Nauvoo-themed family home evening celebrates Christmas

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The Education in Zion gallery's most popular event of the year, Christmas in Nauvoo, involves the stories of latter-day saints and prophets during the Christmas season in Nauvoo. (Photo courtesy of Joe Moxon.)
The Education in Zion gallery’s most popular event of the year, Christmas in Nauvoo, involves the stories of latter-day saints and prophets during the Christmas season in Nauvoo. (Photo courtesy of Joe Moxon.)

The BYU Education in Zion Gallery spreads Christmas cheer with an old-fashioned- style family home evening on Dec. 2 and Dec. 9.

The family home evening event is the most popular event the gallery hosts, with more than 200 guests, and explores what Christmas would be like to early Saints in Nauvoo. Storytelling and caroling create a spiritual atmosphere along with cookies and hot chocolate to help celebrate the Christmas season.

The storytelling is performed by workers from the Education in Zion gallery who dress up as old-time prophets and early members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The scripts were written after the writers studied real-life journals from prophets and citizens of Nauvoo.

“It’s just a really neat thing to hear the stories of these characters and what Christmas was like in Nauvoo,” said Alex Foyd, a student employee at the gallery. “It’s about feeling that spirit, and it’s a fun activity to get ready for Christmas.”

Characters include Ezra Snow and Wilford Woodruff, who will tell their Christmas stories at the base of the spiral staircase in the Joseph F. Smith building. Songs will also be sung in a circle around the spiral staircase.

“We get to see just how great a community Nauvoo was for the Saints, especially during the holidays,” said Eryn Lane, former gallery educator at the Education in Zion Gallery.

The Education in Zion Gallery is a learning center and permanent exhibit on BYU campus that offers a variety of media. The gallery was created to celebrate the rich culture and history behind the stories of the early Latter-day Saints.

“The gallery and permanent exhibition explore a tradition of learning that aims to educate the whole soul,” the gallery website said. “It documents the rich history and heritage of education in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from the revelations of the Prophet Joseph Smith to the current worldwide Church Educational System.”

Collections of photos, videos, gallery educators dressed as real-life characters and paintings create an atmosphere of learning and preserve the culture of early Latter-day Saints. The “Christmas in Nauvoo” family home evening offers a spiritual and historical experience.

The Education in Zion exhibit will celebrate Christmas in Nauvoo on Dec. 2 and Dec. 9. The event is free and open to the public, but groups that call and make reservations receive priority. Activities are from 7 to 8 p.m. and start over from 8 to 9 p.m. in the Joseph F. Smith building on BYU campus.

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