addition, the store housed the Young Gentlemen’s and the Young Ladies’ Relief Societies as well as the University of the City of Nauvoo. The Red Brick Store was the center of many social events, lyceums and concerts. It was also where the a few very early endowments and sealings took place before the temple was finished.
The Mansion House was another important building in Nauvoo. It was the home of Joseph and Emma Smith. They moved there in August 1843, and after the 1844 construction of a 22-room-wing, the house was turned into a hotel. The Smiths continued to live there and were the hosts to many fellow Saints and important dignitaries.
Perhaps the most important building in Nauvoo was the temple. The drawings from which the temple was built were based on a vision received by Joseph Smith. In 1841 the Saints began construction of the temple. Although it was not finished until after the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, this temple was the first one where ordinances—including eternal marriage and baptisms for the dead—were performed. It was finally dedicated in 1846 just before the Saints moved west, and nearly 6,000 people received their endowments in it.
These buildings, along with many others, became important spaces where the Saints could mingle, be taught, and receive ordinances. All these activities helped to unify the them and helped them progress in their educational pursuits.
 Education in Zion gallery text
 Education in Zion gallery text
The Education in Zion Gallery sits at the heart of Brigham Young University’s campus to serve as a reminder of the eternal nature of education. The Prophet Joseph Smith epitomized the role of an eternally minded student and teacher. As such, the first part of the Education in Zion Gallery is dedicated to him.
In the Sacred Grove, Joseph sought guidance that would change his life and impact all future generations. Through his heartfelt inquiry, he ushered in the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He began a divine education wherein “he was taught for years by visions and revelations, and by holy angels sent from God out of heaven to teach and instruct him and prepare him to lay the foundation of this Church.”
Joseph’s experiences as a student of God prepared him to serve as a teacher in Zion to new converts who were eager to learn of the restored gospel. Joseph “proclaimed the gospel with testimony, clarity, and boldness, and in an unpretentious manner that quickly became a pattern for the Church.”
The video clip below is featured in the gallery and provides a glimpse into Joseph’s life as a student and a teacher in Zion.
Members of the LDS Church continue to cherish the words of Joseph Smith because the words provide a beautiful understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Ultimately, Joseph Smith’s desire to learn as a young boy allowed him the opportunity to serve as God’s mouthpiece during the restoration of the Church in a way that remains a pattern for education in Zion into the twenty-first century.
 Wilford Woodruff, October 8, 1873, Journal of Discourses (1854–86; lithographic reprint, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1974), 16:265.
 Education in Zion gallery text, “Joseph the Educator: Teaching in the Savior’s Way,” http://educationinzion.byu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Education-in-Zion-Text.pdf.
As the Saints settled in the Western valley, Brigham Young established many opportunities in the frontier to create a well-rounded, educated people. He believed “’Mormonism embraces all truth[,] revealed and unrevealed, whether religious, political, scientific, or philosophical.” In order to fulfill this belief, Brigham Young sent many individuals to New England and abroad for vocational and academic trainings. Through formal educations, men and women alike were better prepared to be the leaders of the Church, educators and artisans. All of their skills were essential in the building of God’s kingdom.
Vocational training was perhaps the most important training during that time. Several women were sent to the east to study in prestigious schools. They joined professional health care associations and brought back many valuable skills when they returned West. Artisans such as Truman Angell were sent to study European architecture before he designed the Salt Lake Temple. Painters who contributed to the murals inside the temple were also especially apprenticed in Europe.
The Saints also organized lyceums (similar to today’s devotionals), lectures, forums and classes to discuss philosophical topics. For example, President Lorenzo Snow established the Polysophical Society. His sister Eliza described the society as, “magnificent moral, intellectual, and spiritual picnic.” Another formal education system is the Deseret Theological Institute, organized in 1855. This lecture program was dedicated to promote doctrinal understandings and invite all who are “desirous of receiving and imparting light, wisdom, and principles” to join. 
 Brigham Young, January 12, 1862, Journal of Discourses (1854-86; lithographic reprint, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1973), 9:149
 Eliza R. Snow, “An Address,” Woman’s Exponent 2, no. 8 (September 15, 1873): 63; “Home Affairs,” Woman’s Exponent 9, no. 9 (October 1, 1880): 69; advertisements, Woman’s Exponent no. 17 (February 1, 1881): 136; Hannah T. King, “Dr. Ellis R. Shipp,” Woman’s Exponent 12, no. (July 15, 1883): 31; “Commencement Exercises,” Woman’s Exponent 13, no. 23 (May 1, 1885):181-82
 Truman O. Angell, “His Journal,” in Our Pioneer Heritage, ed. Kate B. Carter (Salt Lake City: Daughter of Utah Pioneers, 1967), 10:195-213
 Eliza R. Snow, Biography and Family Record of Lorenzo Snow (Salt Lake City: Deseret 1884), 252.
 Preamble and Constitution of the Deseret Theological Institute, Millennial Star 17, no. 33 (August 18, 1855): 515
In his October 2009 general conference address, President Henry B. Eyring spoke of the legacy of the Relief Society saying, “They were from many lands and peoples, as you are today. But they were of one heart, one mind, and with one intention.” The organization of the Relief Society in 1842 by Joseph Smith brought many diverse women together and strengthened community bonds. In the early days of the Church, this sense of community and belonging was especially important given that most families or individuals had left the places of their birth and their extended relatives to gather with the Saints. Sometimes this included people who also had immigrated from other countries, who came to Nauvoo to be part of a new community, often enduring tremendous trials to do so.
In Nauvoo, the women worked together to serve their tight-knit community, offering instruction and compassionate service to others. The women also combined their efforts in building the temple, which offered an even greater sense of community. When the Saints left Nauvoo, the Relief Society was no longer meeting, except in “prayer meetings” to “strengthen each other spiritually” along the long, tedious journey to the West.
In the Salt Lake Valley, the women were called by Brigham Young to work in the community—this time among the Native Americans who were in need. Later, the women turned their attention to poor immigrants and refugees left from Johnston’s Army.
Women’s ability to strengthen community bonds is still important. The organization of Relief Society helps bridge the gap between those of different lands and traditions, creating Zion-like communities all over the world.
 Henry B. Eyring, General Conference (October 2009), http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2009/10/the-enduring-legacy-of-relief-society.
 Education in Zion gallery text, “The Female Relief Society of Nauvoo”, http://educationinzion.byu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Education-in-Zion-Text.pdf.
 Education in Zion gallery text, “Relief Society Reorganization”, http://educationinzion.byu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Education-in-Zion-Text.pdf.
Embedded in both LDS Church history and BYU history, you’ll find various leaders who utilized storytelling–following the examples set by scriptural leaders. Among these modern-day leaders is George H. Brimhall, the third principal of Brigham Young Academy. Brimhall would often give what were called sermonettes where he would tell allegories for the benefit of the students’ learning. He called the following story “The Camel Test.” In it, Brimhall explains how Arabian merchants determined the value of a camel.
“If he rubs his nose in the water, splashes around a little, and then turns and looks this way and that and sniffs the air, he is turned down as a fourth rate camel. If he drinks a little, he is a third rate camel. If he drinks moderately, he is graded as a second rate camel and his value is in proportion. But if he drinks copiously–drains the trough–he is the highest priced camel, granted that he is sound and able to travel. And why! Because that snuffler that simply splashed the water with his nose, that gazer from side to side, that looker into the distance as though he could travel the whole desert when he is loaded and started would perish in the desert. Students are not camels, but they are like them. . . . You will see some information coming from the teacher. You will see [the students] looking, gazing into the future, dreaming about something, I know not what, as though they had the wings of an airship. Then you will see others who will be moderately attentive; and you will see others whose minds are concentrated; they are reaching out, they drain the trough of information . . . the students who succeed, they have been filled with what is to support them, and they will make their journey–they will make their journey.”
 Wilkinson, Ernest L. Brigham Young University: The First One Hundred Years. 1 (Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press, 1975), 594–95.