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PREVIEW: Conference Doc ‘Sacred Images’

SALT LAKE CITY — The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints asked facilities managers in May of 2020 to place artwork of Jesus Christ in the main entrances of Church buildings throughout the world.

They want Latter-day Saints and visitors to see His sacred image.

President M. Russell Ballard, acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, felt the change was necessary.

“Members of the Church, when they come in, recognize they’re coming into His Church, into His building to worship Him,” he said.

The Church’s printing division is where the artwork for meetinghouses and temples is created. Images are printed, mounted, framed, and shipped, all with great care.

Clark Draper is the group manager of the Fine Art Group Division.

“Our associates take great care and pride in that,” he said. “They are putting something together that is going to touch somebody’s life.”

As the Church expands its art collection, there is a growing number of Latter-day Saint artists who are creating works that reflect the various cultures and races of the faith.

Kwani Povi Winder has helped create a sisterhood of these young Latter-day Saint artists. They are bringing diversity to these images.

“Already, there’s more of us, and there’s always more that are kind of joining this call to create spiritual art,” said Winder.

Over the decades, Church leaders have commissioned works that reflect the ministry of the Savior.

Latter-day Saints and visitors worldwide can see these pieces in both the Conference Center and the Church Museum of History and Art.

KSL toured both with Director Laura Paulsen Howe.

“He Comes Again to Rule and Reign” by Mary Sauer is a newly-commissioned work.

“Art is a visual language,” Paulson said. “The better we can get at conversing in multiple visual languages, the better we can be at helping people know and understand and recognize themselves as part of the family of Jesus Christ.”

Camille Johnson, the new Primary general president, showed us the art she chose for her office.

“This art piece is Michael Malm’s ‘And a Little Child Shall Lead Them,'” Johnson said. “I love that this daughter, this child, is pointing her family toward the Savior and, in fact, as you look to the right, it looks like perhaps a friend is coming and taking directions from this young girl.”

Religious art – images of Deity or scenes from the scriptures – inspires people of all faiths.

It is often an emotional connection to their worship.

Join us as we explore the importance of “Sacred Images.”

“Sacred Images” will air Sunday, Oct. 3 at noon, following the morning sessions of General Conference.

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