The Book of Mormon and Scalable Vector Graphics

Book of Mormon chart

A snapshot of a portion of the Book of Mormon Site

Your first question might be, “How are the Book of Mormon and Scalable Vector Graphics connected?” Or perhaps, “What is the Book of Mormon?” or, “What are Scalable Vector Graphics?” There are plenty of people who can tell you about the Book of Mormon, for example at or any of these people.

Scalable Vector Graphics

Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) represent graphic information in a compact portable form. Vector graphics contain commands to draw shapes at specified coordinates. This enables the graphics to be scaled without loss of image quality.

You can see this for yourself in a moment, provided you have the right browser. All major modern web browsers, support and render SVG markup directly with the exception of Microsoft Internet Explorer. However, Internet Explorer 9 beta supports the basic SVG feature set. Click on the link to get Internet Explorer 9 or get a real browser like Firefox or Chrome.

The Connection

About a year ago I wanted to show graphically on a web page how Book of Mormon characters were related. After trying various methods I settled last November on creating a large SVG graphic. I kept a few project notes. I obtained a domain called which could raise a few eyebrows at the Department of Homeland Security until one realizes that is just the home of the Book of Mormon Site.

To summarize, I used SVG because the web page size is small, only 151K bytes so far; the graphics can be scaled; and I could use free tools, like Inkscape to create the SVG.

The Site

Before you head on over to, remember when you get there to try scaling the graphic by holding down the Ctrl (Control) key and dialing your mouse wheel. You should notice that the quality of the graphic remains the same no matter how large you make it.

Who To Do

I still have to move the characters around so that they line up correctly with the timeline. Later I will maybe add non-family connections like who served with which commander, who fought each other, and who converted who.

Such a who to do.
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The Twelve Stones of The Apocalypse

The Apocalypse makes reference to twelve precious stones:

And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;
The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst. (Rev. 21:19-20)

Some have tried to identify each stone with a specific tribe of Israel. I have not done so here as I do not think there is enough evidence to make such a determination. Remember too that precious stones named in the Bible may or may not refer to gemstones of the same name today.

The twelve stones of Aaron’s breastplate referred to in Exodus 28:17-20 and Exodus 39:10-13 do not correspond exactly with the twelve stones of The Apocalypse. There are several differences, for example Onyx is replaced by Sardonyx and Ligure is replaced by Chrysoprasus.

The Hebrews obtained their precious stones from the Middle East, Egypt, and India. At the time of the Exodus the Israelites took with them many precious stones.

The people of Palestine could obtain stones from the merchant caravans travelling from Babylonia or Persia to Egypt and those from Sheba and Raamah to Tyre.

Below is a description of each precious stone referenced in the building of the wall of the New Jerusalem.

Click on the images to enlarge.


JasperJasper, meaning spotted or speckled stone, is an opaque, impure variety of silica, usually red, yellow, brown or green in color. It owes its red color to iron inclusions.

Jasper is known to have been a favorite gem in the ancient world. Legend says that Jasper would drive away evil spirits and protect against snake and spider bites. In the fourth century, it was thought to bring about the rain.

Jasper has a smooth surface, and is used for ornamentation or as a gemstone. It can be highly polished and is used for vases, seals, and at one time for snuff boxes.


SapphireSapphire, meaning blue stone, is a variety of the mineral corundum, an aluminium oxide. Although blue is their most well-known color, sapphires are made up of any color, except for red when they would be called rubies. Sapphires may also be colorless, and are also found in shades of gray and black.

Sapphires are commonly worn as jewelry and can be found naturally.

Sapphires were not known as a distinct stone and sapphiros referred to any blue gem in general before the time of the Roman Empire. They were considered to be forms of jacinth.


ChalcedonyChalcedony is composed of very fine intergrowths of the minerals quartz and moganite.

Chalcedony has a waxy luster, and may be semitransparent or translucent. It can assume a wide range of colors, but those most commonly seen are white to gray, grayish-blue or a shade of brown ranging from pale to nearly black.

The name chalcedony comes from Latin calcedonius, the word used to translate the Greek word khalkedon, found only once, in the Book of Revelation. It is doubtful that the precious stone referred to is the same as what is now understood by the name.


EmeraldEmerald is a variety of the mineral beryl colored green by trace amounts of chromium and sometimes vanadium. Most emeralds are highly included, so their toughness (resistance to breakage) is classified as generally poor.

Deep green is the most desired color in emeralds. The paler the color of the emerald, the lesser its value.

The word originally came from the Hebrew, meaning green. However, Bible references to emerald as a precious stone is probably a mistranslation.

Emeralds in antiquity were mined by the Egyptians.


SardonyxSardonyx is a variant of onyx in which the colored bands are usually flat-banded, white and brownish-red rather than black.

Use of sardonyx appears in the art of Minoan Crete from the archaeological recoveries at Knossos.

Roman soldiers wore sardonyx talismans engraved with heroes such as Hercules or Mars, believing that the stone would make the wearer as brave as the figure carved on it.

During the Renaissance, sardonyx was believed to bring eloquence upon the wearer and was greatly valued by orators.


CarnelianSardius is a stone of a blood-red or flesh color and is commonly known as carnelian or sard. It is the same as the sardine stone mentioned in Revelation 4:3.

Sard was used for Assyrian cylinder seals, Egyptian and Phoenician scarabs, and early Greek and Etruscan gems. The Hebrew odem, translated sardius, was a red stone, probably sard.

According to Pliny the Elder, sard derives its name from the city of Sardis in Lydia, but it more likely comes from the Persian word sered, meaning yellowish-red. Others say it is found in Sardinia, from whence it has its name.


ChrysoliteChrysolite is named peridot when of a deep olive-green, olivine when of a yel­lowish-green, and chrysolite when of a lighter or golden-yellow color. The name chrysolite means gold stone.

Chrysolite is frequently mentioned in the Bible and in ancient litera­ture; but was probably topaz. If this is true, the chrysolite of the ancients was found on the island of Topazios, in the Red Sea. Diodones Siculus says of the stone there that it was not discernible by day, but was bright at night.

The name chrysolite was also applied in former times to a number of other yellow gems, such as zircon and beryl, stones of a similar color being then usually classed together.


HeliodorBeryl is a beryllium aluminium cyclosilicate. Pure beryl is colorless, but it is frequently tinted by impurities; possible colors are green, blue, yellow, red, and white. In Greek beryl means a precious blue-green color-of-sea-water stone.

Beryl is mentioned in scripture such as when Daniel sees the Lord in vision and describes “His body also was like the beryl.

Beryl is much softer than diamond, ruby, or sapphire. Beryl is quite common, and the crystals in its cruder form often grow to enormous size. One such crystal is preserved in the Boston Museum of Natural History, which is three and one half feet long and three feet wide and weighs several tons.


TopazPure topaz is colorless and transparent but is usually tinted by impurities; typical topaz is wine, yellow, pale gray, reddish-orange, or blue brown. It can also be made white, pale green, blue, gold, pink (rare), reddish-yellow or opaque to transparent.

On account of its hardness, it takes a good polish and shows a brilliant luster which is often seen on the crystal faces.

Amongst the ancients, like the ruby, the topaz was also supposed to be gifted with marvellous medical properties, and also believed to be capable of giving light in the dark. When powdered and taken in wine, it was considered a cure for asthma, sleeplessness and many other diseases.


ChrysoprasusChysoprasus is a gemstone variety of chalcedony that contains small quantities of nickel. Its color is normally apple-green, but varies to deep green.

The word Chrysoprasus appears only once in the Bible, in Revelation 21:20. This is perhaps the agate of Exodus 28:19.

Chrysoprasus was used by the Greeks, Romans, and the Egyptians in jewelry and other ornamental objects and because of its semi-opaque green color, it is often mistaken for Imperial jadeite.

Chrysoprase is prized for its color and rarity and is said to be the favorite gemstone of Alexander the Great.


JacinthJacinth, from the Greek word hyacinth, is a red transparent variety of zircon.

Jacinth, like a lot of other zircon, has been used since biblical times. It has also shown up as an ornamental stone in the weaponry and armor of other cultures.

Jacinth is better suited to items like pendants, necklaces, brooches, and earrings than it is to bracelets.

Many ancient cultures believed jacinth would protect them from personal danger. It was also believed to protect property from theft. Some thought that is could ward off the evil of witchcraft. Many believed that it would dull in color if the wearer was sick.


Amethyst is a violet variety of quartz often used in jewelry. The name comes from the Greek meaning not intoxicated. The ancient Greeks and Romans wore amethyst and made drinking vessels of it in the belief that it would prevent drunkenness.

Amethyst was used as a gemstone by the ancient Egyptians and was largely employed in antiquity as engraved gems.

Up to the 18th century, amethyst was included in the most valuable gemstones along with diamond, sapphire, ruby, and emerald. However since the discovery of extensive deposits in locations such as Brazil, it has lost most of its value.


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James Tissot Paints The Birth Of Christ

James Tissot created a series of 350 watercolors of incidents in the life of Christ. Here I use some of his paintings to illustrate the birth of Christ, along with scriptures from Matthew and Luke.

The Betrothal of the Holy Virgin and Saint Joseph

The Betrothal of the Holy Virgin and Saint Joseph

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. (Matthew 1:18)

The Annunciation

The Annunciation

And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. (Luke 1:30-31)

The Visitation

The Visitation

And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda;
And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth.
And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:
And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. (Luke 1:39-42)

The Magnificat

The Magnificat

And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. (Luke 1:46-48)

The Anxiety of Saint Joseph

The Anxiety of Saint Joseph

Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. (Matthew 1:19)

The Vision of Saint Joseph

The Vision of Saint Joseph

But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. (Matthew 1:20)

Saint Joseph Seeks a Lodging in Bethlehem

Saint Joseph Seeks a Lodging in Bethlehem

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judæa, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. (Luke 2:4-5)

The Birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ

The Birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. (Luke 2:6-7)

The Angel and the Shepherds

The Angel and the Shepherds

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. (Luke 2:8-12)

The Adoration of the Shepherds

The Adoration of the Shepherds

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. (Luke 2:15-16)

The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple

The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple

And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord;
(As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;)
And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons. (Luke 2:22-24)

The Aged Simeon

The Aged Simeon

And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.
And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.
And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,
Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,
Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:
For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;
A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. (Luke 2:25-32)

Saint Anne

Saint Anne

And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;
And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.
And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem. (Luke 2:36-38)

The Magi Journeying

The Magi Journeying

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judæa in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. (Matthew 2:1-2)

The Magi in the House of Herod

The Magi in the House of Herod

When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.
And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judæa: for thus it is written by the prophet,
And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.
Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.
And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. (Matthew 2:3-8)

The Adoration of the Magi

The Adoration of the Magi

When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.
When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way. (Matthew 2:9-12)


Photographs of the paintings courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum.
Order of the events adapted from Harmony of the Four Gospels.
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Participating in God’s Great Latter-day Work

Jeremiah lamenting the destruction of Jerusalem

Jeremiah lamenting the destruction of Jerusalem

This Sunday I am substituting for one of the regular instructors in Gospel Doctrine class. Lesson 42 involves chapters 16, 23, 29, and 31 of Jeremiah. The purpose of the lesson is to encourage class members to participate in God’s great latter-day work and to have his law written in their hearts.

In my weekly email to Daniel I asked him to write a few sentences about participating in God’s great latter-day work as a missionary. I would then read his reply to the class. Here is his response:

Participating in God’s great latter-day work as a missionary has increased my understanding of how much God truly loves His children.

Every day we go out on our bikes in all types of weather to try and share a message about Jesus Christ and the opportunity we have to repent each day. As I know personally the message I share is true, it would make sense that millions would gladly accept the message and feel of the peace I have. Although we are rejected and occasionally made fun of, I have a desire to press forward. Why is that? Because I am a part of something beyond myself. This is God’s work and He uses me as an instrument.

Perhaps I will never see the extent of all my efforts, but the ones I have seen have brought a great joy to me that it will always have a special place in my heart. God truly wants us to be happy, but He won’t force us to be. It is important for me to be the best missionary I can so God can work miracles through me. The work is real and very rewarding.

The fishers and hunters described in Jeremiah 16:16 are missionaries of the Church such as Daniel. As Daniel’s mission draws to a close in December, I am grateful that he chose to serve a full-time mission.
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Seven Artists Paint New Testament Women

The New Testament is rich in the accounts of courageous, humble, beautiful women. The same is true of the women of the Old Testament. These women shaped history with their influence, faith, and … mistakes. Of the seven women pictured here, five of them we do not know their names. We are left to associate them only with their race, deeds, or condition.

The artists I have featured have made the scriptures come alive and added an additional dimension to the New Testament.


Mary holding child

She Shall Bring Forth a Son, by Liz Lemon Swindle

In the New Testament, a virgin chosen by God the Father to be the mother of His Son in the flesh. After Jesus’ birth, Mary had other children (Mark 6:3).

She was betrothed to Joseph, Matt. 1:18 (Luke 1:27). Joseph was told not to divorce Mary or release her from the betrothal, Matt. 1:18-25.

The angel Gabriel visited her, Luke 1: 26-38. She visited Elisabeth, her cousin, Luke 1:36, 40-45. Mary gave a psalm of praise to the Lord, Luke 1:46-55.

Mary went to Bethlehem with Joseph, Luke 2:4-5. Mary gave birth to Jesus and laid him in a manger, Luke 2:7. The shepherds went to Bethlehem to visit the Christ child, Luke 2:16-20. The wise men visited Mary, Matt. 2:11. Mary and Joseph fled with the child Jesus to Egypt, Matt. 2:13-14. After Herod’s death, the family returned to Nazareth, Matt. 2:19-23.

Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the temple in Jerusalem, Luke 2: 21-38. Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the Passover, Luke 2:41-52. Mary was at the wedding at Cana, John 2:2-5.

The Savior, while on the cross, asked John to care for his mother, John 19:25-27. Mary was with the Apostles after Christ was taken up into heaven, Acts 1:14. — Guide to the Scriptures

Liz Lemon Swindle

Liz Lemon Swindle began her painting career in first grade. Her first exhibitions were on the refrigerator, encouraged by her father. In the early 1980s she tutored under renowned wildlife artist, Nancy Glazier. In 1992, Liz began painting a subject matter she had long desired to approach: her faith. Her paintings are now held in corporate and private collections around the world and have been published in countless magazines and books. Liz and her husband Jon have five children and thirteen grandchildren.

Of her painting of Mary, Liz wrote:

How great is God’s plan that allows mere mortals to bring His children into the world, care for them, and help them make their way back to Him. How amazing that he trusts us when so much is at stake. How much more amazing and harder to comprehend is the experience of Mary, the mother of Jesus. We worry about our own responsibilities as parents. How much more was at stake to be a parent to the Son of God.

Image source: Repartee Gallery



She Worketh Willingly With Her Hands, by Elspeth Young

The Acts of the Apostles describes Lydia as follows:

And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.
And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us. (Acts 16:14-15)

The name Lydia, meaning “the Lydian woman”, by which she was known indicates that she was from Lydia in Asia Minor. She was evidently a well-to-do agent of a purple-dye firm of Thyatira, a city southeast of Pergamum and approximately 40 miles inland, across the Aegean Sea from Athens.

As Paul preached, the Lord opened the heart of Lydia to receive the message about Jesus. She believed his words and responded to the teaching. She and the members of her household were baptized. Lydia insisted on giving hospitality to Paul and his companions in Philippi. They stayed with her until their departure, through Amphipolis and Apollonia, to Thessalonica.

We don’t know if Lydia was married, or single, or a widow.

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

Samaritan Woman

Samaritan Woman

Living Water, by Simon Dewey

The long account about Jesus and the Samaritan Woman at the Well is found in John 4:1-42 and is highly significant for understanding Jesus in several relationships: Samaritans, women, and sinners. By talking openly with this woman Jesus crossed a number of barriers which normally would have separated a Jewish teacher from such a person as this woman of Samaria. Jesus did three things that were highly unconventional and astonishing for his cultural-religious situation:

  • He as a man discussed theology openly with a woman.
  • He as a Jew asked to drink from the ritually unclean bucket of a Samaritan.
  • He did not avoid her, even though he knew her marital record of having had five former husbands and now living with a man who was not her husband.

The disciples showed their astonishment upon their return to the well: “They were marveling that he was talking with a woman” (John 4:27). A man in the Jewish world did not normally talk with a woman in public, not even with his own wife. For a rabbi to discuss theology with a woman was even more unconventional.

Jesus did not defer to a woman simply because she was a woman. He did not hesitate to ask of the woman that she let him drink from her vessel, but he also did not hesitate to offer her a drink of another kind from a Jewish “bucket” as he said to her, “Salvation is of the Jews” (John 4:22). Salvation was coming to the Samaritan woman from the Jews, and culturally there was great enmity between the Jews and the Samaritans (considered a half-breed race by the Jews). Although she was a Samaritan, she needed to be able to drink from a Jewish “vessel” (of salvation) and Jesus no more sanctioned Samaritan prejudice against Jew than Jewish prejudice against Samaritan.

The key to Jesus’ stance is found in his perceiving persons as persons. He saw the stranger at the well as someone who first and foremost was a person—not primarily a Samaritan, a woman, or a sinner. This evangelized woman became an evangelist. She introduced her community to “a man” whom they came to acclaim as “the Savior of the world” (John 4:42).

Jesus liberated this woman and awakened her to a new life in which not only did she receive but also gave. The Bible says she brought “many Samaritans” to faith in Christ (John 4:39). — Wikipedia

Simon Dewey

“My earliest memory of drawing was at the age of five — my father gave me an old roll of wallpaper and a pencil and told me to fill the entire thing with sketches. I went about my assignment with unwavering commitment, covering the complete roll with a continuous procession of every conceivable image that might enter into the world a five year-old boy.”

As the boy Simon would watch his father’s meticulous brush strokes amidst the aroma of oil paints and the clutter of brushes, stretched canvases, and works in progress, something inside of him spoke of his own future. It was Joe’s passion for his pastime that fostered within Simon the joy of creation for creation’s sake, a true love of art, and an appreciation of the beauty of human form. It was those early values that eventually guided Simon to follow in his father’s footsteps as a portrait painter.

Simon decided to develop his talents with more of a hands-on approach and took a job as a corporate visual-aids illustrator spending his spare time studying the work of his heroes Norman Rockwell, Harry Anderson and Tom Lovell. While working in the heart of the City of London directly opposite the splendid St. Paul’s cathedral Simon honed his artistic skills and quickly became recognized for his exceptional illustration abilities. This led to a position as the sole illustrator in a small design firm where Simon learned to produce detailed paintings under tight deadlines.

In his spare time Simon pursued his real passion of creating family and religious art. As he was inspired, Simon painted renditions of his favorite passages of scripture or images of his own children. Receiving so many requests for copies of these images, he entered the world of published fine art. Simon has become known for his sensitivity towards his subjects which is exquisitely revealed in his detailed and delicate portraits capturing moments in time from the tender to the magnificent. Many marvel at the masterful way Simon portrays the love and compassion in the face of the Savior Jesus Christ, or the devotion in the eyes of a believer. Those close to Simon understand this ability is founded in his own firm and abiding faith. — Altius Fine Art

Image source: Altus Fine Art

Woman Taken In Adultery

The Woman Taken In Adultery

The Woman Taken In Adultery, by Rembrandt

The scribes and Pharisees brought before Jesus a woman taken in adultery so that they might entrap Him.

But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.
So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?
She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. (John 8:6–11).

The great Atonement was the supreme act of forgiveness. The magnitude of that Atonement is beyond our ability to completely understand. I know only that it happened, and that it was for me and for you. The suffering was so great, the agony so intense, that none of us can comprehend it when the Savior offered Himself as a ransom for the sins of all mankind.

It is through Him that we gain forgiveness. It is through Him that there comes the certain promise that all mankind will be granted the blessings of salvation, with resurrection from the dead. It is through Him and His great overarching sacrifice that we are offered the opportunity through obedience of exaltation and eternal life.

May God help us to be a little kinder, showing forth greater forbearance, to be more forgiving, more willing to walk the second mile, to reach down and lift up those who may have sinned but have brought forth the fruits of repentance, to lay aside old grudges and nurture them no more. — Gordon B. Hinckley, “Forgiveness,” Ensign, Nov 2005, 81


Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn was a Dutch painter and etcher. He is generally considered one of the greatest painters and printmakers in European art history and the most important in Dutch history. His contributions to art came in a period that historians call the Dutch Golden Age.

Having achieved youthful success as a portrait painter, his later years were marked by personal tragedy and financial hardships. Yet his etchings and paintings were popular throughout his lifetime, his reputation as an artist remained high, and for twenty years he taught nearly every important Dutch painter. Rembrandt’s greatest creative triumphs are exemplified especially in his portraits of his contemporaries, self-portraits and illustrations of scenes from the Bible. His self-portraits form a unique and intimate biography, in which the artist surveyed himself without vanity and with the utmost sincerity.

In both painting and printmaking he exhibited a complete knowledge of classical iconography, which he molded to fit the requirements of his own experience; thus, the depiction of a biblical scene was informed by Rembrandt’s knowledge of the specific text, his assimilation of classical composition, and his observations of Amsterdam’s Jewish population. Because of his empathy for the human condition, he has been called “one of the great prophets of civilization.” — Wikipedia

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Widow’s Mite

The Widow's Mite

The Widow's Mite, by James Christensen

One of the most humbling and powerful stories from the life of the Savior is that of the widow’s mite. Jesus’ words on this occasion leave us with much to ponder as we measure our generosity against that of a “certain poor widow.”

While Jesus sat teaching in the outer court of the temple, He noticed a lone, destitute woman as she approached one of the 13 trumpet-shaped receptacles provided for the voluntary deposit of contributions by worshipers. It was Passover time, and the temple court was crowded with people from all walks of life. Just ahead of her had been several rich people who had thrown large amounts of money into the basins. As the woman approached, Jesus discerned the hearts of those in the line and called to His disciples.

He pointed to the woman and said, “This poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury” (Mark 12:43). But she had only given two mites, the smallest coins then in circulation in Palestine! Jesus then explained the mystery: “For all the rich did cast in of their abundance; but she, notwithstanding her want did cast in all that she had, yea, even all her living” (Joseph Smith Translation, Mark 12:44).

It is not the amount of money that we donate to the Church or others that matters to the Lord. Rather it is whether we give of our abundance or of our living. We should give until it is a sacrifice to give.

To the individuals and families of the Church who struggle with finding enough money to pay their obligations, I say: Take care of your financial duties to God, nation, and others first. This may mean that you will have to postpone the acquisition of some of the comforts and conveniences of life you greatly desire. Casting in all that you have will mean that you must “seek … first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matt. 6:33).

To those who have in abundance, even more than you need, I say: Find happiness in the relationships and service you share with God, family, and others. Resist the feeling of constantly needing things just to entertain yourself and occupy your time. We have the scriptures and books of all kinds available. Conversation and service are a better use of time than watching television. Casting in all that you have will be so much more rewarding than the alternative of personal gratification. — William R. Bradford, “Words of Jesus: Riches,” Ensign, Feb 2003, 52

James Christensen

Brother Christensen is a professor of art at Brigham Young University and enjoys a national reputation as a fantasy artist. His work has appeared in Time/Life Books’ series The Enchanted World, as well as on many book covers and in magazines. He has served as president of the National Academy of Fantastic Art. His paintings are exhibited in galleries throughout the United States.

Have any books influenced your development as a painter?

Many have. When I first read the Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis I said, “This person has imagination, whimsy, delight, wonder, exploration, and yet there’s the Savior right at the center of the book. There are metaphors for selfishness, for selflessness, for sacrifice and atonement. There is the gospel put in a nongospel context. And he’s not writing just for a religious audience. He’s accepted out there in the real world.” I found the same thing with J. R. R. Tolkien. This happened while I was in college. The fact that their fantasy was considered as a viable kind of expression gave me the courage to say, “Why don’t I try to do the same sort of thing visually and see what happens?”

Another great influence is the Book of Mormon. I know that it is real and true, but it is also a great epic adventure. There are ancestral swords and directional devices that work and don’t work according to our feelings and attitudes. There are natural disasters and divine interventions and quests and wars and miracles.

You have done several fine religious paintings outside the fantasy genre. Why don’t you do more of that?

The best of my overtly religious painting may be the best things that I paint, but they’re very hard for me to paint because I don’t want to simply illustrate. I have no interest in doing things that are sentimental and one-dimensional. I want my paintings to have layers of meaning within them.

The other reason it’s difficult is that I have very tender feelings on the subject of religion. I have very deep feelings about the gospel and the Savior. What if I put those feelings on canvas and my ability doesn’t reach the level of my belief? Or what if it’s not read correctly by people? What if they say, “That’s not a very good painting?” They’re saying I don’t have a very good belief. It’s too personal to put on the block. It would be like bearing your testimony to somebody and having them say, “So?” — “Windows on Wonder: An Interview with James C. Christensen,” New Era, Aug 1989, 44

Image source: Repartee Gallery

Woman With An Issue Of Blood

Woman with an issue of blood

I Shall Be Whole, by Al Young

In the October 2006 General Conference, Anne C. Pingree said:

I love the symbolism of women reaching out to touch the Savior. We long to be close to the Lord, for we know that He loves each of us and desires to encircle us “eternally in the arms of his love.” His touch can heal ailments spiritual, emotional, or physical. He is our Advocate, Exemplar, Good Shepherd, and Redeemer. Where else would we look, where else would we reach, where else would we come but to Jesus Christ, “the author and finisher of our faith”?

He pronounced: “Yea, verily … , if ye will come unto me ye shall have eternal life. Behold, mine arm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him will I receive.” His promise invites us not only to reach towards Him but also to take the all-important next step: to come unto Him.

This is such a motivating, cheering doctrine. The Messiah extends His arm of mercy to us, always eager to receive us—if we choose to come to Him. When we do come to the Savior with “full purpose of heart,” we will feel His loving touch in the most personal ways.

A “certain woman” made that choice and felt His touch.

And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any,
Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched.
And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?
And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.
And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately.
And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace. (Luke 8:43-48)

I have asked myself what might have happened if this woman with the issue of blood had not believed in the Savior enough to make whatever effort was necessary to touch the border of His robe. In that throng I imagine getting even that close to Him took some doing. Yet, “nothing wavering,” she persisted.

Al Young

In 1997, Al and Nancy Young founded Al Young Studios for their work in fine art and publishing. Over the years, as their children chose to participate in the work of the Studios, the enterprise has grown to include a broad range of media and publications. Original artworks include oil paintings, print making, stained glass, pen and ink, and water color. Publications include The Storybook Home Journal, Inspired music albums, My Father’s Captivity (historical), The Wainscott Collection (historical fiction), and numerous articles pertaining primarily to home and family life.

Image source: Al Young Studios

Jairus’s Daughter

Jesus Raising The Daughter Of Jairus

Jesus Blessing Jairus's Daughter, by Greg Olsen

There was an incident in the life of the Savior that was mentioned by Matthew, Mark, and Luke. A significant part of the story is told by Mark in only two short verses and five words of the following verse. Let me read them to you.

And, behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and when he saw him [that is, when he saw Jesus], he fell at his feet,
And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live.
And Jesus went with him. (Mark 5:22–24)

The reading time of that portion of the story is about thirty seconds. It is short and uncomplicated. The visual picture is clear and even a child could repeat it without difficulty. But as we spend time in thought and contemplation, a great depth of understanding and meaning comes to us. We conclude that this is more than a simple story about a little girl who was sick and Jesus went to lay his hands on her. Let me read these words to you again:

“And, behold.” The word behold is used frequently in scripture with a wide variety of meanings. Its use in this instance designates suddenness or unexpectedness. Jesus and those who were with him had just recrossed the Sea of Galilee, and a multitude of people who had been waiting met him on the shore near Capernaum. “And, behold [suddenly and unexpectedly], there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue.” The larger synagogues of that day were presided over by a college of elders under the direction of a chief or a ruler. This was a man of rank and prestige whom the Jews looked upon with great respect.

Matthew doesn’t give the name of this chief elder, but Mark identifies him by adding to his title the words, “Jairus by name.” Nowhere else in the scriptures does this man or his name appear except on this occasion, yet his memory lives in history because of a brief contact with Jesus. Many, many lives have become memorable that otherwise would have been lost in obscurity had it not been for the touch of the Master’s hand that made a significant change of thought and action and a new and better life.

“And when he saw him [that is, when Jairus saw Jesus], he fell at his feet.”

This was an unusual circumstance for a man of rank and prestige, a ruler of the synagogue, to kneel at Jesus’ feet—at the feet of one considered to be an itinerant teacher with the gift of healing. Many others of learning and prestige saw Jesus also but ignored him. Their minds were closed. Today is no different; obstacles stand in the way of many to accept him.

“And [Jairus] besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death.” This is typical of what happens frequently when a man comes to Christ, not so much for his own need, but because of the desperate need of a loved one. The tremor we hear in Jairus’s voice as he speaks of “My little daughter” stirs our souls with sympathy as we think of this man of high position in the synagogue on his knees before the Savior.

Then comes a great acknowledgement of faith: “I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live.” These are not only the words of faith of a father torn with grief but are also a reminder to us that whatever Jesus lays his hands upon lives. If Jesus lays his hands upon a marriage, it lives. If he is allowed to lay his hands on the family, it lives.

The words, “and Jesus went with him” follow. We would not suppose that this event had been within the plans for the day. The Master had come back across the sea where the multitude was waiting on the shore for him to teach them. “And behold”—suddenly and unexpectedly—he was interrupted by the plea of a father. He could have ignored the request because many others were waiting. He could have said to Jairus that he would come to see his daughter tomorrow, but “Jesus went with him.” If we follow in the footsteps of the Master, would we ever be too busy to ignore the needs of our fellowmen?

It is not necessary to read the remainder of the story. When they got to the home of the ruler of the synagogue, Jesus took the little girl by the hand and raised her from the dead. In like manner, he will lift and raise every man to a new and better life who will permit the Savior to take him by the hand. — Howard W. Hunter, “Reading the Scriptures,” Ensign, Nov 1979, 64

Greg Olsen

Greg was blessed with very supportive parents who always encouraged him and provided opportunities for him to pursue his passion of art. Greg remembers a time as a teenager when he had been hired to paint a large sign for a local grocery store. It was wintertime and too cold to paint in the garage so his parents let him set up a workshop in his bedroom. He promptly spilled two quarts of black and orange enamel paint all over his bedroom carpet. Amazingly, his parents still encouraged him in his artistic endeavors.

From an early age I have always been fascinated by paintings that create mood, emotion and atmosphere; especially those paintings that lift me and transport me to some far off place. These are the elements I strive to create in my paintings. My paintings in many ways record what is most important to me: my feelings and experiences with family and friends along with the spiritual aspects of my life. My hope is that in these images you will find something familiar, something which will resonate and remind you of what is important in your own life. — Greg Olsen

By the time Greg reached Jr. high School he began to take it quite seriously, and when he entered Bonneville High School he was fortunate to have an extremely good art teacher, who perhaps, contributed more to Greg’s art education and desire to make it his life’s work than any other person. — Greg Olsen Art

Image source: Gospel Art Book

Further Reading

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The Scriptures on Religion

If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. (James 1:26-27)

The Scriptures

And again, the Lord has said that: Ye shall defend your families even unto bloodshed. Therefore for this cause were the Nephites contending with the Lamanites, to defend themselves, and their families, and their lands, their country, and their rights, and their religion. (Alma 43:47)

We believe that religion is instituted of God; and that men are amenable to him, and to him only, for the exercise of it, unless their religious opinions prompt them to infringe upon the rights and liberties of others; but we do not believe that human law has a right to interfere in prescribing rules of worship to bind the consciences of men, nor dictate forms for public or private devotion; that the civil magistrate should restrain crime, but never control conscience; should punish guilt, but never suppress the freedom of the soul. (Doctrine and Covenants 134:4)

Some time in the second year after our removal to Manchester, there was in the place where we lived an unusual excitement on the subject of religion. It commenced with the Methodists, but soon became general among all the sects in that region of country. Indeed, the whole district of country seemed affected by it, and great multitudes united themselves to the different religious parties, which created no small stir and division amongst the people, some crying, “Lo, here!” and others, “Lo, there!” Some were contending for the Methodist faith, some for the Presbyterian, and some for the Baptist. (Joseph Smith — History 1:5)

Behold, we have not come out to battle against you that we might shed your blood for power; neither do we desire to bring any one to the yoke of bondage. But this is the very cause for which ye have come against us; yea, and ye are angry with us because of our religion.

But now, ye behold that the Lord is with us; and ye behold that he has delivered you into our hands. And now I would that ye should understand that this is done unto us because of our religion and our faith in Christ. And now ye see that ye cannot destroy this our faith.

Now ye see that this is the true faith of God; yea, ye see that God will support, and keep, and preserve us, so long as we are faithful unto him, and unto our faith, and our religion; and never will the Lord suffer that we shall be destroyed except we should fall into transgression and deny our faith. (Alma 44:2-4)

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Paul on Homosexuality

The Apostle Paul preaching

Today the court struck down Proposition 8, literally accusing the majority of California voters of discriminatory intent when casting their votes. The role of the courts is to interpret and apply the law only as enacted by the people and their elected representatives, not to impose new social policies. (Source: Andy Pugno, general counsel for

I suspect that many of the voters of California were using the far more reliable Holy Bible as their guide when deciding how to vote, perhaps reviewing what the Apostle Paul wrote about homosexuality:

For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. (Romans 1:26-27)

In the following scripture “abusers of themselves with mankind” refers to the homosexual act and “effeminate” refers to Catamites, adolescent boys in a sexual relationship with an adult male.

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)

Obviously “them that defile themselves with mankind” refers to homosexuality:

Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,
For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; (1 Timothy 1:9-10)

More Comment: Deseret News editorial: A bad same-sex ruling
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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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And The Moon Into Blood

The Prophecy of JoelClick on the image to sharpen the text.

In the October 2001 General Conference President Hinckley said: “The vision of Joel has been fulfilled wherein he declared…” Then he quoted Joel 2:28-32. I’ve looked upon the scripture to mean that certain events will happen before the Lord’s second coming. We can extract from the scripture Joel’s partial list:

  • The Lord will pour out His spirit upon all flesh (including servants and handmaids)
  • Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy
  • Your old men shall dream dreams
  • Your young men shall see visions
  • Wonders in the heavens and in the earth (blood, fire, pillars of smoke)
  • Sun shall be turned into darkness
  • Moon turned into blood

Of course there are more items we can add to the list as we search through the scriptures. But what is the most important thing to remember in all of this? “That whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered.” It seems to me to be that simple. One may ask, “Will not the wicked therefore call upon the Lord?” I don’t think so. The wicked are not even watching the signs of His coming. Even when brought to the awful realization of their situation they will lift up their voices and curse God and die.

Others have written about President Hinckley’s declaration, see The 100 Hour Board, the comments in Connor’s Conundrums, and Latter-day Commentary.

Photo Credit: NASA
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