In Doctrine and Covenants 115:4-6, the Lord calls to action all the people of His Church, inviting them to “arise and shine forth” so that their “light may be a standard for the nations.” He asks them to join together to support one another and become a “refuge from the storm.”
Echoing this call, the Church History Museum last year invited the youth of the worldwide Church ages 13 to 18 to participate in the museum’s first International Art Competition for Youth, submitting their representations of the 2012 Mutual theme, "Arise and Shine Forth."
While the museum has hosted an internatonal art competition for adults for several years, this is the first time it has hosted a competition for youth, but by looking at the results, you can tell it was merited: the artwork is stunning.
You can visit the Church History Museum in Salt Lake to view the artwork through June 2013, or you can browse the online gallery from wherever you are.
These are a few of our favorites:
A Standard for the Nations
Kalisha Dawn Harmon, Age: 18, Utah
Oil on canvas
This picture relates to the theme because it is of a young man staying true to his beliefs, even in hard circumstances. I wanted to depict a soldier who has a testimony, a love of the gospel, and a love of his country. His bowed head is a symbol of love and respect for his Creator. The Book of Mormon is a symbol of the young man's love of the gospel. Despite the fact that he is in war, he continues to practice his beliefs and draw closer to the Savior. Everyone goes through hard times in their lives, and by doing what they know is right—arising and shining forth—like the soldier, they can also be a light unto the nations.
In Our Father’s Home
Margarita Patana Cajumban, Age: 16, Philippines
Oil on canvas
We live simply in the Philippines, and my painting simply shows that youth should be nurtured and enlightened by the word of God. The symbols in the painting include the number 12 on the jersey, which represents the starting age of youth. The slingshot represents the worldly things that slow down the youth in remembering that we should look up to our Father in Heaven. The Book of Mormon is our guide. The missionaries represent two of my brothers who were serving missions at that time. I was inspired by their service and by the light they shared with others—especially the light they gave to me as a young person in our Church.
Choose You This Day
Megan Warner Taylor, Age: 18, Utah
Through a modern approach to the parable of the ten virgins, we can recognize the distractions that the youth of the Church are faced with everyday. Our choices affect who we become as individuals. The different girls together in the same photo express how the choices we make determine whether we are the type of person with the necessary qualities to be ready when the Savior comes. I have used colors, clothing, and accessories that represent the young women’s values and vices. From left to right, the figures represent a judging heart; noise and distractions of the world; extremes (no balance); materialism; pride; knowledge, divine nature, individual worth; choice and accountability (repentance); good works; integrity; faith and virtue.
The Seedling of Faith
Saya Kawamitsu, Age: 18, Japan
Mineral pigments on Japanese paper
I used a golden new seedling to represent faith. I made the new seedling golden to show that the gospel radiates light without fail even in the midst of various temptations. The gold also represents the gold plates and is symbolic of the gospel that guides us even in the darkest mists. The background represents the temptations of this world, which I have shown by using the rough look of mineral pigments and austere hues. I tried to express the chaotic feelings specific to youth by layering the colors many times over.
Reach for the Light
Jessica Alexandra Killpack, Age: 17, Texas
Hand- and machine-embroidered quilt
My artwork shows a girl rising above temptation and sin in the world to reach for the light. The rays of the sun symbolize the Light of Christ shining down on the children of Heavenly Father. They envelop the girl who is rising above the darkness. The stitching shows the uniqueness of each person. The ribbon flying in the wind shows the femininity and preciousness of a daughter of Heavenly Father. The patchwork on the girl’s dress represents the Young Women value colors, showing how following these values helps us overcome temptation.
They Without Us Will Sit In Darkness
Chris McConkie, Age: 16, Utah
Acrylic on wood
In the October 2011 general conference, Elder Bednar spoke about our duty, especially as youth, to do family history work. Typically a tree is about the same size above ground as it is beneath. The tree in this painting is smaller than the root structure because most of the members in a family line are those who have already passed on, and they become part of the roots and strength of their family. The roots that are fading in and out of the black background represent missing family history data, and the youth in the picture are depicted searching for their hidden roots. We can arise and shine forth to fulfill our duty and assist in the eternal progression of our ancestors.
Abigail Henrie, Age: 15, Utah
Oil and charcoal
We become a light to the nations as we join together in faith and testimony. I like the idea of people my age combining their light and testimony to create a much bigger light, and that they become much stronger together. The theme “Arise and Shine Forth” is embodied in this painting by several women who symbolically shine as a beacon to the nations. The beacon represents a standard and a guide to all people in the dark. I feel that the warmth of the candle’s light can also represent the Holy Ghost’s comfort, which He gives us when we fall down into dark places.