While talking about the amazing Visitors Center, I want to record memories of an art exhibit that was there until the end of October. There were 21 paintings by a local artist named Rose Dall. She called it “Jesus Once was a Little Child,” taken from the title of a primary song. Beside each painting was a description she had written explaining the symbolism she put in each one. Here are some photos we took of four of the paintings:
On the left is “Flight.” It depicts the holy family’s flight into Egypt. The cacoon shape of Mary’s veil symbolizes protection. The solid visual unit of the family in white symbolizes the white worn in the temple and the eternal nature of families.
To the right is one titled “Prophet, Priest, and King.” The title comes from the hymn, “I Know that My Redeemer Lives.” There are three gifts. Gold is a kingly gift to the royal house of David and to the King of Kings. Frankincense is a priestly gift, which priests burned in the temple, symbolizing that the power of the priesthood comes from Christ. Myrrh is a bitter resin, used for embalming the dead, and in healing. It is a symbol of the bitter cup of the Atonement and crucifixion, and the sweetness of resurrection.
“Young Prince in Egypt” That phrase usually refers to Moses, But Christ, who came out of Egypt, is the true prince of Egypt. This painting shows him returning from Egypt and foreshadows his triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.
“Young Carpenter” Each tool in this painting has symbolism. I particularly like the symbolism Rose Dall gave a couple of them. “The triangle and wood plane represent straightness and trueness in keeping covenants; the compass divider, in the hands of the Boy Savior, signifies that Christ is indeed the Creator of the world.”
Being in the Temple everyday, I am beginning to see many more symbols of Christ and His mission of redemption. CHRISTMAS celebrates his birth! The LIGHT we see in the eyes of children all around us at Christmas reminds us of the LIGHT of CHRIST, and that He once was a little child, too. And except we become as a little child, we cannot enter the Kingdom of God! Christ’s mission was foretold long before his birth. We too came to earth with a mission – to follow Him and bring others to Him as well! He invites, “Come unto me!” That pathway always goes through the temple!