Eva Timothy: Recognizing Light

Wed Dec 16 10:00:15 EST 2020
Episode 111

Eva Timothy describes growing up in Bulgaria as a place filled with darkness. But even amidst that darkness, she instantly recognized the light of Jesus Christ in art taped to the walls of a makeshift chapel. She felt His light through the words in the Book of Mormon—even through a pamphlet which only contained a handful of chapters in Bulgarian. She was drawn to His light then, and now she hopes to help others find that same light through her photography.

We all see Him in our own special way and that’s the beauty of it—that He is so dear to our heart.
Eva Timothy


See more of Eva's art on her website: evatimothy.com

Face to Face event with Young Women General Presidency that show's Eva's art:

2:42- Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain
5:30- Finding Faith Above a Soccer Stadium
11:32- The Book of Mormon…Pamphlet
16:23- The Light of the Gospel
19:04- Coming to America and Serving a Mission in the Big Apple
24:51- Enduring Through Creating
28:10- Digital Painting Guided by God
30:02- Feeling Ourselves in the Art
35:59- Grateful for Opportunities and to Missionaries
37:37- What Does It Mean To Be “All In” the Gospel of Jesus Christ


Morgan Jones 0:01
Before we get into today's episode, we wanted to give you a heads up that we were recently made aware that the earliest episodes of the podcast have started disappearing from people's feeds in their apps.

This is due to a default setting we were not aware of on our podcast host website. So at some point over Christmas, we are going to change that setting and your phone will likely download what appears to be a bunch of new episodes of All In, really, they'll just be the first episodes we ever released.

So if you haven't ever listened before, and you'd like to, we'd love for you too, but we apologize in advance for flooding your phone and hope that you'll forgive us. Now back to our regular scheduled programming.

Raised in Bulgaria, Eva Timothy found the gospel as a teenager searching for truth shortly after the Iron Curtain fell, having been raised in a very dark place she longed for light and she found it in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Now Eva is using a lifelong love for art to portray that light, the light that enters into our lives the moment Christ steps into our individual stories.

Eva Koleva Timothy never had a camera growing up, but she was still constantly taking pictures in her mind. Every detail she recalls which spoke to life's beauty, its wonder and the reminder of a world beyond that great gray community curtain was captured in vivid mental detail and would later become the source of much of Eva's artistic inspiration. Now a distinguished fine art photographer, Eva's photographs are included in a variety of public, corporate, and private collections, including the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, Oxford University, and the Museum of Fine Art Houston. Most recently, she has created a series centered on Christ called "The Lord is My Light," which has been featured in multiple Church broadcasts.

This is All In, an LDS Living podcast where we ask the question, what does it really mean to be all in the Gospel of Jesus Christ? I'm Morgan Jones. And I am so excited to have Eva Timothy with me today. Eva, welcome.

Eva Timothy 2:23
Thank you, Morgan. It's a joy to be here.

Morgan Jones 2:27
I am SO looking forward to this conversation. I always love especially hearing from people that are not from the United States. And so I'm so excited to hear about your background, how you found the gospel. So let's kind of start in Bulgaria, you grew up behind the Iron Curtain, which is an experience that most of us have only read about in history books. So what should people know – people that can only imagine what that was like – what should we know about that experience?

Eva Timothy 2:59
Well, you know, Morgan, it was really a time where things were very oppressive. Things were very hard in terms of – politically, economically, you couldn't, you couldn't really achieve much. Everything – there was no private property, and everything was owned by the societal community. And so in terms of that, it was really hard to care about something with your whole heart and to own something because you didn't own anything. It was all communal ownership.

And it was a land that was very dark in many ways. Also, because religion was not allowed. And basically, the government controlled the religion, so I never trusted anybody there. I mean, I do say that I went to church twice a year, on Christmas, and on Easter, we were Christer’s, but it wasn't for any commitment or anything. We're just kind of – everybody was doing it, and it was kind of like, "Okay," but I wanted so much more. It just really wasn't enough for me to go to those two times and feel like, "Okay, that's enough. I am a Christian now."

So I grew up in a land where there was no first amendment rights. You had no freedom of religion, no freedom of speech. And I – knowing, wanting to know more God was just not available. And I was starting to wonder, I mean, who made the sunset? I'm – okay, I'm, like, 14 – 15 years old, I'm a teenager, like, who am I? What's going on in my life, you know, there's got to be something more. So I was literally hungry and thirsty for the knowledge of God, and I wanted him so very much in my life.

And I – luckily, at that time, it was 1989 where the Berlin Wall fell, and there was like a flood of missionaries from all kinds of churches in Bulgaria, and I was so excited I attended – gosh, like I went to church on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday Adventist – I've been on Saturday too – and I really wanted to find God.

Prior to that my grandma, she actually owned a Bible. And I thought she's a holy woman, because she was able to read from the Bible. She had an old Bulgarian Bible, which was one of her most precious possessions. And she would read to us and I thought, "Wow, how amazing that is, that she knows all that," anyway, I was just really seeking to know God on a very, like personal level, I wanted so much more in my life.

Morgan Jones 5:30
So after the Berlin Wall fell, you were around 15 years old, and you begin this search, you're going to churches, and you eventually came in contact with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter–day Saints. How did that happen? And from what I understand the first time you attended church, it was on top of a soccer stadium?

Eva Timothy  5:53
Yes, correct.

Morgan Jones  5:54
So tell us a little bit about that.

Eva Timothy 5:57
Oh, yes, yes, I will. So I was walking one day, in a nearby park, and I remember seeing these two young men dressed in suits. And I, my heart was beating so fast, and I was just walking my dog. And the Spirit was telling me, "You need to say something. Say anything." And I – my heart was like, boom, boom, boom. And it's like, "Oh, what do I say? I don't even speak English!" And so in my very broken attempt to say anything, I said, "Do you teach about Jesus?" You know, "Is your church about Christ?" That's all I wanted to know. In fact, they had a depiction, they were doing a street boarding sign, and on that they had a depiction by Del Parson, it's the red robe depiction of the Savior, which I've never actually seen that before, it was so beautiful. And it really touched my heart, because I've seen before the iconic image of Christ, and I've seen a lot of Cathedral art, but never – that was just so beautiful. And I was really drawn to that image.

And so in my very broken English, I asked them, if they could tell me more about what they're doing in our land of Bulgaria, and it was amazing. We just started talking right away. And they were so sweet. They gave me a little sign – a little note that says, "We meet this time, on top of our soccer stadium," – you're exactly right – "And come and meet us on Sunday." It was at 10am. I remember that vividly. Because I went home and I told my parents and they're like, "Oh, yeah, another church. All right, go for it. Have fun." But I wanted this so much. And yeah, that was our initial, initial meeting. And I am just so grateful for God's did – opened my mouth and let me speak, and I was able to connect with them instantly, in that very moment. So that was a magic moment, wonderful moment for me.

Morgan Jones  7:48
So you mentioned the Dell Parsons painting that they had. And then I also noticed that you talked about when you went to the soccer stadium, that they had pictures, like taped up on the walls. Were you always into art? And what drew you to those particular images? or What did you notice different about those – that art?

Morgan Jones 7:52
So you mentioned the Del Parson painting that they had. And then I also noticed that you talked about when you went to the soccer stadium, that they had pictures like taped up on the walls. Were you always into art? And what drew you to those particular images, or what did you notice different about that art?

Eva Timothy 8:20
Yes, so I have always been into art. My dad actually would paint – he was an oil painter – and he would sketch, he would draw, he was an amazing artist. Unfortunately, he was never accomplished. He didn't get a degree in it. But it's always been in his heart. And he was initially – he's my first and always teacher that has opened the door to beauty around me.

And he would always say, "Look at this beauty. Look at the sunset, pause right now – enjoy life." And so he's been very instrumental as an artist in my life. And art has been huge. He actually painted the Fab Four in our kitchen wall. It was a big mural, we had the Beatles right there dining with us all the time in a little apartment. [Laughter] He could have gone to jail, actually, for doing that.

And art is huge. Art has always been a big part of my life, and so I'm very grateful for that and it's sustained me and helped me through hard times. Just having that visual has always been a big, big important part of my life.

And yes, that little room that our Church was renting on top of the soccer stadium is incredible to me. And the reason for that is, after going to all these amazing other wonderful churches, I never felt that I'm ready to commit. I never felt that, "This is my place. This is my church and I want to belong. I want to give my 100% here." They were great people and I made wonderful friends, but my instinct back then, you know, my feeling inside my heart was like, "Nope. You need to keep searching."

So it wasn't until I actually walked into that little room and with a taped up picture of the Savior, which was very humble circumstance, you didn't have the stained glass Cathedral windows, you didn't have the Baroque looks and – nothing. It was just a bunch of chairs, very humble, two sets of missionaries, myself investigating and learning about the gospel, and few other members. It was very, very humble setting.

And yet it was during that setting and that moment during the sacrament meeting is where I felt this immense love. And I felt like God cares for me, even though I was nobody. I was able to talk to Him. The missionaries taught me that I can actually have a conversation with Him. That He cares for me in this unknown land, He wants – He loves me, He wants to know me. So during that sacrament meeting and that, that sacred to me room, I knew right then in that moment, that this is where I belong. I knew with my whole heart that I have found what I have been searching for. And it always brings so much gratitude to my heart to think about that moment that I knew that God cares for me, despite how poor I was, what hard circumstances I grew up, and how much I didn't know about Him, that He loved me, and that was the beginning of many wonderful things to happen. But I just wanted to share that it's amazing how He finds us where we are. He knows what we go through. And he cares personally and individually in our own lives. And that was a big, big testimony for me about that.

Morgan Jones  11:31
That is so beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing that. I watched something that I found so fascinating about your conversion story. And that is, that when you were first given a pamphlet of the Book of Mormon, it only included select portions of the Book of Mormon. So you were supposed to simply – pray about the pamphlet. So what do you remember about that first reading of the Book of Mormon?

Eva Timothy  11:59
You know, it's interesting. I loved when the missionaries – exactly, you're exactly right – gave me that little pamphlet, it had 3 Nephi 11, and then it had Moroni's promise. So I vividly remember verses three to five and Moroni's promise, and I read the – what? – 15 pages that I had. And the thing that really touched me is the Elders were so wonderful. And they never said, you know, "You must join." They let me choose. And that brought a lot of joy to me, because living in a country that everyone was always telling you, "Do this, do that, do this," there's just so much conformity, and so much you must obey. Because it's – you're told to do it, and this was incredible.

They told me they know it's true. But they gave me the right to choose. And I was like, "Oh my gosh, I love this." And I love that I – again – that I mattered. That God is letting me decide for my own self. And I absolutely love that moment. And I, again, I just I read those verses and I – throughout the whole pamphlet, you know of the Book of Mormon, everything I read was testifying to me of Christ and I, I never for a moment even doubted that – is this true or not?

So even when they told me, "You must pray," I'm like, "Oh, it's great. I know it's true." You know? I already know it's true. And yet I did pray and it's this, this burning desire. And in my heart, it was just – now that I know what it was – the Spirit testifying to me that it is true. And I honestly, I just I absolutely love that we are giving that on such an individual basis to choose for ourselves., whether it's true or not. And I later on did have a class in college, that was a Book of Mormon class. I had just come off Bulgaria it was my only "B" my whole semester, because I didn't know who Zeezrom was. And my teacher gave me a “B,” so I worked so hard. But anyway, I should have really told them where I come from. It's really my fault. But yes, I didn't know any of the details. But I did – II was given the chance to pray, and my prayer was answered. And the knowledge of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon was right there burning inside of me.

Morgan Jones  14:08
You're like, "Cut me some slack. I didn't even have Zeezrom in my version of the Book of Mormon."

Eva Timothy  14:16
I know, "Who is that?" [Laughter] Yeah.

Morgan Jones 14:19
So I wondered though when I read that, I thought about how does it feel then – so you have the part that you read and you prayed about, and then later you're able to read the whole book – how does it make you appreciate the Book of Mormon in full, when originally you only had a portion of it?

Eva Timothy 14:41
Oh, wow, that is such a great question. And, you know, it's interesting, I still feel like I don't know the Book of Mormon. I've read it so, so many times and every day I open it and I'm like "Wow! I didn't know that." And I feel so much that like in a different points of my life, it speaks to me in different circumstances in a different way. So I think that's the beautiful part about the scriptures that they are so – such a . . . sign. This is a magnificent, amazing sign of God's care for us, that I may read a passage, you know, 20 years ago that didn't touch me to say that it would today.

And I like to picture that maybe almost like as a big mansion that you first read something little is the gateway – almost like baptism, right? You come unto Christ, you're baptized, you love it, you're committed. And yet there's so many wonderful mansions to explore. So many wonderful things about the gospel in general and also about the Book of Mormon in my life that I, even right now going through this crazy world we live in, I'm like, "Wow, the Book of Mormon is a blueprint for our society." And I'm reading, I'm like, "Wow, I'm discovering things I never even thought about before."

So it's a, it's a incredible document that we have, it's divinely given to us by God and translated by Joseph Smith and I'm very grateful that we have it to be a guide and instruction to us. And as we open our hearts to ponder the words, we are edified. And we can find faith and a lot of answers to questions we may have, and wondering what the answer is, it's right there. It's pretty powerful. So yes, the Book of Mormon is powerful.

Morgan Jones 16:23
I love it. I love it so much. So your parents, Eva, they were baptized with you, is that right?

Eva Timothy 16:30

Morgan Jones  16:31
So you came home after going to Church, and they were interested?

Eva Timothy 16:37
Yeah, I actually brought the missionaries home with me. We took the bus home, and I felt so strongly. See, my parents are my best friends. I'm the only child, I had a dog but – and so like, I was like, "You guys have to come home –" they probably thought I'm just a crazy 15 year old Bulgarian, like "Oh, what do we do."

But I'm glad they came, you know, I'm so glad they came. We took the elevator all the way to the eighth floor on our little block. We called those blocks, tall apartment, cement buildings, and we knocked on the door. And my parents were like, "Come on in," and of course, my mom put food on the table. You know, it's all about food in Bulgaria, we love to feed people so my family cooks a lot. A lot of good food, but – so we fed the missionaries, and that was just the beginning of our wonderful adventure of learning all about the gospel.

Morgan Jones 17:28
And how did – how would you say that the gospel changed your family from there on? Cause it sounds like you had – even under difficult circumstances, it sounds like you had such a happy family and a happy home. So how did the gospel change your shape, your family, from there on?

Eva Timothy 17:48
Oh, boy. Well, excellent question. I think it's amazing that because we live in so much darkness and unknowing and suppression and oppression, I feel like I'd cleave to any possible light I could find, and that was always my family. My family has been my beacon of light and has been so wonderful to me. And after I joined the Church and I was baptized and received the gift of the Holy Ghost, I felt like this immense light.

It was actually what the missionaries – they had like an aura around their face, every time I'd see them, they were shining. And I wanted that. So I wanted that so much in my life. And I feel like the gospel has brought this light that is so strong and powerful that no matter what circumstance you're in, that that is our – what we cleave on. It's what as an artist I try to portray. I'm very much so drawn to light. In fact, my motto as an artist is "Discovering light and life." And I just think the gospel is that source of that light, because it's the light of Christ. And I – that's the most eternal and most beautiful light that we can hold onto in any parts of our lives in any circumstance, whatever we're going through, I love the gospel and the light that comes from the Savior.

Morgan Jones 19:04
Beautifully said, Thank you so much. So since then – you were 15 years old then – and that was in the early 90s, is that right?

Eva Timothy 19:13
Yes. I was baptized in 92. 1992.
Morgan Jones 19:18
Okay, so since then, I'd love to hear how your faith has developed and evolved. You – I know you served a mission and you have a beautiful family, you moved to the United States. So tell us a little bit – kind of catch us up in the year since 1992.

Eva Timothy 19:36
Oh, boy, okay. So I actually had this dream also to come to America since I was a little kid, and nobody ever believed me. They laughed at me in my face and they would always say, "Nobody. You're no one, you have no connections. You're not a member of the Communist Party. No one will ever let you leave the country." And yet I had that dream. I wanted to study and learn the English language. I had these three by five cards that are . . . would bring my pocket and carry with me anywhere. And I would always write down the new words.

So it's been amazing how the Lord has prepared me, and giving me that dream that I can follow. And everything just happened at the right time to me. I was translating for missionary couple there, and they were telling me, "Well you should really come to college. You should go study in America." I was like, "Oh, that sounds so great. I'd love to, but I don't know if I could even pass the exam." And so anyway, they helped prepare me, they helped me a lot, I would translate for them, and then we would have our English lesson. They were just so sweet and there was a TOEFL exam I had to pass in order to come to college. And I passed by like four points. So that was barely, and –

Morgan Jones 20:44
Nailed it.

Eva Timothy 20:47
[Laughter] Yeah, and I was just so grateful that the door was open. There was a wonderful family in Utah, Richard and Linda Eyre, and their daughter, actually was serving a mission in Bulgaria, Sharon, who we have, we became such good friends and we would just talk about America. And I just, I just loved her. She was an exceptional missionary. And we would go on splits and teach the gospel as well. And it was just, it was a joyful time. And then she said, "Well, we've been wanting to sponsor somebody from Bulgaria to come and study in America." I was like, "Oh, my gosh, thank you Heavenly Father!"

So they brought me here, I lived with them while going to college. There was also another family helping me as well, the Blackburn's, and anyway, it was just a, it's a miraculous way that God opened these doors that I thought were forever closed. And yet, I hoped and I had faith that they would open one day. And I actually never wanted to go on a mission, to be honest. I just thought it's not for me, I was almost done with college only had a semester left to graduate, which was like a big dream for me to have a college degree.

Morgan Jones 21:52
I didn't want to go on a mission either. And I only had one semester left of college.

Eva Timothy 21:56
Oh my gosh, I love you. [Laughter]

Oh, my gosh, that's crazy. I love it. I know, I tell you. We'd go walking and talking every day together, we would just have so much fun.

Morgan Jones 22:09
Amen, amen. Okay, sorry, I interrupted you. Continue.

Eva Timothy 22:12
No, no, no. So I thought, oh, that's great. Many wonderful ladies have gone, sisters and dear friends, but I'm like, "No, no, not for me." And it's funny, because every time I would pray about it, I would feel this affirmation. But I would keep thinking "No, maybe that's like one day when I go with my husband. Or like when I'm a senior missionary. It's just not for me right now." And I remember Richard Eyre, the family I was living with, he would keep saying, "Well just keep praying about it. Just keep praying." You know, he was a big advocate for me to go. But again, he let me choose, right?

And so I keep praying about it. And the more I keep praying about it, I actually went to the Salt Lake temple and um, which I kissed the ground when I came to America. I kissed the ground at Temple Square, because I was so happy to be there. And I went to that same beautiful temple that I love with my whole heart. And I prayed with – again, with sincere desire to know – to Heavenly Father, like, "Should I go? Should I – " I was so worried because of my visa, I did not want to be sent to Bulgaria again, and I could not come back to America. And it's just like, there's so many things that were saying "No, not for you."

And yet, deep inside of me. I knew it's for me. And so I went to the template and I prayed. And I fasted about it. And I just knew it. It was right there that I knew that I have to go and serve the Lord. And that was like a wrestle for me for over two years. And you know, I knew I should go but yeah, yeah, yeah. . So I was so grateful to finally know that I’m meant to go, that I should go. And after that, it's amazing. Once I had decided I was like, "Oh, what else can I do to serve the Lord? I want to serve even more. What more can I do to be even more obedient?" You know?

I just felt like, knowing – it's amazing. Knowing what you're called to do, the minute you realize that and let your will surrender to God's will, it's amazing how he does the rest. And he blesses and helps us to do – I thought – the impossible. He magnifies our little fishes and loaves that we may have to give Him, but He feeds the 5,000, you know? Our little effort, our little will that we have is all we have truly, right? But as we give that to Him, He does His magic. He does His power. And I'm so grateful for that and for that opportunity to do what other people, other missionaries, gave me that I had a chance to go to New York City and share what was given to me with others and that ultimately drove me to give back what I was given.

Morgan Jones 24:46
So now your family has made this very unique art form that you've worked on, kind of a family affair and I loved reading about how all of the members of your family contribute to this work that you're doing. But first, let's start with kind of a base understanding of what this is that you're doing. So you take photography, and I understand you somehow use digital technology to like enhance the images, or how does that work? Tell us about your process.

Eva Timothy 25:18
Yes, yes, yes. So I have – I graduated in communications with emphasis in film and photography. So I have worked as a fine art photographer for the last 15 years, and had a wonderful experience. I've done a lot of black and white projects, I've done a "Lost in Learning" which I photographed the Renaissance, which has been sculptured, painted, and illustrated, but never photographed. And I've always had a passion for the pre – Raphaeli era and the renaissance and the beautiful way they depict the Savior.

So in the last three or so years, I have felt very strong urge to create a body of work that is centered on Jesus. And that thought kept coming to me continually for this – a very long period of time. And yet, I had so much opposition even starting to create this project. And I think it's important to say that because sometimes people are like, "Oh, whatever, this is great. You know, it just happens." And it's not easy. And it took a very, very long time, and a lot of opposition, and that opposition keeps continues, right? I mean, we just need to keep living and asking God for help.

And I think it's important I have, like, I've been in tears begging God, knowing, how do I create this? How do I do this? My mom passed away, she had cancer, we had tragedies strike. And I felt like so empty, because I felt like I need to do this. And I think a lot of times, a lot of your listeners maybe feel that way that, "I want to create this, I want to do this. And yet I feel that I can't, like I feel empty, I want to," and I just – keep going, keep trying, because God knows that.

We all have so many gifts to share and uplift and help each other. For Him, and show His light in our lives, and I think it's so important to keep seeking. Sorry to go backwards a little bit. But I just think it's important to point that out that it's been a lot of opposition prior to even coming up with this idea and the process and everything. And it's important for us to keep asking God for that divine guidance, every step in our life.

And as I started as a photographer, I start my process actually, well, first of all, we start with a prayer. And we study the scriptures and we really ponder, what should we depict? What should be the exact scene to be portrayed and the art and so once that begins in the conversation is coming from a certain scripture or passages of scriptures or a story, in any of our sacred scriptures, and then I would photograph the scene.

By working my props I get my daughter's often involved, as well as my sons, my husband. And so we get what we have, what we think, what we feel is the right clothing and props which we have been graciously given by a lot of friends as well, things I didn't have our own, so it's been great to have that help as well.

And then what I do is I would take that the composition and then I have taught myself to actually paint it in Photoshop. So I take, I bring the work into Photoshop, and then I just do extensive digital painting. I do all my lighting, I do all my shadows, I love to create that feel of the pre-Raphaelite, I love the flowing feel of the robes, the feeling and I love – there's sometimes a lot of layers involved sometimes over 100 layers. Sometimes I have like five or six photographs blended in together, so it's a slow process that has a lot of detail. Detail woven.

And I'm not a very technical person, and so God helps me. I have to tell you, all the glory is to Him, because I would be halfway through, I'm like, "I don't know what to do. I have no idea what I should do next. I don't know." And I would be like, "Ahhh!" and then I would just pray and I would ask Him to guide me and I have to tell you, I have so often been in my studio, and I would be like, I would be crying and it's been amazing just feeling the spirit so strong. So I would - I just, I have to tell you God's really guiding me and I feel Him so much. I would listen to Nathan Pacheco's music sometimes when I'm creating and I'm like, I'm crying because even little details of like where the light should come from and then to darken that side a little bit more and any – it's been amazing. I am so humbled and so grateful to be able to create this work for the Savior and I just, I feel like a missionary a little bit again. All over again, so I love that.

Morgan Jones 29:49
That's so cool. I think that's something that like anytime you have an opportunity after you've been a missionary to share the gospel in some capacity, it just feels so sweet because it brings back those memories of what that was like.

One thing that I love Eva about the pieces that you've created is that you rarely include people's faces. And you said that the reason that you do that is because you want people to imagine if it were them, if they were the ones in the in the piece of art. So how did you decide to do that? Or get the inspiration to, to kind of keep faces out of it?

Eva Timothy 30:26
Yes. Oh, great. I'm so glad you noticed. You're amazing, you're an artist yourself. And truly, it's, it's something that I felt very inspired, it was like revealed to me. Literally, I felt a strong impression. Before I even started this whole project that this has to be a very personal, intimate view of what the Savior did. Just like what you said, that we are one on one with Him, that we can just step right into this story and hold His hand. That we can be right there hugging him or touching his robe or giving the fishes to Him it's this, this momentum that we all see Him in our own special way. And that's the beauty of it, that He's so dear to our heart. And what I wanted to bring is this intimate view of the Savior, that intimate story that we all individually matter so much to Him, and to jump right in into what He did for us and what He is doing in our lives, in our hearts, this very moment, this very day,

Morgan Jones 31:26
Eva, how long does it normally take you to create a piece like this?

Eva Timothy 31:33
Oh, you know, it really varies. So I've had, like, for example, the tree of life that I did, I think that took me like a few months. So it could – it varies. I mean, sometimes I would be done within like few days. But uh, and I mean, you have to, you have to first do the scene, and then I have to bring it in, and then I edit but sometimes they really can take weeks.

It just depends on how much and what I feel. And sometimes I don't even know how to finish right then and have to just keep praying and asking Him.

Morgan Jones 32:03
Come back to it.

Eva Timothy 32:03
To come back to it, yeah, exactly. So – but I do like to finish what I started. Unlike Da Vinci right? He just kept painting everything. I kind of want to finish what I started, so I'd like to have it done whenever I can, but.

Morgan Jones  32:17
Yeah. So Eva, one thing that I honestly found myself feeling a little bit jealous as I looked at your art and thought about the experience of spending that kind of time with Christ, and I think that that's something that, you know, we read our scriptures, and we do "Come, Follow Me" and we long to feel closer to Him, but few of us have the chance to devote the amount of time that you've devoted to creating these pieces to spend with Christ. So how has creating this Christ–centered art allowed you to feel like you know, Christ better?

Eva Timothy 32:56
Oh, wow. You know, it's interesting. I'm always jealous of missionaries now, looking and thinking they have all this time to study the Scriptures, and to just ponder, and in a good way, right? But I feel like that's with a lot of my friends that I have I'm like, "Wow, you guys can just ponder their scriptures, and sit down and do this as well." So it's interesting how we all, we all feel that. That there's always wanting more, you want more time with the Savior. And I – it's just so fantastic that it's wonderful that we continue to hunger and thirst after that righteousness. And I think that's, that's ultimately – I do it every day. I'm like, oh, I wish I have more time.

And so it's wonderful that I feel very, very humbled, truly, and very blessed that I've been able to be part of this work that Heavenly Father inspires me to do. Because it does – I mean, I honestly, after, like if I've been doing yelling or just not having a good day, I can't create. So I don't feel like I could just go and do and so it's been, it's been very transformational for me as well because I feel like I have to align myself. I have to be good, in order to create this work. And when I fall short, I can't do much at all.

And I think that's the beauty of the gospel, is we continually strive, you know, we strive to be closer to Him and we keep striving to have Him in our lives and I . . . creating this, I seriously, I would shut my door and I'd be in my studio and I– it's been a very spiritual experience for me. One that has brought me much closer to the Savior on a different level, because I am using my art now to show how much I love the Savior.

Usually I would just use my words and who I am, right? But now I'm trying to – as I'm creating I'm always feeling, "I hope people feel that love that I feel right now." When I'm in my studio and and I'm – I feel it. Like my heart starts burning and beating fast and I'm like "Oh my gosh, I love this." I, I hope that other people would feel that too.

And that's why I keep creating, because I hope that people, when they look, when they stop and ponder and look at the art, that they will be brought to feel that love for the Savior. Their love for Him would be magnified. And that's what gets me creating constantly. So I pray and I hope that people will feel that strong love that the Savior has for us, and that they will feel Him in their hearts, and it would bring more light, more happiness, more joy, as they look unto Him in their own personal lives. And that's what gets me creating every single time, and I'm so excited and try to push through opposition and hard times. And, and I seek that. I hope this makes sense.

Morgan Jones 35:54
No, it makes complete sense. And I think, you know, going back to what you said about feeling jealous of missionaries, the best advice I was given before my mission was from my grandma who didn't serve a mission and is a convert to the Church herself. She joined the church when she was married to my grandpa. And she said, "You will never have another chance the rest of your life where you don't have anything else demanding your time or your attention, but the gospel of Jesus Christ. And the opportunity to study your scriptures and to draw closer to Him."

And I often think back on that, and I think how did she know that? Like, how did she even think to give me that advice? And I do think any opportunity that we have, whether it's just a short season of life, whether it's a mission or a professional endeavor, any chance to use our time and our talents to come to know Christ better is such a gift. And I just wanted to ask you, Eva, your art was recently featured in the "Face to Face" event. What did that mean to you? With the Young Women General Presidency.

Eva Timothy  37:04
Oh, my heart leaped of joy. I was so excited. I love the young women. They're just so beautiful worldwide, and the Young Women Presidency, they are genuinely so darling, all three of them, and care for the young women worldwide. And I just love what they do. And I am just so humbled and grateful to be part of that magnificent broadcast, the music, the dancers, the languages spoken, it was the best I've ever seen. It was so beautiful.

Morgan Jones 37:34
It was. It was an incredible program. So Eva, my last question for you is the question that we ask at the end of every episode of this podcast. And that is, what does it mean to you to be all in the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

Eva Timothy 37:50
I just give my whole heart. I am so grateful for the opportunity that I can do that. I love the gospel. I am forever grateful for those two missionaries that left home and country to find me and teach me and many other ones after them that came. And I am forever grateful that I can be a disciple of Jesus Christ. And I love my family. And I'm grateful that my children love the gospel, I feel very blessed that we can share that love. And it means that you just live for Christ, you hold up that light that He's given us, and we keep sharing and talking and any possible way we can to, to do His will in our own special ways and hold that life He's given us.

Morgan Jones 38:37
Thank you so much. Eva, it has been such a treat to talk with you. And we'll be excited to continue to follow along with your work in the future.

Eva Timothy 38:49
Thank you, Morgan so much. You're amazing. I love your show. You do a fantastic job inspiring all of us. So thank you. Thank you.

Morgan Jones 38:56
No, right back at you, thank you. A huge thank you to Eva Timothy for joining us on today's episode. You can learn more about Eva's art by visiting Evatimothy.com.

Thanks to Derek Campbell of Mix at Six studios for his help with this episode, and thank you so much for spending time with us this year. We will be taking a break for the holidays but we'll be back with you in early January with more great episodes. In the meantime, we hope you have a very Merry Christmas. We'll look forward to being with you again in the new year.

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