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.
[photo] Photograph by Craig Dimond
[photos] Left: Full-time missionaries, Elder Albertelli and Elder Church, tracting in Cergy, France, 1990. (Photograph by Doug Martin.) Top: An Armenian convert to the Church is baptized in a makeshift font in Aleppo, Syria, 6 April 1923. A note on the back of the original photograph recorded six baptisms that day. Above: In many parts of the world, the most convenient body of water often becomes the baptismal “font,” as it was for this group of New Zealand converts in 1900.
[photo] Above: Although this 1975 photograph of the preparation of the sacrament was taken in a Brigham Young University student ward, it could have been taken in any ward, in any branch in the world.
[photos] Above: In 1990, Enoch Quaye of London, England, shares the scriptures with his son. Brother Quaye was formerly a tribal chief in Ghana. (Photograph by Mark Philbrick.) Top right: Worldwide, a Latter-day Saint expression of love for the Savior is demonstrated in service to the needy, as in this family’s visit to a neighboring widow. (Photograph by Craig Dimond.)
[photos] Bottom right: The first Sunday School in the Church was organized in 1849. Fifty years later, in 1899, this multi-lingual class in Salt Lake City’s Twenty-first Ward gathered in traditional costumes from Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Holland, Norway, New Zealand, England, Scotland, and the United States. Right: In 1990, Sister Tatiana Turutina served as the first branch Relief Society president in Vyborg in what was then the USSR. (Photograph by Mark Philbrick.)
[photos] Top: Members of the Eket Branch, Akwa Ibom, Nigeria. When this photograph was taken in 1985, the thirty members of the branch met in a rented building. Services were conducted in the Efik language. (Photograph by Ann Laemmlen Lewis.) Bottom: A universal scene in the Church: a father and other priesthood holders bless an infant. (Photograph by Doug Martin.)