March, 2, 2011

Special Spirit, Special Space

I love working in the Education in Zion Gallery because it is unlike any other space on campus.  I am privileged to enjoy the peaceful quiet beauty of the gallery almost every day.  But what is it that makes this space so peaceful?

One of the most important elements is the presence of the Holy Spirit.  I feel the Spirit in a lot of different places on campus; I think that’s what sets BYU apart from many other universities.  But to have a space so concentrated with scriptural texts, words of the prophets, inspiring stories, and documentation of the faith and inspiration in establishing this school is a perfect way for myself and visitors to the gallery experience the spirit of this university.

Many visitors and students in the Joseph F. Smith Building wander up the spiral staircase completely unaware of what they have walked into.  As soon as these individuals figure out what is offered in this space, they begin to wander through the rooms of the gallery or take a seat in front of the massive windows and enjoy the quiet peaceful environment.  In a place that is dedicated to sharing the stories of how BYU came to be—through faith, trials, and direct revelation from the Lord—there is no doubt that the Spirit resides here as it whispers truths of the spirit of education and the truthfulness of the gospel.

Since we ask that visitors do not eat or drink in the gallery or move any of the furniture, I have seen students start to appreciate this space for more than a convenient location to study.  These rules alone set Education in Zion apart from many other spaces on campus.  They help maintain the Spirit by perpetuating a clean, quiet, reverent environment.

So come to Education in Zion!  Take a break from your busy day on campus, enjoy the peaceful spirit that lingers through the gallery and be inspired by BYU’s great educational legacy.

–  Danielle Julander, English Major, Education In Zion Gallery Educator