Accepted in the Heavens

Zina P. Young Williams Card

December 15, 1878

Christ Himself was directing and had a care over this school.

In 1875 an inspiration for founding Church schools was given to the prophet Brigham Young and found expression in establishing Brigham Young Academy of Provo. This story has been told, and all to the fact that in the endowment of the schools the document plainly states forth this fact, that a woman should always be on the board for Church schools. This was followed out in the Provo school, and when in the year that Brother Maeser was appointed to come here as principal, he asked President Young how he wanted this school taught, and the reply was that “every lesson must be taught by the spirit of the gospel or some such expression.” This left full sway for Brother Maeser’s matchless genius, wonderful inspiration, and boundless knowledge to establish a new system by which the school should be ­carried on.

We have heard it well told how the few who attended the first school taught here by him were impressed with the fact that he would carry out the instructions given by the prophet of God.

The early death of President Young left Brother Maeser and the board of trustees on this newly established system of education, whose every phase of activities should be in harmony with the principles of the gospel and in accord with the actual application to the accepted methods of education.

How the wonderful gifts that Brother Maeser possessed began to shine and permeate every phase of the school life. His wonderful humor and keen insight as to the needs of those who were attending the school began to be realized by his assistant teachers and General Authorities of the Church.

The school grew, and the old academy was filled to its capacity. President A. O. Smoot, who so nobly stood by the institution of learning, appealed to President Taylor for assistance. President Taylor ­visited the school, and the situation was fully explained to him of the needs and financial stress that the school was laboring under. However, this did not bring the desired results, for the assistance given was meager indeed compared with the necessities.

I went to Salt Lake with a special mission upon my mind. After earnest prayer I decided that something must be done. President Taylor sent for me when he found I was there and invited me to join with his family in the old Gardo House, where he then resided. After a pleasant hour with the family, he took me to his private library and said he had something of importance to tell me. While there, I felt impressed to relieve my mind upon the subject that had so distressed us all with regard to the finances of the school. Being the matron to the girls, I was well acquainted with [the school’s] troubles and the dark outlook of the future. I told President Taylor that I could not understand how it was that the Spirit of God had inspired my father to establish these Church schools for the benefit of the youth of Zion and the future of our people; why he [John Taylor], as the president of the Church, could not view it in the same light and had not given to the school the support that it seemed to me was an inspiration of the Lord, that Father had intended it should enjoy; and to me it was a mystery that he [John Taylor] did not feel the same inspiration. I could not understand it and had prayed most earnestly that the inspiration of the Lord would rest upon me to look favorably upon our needs.

He took my hand in a fatherly way and said, “My dear child, I have something of importance to tell you that I know will make you happy. I have been visited by your father. He came to me in the silence of the night clothed in brightness and, with a face beaming with love and confidence, told me many things of great importance and, among others, that the school being taught by Brother Maeser was accepted in the heavens and was a part of the great plan of life and salvation; that Church schools should be fostered for the good of Zion’s children; that we rejoice to see the awakening among the teachers and the children of our people, for they would need the support of this knowledge and testimony of the gospel, and there was a bright future in store for the preparing for the children of the covenant for future usefulness in the kingdom of God; and that Christ Himself was directing and had a care over this school.”

There were many things that he related besides this, but I do not feel at liberty to tell. But this I know and bear testimony, that on several occasions the manifestations have been given that Christ has visited the Church school that was then under the supervision of Brother Maeser.

Zina P. Young Williams Card, ladies matron of Brigham Young Academy, recorded these words in her personal papers: “Short Reminiscent Sketches of Karl G. Maeser,” unpublished typescript, undated.

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