May, 5, 2016

The Magnificence of the Human Body

bodies filled with light

By Annilyn Spjut

One of our temporary exhibitions “Bodies Filled with Light” is coming to the end of its stay here in the Education in Zion Gallery. This exhibition was put together by Education in Zion Gallery staff working with Johnathan J. Wisco, one of the anatomy professors here at BYU. They went through the LDS standard works looking for references to human anatomy and found over 9,000 references! Over the past year I have had many special experiences giving tours of this amazing exhibit. I have learned so much about how understanding God’s perspective on human anatomy can help us better understand the gospel.

When I give tours of this exhibition I like to start by asking people to think of the most magnificent thing they have ever seen. I have had lots of interesting answers from the grandeur of the mountains here in Provo to the brilliance of the Sistine Chapel. Then I share this quote from Elder Russell M. Nelson, “You may be surprised at what I am going to suggest now. Ponder the magnificence of all you see when you look in the mirror. Ignore the freckles, unruly hair, or blemishes, and look beyond to see the real you—a child of God created by him, in his image.”[1]

Sharing this quote not too long ago it really struck me, because recently I have not been feeling that my body was so magnificent. I am pregnant and have been feeling more annoyed at my body than amazed by it. My back hurts. My clothes don’t fit right. And every time I look in the mirror I just feel chubby. But as I shared Elder Nelson’s words and invited those on the tour to ponder the magnificence of their bodies as one of God’s greatest creations. I was astounded at how those words resonated with me. I realized how amazing it is that God created our bodies with the ability to create other bodies for his children. How magnificent!

I am grateful for the reminder this exhibit gave to me that our bodies truly are a blessing from our Father in Heaven.

[1] Nelson, Russell M. “The Magnificence of Man.” New Era (1987): n. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.