We kept hearing about another BYU museum that we hadn’t visited called Education in Zion. This museum is located on campus in the Joseph F. Smith Building (JFSB) and it is a unique stop. The focus is on education both spiritually and intellectually at BYU. This museum looks into the idea of mindfulness and how to be a connected learner.
It is best to enter the Education in Zion exhibits from the east side of the building. We wandered around the building for a long time until we finally found where to enter. There is an information desk if you would like to ask any question. And the gallery is open Monday-Friday; not on the weekends. The hours fluctuate depending on the semester, so check current hours and upcoming events on their website.
Education in Zion’s first floor exhibits are meant to be walked in the shape of the infinity circle symbolic of learning through the eternities. So, no matter where you start, if you follow this pattern, you will enter the exhibits in the correct order. There are other symbols found in the architecture of the building such as light (learning) and wood (Jesus Christ was a carpenter). Make sure to read the sign about all of these symbols.
The first floor has permanent exhibits about how BYU became the university that it is. There are videos talking about values that BYU tries to instill in their students, as well as lots of information about the history of the university. We enjoyed the room where it talked about different BYU graduates and the impact they have had or are still having on the world. It was amazing to read their stories, especially people that we know personally or professionally.
The other side of the first floor is about spiritual learning in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This exhibit talks about the School of the Prophets, schools during the pioneer times, and then other universities that have begun like BYU. There is also information about the missionaries serving throughout the world and teaching the scriptures.
Upstairs there were temporary exhibits and these displays change often. One of the exhibits focused on being mindful in your every day life. There was also one about cleansing, purifying, and sanctification. Both of these exhibits were multidisciplinary, so they showed the beliefs and ideas of different religions and thought groups. It was interesting.
There is a grand spiral staircase in Education in Zion (read the symbolism about this on the sign). We walked down to the bottom of the staircase and enjoyed all of the art pieces down the in the basement area of the building. There are also two small cases with some historical pieces. They might be part of the building displays, and not the Education in Zion gallery, but you definitely want to walk on the stairs either way.
Education in Zion
Education in Zion at BYU had a few things that we really liked. First, we loved the artwork through the exhibits. We are fans of art, so we were happy to spend a few moments enjoying the different pieces. If you also love art, make sure to visit the BYU Art Museum, which is about a 5 minute walk from this building. The other thing that we enjoyed were the questions throughout the exhibits. Our boys loved taking a moment to ponder and then write an answer to the questions. I loved reading all of the answers and finding inspiration in them.
This exhibit is definitely for older kids. There wasn’t a lot for young kids, and it required a lot of reading to really appreciate the exhibits. Almost everything is no touching, so it might be tricky for younger children. But don’t worry! BYU has a lot of other great hands-on places to visit like the BYU Bean Museum or the BYU Museum of Paleontology.
Education in Zion is free to visit like all of the museums at BYU. It was a relaxing way to spend an hour and it raised some good discussion questions with our teens. The best place to park is in Visitor Parking near the BYU Museum of Art. Then walk across campus to the JFSB and enter through the east doors.