That message of hope was the inspiration for Joseph Brickey when he created the painting in 2002 as a single, young adult service missionary for the Church. Renovations were underway on the Salt Lake Temple Annex at the time, and leaders were looking for a new art piece. Brickey was honored that then-prophet, President Gordon B. Hinckley, selected his painting, “Risen Hope” to become the focal point in the beautifully renovated waiting area, where visitors from all over the world wait while loved ones participate in temple ordinances.
In creating the artwork, Brickey drew from lessons learned about hope while on his full-time mission, and spiritual experiences at the garden tomb in Jerusalem, which he had visited three times before. While painting, he paid special attention to where the light would have fallen on that first Easter morning and how he imagines it would have emanated from the Savior.
“The light reinforces that idea of overcoming death and darkness, of rising above despair, of finding hope,” Brickey said. “Not only is Christ risen, but also Mary’s hope rises when she hears her name from His lips. She represents each of us—this very personal interaction typifies Christ’s role in our lives. He knows us. He watches over us when we weep. His voice overcomes darkness and brings resplendent hope.”
Interviewed just after President Nelson delivered his message of optimism and hope to the world in front of his painting, Brickey reiterated that, “hope hinges on our personal connection to God. Covenants, as spoken of by President Nelson in his special message to members, are what allow for that brightness of hope. Hope and the keeping of our covenants are inseparable.”