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The Tree of Life: A Look at Latter-day Saint Artwork

Banner image featuring an image of the tree of life. It is covered in gold and white leaves.

The tree of life is one of the most popular symbols in Latter-day Saint artwork. It can be found in paintings, sculptures, and stained glass windows throughout LDS churches and temples. But what does this symbol mean? And where did it come from? In this blog post, we will take a look at the history and meaning of the tree of life as illustrated by Latter-day Saint artists.

The history of the tree of life symbol

The tree of life is found in many different cultures and religions. It is often seen as a symbol of paradise or heaven. In the Bible, the tree of life is found in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve were able to eat from the tree and live forever. But after they disobeyed God, they were banned from the Garden and were no longer able to eat from the tree. In LDS artwork, the tree of life often appears as a reminder that we can return to live with God if we obey His commandments.

The LDS Meaning of the tree of life

The tree of life is a symbol of the eternal life that God offers to His children. It is also a symbol of strength and growth. In LDS artwork, the tree of life often appears as a beautiful, green tree with branches reaching up to the heavens. This symbolizes our connection to God and His love for us. It also reminds us that we can always turn to Him for help and guidance.

What are some popular tree of life LDS artwork?

LDS artwork can be a great way to remind us of the gospel principles, such as obedience and repentance. It can also be a source of comfort and peace. Beautiful and inspiring, it has the ability to teach us gospel principles, provide comfort, and remind us and those who visit our home of God's love for us.

Eva Koleva Timothy

Tree with golden fruite and white leaves.

The Tree of Life by Eva Koleva Timothy

Eva Koleva Timothy is a Latter-day Saint artist from Bulgaria whose completed work is showcased in churches and homes all over the world. She is known for her colorful and whimsical photography, inspired by her love of animals and the natural world. She hopes that her artwork will bring joy and happiness to those who see them.

Her tree of life photo in particular is unique. The branches are not overflowing with leaves but instead are laden much fruit. It seems to imply that God's love is never hidden from us. It is plentiful and readily available if we will only reach up.

Robert A. Boyd

Latter-day Saint artist Robert A. Boyd is known for his beautiful paintings and photography. This particicular picture of the tree of life is one-of-a-kind because it is pieced together by real-life photos from Robert's travels.

The landscape comes from Costa Rica, the tree itself comes from a beautiful tree in Texas that caught his eye, with the trunk replaced with that of an olive tree he captured while visiting Gethsemane. Robert's ability to flawlessly combine so many stunning, real-life snapshots is inspiring.

Tree of life standing on a hill with a waterfall and mountains in the background.

Tree of Life by Robert A. Boyd

Jorge Cocco

Abstract painting of the a family standing at the foot of the Tree of Life.

Tree of Life by Jorge Cocco

Jorge Cocco is a Latter-day Saint artist who was born in Argentina. He is known for his abstract religious artwork illustrating scenes from the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and early Church History. 

His painting of the tree of life, like much of his work, is full of color and symbolism. Each shape, shade, and line has significance whether that is to guide the eye around the image or to speak to the soul. As a result, many people tend to draw their own insights from his work. What do you see?

Rex Price

Rex painted this piece to highlight one of the clear messages from Lehi's dream in the Book of Mormon. As the artist says: "Those who continually hold on to the word of God and walk along the straight and narrow path will make it back to our Heavenly Father."

The vivid colors of the tree, shining brightly amid the confusion and darkness, carries its own symbolism. No matter where we find ourselves in life, the love of God always beckons us forward. Whether we feel like we've wandered too far off the path or we feel enveloped by mists of darkness, when we look to the word of God we begin to find light and clarity.

A painting of Lehi's Dream, centered around the glowing Tree of Life.

Tree of LIfe by Rex Price

Annie Henrie Nader

Jesus standing by the tree of life, offering a glowing fruit.

The Invitation by Annie Henrie Nader

Annie Henrie Nader artwork is featured in many private collections and museums and it's no surprise with all of the faith, heart, and unique textures that she puts into each piece.

Here we see a much more personal version of the tree of life. Rather than having the focus on a symbolic tree, Annie chose to depict Jesus standing next to the trunk, offering a glowing fruit to the viewer. Considering that the fruit of the tree represents God's love, this painting is a touching illustration of the gentle character of the Savior.

People circled around the tree of life handing each other glowing fruit.

Turning the Hearts by Annie Henrie Nader

Family kneeling around the tree of life.

Precious Above All by Annie Henrie Nader

Chelsea Fuller

Likewise, Chelsea also takes a unique approach to the topic of the tree of life. In her painting, we see a young woman reaching up to the glowing branches and plucking a fruit off of its generous boughs. The trunk of the tree is shaped like the form of the Savior. He has a kind smile and is freely offering the fruit to those who approach Him.

This entire message of this piece of artwork stays very true to the LDS meaning of this sacred symbol. Christ Himself represents the love of God because God gave His Son to save us. And we can feel the influence of the Jesus Christ more easily in our lives as we make the effort to reach toward Him.

A young woman picking golden fruit from the tree of life which is shaped like Christ.

The Greatest Gift by Chelsea Fuller

Mandy Jane Williams

Black and white image of the tree of life. It has two stumps that resemble legs.

Tree of Life by Mandy jane Williams

Mandy has always been inspired by the story of the Tree of Life, as recorded in The Book of Mormon. The insightful symbolism and overall message of a loving God has a way of warming the soul and offering hope. 

The inspiration for this piece of Mandy’s collection came unexpectedly. As she says; “It was when we went to visit my in-laws in Grace, Idaho on their homestead, that I finally found it. It was a beautiful frosty morning, and the babies were sleeping so my husband and I left them with my mother in law and took a little snowy drive to the river. It practically jumped out at us. I love the peaceful feeling this sweet tree conveys.

Judy Cooley

A young woman holding to the iron rod and holding a glowing fruit.

Stay by the Tree by Judy Cooley

The tree of life is a powerful symbol with a deep meaning for Latter-day Saints. Each artist has brought their own unique perspective to this sacred topic, giving us new insights into its significance. As we look at these different pieces of artwork, let us remember the importance of holding on to the word of God and staying close to the tree of life, no matter what storms may come. By doing so, we can find healing, peace, and strength in Christ.

What is your favorite piece of artwork featuring the tree of life? Let us know in the comments below!

And for more stunning work by these artists, you might also like:

Latter-day Saint Art Classics

To the Rescue: Jesus Walking on Water

Sacrocubism: 12 Abstract Paintings by LDS Artist