Bodies filled with light: Combining education with Spirit

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The Ballard Center exhibition opens Wednesday Nov. 5, 2014. The exhibit is a part of Education in Zion at BYU's Joseph Fielding Smith Building. (Elliott Smith)
The Ballard Center exhibition opens Wednesday Nov. 5, 2014. The exhibit is a part of Education in Zion at BYU’s Joseph Fielding Smith Building. (Elliott Smith)

The new Education in Zion exhibit, “Bodies Filled with Light,” will combine science and religion through art.

Jonathan Wisco, a professor of anatomy, worked with Education in Zion curator Heather Seferovich as a co-curator to create an exhibit that would connect anatomy to scripture.

“We want to show the intellectually enlarging and the spiritually strengthening and how those two interact in this subject,”¬†Seferovich said.

Museum curators and gallery educators searched the scriptures and found 9,123 references to body parts. There is a reference to the human body approximately every 4.6 verses, Seferovich said.

Wisco and Seferovich didn’t expect to find that many verses and questioned why the human body is brought up so frequently in the scriptures.

“Anatomy is applicable to everybody because we have a body,” Seferovich said.

The body is something everyone can relate to, which makes it easier to apply spiritual principles.

Wisco hopes that students from all majors can benefit from the exhibit and gain a deeper understanding of the beauty of the human body and their Heavenly Father and how the two interact.

The Ballard Center exhibition opens Wednesday Nov. 5. In the exhibit, leaders paired physical bodies to scripture. (Elliott Smith)
The Ballard Center exhibition opens Wednesday Nov. 5. In the exhibit, leaders paired physical bodies to scripture. (Elliott Smith)

“Our physicality is tightly related with our spirituality,” Wisco said.

It is important to Wisco that students realize no one has a perfect body. Each body is unique.

“It is in that imperfection that we can find our perfection,” Wisco said.

Increased curiosity and a desire to learn more are the main goals and aims of the exhibit’s curators.

FHE activities related to the exhibit will be held Oct. 27 and Nov. 10 to help students learn more about the exhibit. Emily Maxfield, the gallery educator in charge of FHE activities, found hymns that referenced the human body and will incorporate unique and interesting facts about the body to scriptures.

“It’s amazing to see that God had such a hand in making us part of who we are,” Maxfield said.

Original pen-and-ink sketches Wisco received as a gift from one of his colleagues will be the main features of the exhibit. Each drawing is paired with scriptures that relate to that body part.

“Bodies Filled with Light” will officially open Nov. 5 and will remain open until April 30, 2016.¬†

The exhibit will remain open longer than most exhibits because of a rotating exhibition within the exhibit. One wall of the exhibit will feature a different body system periodically throughout the time the exhibit is open.

“It will give students a reason to keep coming back to see the exhibit,” Seferovich said.

 

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