I occasionally like to make art based off of scripture. I decided to make a page dedicated to it here!
1st Nephi 2: 41-92
I have always been fond of Lehi’s dream, and I wanted to try and take a new perspective of what it looks like. I wanted to try and convey how surreal a vision/psychedelic trip could look like.
Each branch of this tree has a cluster of leaves, and each leaf has one of the “white fruits” in it. The order of the colors for each cluster of leaves moves forward by 1. I have a palette of 8 colors that I like to work with, so I made 8 clusters of leaves with a 9th in the middle that has the different orders and makes a spiral.
I thought of a couple symbolic meanings as I was creating it – There are many different ways that people live, but God’s love (the white fruit) is present in all of them. At the end of each fractal is white, and I like to think that at the end of everyone’s life they will find love.
1st Nephi 5: 10-14, 31-41
The Liahona is introduced in 1st Nephi 5: 10-14, and is a round brass ball with two spindles in it that acted as a compass for Lehi and Sariah’s family only if they were righteous. At times it also gives written instructions of where to go to find food. For me, the Liahona has always been a symbol of God guiding us through life.
Since the Liahona is entirely brass, I decided to exclusively use yellows for this art project, which is a departure from by rainbow-colored art.
I envisioned the ball to be kind of like a Magic 8 Ball, which is to say that it is round with a slice off the bottom so you can see inside. Instead of advice this just has compass spindles. This art piece depicts the Liahona from an aerial view.
The compass features a lot of stars, moons, and suns. Besides being integral to early navigation these are also symbols that are a core part of D&C 76.
The odd symbols along the outside may look familiar to some folks. These are from the “Caractors” document, which is said to be “Reformed Egyptian” or the Nephite writing system (even though i think this is just a made-up language). I made HD calligraphic versions of many of the symbols and added them as neat and subtle nod to the story.
Finally I wanted to put spirals near the center. The spiral, as we all know, is closely associated with the temple. I felt like including it in this would pay homage to where our people are today.
The Destruction of the Nephites
230,000 Nephite soldiers along with all of their spouses and children were killed in the final battle between the Nephites and the Lamanites on a battlefield near Hill Cumorah. This battle only left 24 Nephite survivors.
I wanted to try and depict the dread, sorrow, and despair that war brings. I wanted to depict how much death and violence is caused by war.
The main part of this piece is the 5 swords and the hundreds of drops of blood that surround them. I wanted to try and depict just how much blood, violence, and loss of life there is because of war.
The circles represent the 24 survivors who had to watch everyone they ever knew and love die in this genocide. I depicted them as red because they were all generals who participated in this senseless war and bear some degree of responsibility for it.
The sky is black except for the red aura to give a sense of doom and hopelessness that would be felt in such a setting. The battlefield likewise is dark and dreary.
The only light and goodness that is found is on the Hill Cumorah, which would come to contain the Golden Plates. The failures of the Nephites can serve as a warning for us so we don’t make the same mistakes. This compels us to learn exactly what mistakes the Nephites made.