Two beautiful works of art have touched me deeply this weekend. I hope I can do them justice as I piece them together to tell you of the profound inspired message they’ve etched on my soul.
The first was this painting that hangs in the LDS Church History Museum in Salt Lake City. It is entitled Lehi’s Dream by Steven L. Neal. This copy I found online doesn’t do the original justice. The piece is absolutely beautiful. When an artist can make light illuminate from his brush strokes it always leaves me in awe. This piece won first prize in the 1987 Fine Arts Competition and hangs right outside the bathrooms on the main floor of the museum. It’s a good thing we needed a pit stop or I might have missed it all together. I find it very curious that although we went to the museum to see some Norman Rockwell originals (I love Norman Rockwell) this piece touched me so much deeper.
For those of you unfamiliar with Lehi’s Vision, this piece references 1 Nephi 8 from The Book of Mormon. Lehi was a prophet who shared a vision about the tree of life. In the vision, those who cling to the rod (scripture) will be lead to the tree to gain eternal life. The great and spacious building is depicted on the right – it represents worldliness.
What struck me so powerfully in this masterpiece were the people who had reached the tree. They are at the bottom of the piece and they are all holding a portion of light in their hands. Directly above dreaming Lehi, the mother is holding the small child and is kneeling across from the father who is holding the child’s hand. Their circle of love brought tears to my eyes.
Could it possibly be that simple? Light and joy is found in the family? When you find it you have no need for the great and spacious building or anything limited to its realm? Those with the light in this painting don’t even seem to notice the grandiose structure which holds kings and queens and treasures galore much less the college degrees, prestigious titles, fame, and the slew of other stumbling blocks to real happiness. While looking into this painting, I received a message just for me. It was an answer to a conversation LG and I had just the evening before. I wondered what would make me really happy. What did I need to feel completely fulfilled in this life? Surely, the answer couldn’t just be motherhood. What would happen to me if my kids grew up to be total losers? Surely I can’t allow my happiness to be contingent on them.
A tear ran down my cheek. Besides my own salvation, the only other thing that matters to my eternal destiny is whether or not my family will be with me on the side of light or not. All the other things I have worried about and considered to give me the personal happiness I’ve been lacking are just me stabbing at the facets of that great and spacious building. I have everything I need within the walls of my own home, I’ve just been too prideful to see it.
The second form of art came to me this morning via the local radio station that plays church music on Sundays. I don’t even think I have to tell you how this song touched me if I just tell you the title. It’s sung by Mindy Gledhill and its called More than The World. Take a listen and join me on my second journey this weekend into the beauty we call family.
As I sat down to write this post a scripture came to mind. I made it into a pin with a picture of my view while hiking with Abigail early this summer. We were headed down a beautiful mountain trail and in the moment as I snapped this picture I felt such a love and admiration for my oldest daughter. In this moment, just as with the two pieces of art, I was able to capture my real treasure. I am so very blessed to be a mother and I am so grateful God has been patient with me as He repeatedly opens my eyes to the true happiness that I can only find here at home.