Connecting Emotions in the Scriptures with Mental Health

“Jesus Wept: Emotions in the Scriptures” is the new exhibit in the Brigham Young University Education in Zion Gallery. Until mid-November 2018, viewers from all across campus have the opportunity to learn about emotions in the scriptures through interactive displays and thought-provoking visual aids.

The exhibit is the second in a series by the Education in Zion Gallery that examines connections between the scriptures and areas of academic interest. Emotions—positive, negative, and neutral—are highly connected to mental health, and therefore psychiatric nursing.

Nursing students interested in Mental Health and those taking Nursing 461 and Nursing 462 should be especially interested. The emotions featured in the scripture-based exhibit are the basic, universally recognized ones: happiness, anger, disgust, surprise, sadness, and fear. The exhibit includes graphs, charts, and other diagrams to help students visualize the emotions felt by deities and mortals in both the scriptures and modern-day life.

The display poses many rhetorical questions to help students better recognize their own emotions, which in turn helps them develop the critical skills to analyze other peoples’ emotions. The first thing you will see upon entering the exhibit is a mirror asking you to identify your emotions.

South Wall

The exhibit includes an explanation of why emotions like happiness, anger, and fear are important to humankind, providing many scriptural narratives that involve feelings as well as quotes from contemporary authors about those same feelings. Part of the exhibit features a spinning wheel, but instead of listing prizes to win, this wheel features solutions to emotions or unhealthy reactions to those emotions. Some of these solutions include, “Endure a little longer” and “Go to the temple.”

The display will help students to recognize that emotions are not always negative and all emotions come from God.

When they attend, nursing students specifically will expand their ability to study from scripture and begin to understand the divine origin of common adult and child psychiatric disorders. Knowing how to recognize these emotions, and understanding their divine origin, will also help nursing students develop communication skills suited for individuals suffering from mental health disorders. Being able to communicate, considerately and confidently, with those suffering from mental and emotional disorders is a specific aim of nursing courses relating to psychiatric nursing. Nursing students, from the exhibit, will learn to “Integrate the values of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as part of caring,” which is one of the Nursing Program’s outcomes.

Come, look in the mirror, spin the wheel, and enjoy this new exhibit! It is a unique opportunity to learn more about the emotions found within the scriptures and start to discover different truths related to psychiatric nursing.

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