Missionaries—loved and respected by Latter-day Saints because of the gospel they bring—are a favorite topic of LDS art.
In Harmony, Pennsylvania, in February 1829, the Prophet Joseph Smith received a revelation for his father, Joseph Smith Sr. Its words, containing the spirit of missionary work, have become familiar to all Latter-day Saints:
“Now behold, a marvelous work is about to come forth among the children of men.
“Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day.
“Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work;
“For behold the field is white already to harvest; and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in store that he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul” (D&C 4:1–4).
On these pages are examples of artwork from the Fourth International Art Competition sponsored by the Museum of Church History and Art.
Steven H. Anderson, “Two by Two,” oil on canvas, 1996, Dewitt, Iowa. Award of Merit. “The missionaries pictured here had participated in my baptism one month before I started this painting.”
Carolyn Stromberg, “I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go,” clay and fabric, 1996, Ogden, Utah. Award of Merit. “The faith and courage of couple missionaries helps them when they are away from home, family, and friends.”
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Marise Jose Dagostino, Our Brothers the Pioneers, tapestry, 1996, Genolier, Switzerland. “This artwork pays tribute to pioneers through the ages who have helped establish the gospel on the earth, including Abraham, modern-day Latter-day Saints, and others.”
Melbin L. Lovedino, Pioneering the Village, oil on canvas, 1996, Legazpi City, Philippines, exemplifies the missionary spirit. “On July 25, 1981, the first family from the village of Bicol Alba joined the Church. Their example was like a shining light, and within a year almost all of their neighbors in the village had been baptized.”
Roger Bernard, “How Beautiful upon the Mountains,” oil on canvas, 1996, Anaheim, California. “Here the establishing of the gospel is represented on three levels—the past by the majestic Machu Picchu ruins in Peru, the present by the mother who is a convert, and the future by the baby.”
Ann Croft, Big Brother Leads the Way, acrylic and oil on canvas, 1996, Meridian, Idaho. “The boy being baptized is a second-generation Latter-day Saint in the Dominican Republic, and his sister and brother will someday follow his example.”
Juei Ing Chen, Unfading Missionaries, ink on paper, 1996, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China. “These new converts in Taiwan are determined to accomplish the mission of the Church.”
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Maria de Fatima Gomes Ascenso Pereira, The Gospel in the World, hand embroidery, 1996, São Domingos, Portugal. “My mural rug is divided into eight sections, each representing a part of the gospel including missionary work.”
Georgia Philippou, Pioneers in Cyprus, oil on canvas, 1996, Nicosia, Cyprus. These three women represent the first Latter-day Saints in Cyprus. They receive courage from the light of the everlasting sun, and they serve as examples to others there. This is a derivation of a well-known Russian painting, Old Testament Trinity, by Andrei Rublev, housed in Moscow’s Tretyakov Gallery. Rublev painted his piece in the 1420s.