April, 3, 2017

A School, a Temple of Learning

by  Anna Schmidt

In the Gallery there hangs two large, striking paintings. These murals are each 10 by 18 feet, and face each other on opposite sides of the gallery. When I first came into the Gallery, I was immediately drawn to these paintings and wanted to learn more about them. The paintings are named, A Temple, a Holy School and A School, a Temple of Learning. The first shows the Kirtland temple, and the second depicts the early BYU, or Brigham Young Academy campus. These names stuck me as meaningful in the way they contrasted and compared the similarities between a temple and a school. As I ponder upon this, I realized they really are not as different as I thought.

I wondered what made my schooling holy, or sacred. In what ways was it like a temple? Was it the religion classes taught on campus? Was it the service and dedication offered by many students and faculty to serve others? Were there blessings offered to me as I worked hard and made commitments? Perhaps it was the sacrifice that went into providing my education, and my own personal sacrifice to seek learning that made it consecrated? I believe there are more reasons than this. Looking at these paintings has helped me ponder what is special about BYU, but also simply what is sacred about my education.