A quilt from México, a wood carving from Nigeria, an oil painting from New Zealand, a decorative vase from Japan—these works of art represent the variety of entries in the Fifth International Art Competition. Sponsored by the Museum of Church History and Art in Salt Lake City, this competition involved works of art sent from all over the world, showcasing talented artists from the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Europe, Russia, the Middle East, India, Latin America, New Zealand, Australia, the Philippines, Japan, China, and Taiwan. More than 400 artists, varying in age from 15 to 98, from 38 countries, submitted their work.
The themes of the individual pieces reflect topics of Book of Mormon history and messages. Jurors selected 135 of these pieces to be displayed in the museum from 24 March until 4 September. The following pages show some of the works entered in the competition and exhibited at the museum.
Christ’s Prayer, oil on panel, by Derek Hegsted, Vermont First Ward, Orem Utah East Stake. After He had healed their sick, the resurrected Christ prayed with the Nephites, who testified, “No tongue can speak, … neither can the hearts of men conceive so great and marvelous things as we both saw and heard Jesus speak” ( 3 Ne. 17:17). It’s True, Sir, All Present and Accounted For, oil on canvas, by Clark Kelley Price, Thayne Second Ward, Thayne Wyoming Stake. “According to the goodness of God, … there was not one soul of them who did perish” ( Alma 57:25). Helaman’s stripling warriors, fatigued and wounded, stand faithfully in their ranks. Missionaries Going into the World, ceramic, by Taiichi Aoba of the Niihama Branch, Matsuyama Japan District. Among the images displayed on this decorative Japanese vase are Lehi’s family fleeing Jerusalem, Abinadi testifying before King Noah, and an angel appearing to Alma. Taking the Stick of Joseph to the Children of Hagoth, painting, mixed media collage, by Sylvia Huege de Serville, Takapuna Ward, Auckland New Zealand Harbour Stake. Polynesian descendants of Book of Mormon peoples receive and accept the Book of Mormon—the stick of Joseph (see Alma 63:5–8; “Conference in Samoa,” Ensign, April 1976, 74). Helpmeet, oil on canvas, by K. Sean Sullivan, St. Cloud Ward, Orlando Florida South Stake. The wife of Nephi was a woman of courage and compassion. Here she comforts Nephi, who was bound with cords on the ship by his rebellious brothers (see 1 Ne. 18:11, 19–20). The Restoration of the Book of Mormon, wood carving, by Igbinigie Alfred Enoma of the Ogida Ward, Benin City Nigeria East Stake. Scenes from the Restoration of the gospel include Joseph Smith receiving the First Vision; the angel Moroni visiting Joseph; Joseph obtaining the plates; the Eight Witnesses viewing the plates; Joseph Smith receiving the priesthood; and a Nigerian family entering a temple. Whither I Go, oil on canvas, by Keith Bond, San Antonio Ninth Ward, San Antonio Texas West Stake. After witnessing the destruction of his people, Moroni, son of Mormon, recorded, “I, Moroni, will not deny the Christ; wherefore, I wander whithersoever I can for the safety of mine own life” ( Moro. 1:3). I Will Remember the Covenant, oil on panel, by Enrique Manuel García of the Burzaco Ward, Buenos Aires Argentina Adrogué Stake. The Lord instructed, “Ye shall go forth in the power of my Spirit, preaching my gospel, two by two, in my name” ( D&C 42:6). Sweeter Than All Sweetness, hammered copper sheet, by Miguel Ángel González Romero, Bonilla Ward, Antofagasta Chile La Portada Stake. Lehi said of his vision: “I beheld a tree, whose fruit was desirable to make one happy. … I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also” ( 1 Ne. 8:10, 12). Because of Thy Exceeding Faith, colored pencil on paper, by Sheri Lynn Boyer Doty, Holladay 26th Ward, Salt Lake Holladay Stake. King Lamoni’s wife and Abish, a servant of the queen, are noted in the Book of Mormon as women of great faith. Here Ammon encourages them to continue with unwavering faith as they wait for King Lamoni to awaken (see Alma 19). Lehi Exhorts His Posterity to Righteousness, oil on canvas, by Philip M. Leaning of the Auckland Third Ward, Auckland New Zealand Mt. Roskill Stake. “But behold, my sons and my daughters,” said Lehi, “I cannot go down to my grave save I should leave a blessing upon you; for behold, I know that if ye are brought up in the way ye should go ye will not depart from it” ( 2 Ne. 4:5). A Blessing to the Nations, detail from quilt, by Isa Tania Domínguez Herrada, Xochimilco Ward, México City México Tlalpan Stake. “Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall. … The blessings of thy father … shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren” ( Gen. 49:22, 26). The Nephites and Lamanites, descendants of Joseph, are beneficiaries of the blessings sealed upon the head of Joseph.