Tuesday, August 27, 2013

BYU Education Week 2013

We had a great start to Education week on Monday.  Then this sweet man began passing kidney stones and sand, his own personal gravel pit.  This made him uncomfortable and miserable and nauseous and sick.  I felt so bad for him.

By Friday noon, he felt well enough to take me to the Skyroom on the 6th floor of the Wilkinson Center for lunch.  A couple of hours later I had to take him home as another stone had decided to make an exit.  By Saturday morning all was well again and I had the real and energized hubby back.

It did mean that our time on campus was curtailed.  I started going at noon and staying until early evening.  That worked best as neither of us was sleeping well at night and it was easier to get parking later in the day close by in case I needed to dash home and take care of him.

I am always so happy to be back on my home campus that I know and love so well.  Did you know that one of my jobs when a student was to give tours of the BYU Campus?  I had to smile when I saw little golf carts go by driven by a guide with first timers.  Wish I had had access to a cart.  Mine were walking tours but the campus has grown since my tour guide days.

It was on this campus that I first met the man of my life in his very first BYU class 39 years ago next week.  I came to a realization that this was whom I would marry in a study carrel in the basement of this library building.

We have walked this campus together many times, Glen and I.

The buildings may have expanded and other changes have occurred over those 39 years, but the feeling I've always felt of being at "home" when on this campus has not.

I feel so blessed that once a year I can still come here and learn and experience new things.

I took these pictures on Friday, a cloudy overcast day.  So uncharacteristic of Education Week as it is usually blue skies and lots of sunshine with temperatures in the 90's.  Friday was a gift.

I loved the Victorian Illustrated Book exhibit on the bottom floor of the library by the Special Collections Library.  It was so interesting to learn how illustrations were done as well as about the lives and styles of those artists working in the 19th century.  It was a joy for a retired elementary librarian like me who hawked picture books to students for years.

So now for a wrap up of interesting things that I now know after this year's Education Week.

From "The World of Spirits" by Richard G. Moore.  To help us understand what our scriptures say he gave the analogy of attending the opera as to how we will intermingle after death.  For those who love opera, attending is heaven; for those who attend under duress, it feels like prison; and for those who hate opera (such as the presenter) it is hell.

Carl Bloch is coming back to the BYU Museum of Art in November!  And he is bringing some new friends, Heinrich Hofmann and Franz Schwartz who also specialized in religious art during the 19th century.  The exhibit will be entitled "Sacred Gifts" and I was able to go to a two hour presentation of how this exhibit came about with lots of fun details and information.  There will be new alter pieces from churches as well as art work being loaned by the Frederiksborg Castle.  It opens on November 15, 2013 and ends on May 10, 2014.  More information here.

I loved the presentations given by authors of articles presented in BYU Studies.  I heard Ron Esplin speak about the formation of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles and their eventual position in the church.  He is considered the expert on Brigham Young and especially the preparations for the apostleship in Kirtland.

Steve Harper spoke about First Vision Accounts.  The Spring 1969 issue of BYU Studies first published accounts of the First Vision and can be found online at byustudies.byu.edu.  It is also possible to download past issues to your Kindle, etc.  Interestingly, Steve Harper was born after this issue was published. There are 4 or 5 written accounts of the First Vision, 5 if one counts the inclusion of the account included in the Wentworth Letter of 1842.  The other four are:

1832 -  Joseph Smith Letterbook (Summer - late Fall)
1835 -  Joseph Smith Journal (November 9 and mentioned in November 14)  Later reproduced in 1834-1836 History.
1838 - 1839 in the Pearl of Great Price

Jeffrey N. Walker, a lawyer from Salt Lake City and instructor at the BYU Law School, presented "Habeas Corpus in Early Nineteenth Century Mormonism:  Joseph Smith's Legal Bulwark for Personal Freedom."  He explained that early 19th Century law was very different from law now or even after 1848 when big changes occurred in the United States on how to practice law.  He explained about the use of habeas corpus which is a fundamental safeguard of the right of personal liberty.  He explained that Joseph never represented himself after doing so in the first case in 1826.  He was represented by some of the best lawyers in the United States who later went on to high courts or national positions.

Mr. Walker had just been on the phone with a Supreme Court justice from Illinois.  He explained why.  Illinois has something called the Illinois Project where the Supreme Court retries a famous case each year after which it becomes a Senior High School Civics project.  Former cases have been the trial of Mary Suratt for participating in the plot to kill President Lincoln and the appeal of Mary Todd Lincoln after being committed by her son to a mental institution.  This year they called Dallin Oaks requesting the opportunity to do the extradition hearings of Joseph Smith in Illinois by the state of Missouri.  Mr. Walker helped with the writing of the scripts and asked that they treat Joseph Smith with the respect due a great religious leader which has happened.  The recreation of this event will occur September 23 - 24, 2013 in Nauvoo.  Many scholars have been invited and Elder Dallin Oaks will be the evening speaker for all those in attendance.  Forget about going if you are just finding out about this, it is sold out!  Hopefully there will be published reports about this event.

Richard Bennett spoke about "The Rise of Temple Consciousness among the Latter-day Saints in the 19th Century."  His presentation began with Moroni's visits in 1823, included temples built and planned, the endowments houses, and the great work done and new vision of work for the dead in the first temple in the west, St. George in 1877.  It was soon followed by the Logan Temple in 1884, Manti Temple in 1888, and the Salt Lake Temple in 1893.

One of my favorite presenters is David LaFevre.  His presentations are well organized, full of great information, and given with the passion he has for the scriptures.  This year he presented the "Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible."  He gave a great history and background of this work as well as a presentation of his favorite scriptures and their changes.  I found most fascinating his presentation of several verses taken from the Four Gospels where he felt that the changes were more fully representative of the writers and their personalities.

The original manuscripts of Joseph Smith have now been digitalized and are available on DVD.  BYU now has those manuscripts of the Joseph Smith Translation because the Church of Christ or RLDS requested they preserve them as they have the a better ability to do so.  They have also given full publication rights to the LDS Church.  The new 2013 scriptures released on August 1, 2013 have many more of the JST verses than the previous version.

I also attended Jared Ludlow's presentations on the history of Jerusalem and World Religions.  He has recently returned from teaching at the Jerusalem Student Center and his presentation was fascinating and included very current photographs of the archaeological work being done in Jerusalem, especially along the Western Wall of the Temple Mount.

He covered Hinduism, Buddism, Christianity, and Islam in his World Religion series.  Christianity is the largest religion in the world, but the numbers include all Christians from Catholics to Protestants and Evangelicals.  There are over 2 billion Christians or 32% of the world population.  I found these presentations to be most interesting and helpful in understanding events in our current world.  An interesting note:  The number of Jews and Mormons in the world is about equal at 14,000,000 each.

So there you have it for 2013.  Keep in mind that the classes I attended are just a small number of those available and that around 25,000 people from around the world come to BYU Education Week.

Next up is the Sidney B. Sperry Symposium in October and it is free!  Find out more here.

Note:  Last photos are of the Joseph Fielding Smith Building.  I find it beautiful.  It was not around when I gave tours a long, long time ago.


Nancy Hicks said...

Love your blog!! Such a quilter you are. I love the family history posts!! The book suggestions too, I just mentioned this morning I needed a new good book to read, thanks so much!

Cire said...

Thanks for attending and reporting for us - I think it is cool how many of those topics I've read about over the last few years. I'll have to look for more info on the JST and insights to original apostle personalities!

Hope dad is doing better - I'll keep drinking water with lemon!