October, 28, 2010

Trusting God in Education

There have been many times throughout my three years at BYU that I have felt discouraged about my major. It was during those times of not doing well on a test, not understanding the material, and never having enough time in the day to spend on my classes that always made me wonder:  Why am I here? Is this really what I want to be doing? Should I attend a different college that could be less rigorous? Should I find an easier major?

These questions would cycle through my mind often, and I’d always struggle to not feel this discouragement. It wasn’t until the first time I walked through the Education in Zion Gallery that I was given a different perspective on attending BYU. I started to read all about the early saints of the Church and how despite the persecutions and trials in their lives they still made education a priority. It made me stop and realize how blessed I’ve been to come to college without having to sacrifice as much in my life.

I read stories about teachers who gave up so much, even their compensations, so the school could stay open for the children to learn and get an education. I couldn’t help but continue to compare my life to these people and appreciate all the sacrifices they made for education when I’ve done very little to be at a great university.

In one of the rooms in the gallery there is a wall sharing a portion of a vision of President John Taylor. It talks about how Zina Young Williams, a faculty member of Brigham Young Academy and daughter of Brigham Young, asked President Taylor if the Church could help more with the funding of the financially struggling school. He shared with her a sacred and recent experience. Her father had come to him in a dream and told him that the school “was accepted in the heavens and was a part of the great plan of life and salvation . . . and that Christ himself was directing, and had a care over the school.”

Tears came to my eyes while reading of John Taylor’s experience. Right then I received a small understanding of how wonderful Brigham Young University is and that it truly was inspired. It has always been part of an important plan, and we all have been chosen to attend such a sacred place where the Lord wants us here. I know I’m going to still have those hard days where I continue to ask myself those self-doubting questions, but now I can come into the gallery and reread John Taylor’s vision and remind myself to trust in the Lord and know that I am truly blessed to be at a university directed by and cared for by the Lord.

In the Book of Mormon we read Alma chapter 36, verse 3, which states: “And now, O my son Helaman, behold, thou art in thy youth, and therefore, I beseech of thee that thou wilt hear my words and learn of me; for I do know that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day.”

– Stephanie Adams, Math Education Major and Education in Zion Gallery Educator