Education is an incredible thing because it can be both individual and communal. One of my favorite things about working in the Education in Zion Gallery is the opportunity it gives me to engage in communal learning as I meet and talk with new people every day. I love learning from the people who come into the gallery to look around, and I believe that we can and should learn something from every person we come in contact with. Many have experienced the uplifting blessings that come from this type of collaborative learning.
The early members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints also knew the importance of gathering together to learn from one another. One of their leaders, Sidney Rigdon, emphasized that “one of the principal objects of our coming together is to obtain the advantages of education.” Working in the gallery has reminded me that education in its many forms has always played an important role in the Church. But why would communal education play such an important role in building Zion?
Joseph Smith answered this question as he guided the Saints towards becoming a Zion people. He commented, “In nothing did they show their enthusiasm for the cause of Zion more than in education, for it was by education—religious, intellectual, cultural, and practical—that they could all come to enjoy an equal privilege and progress together.” As we gain education, knowledge, and skills, we are in a better position to serve God’s children. Thus, learning, doing, and serving are all crucial steps toward building a Zion-like community.
1. Sidney Rigdon, “To the Saints Abroad,” Elders’ Journal 1, no. 4 (August 1838): 53.
2. Education in Zion Gallery text.