June, 11, 2010

Universal and Eternal Education

General Education classes can be very difficult to take, especially when it’s Bio 100 at 8am every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I’m a Theater Major. I’m not good at biology. Not to say that all theater students suffer from a lack of scientific synapses, but my brain wasn’t wired to understand it. I only passed high school biology because my teacher gave extra credit if we brought into class an animal to dissect. My mother found a dead raccoon. I took it to school in a garbage bag. So when my 8am Bio 100 class loomed ahead of me, I looked forward to it with some apprehension.

At the beginning of the semester I was determined to succeed in the class. I woke up every day at 6am, got to class by 7:55am and took the seat with the best view of the screen. I started to get excited about biology. But after the first two tests, I felt miserable. I’d failed them despite my best efforts. My excitement turned to cynicism. I slept in until seven and wouldn’t arrive to class until it was halfway over.

Then one day I was assigned to give a tour here at Education in Zion. As I prepared for the tour I prayed that I could have the Spirit to be with me so those who joined me on the tour would understand the things the Lord would have them learn. During the tour we talked about the early saints in Kirtland who studied everything from history and Hebrew to scriptures and science. As I gave the tour something my mom once said came to me. She’d said, “You’re going to a university to receive a universal education.” She’d explained that that meant learning all things pertaining to God’s eternal Plan of Salvation for the benefit of building Zion; to her learning wasn’t about grades, it was about incorporating what you learned into your testimony and using your knowledge to serve others.

After the tour was over, I offered a silent prayer of thanks to my Heavenly Father for reminding me of the true importance of my education. I committed myself to look for the spiritual links in biology that would strengthen my testimony. From doing this I gained a greater appreciation of the importance of biology and gained a testimony that God is a marvelous scientist. I didn’t get a terrific grade, but I did receive a terrific education.

Anna Silver, Education in Zion gallery educator