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Come Follow Me 2021: 35 Palmyra Pictures

Banner image of Joseph Smith kneeling in prayer in the forest.

John Tayler, third president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, declared: “Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it.” God called him to an immense task, and though, like all of us, he had his weaknesses, he remained faithful. 

Yet, such an impactful calling as a prophet began with small beginnings in Palmyra, New York. Enjoy these touching pieces of LDS art featuring Joseph Smith, the Smith Farm, and the Sacred Grove.

Smith Family Farm

Horizontal LDS art painting of Joseph Smith reading the Bible as he rests against a wagon at sunrise.

Searching for Heaven by Kelsy and Jesse Lightweave

Joseph did not by any means grow up a religious scholar. He was a farm boy brought up in a tight-knit home of hard workers. His family was religious, though divided on which services they chose to attend. However, the Bible must have been a regular part of their lives because Joseph often turned to it when looking for guidance or answers to questions. 

Here, Kelsy and Jesse capture the honest desire young Joseph had to draw closer to God. They show that we can access God even in the mundane tasks of our everyday lives. As Amulek taught about prayer: “Cry unto him when ye are in your fields, yea, over all your flocks” (Alma 34: 20)

Photo of the Smith family cabin. The light of the angel Moroni shines from the upper window.

The Whole of that Night by Evan Lurker

Some years after praying in the sacred grove, Joseph Smith began to worry about his standing before God. Again, he offered up a heartfelt prayer asking for forgiveness and direction. And, again, he received an answer. Moroni, the ancient prophet who hid the records now known as The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, appeared as an angel in Joseph’s room. He told him of the great and challenging mission ahead of him if he remained faithful. 

Evan is our first LDS artist to capture that crucial scene in Latter-day Saint Church History. He takes a unique perspective, not showing us Joseph or Moroni directly, but showing how the scene must have looked from outside. We also like that this photo shows the simplicity of the Smith’s family life. They were hard-working farmers in a small cabin, but God had much bigger plans.

Like we read in the book of Alma: “Behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.” (Alma 37:6)  

Photograph of a Joseph Smith's family cabin, a small home surrounded by trees and fields.

JOseph Smith Cabin by Robert A. Boyd

A photograph of the crafted wooden fence around the Smith family farm. Behind the fence is a forest of trees.

The Smith Farm by Robert A. Boyd

Horizontal image of Joseph Smith leading two horses as he reads from the Bible. The text reads: "Seek and ye shall find".

Seek and Ye Shall Find by Kelsy and Jesse Lightweave

Here, Kelsy and Jesse have included part of a scriptural verse that we find in the Bible and the Book of Mormon. It’s a truth that Jesus Christ taught all of His followers, and it is just as true then as it is today:

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” (Mathew 7:7)

This principle led Joseph Smith to find answers. He grew up during the Second Great Awakening when there was a lot of excitement around Christian beliefs.

He noticed that many groups contradicted each other in their teachings and contradicted themselves in their behavior. Like us, he lived during a time of loud voices and many opinions. And like him and so many believers before and since, we can find answers directly from God in our lives, if we follow Christ’s direction to seek Him.   

Joseph Smith First Vision and Sacred Grove

The biggest selection of Church History art in our online LDS store has to do with Joseph Smith and the First Vision. And yet, for such a wide array of pictures, no two are the same. From cubism-like styles to impressionist and from photography to watercolors, you can find it here. Every artist brings their own approach, style, and conviction to their work. We love seeing this miraculous event through their eyes. 

Vertical LDS art painting of Joseph Smith's First Vision done in modern, minimalist style.

Early Spring 1820 by Jeff Pugh

Vertical LDS art painting of Joseph Smith's First Vision in the Sacred Grove. Heavenly Father is presenting Jesus Christ to young Joseph.

Hear Him by Rose Datoc Dall

Panoramic LDS art picture of Joseph Smith walking through a field toward the Sacred Grove.

Spring Morning by Kelsy and Jesse Lightweave

Modern sacrocubism painting of Joseph Smith's First Vision in the Sacred Grove. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ stand above Him in the air.

First Vision by Jorge Cocco

LDS art picture of Joseph praying in the Sacred Grove. He shields his eyes as a light shines down on him from Heaven.

Ask of God by Robert A. Boyd

Panoramic picture of Joseph Smith praying in the Sacred Grove. The sun shines directly on him through the trees.

Desires of the Heart by Kelsy and Jesse Lightweave

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” (Mathew 7:7)

LDS art painting of Joseph Smith speaking with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in the Sacred Grove.

If Any of You Lack Wisdom by Linda Curley Christensen

Horizontal painting of young Joseph Smith walking through the Sacred Grove. A hatchet sticks in a stump on the left.

The Morning Breaks by Rose Datoc Dall

A picture of the Sacred Grove. Light shines down through the trees.

Sacred Grove by Robert A. Boyd

Black-and-white photo of the Sacred Grove in Palmyra, New York.

Sacred Grove - a Light Descended by Robert A. Boyd

LDS art painting of trees in the Sacred Grove in Palmyra, New York.

Sacred Prayer by Linda Curley Christensen

LDS art painting of Joseph Smith's First Vision. He is kneeling on the forest floor, looking up toward Heaven at a light.

Let Him Ask in Faith by Simon Dewey

Modern LDS art painting of Joseph Smith's First Vision. The scene is made up of different colored triangles.

First Vision by Madison Wardle

A painting of the trees in the Sacred Grove. In the distance, a small figure represents Joseph Smith praying.

Sacred Grove by Linda Curley Christensen

Sketch of Joseph Smith praying in the Sacred Grove and witnessing the First Vision.

First Vision by Justine Peterson

Photo art of Joseph Smith's First Vision. He is kneeling in darkness, shielding his eyes from a great light shining down on him.

Light and Dark by Kelsy and Jesse Lightweave

Panoramic photo of the Sacred Grove in Palmyra, New York. Light shines down through the trees.

Sacred Grove Panoramic by Robert A. Boyd

Angel Moroni Pictures

We mentioned the angel Moroni at the beginning. Here, we have more LDS art pieces portraying that event. We also have artists who have captured what the angel Moroni symbolizes for members of the Church today. It tops nearly every one of our temples as a representation of the restoration of Jesus Christ’s gospel. The statue also represents the effort to declare the good news of God’s word to the world.

The original sculptor was not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Cyrus E. Dallin was a talented artist commissioned to the project. He later described that completing the sculpture “brought me nearer to God than anything I ever did. It seemed to me that I came to know what it means to commune with angels from heaven.”

Modern LDS art painting of Joseph receiving the gold plates from the angel Moroni.

Moroni and Joseph by Jorge Cocco

Jorge Cocco terms his style sacrocubism. In this style, he employs the principles of cubism to portray sacred subjects.

His goal is not to capture historically accurate details but to capture deeper spiritual meanings.

The abstract approach he takes to his work communicates messages to the mind that would otherwise be hard to describe in words.

What insights do you draw from this example of his LDS art?  

Vertical LDS art painting of Joseph Smith holding the gold plates after he has uncovered them. Light shines down on him.

Preserved by the Hand of God by Simon Dewey

In contrast, Simon Dewey's LDS art is famous for its sharp detail and smooth textures.

In this painting, we do not see Moroni. We just see a glow coming from above, symbolizing Joseph’s heavenly guide as well as his paramount mission. 

Moroni, having been the one to hide the plates, to begin with, showed Joseph where to retrieve them. He instructed the young man to visit the place once every year until it was time to translate them.

In this way, Moroni helped to prepare Joseph for a task that would change his life and millions of lives to follow.

Angel Moroni by Jorge Cocco

This painting shows an image with which most of us are more familiar.

The Angel Moroni statue was something of a logo for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That logo has since been officially changed to an image of Jesus Christ, but the symbol of Moroni still holds deep meaning.

It reminds us that we live in an exciting time when God has restored the missing or misconstrued parts of His word. It reminds us that God still speaks to His children and that we can play a role in preparing the world for Jesus Christ’s second coming.   

LDS art painting of the angel Moroni standing in the clouds blowing his trumpet.

Clarion Call by Rose Datoc Dall

Rose Datoc Dall took that familiar symbol and created an entire scene from it. Rather than a motionless figure, we see a lot of movement and energy in her LDS art.

Moroni does not stand on the top of a temple, but in the clouds, as he blows his trumpet. He is loudly declaring to the world that God does indeed speak with men on Earth. He is reminding us of the importance of sharing the good news with our friends and neighbors.  

Joseph Smith and the Plates

The translation of The Book of Mormon was both miraculous and sacred. Oliver Cowdery, one of Joseph’s scribes throughout the process, said of his experience:

‘“These were days never to be forgotten—to sit under the sound of a voice dictated by the inspiration of heaven, awakened the utmost gratitude of this bosom! Day after day I continued, uninterrupted, to write from his mouth, as he translated” (Joseph Smith--History 1:75)

Enjoy our LDS art pieces representing Joseph Smith receiving inspiration as he translated the ancient American record.

Modern painting of Joseph Smith translating the Book of Mormon.

Inspiration by Jorge Cocco

Joseph Smith’s First Vision was not the end of his receiving direction from God, but only the beginning. Throughout his life, he received many revelations relating to the establishing and directing of Jesus Christ’s church. 

As a leader, he continued the pattern that he began as a boy; when problems arose, he studied and thought about them. Then he sought direction from heaven.

Jorge captures what that sort of everyday inspiration looks like. We can also find answers as we take time to study, ponder, and pray.

Joseph Smith carries the plates from the Hill Cumorah while Emma stands with the horse and carriage.

Joseph and Emma at the Hill Cumorah by Robert Barrett

Joseph and his wife Emma faced many dangers in their efforts to follow God’s will. Before The Book of Mormon could be translated, Joseph had to retrieve the plates. He then had to keep them hidden from the hands of his increasing enemies.

Robert Barrett chose a rare subject matter for his painting: Joseph and Emma working together to retrieve the plates during the night.

It is a tribute to the work and trials that they shared throughout their life together.   

LDS art painting of Joseph Smith sitting at a desk with the gold plates translating.

By the Gift and Power of God by Simon Dewey

Following Jesus Christ has never been a breezy task. Often, we are called upon to do things far beyond what we feel our natural gifts or abilities are.

So it was with Joseph, a young farm boy, being called upon to translate an ancient record. However, God always provides the means and power for us to accomplish His purposes if we trust Him. As the prophet Nephi declared:

“I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them” (1 Nephi 3:7).

The Interpreter by Jorge Cocco

We love this next painting by Jorge Cocco. Not only does it paint a unique picture of Joseph translating and pondering the things he learned as he translated, but it also includes symbolism.

If you look closely at the different shapes that make up the window, you can see a dove. It represents the Holy Ghost helping instruct, direct, and even correct the young prophet.   

Modern paintings of an angel speaking with Joseph Smith who records his revelations.

Celestial Whisperings by Jorge Cocco

Jorge paints the message more directly in this next picture. Here, most of the image is taken up by an angel approaching Joseph and speaking with him. Joseph appears to be recording what he hears.

This painting teaches several vital aspects of receiving personal revelation. If we listen with the intent of following God’s direction, it is much easier to receive it.   

Palmyra New York Temple Photos

All of these historical events occurred in Palmyra, New York. However, Church History continues to unfold in this part of God’s vineyard. Today, a glimmering temple stands on the hilltop with that same symbol of the angel Moroni. 

Joseph Smith’s first vision was only one aspect of God’s plan. Our Creator’s work and purposes continue to move forward, just as they did in biblical times. Enjoy this last collection of LDS art temple photos.

Photo of the Palmyra LDS Temple and grounds taken during sunrise.

Palmyra Temple - Sunrise by Robert A Boyd

Palmyra Temple photo with a blue, pink, and purple sky.

Palmyra Temple - A House of Peace by Robert A Boyd

Photo of the Palmyra Temple from behind a forest of autumn trees.

Palmyra Temple - Through the Trees by Robert A Boyd

Distant photo of the Palmyra LDS Temple and grounds taken during sunset.

Palmyra Temple - Garden Sunset by Scott Jarvie

Evening LDS art photo of the Palmyra New York Temple

Palmyra Temple - Pathway to the Temple by Scott Jarvie

Angled photo of the Palmyra Temple. A patch of blue sky interrupts the cloudy sky.

Palmyra Temple - Patch of Blue by Scott Jarvie

LDS art photo of the Palmyra Temple taken from above. The window lights glow against the darkening sky.

Palmyra Temple - Entrance from High by Scott Jarvie

Find more Church History art for your Come Follow Me 2021 studies on our LDS online storeStay inspired with more blog posts on this topic: 

2021 Youth Theme: LDS Art Posters, Puzzles, and More

Joseph Smith and the Plates: 9 Latter-day Saint Artwork Pieces

A Walk Through the Sacred Grove: 21 First Vision Pictures

We have lots of new art coming in - Don't miss out!

And don't worry; we publish art, not spam. In line with many principles of art, we believe good things come in small doses.