BYU Studies Quarterly

BYU Studies Quarterly


Noel A. Carmack


Mormon studies, Christ, artwork


The motivating impact that visual images of Christ have on members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints cannot be overestimated. Such images often induce feelings of faith and devotion in responsive viewers. For example, Church member Lisa Gemperline of Kaysville, Utah, wrote to the Ensign saying:

Passing a local art gallery one day, I paused, struck by the beauty of painting of Jesus Christ on display. My heart was touched as I looked at the face of the Savior, and I wished I had had the painting in my own home. Afterward, I found myself thinking about the impact that painting had had on me. I wanted those feelings to linger, to become an everyday occurrence in my life.

A young female student who attached a small picture of Christ to her locker at school also wrote of the emotional response she felt when looking at the image: "There it would stay as my continual reminder to always stick up for what I believe in and to 'stand for truth and righteousness.'" A young man wrote of the influence that a picture of Christ hanging in his room had on his behavior: "When I awake in the morning, I look at that picture. Because of my testimony of the Savior, I consciously make a decision to honor his name during the day. Of course when I make mistakes, I look at that picture and wonder how I could have let him down."