On a spring morning in 1845, Willard Richards, an Apostle of the Church, his wife Jenetta, and their son Heber John went to Lucien Foster’s gallery in Nauvoo, Illinois, to have their photograph taken.
Photography was a new invention, and the visit to the gallery must have been an exciting adventure for the Richards family. The resulting family portrait, shown above, would eventually become priceless to Willard and Heber John because, four months later, Jenetta died suddenly.
More than one hundred and fifty years later, it is still priceless as part of the collection of photographs housed in the Museum of Church History and Art, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Like the portrait of the Richards family, each photograph has a story behind it. For example, the 1989 photograph, at right, shows Latter-day Saints in a remote mountain region of Guatemala building their own chapel from handmade adobe brick. Theirs is a project born of faith, dedication, service, and a love for the Lord.
Photography has preserved many scenes such as this, special moments in the lives of Latter-day Saints—past and present.
The sampling on these pages, although small, shows that the gospel is a shared experience that binds us together as a worldwide Church, as a worldwide family.