February, 8, 2017

Circles, Eternity, and a Quest for Perfection

By Anna Hawkes

Typically, when I give a tour in the Education in Zion exhibit, I like to point out the beautiful architecture of the space and ask how it can relate to education. People often talk about the spiral staircase, the expansive windows facing the library, and sometimes even the skylight above the staircase. As I was in the gallery this week, something stood out to me that I had previously taken for granted: many of the architectural features in the gallery are round.

As I look around, more and more stand out to me: the opening to the spiral staircase, the oculus, the columns, even the large windows and entryway halls have a curve to them creating a circular feel for the entirety of the space. Circles are commonly seen as symbols of never-ending motion, wholeness and eternity. How fitting to have so many cyclical items in an exhibit looking at the relationship of the LDS church with education.

When Brigham Young joined the Church, one of the aspects of the gospel he was most excited about was the prospect of eternal growth. Having only received 11 days of formal schooling, this enthusiastic learner took the news as an invitation to throw himself into continuing his educational pursuits. He studied not only the typical subjects such as literature and science, but delved eagerly into architecture, theater and even gymnastics as well. Young saw this as an opportunity to help himself and those around him to achieve the perfection they were seeking.

I have to ask, do we have that mindset as we interact with our educational pursuits? Maybe it can be something we can work on as we move further and further into this new semester. See your homework assignments and classes as not just another item to be checked off the list, but instead as an opportunity. Take in what you learn and allow it to change you for the better. Your studies will not only be more enjoyable and fulfilling, but you will also rest assured knowing that perfection is one step closer.