20+ Inspiring LDS Art Celebrating Church History
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a layered, and often complicated history. Yet through all the tragedies and all of the miracles, a few key principles stand out: faith, hope, charity, and hard work.
The early saints sacrificed much in the way of family and lifestyle and sacrificed all in the way of material gain or comfort. Even while poor, they built magnificent temples and houses of worship. Even when injured or ailing, they found ways to serve each other. Regardless of topics that, in today’s culture, are considered controversial we have much to learn from these dedicated believers of Jesus Christ.
Our artists and photographers have illustrated many important scenes honoring the lives and sacrifices of the Latter-day Saint pioneers. We certainly were not able to include them all here, but here are 20+ images to bring some inspiration into your day, your church activities, or your home.
Joseph Smith and the Sacred Grove
While Jesus Christ established His church long before Joseph Smith, we revere this prophet of God who, despite immense persecution and human imperfections, followed the guidance he received for restoring truths and doctrine that had been lost or construed throughout the ages after Christ’s birth.
The Sacred Grove is the forest near his childhood home where, as an adolescent, he went to pray and ask God for clarification about the various belief systems dividing his community and even his family. His bible study had led him to the verse in James 1:5 which reads: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”
Joseph took this promise to heart. He received an answer to his question and much more, changing the course of his life from that point onward.
Joseph Smith and the First Vision
In the Sacred Grove, Joseph Smith saw God the Father and Jesus Christ. They appeared to the young farm boy and, calling him by his name, acknowledged the clashing doctrines between the various religious parties. They then gave him instruction and knowledge that would prepare him for the challenging tasks that, as with any prophet called of God, he would begin to face.
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” (James 1:5)
Joseph Smith and the Gold Plates
Our artists have also captured beautiful scenes of Joseph Smith retrieving and translating the gold plates. These plates were an ancient record written by people living in the Americas. The record had a very religious nature and included many histories and sermons directing men and women to Jesus Christ. The record offered truths and ordinances that had been lost since the deaths of Jesus Christ and His apostles.
By the power of God, Joseph Smith, an illiterate farm boy, translated the record into what is now known as The Book of Mormon: Another Witness of Jesus Christ.
Joseph Smith and The Book of Mormon
The printing of The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, took time, sacrifice, and faith to accomplish. At the time, it was unusual to print that much text, especially in the time that they needed it. Yet, as the early saints continued to act on God’s direction, miracles happened and the book was printed. As a result, individuals and families could have their own copies and could gain a personal witness of its truth by praying and asking God.
Many since have sacrificed livelihoods, relationships, comfort, and even their very lives in an effort to bring back missing truth. The early saints, or Mormon pioneers as they are often termed, are inspiring examples. As they did their best to follow God’s commands to build and rebuild, they faced ample persecution and heart wrenching challenges and tragedies. Yet, as a result, the journal accounts of many resound with strong, glowing faith in Jesus Christ their redeemer.
All is Well by Annie Henrie Nader
Church History LDS Temples
Even with all the challenges the early saints faced, they still worked together to build temples, or houses of worship, to God. Today, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints continues to construct these stunning and sacred buildings throughout the world. What began as a small group of believers has quickly grown to reach people on a global scale, to the extent that it seems the temples cannot be built fast enough.
These art pieces honor the early beginnings and great sacrifices that went into the construction of some of the Church’s first modern temples.
In summary, the message of the restoration of the gospel is this: God still speaks. He is still very present and has a hand in our lives, no matter how insignificant we may feel.
It is a brave thing for our artists and photographers to put so much heart and talent into topics that, to many, have appeared false or controversial. In the end, neither words nor necessarily art can prove the reality of these events. As the apostle Paul taught in his letters to the Corinthians: “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2: 14).
When it comes to seeking truth, may we do as James directed: pray and ask God.
For more illustrations of scenes from Church History, such as the restoration of the priesthood or additional miraculous events, check out these new products or visit our online store.