Meet Mormons at the new website
I wrote recently about the new and the inclusion of 1,000 profiles of Mormons. Each profile is a collection of stories and testimonies from Mormons. Profiles of members just like you and me. In my case it turns out that I do indeed have my profile for all to see in the “Meet Mormons” section. I looked through many of the profiles to see if I recognized anyone but they were all strangers to me.

My profile was not edited in any way and I was permitted to place a link to my blog and Facebook page with my profile.

The site is meant to introduce the Church to the world. Questions are answered, accurate information is given, and the opportunity is provided to learn more. The “Our People” page introduces its readers to Mormons who tell their own stories about how the Gospel of Jesus Christ has blessed their lives. “Our Values” highlights some of the cultural priorities of Mormons, such as strong families, service and good citizenship. Core doctrines that underpin Mormons beliefs are in the “Our Faith” section.

What do you think about having personal stories about your faith online? Do you have your profile on If so, post the link so we can read your story.


It turns out that there is one person I know on Meet Mormons: Marc Lee Meet Mormons section

Create a Profile on the new

New screenshots

New screenshots

The biggest change coming to is the profiles of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The site’s goal is to have 1,000 profiles of Mormons by the end of May 2010. Who’s profile? Your profile.

If you are a member of the Church it is easy to do. It just takes a little bit of thought to write your story in the different sections. Here’s what the new has to say:

Mormons come from diverse backgrounds and experiences who all share a deep commitment to Jesus Christ and to each other. The new is designed for visitors to learn more about members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Each profile is a collection of stories and testimonies from Mormons. Participation is optional, but you must be a member of the Church to create a profile. The profiles will be made public this summer when the new site will launch.

I decided to complete a profile. I signed in with my LDS account. I uploaded my photograph and entered links to my blog, Facebook, and Twitter sites. There are a number of sections to fill out. The About Me is simple, I basically said where I was born, that I emigrated and married and what my interests are.

Next was the section called How I live my faith. I wrote about since joining the Church I have improved my life and learned how to serve. In the Why I am a Mormon section I wrote four paragraphs on how I was converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The next two sections you have to pick at least one question to answer and one story to tell. You have a lot of choices from which to choose. When you do this I wouldn’t expect that someone as gifted and intelligent as yourself would have any difficulty. That said, I had a little trouble picking the question I wanted to answer but once I got started I found it easier than I had anticipated. The question I picked to answer was, “How can I know Mormonism is true?”

For my story I chose to write about “In what ways have your prayers been answered?” Perhaps here I should show you what I wrote so that you will have some idea of what is wanted. I’m sure you can improve on my efforts when you write your story.

In 1986 I was laid off from my employment in early December. I had bought a home two months before and my wife stayed home with our three children. In early January I was still out of work. I did not have much savings so getting a job was becoming critical. Our family was eating out of our food storage to help conserve money.
After reading the Book of Mormon in just a few days I knelt down and prayed to Heavenly Father. I told Him that it was time for me to go to work. I asked Him with as much concentrated faith as I could to please help me find employment by the end of the month. I rose from my knees with the most absolute surety that I have ever had that my prayer would be answered.
A few days later a friend who was laid off at the same time as I was called me and said there were jobs for engineers with a large local employer. I applied and interviewed for the last vacancy. Two days later I was hired with my start date set at February 2nd.
I was overjoyed that my prayer was answered but wondered why I was starting work in February. In my prayer I had asked Heavenly Father if I could have work by the end of January. I did not ponder this for long as I was happy to be able to go to work again.
Three days later the personnel department of my new employer called me and asked if I would be willing to start on a Friday rather than on Monday morning. They were having some layoffs on Monday and didn’t want new hires being processed in at the same time.
Looking at the calendar I realized that my new start date was January 30th.

There you go, that’s it. I saved my profile and eventually it was approved. Hopefully you will see it in all it’s glory on this summer. Now if I don’t see your profile out there I am going to be mighty disappointed.
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Ten Artists Paint Old Testament Women

The Old Testament is rich in the accounts of courageous, kind, and beautiful women. The same is true of the women of the New Testament. They shaped history with their influence, spirituality, and yes, their scheming. These ten artists have made the scriptures come alive and added an additional dimension to the Old Testament.


Jacob Encountering Rachel

Jacob Encountering Rachel with her Father's Herds, by Josef von Führich

The younger of the daughters of Laban, the dearly loved wife of Jacob, and mother of Joseph and Benjamin (Gen. 29 – 31; Gen. 33: 1-2, 7; Gen. 35: 16, 24-25; Gen. 46: 19, 22, 25); her grave (Gen. 35: 19-20; Gen. 48: 7; 1 Sam. 10: 2). Jeremiah, in a very beautiful passage, pictures Rachel as weeping in Ramah for her children, the descendants of Benjamin, Ramah being the place at which the exiles were assembled before their departure for Babylon (Jer. 31: 15). Matthew quotes the passage in his description of the mourning at Bethlehem (where Rachel’s grave was) after the murder of the children (Matt. 2: 18). — LDS Bible Dictionary

Josef von Führich

Deeply impressed as a boy by rustic pictures adorning the wayside chapels of his native country, his first attempt at composition was a sketch of the Nativity for the festival of Christmas in his father’s house. He lived to see the day when, becoming celebrated as a composer of scriptural episodes, his sacred subjects were transferred in numberless repetitions to the roadside churches of the Austrian state, where humble peasants thus learnt to admire modern art reviving the models of earlier ages. — Wikipedia

Image source: Web Gallery of Art


Rebekah At The Well

Rebekah At The Well, by Michael Deas

Daughter of Bethuel and sister of Laban; married to Isaac (Gen. 22: 23; Gen. 24); mother of Esau and Jacob (Gen. 25: 20-28); pretends to be Isaac’s sister (Gen. 26: 7, 8); angry with Esau (Gen. 26: 35), and helps to obtain the blessing for Jacob (Gen. 27; Gen. 28: 5; Gen. 29: 12); her grave (Gen. 49: 31); her nurse (Gen. 24: 59; Gen. 35: 8). — LDS Bible Dictionary

Michael Deas

No information.

Image source: Gospel Art — Old Testament


The Meeting of David and Abigail

The Meeting of David and Abigail, by Jacob Willemsz de Wet the Elder

Wife of Nabal (1 Sam. 25: 3); became David’s wife (1 Sam. 25: 42; 1 Sam. 27: 3; 1 Sam. 30: 5; 2 Sam. 2: 2); mother of Chileab (2 Sam. 3: 3), or Daniel (1 Chr. 3: 1). — LDS Bible Dictionary

Jacob Willemsz de Wet the Elder

Dutch, born Haarlem, circa 1610-1675. His works were largely influenced by Rembrandt. The Great Gallery of the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh was decorated with Jacob de Wet’s portraits of Scottish monarchs, from the legendary King Fergus to Charles II, produced to the order of King Charles. De Wet taught a number of painters, most famously Paulus Potter. Other pupils were Jan Vermeer van Haarlem the Elder and Job Adriaenszoon Berckheyde. — Wikipedia

Image source: Web Gallery of Art


Queen Esther

Queen Esther, by Minerva Teichert

The Book of Esther contains the history that led to the institution of the Jewish feast of Purim. The story belongs to the time of the Captivity. Ahasuerus, king of Persia (most probably Xerxes), had decided to divorce his queen Vashti because she refused to show her beauty to the people and the princes. Esther, adopted daughter of Mordecai the Jew, was chosen as her successor, on account of her beauty. Haman, chief man at the king’s court, hated Mordecai, and having cast lots to find a suitable day, obtained a decree to put all Jews to death. Esther, at great personal risk, revealed her own nationality and obtained a reversal of the decree. It was decided that two days of feasting should be annually observed in honor of this deliverance. They were called, because of the lot (Pur) that Haman had cast for the destruction of the Jews.

The book contains no direct reference to God, but he is everywhere taken for granted, as the book infers a providential destiny (Esth. 4: 13-16), and speaks of fasting for deliverance. There have been doubts at times as to whether it should be admitted to the canon of scripture. But the book has a religious value as containing a most striking illustration of God’s overruling providence in history, and as exhibiting a very high type of courage, loyalty, and patriotism. — LDS Bible Dictionary

Minerva Teichert

Teichert was born in Ogden, Utah and grew up on a ranch in Idaho as the second of nine children. She studied at the Art Institute of Chicago under John Vanderpoel, and then at the Art Students League of New York under Robert Henri.

She married Herman Teichert and raised five children on a ranch in Cokeville, Wyoming while painting the things she knew and loved best: Scenes from western Americana, and religious artwork expressing her deeply held convictions. She once explained “I must paint”, when asked about how she persisted in painting despite being in near-complete artistic isolation, without a dedicated studio or even much free time to create. Teichert was an independent, opinionated woman who stood up for women’s rights and was an outspoken political conservative. Teichert died in Provo, Utah in 1976. — Wikipedia

Fredrick Teichert writes:

She never received any money from the LDS Church to support her art studies. She supported herself by homesteading and teaching school, one of the reasons, it took her longer than she would have liked to develop her craft. Furthermore, the vast majority of paintings now owned by the church were not purchased, but donated to it by her or by members of her family. This is important because it helps those who appreciate her work understand the nature of her devotion to the gospel and her personal “mission.” All of her work was accomplished at great personal sacrifice, in fact she sold cream, butter and eggs raised on the family ranch, in order to be able to purchase art supplies. See Comments.

Also see: Jan Underwood Pinborough, “Minerva Kohlhepp Teichert: With a Bold Brush“, Ensign, Apr. 1989, 34

Image source: Gospel Art — Old Testament



Miriam, by Anselm Friedrich Feuerbach

Sister of Moses (Num. 26: 59); watches the ark of bulrushes (Ex. 2: 4-8); leads the women with tabrets (Ex. 15: 20-21); murmurs against Moses and is smitten with leprosy (Num. 12: 1-15; Deut. 24: 9); dies in Kadesh (Num. 20: 1; Micah 6: 4). — LDS Bible Dictionary

Anselm Friedrich Feuerbach

Anselm Feuerbach was the leading classicist painter of the German 19th-century school. He was the first to realize the danger arising from contempt of technique, that mastery of craftsmanship was needed to express even the loftiest ideas, and that an ill-drawn coloured cartoon can never be the supreme achievement in art.

After having passed through the art schools of Düsseldorf and Munich, he went to Antwerp and subsequently to Paris, where he benefited by the teaching of Couture, and produced his first masterpiece, Hafiz at the Fountain in 1852. He subsequently worked at Karlsruhe, Venice, Rome and Vienna where he associated with Johannes Brahms. He was steeped in classic knowledge, and his figure Compositions have the statuesque dignity and simplicity of Greek art. Disappointed with the reception given in Vienna to his design of The Fall of the Titans for the ceiling of the Museum of Modelling, he went to live in Venice, where he died in 1880. — Wikipedia

Image source: Web Gallery of Art


Leaving the Garden

Leaving the Garden, by Joseph Brickey

The name given in Gen. 2: 21-22; Gen. 3: 20 to the first woman; see also Gen. 3 (cf. 2 Cor. 11: 3; 1 Tim. 2: 13); Gen. 4: 1, 25. The name means “the mother of all living” (Moses 4: 26; cf. 1 Ne. 5: 11). She was the wife of Adam and will share eternal glory with him. Eve’s recognition of the necessity of the fall and the joys of redemption is recorded in Moses 5: 11. Latter-day revelation confirms the biblical account of Eve and gives us an awareness of her nobility. — LDS Bible Dictionary

Joseph Brickey

Writes Jenifer Swindle: Each artist is as unique as the art that he creates. And so is his studio. Joseph’s studio walls are covered with small, magazine cutouts of all his favorite pieces, some by classics like Valesquez and Rembrandt, others with contemporary paintings by fellow artists and friends. Joseph is built like a football player, has an easy smile and a calm disposition. He is artist through and through. During our interview, he told me, “This is what I think about all day long. This is all I want to do. Nothing can pull me away from this except my family. And that is the only thing more important.” — Meridian Magazine, “Art that Connects the Senses and the Spirit”

Image source: Ensign Magazine


Hannah presenting her son Samuel to the priest Eli

Hannah presenting her son Samuel to the priest Eli, by Gerbrand van den Eeckhout

Mother of Samuel, who was given to her in answer to prayer (1 Sam. 1: 2 – 2: 21). Her song of thanksgiving may be compared with that of Mary (Luke 1: 46-55). It contains the first reference to the title Messiah (“his Anointed”) (1 Sam. 2: 10). — LDS Bible Dictionary

Gerbrand van den Eeckhout

Arnold Houbraken records Van den Eeckhout was a pupil of Rembrandt. A fellow pupil to Ferdinand Bol, Nicolaes Maes and Govert Flinck, he was regarded as inferior to them in skill and experience. He soon assumed Rembrandt’s manner with such success that his pictures were confused with those of his master.

Eeckhout does not merely copy the subjects; he also takes the shapes, the figures, the Jewish dress and the pictorial effects of his master. It is difficult to form an exact judgment of Eeckhout’s qualities at the outset of his career. His earliest pieces are probably those in which he more faithfully reproduced Rembrandt’s peculiarities. Exclusively his is a tinge of green in shadows marring the harmony of the work, a gaudiness of jarring tints, uniform surface and a touch more quick than subtle. — Wikipedia

Image source: Wikipedia


Ruth in Boaz's Field

Ruth in Boaz's Field, by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld

The book of Ruth is the history of the family of Elimelech, who in the days of the Judges, because of a famine, went away from Bethlehem to dwell in the land of Moab. There his two sons married Moabite wives, and died, as did also their father. Naomi, the mother, returned to Bethlehem, and Ruth, one of her widowed daughters-in-law, came with her. Ruth, when gleaning in the field of Boaz, a kinsman of Elimelech, found favor with him. Naomi planned that Boaz should marry Ruth, and he was ready to do so, if a nearer kinsman, to whom the right belonged according to the law in Deut. 25: 5-10, declined. He did decline, and so Ruth became the wife of Boaz. Her son was Obed, the father of Jesse, the father of David. The book appears to be intended to connect the history of David with the earlier times, and also to form a contrast, in its peaceful and pastoral simplicity, to the disorders of which we read so continually in the Book of Judges. — LDS Bible Dictionary

Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld

Schnorr was a Lutheran, and took a broad and un-sectarian view which won for his Pictorial Bible ready currency throughout Christendom.

Frequently the compositions are crowded and confused, wanting in harmony of line and symmetry in the masses; thus they suffer under comparison with Raphael’s “Bible”. The style is severed from the simplicity and severity of early times, and surrendered to the florid redundance of the later Renaissance. Yet throughout are displayed fertility of invention, academic knowledge with facile execution.

The painter’s renown in Germany secured commissions in Great Britain. Schnorr made designs, carried out in the royal factory, Munich, for windows in Glasgow cathedral and in St Paul’s Cathedral, London. This Munich glass provoked controversy: medievalists objected to its want of lustre, and stigmatized the windows as coloured blinds and picture transparencies. But the opposing party claimed for these modern revivals the union of the severe and excellent drawing of early Florentine oil-paintings with the coloring and arrangement of the glass paintings of the latter half of the 16th century. — Wikipedia

Image source: The National Gallery


Abraham Casting Out Hagar and Ishmael

Abraham Casting Out Hagar and Ishmael, by Giovanni Francesco Barbieri

An Egyptian handmaid of Sarah and mother of Abraham’s son Ishmael (Gen. 16: 1-16; Gen. 21: 9-21; Gen. 25: 12). After the birth of Isaac, the “child of promise,” Hagar and her son were expelled. Paul uses the story as an allegory to show the difference between the two covenants, the one a covenant of bondage and the other one of freedom (Gal. 4: 24). — LDS Bible Dictionary

Giovanni Francesco Barbieri

By the age of 17 Giovanni was associated with Benedetto Gennari, a painter of the Bolognese School. By 1615 he moved to Bologna, where his work earned the praise of an elder Ludovico Carracci. He painted two large canvases, Elijah Fed by Ravens and Samson Seized by Philistines, in what appears to be a stark naturalist Caravaggesque style.

The Arcadian Shepherds was painted in 1618 contemporary with The Flaying of Marsyas by Apollo in Palazzo Pitti. His first style, he often claimed, was influenced by a canvas of Carracci in Cento. Some of his later pieces approach rather to the manner of his great contemporary Guido Reni, and are painted with more lightness and clearness. Guercino was esteemed very highly in his lifetime.

He was then recommended by Marchese Enzo Bentivoglio to the Bolognese Ludovisi Pope, Pope Gregory XV. His two years (1621-23) spent in Rome were very productive. From this stay date his frescoes of Aurora at the casino of the Villa Ludovisi and the ceiling in San Crisogono (1622) of San Chrysogonus in Glory; his portrait of Pope Gregory and, what is considered his masterpiece, The Burial of Saint Petronilla or St. Petronilla Altarpiece, for the Vatican. — Wikipedia

Image source: Art and the Bible



Treasure the Word, by Elspeth Young

During the renovation at Solomon’s Temple a book of the Law was discovered. King Josiah ordered Hilkiah, Ahikam, Acbor, Shaphan and Asaiah to speak with Huldah to authenticate the book, which she did. Huldah also prophesied that the inhabitants of Jerusalem would be punished because they had forsaken the Lord. Huldah also said that because King Josiah’s heart was tender, and he had humbled himself before the Lord, that the Lord would, “gather thee unto thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered into thy grave in peace; and thine eyes shall not see all the evil which I will bring upon this place.” — 2 Kings 22:14-20

Elspeth Young

Elspeth Young’s oil paintings express her lifelong fascination with capturing not only the human form, but the wonder of nature. Since graduating from Brigham Young University in 2003, she has worked fulltime as an artist, and while a diverse range of commissions has given her experience in various media, she now concentrates her painting primarily on religious art, in which her natural talent, exhaustive research, and craftsmanship are exemplary. — Al Young Studios

Image source: Al Young Studios

Further Reading

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Nativity Scene at Temple Square

Update: Temple Square is open 9am – 9pm daily. The lights can be viewed from Friday, Nov. 25, 2011 through Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012.

Manger at Temple Square during photowalk

Nativity scene at Temple Square during a photowalk

My brother Mike took part in the Holiday Light Clinic and Temple Square Photowalk last night. His photograph is of the largest of several nativity scenes that sits beneath a star directly east of the Salt Lake Temple.

Writes LDS Newsroom:

Closeup of manger at Temple Square photowalkIn an annual tradition to mark this most Christian of holidays, the switch was flipped the day after Thanksgiving on a glittering display of light and color on Temple Square and on the nearby plazas of the Church.

The largest Nativity scene, directly east of the Salt Lake Temple, is a display featuring lifelike figures of Joseph, Mary and the Christ child in a stable, with shepherds tending their flocks nearby and wise men following the star to Bethlehem.

Accompanying this Nativity scene is a soundtrack relating the biblical account of the holy night and songs by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir with brief remarks by Church President Gordon B. Hinckley, who speaks of Latter-day Saints’ love for Jesus Christ.

Mike said that 141 people took part in the light clinic and photowalk. See more of Mike’s Temple Square photoshoot.
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Jesus Christ Teaches About Money

This is my Easter Sunday talk I will give at church tomorrow. For a more traditional message watch the video.

Speaking In Church

I got a phone call from Brother Platt on April 1st asking me to speak in sacrament meeting. I thought it might be an April fool. When Brother Platt said that the bishopric needed a good speaker for Easter and they thought of me then I knew for sure it was an April fool.

On the 22 January 2009 President Obama signed an executive order that in part says, “…to be sure that our policies and practices comply with all obligations and are sufficient to ensure that individuals do not face torture and cruel treatment….” It appears that Brother Platt is not complying with this executive order — he’s still asking members to give talks.

My family enjoyed listening to all the sessions of General Conference. But half way through the last session on Sunday afternoon all of our family fell fast asleep. Two of Jake’s friends who were with us were most co-operative — they fell asleep also. We awoke to hear President Monson give a special message which we felt was just for us:

May we long remember that which we have heard during this conference. I remind you that the messages will be printed in next month’s Ensign and Liahona magazines. (Thomas S. Monson, “Until We Meet Again,” 179th Annual General Conference, April 2009)

The Life of Jesus Christ

I was requested to speak on the life of Jesus Christ. You all know a lot about His life. You know about the birth of Jesus; the friends of Jesus (John the Baptist and the twelve Disciples); the teachings of Jesus (the Sermon on the Mount and Parables); the miracles of Jesus (His power over nature, disease, and death); and the trials of Jesus (death, burial, and resurrection). In the time I have alloted I will concentrate mostly on the parables of Jesus and what he taught us about money. I will quote from our leaders and also I will add my own two shekels.

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