Friday, September 30, 2011

Eternal Families Eternally Enshrined in Art

Every time I enter the Family History Library across from Temple Square in Salt Lake City, I am greeted by family.

 At least it's not "political."

"The Eternal Family through Christ" by Judith Mehr.
Entrance to LDS Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah
It's hard to do a larger-than-life mural justice on a computer screen. Click here for a fuller view as well as an interpretation of the mural.

As I have explained previously, one of the most powerful doctrines of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, and perhaps one of the the most unique among modern religions, is the belief in priesthood authority in holy Temples to offer ordinances of salvation by proxy to deceased ancestors along with the sealing power to unite families for the eternities. It's seems astounding and somewhat complex as doctrines go. Yet, if we believe the Atonement of Christ is for all mankind, how else is it available to those who have died without ever having heard of it? The doctrine of some Christians who condemn innocent children and those who have never even heard of Christ to eternal hell is beyond my comprehension. Everybody who has ever lived or will live on this earth gets a chance at eternal life in families according to Mormon beliefs.

It never fails to spark a little charge to my spirit of familial love when I enter the library and facing that mural turn to the right for the stairs down to the bottom basement where the British records are maintained. I literally recognize family. My aunt, uncle and cousins served as the models for the celestial family prominently front on the right. My cousins are frozen in time for all time as I remember them in their teenage years. Their images are as close to exact as can be by an artist who included a spark of the divine in their countenances. That's what I expect angels to look like - people I know. Of course, Kristen and Scott are still with us here on earth. Their dad is not. And this is my aunt, my dad's sister, who went with us to ancestral lands in Wales last summer on our genealogical expedition.

Families are eternal. That is a very great comfort. Atonement and the healing of families even more so.


  1. I visited the Family History Center for the first time this summer, and was struck by the amazing mural by Judith Mehr. As a lover of genealogy and family history work, this mural embodied everything that I believe and love. Is it available as a print? I would love to own a copy, and to solicit my home ward to invest in one for the foyer. Is it available for purchase?

    1. I don't know. I haven't seen prints of it. You might try Googling the artist and see if she has such prints. I do love that mural!


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