The Education in Zion Gallery, with its stunning two-story windows, has one of the most beautiful views on BYU campus. I love how you can see a large portion of campus (most notably the library), but mostly I love how you can see the mountains framing campus. This view is just one of the many symbols in the gallery.
In the scriptures, mountains are commonly referred to as temples, or places to commune with God. Isaiah teaches, “And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways” (Isaiah 2:3). Nephi also describes his experience in the mountains: “As I sat pondering in mine heart I was caught away in the Spirit of the Lord, yea, into an exceedingly high mountain” (1 Nephi 11:1). Finally, we learn that Jesus Christ himself “went up into a mountain apart to pray” (Matthew 14:23).
I see a close relationship with the natural view of the mountains and the mural in the gallery, “The Temple: A Holy School.” Seeing these mountains framing our college campus reminds me that the Lord values not only “spiritual” studies, but “secular”studies as well. All truth testifies of Christ, and we should be actively seeking truth in any form: a textbook, scriptures, uplifting music, or hiking. As the thirteenth Article of Faith teaches, “anything lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.” I am grateful for these majestic mountains that are constant reminders of my Heavenly Father’s love for me.
The Book of Mormon is filled with passages concerning the mountains. Nephi was directed by the Liahona to go into the mountains when he broke his bow in the wilderness. When faced against the Gadianton robbers, the Nephites went into the mountains to pray to the Lord. As the brother of Jared contemplated bringing his family across the sea in barges, he climbed the mount to converse with the Savior. In every instance given, each was faced with a trial, ascended to the privacy of the mountains and, thus showing faith and determination for answers, the Lord lifted them up in their burdens.
As Disciples of Christ today, we can take this council to “arise, and get thee unto the mountain” literally or symbolically. Ascending into the peaceful solitude of nature and leaving the world behind allows the still small voice to pierce through the bubble of Babylon we fight against every day. Although we may not speak to the Lord face to face, the still small voice can whisper to us if we are still enough to grasp it. Climbing the mountain can also mean to rise above the wavering standards of the world. As we control our natural man and act, think and feel as the Savior would, we are symbolically arising above “the cunning plan of the evil one” and striving to draw closer to Jesus Christ.
During my time at the Education in Zion gallery, I have had ample time to look to the mountains. I have seen them in their majesty and glory and have often thought of the majesty and glory of the Lord and how he looks over all of us in love. Elevated above campus, the gallery allows one a grander view at the landscape and into his or her life. When we show the Lord we are willing to listen make His teachings priority, we find peace and make room for ourselves in His heavenly home. It is my hope that we all take time to steadily climb our mountain, physically or spiritually, and put heavenly matters first.
Tiana Birrell, Gallery Educator
A cellphone’s lock screen or background can tell a lot about its owner. Many people have pictures of their loved ones such as their spouse, siblings, or friends. I, on other hand, have a picture of a statue of Christ with rows of majestic mountains as the backdrop.
This statue, located in the Education in Zion Gallery, is situated in the center of the gallery. Everyday when the sun is high up in the sky, the light reflected by the snowy mountains is enhanced by the broad, 200-foot, curved-glass window that allows the luminous glow to shine all around Him.
One day, mesmerized by the scene, I stopped in my tracks to contemplate its beauty. Soon after I felt moved to action, desirous to capture the marvelous effect. I knelt down below the statue and, carefully holding my phone still at an angle, snapped several photos.
Thereafter, Christ the Shepherd and His sheep have adorned my iPhone’s lock screen as a constant reminder that the Savior is the focal point of my life as He is the focal point of the gallery.
-Lucy Lu, Education in Zion Gallery Educator