Selected patches in this quilt represent scriptures that teach gospel principles
that are meaningful to me. The quilt was inspired by the testimony and example of
Nephi, who made such great efforts to ensure that his people would have a record
of the word of God and know His works. Nephi’s love of the scriptures and powerful
testimony touch the hearts of many and inspire us to read and study the scriptures
and apply God’s plan to our lives. “For my soul delighteth in the scriptures, and
my heart pondereth them, and writeth them for the learning and the profit of my children”
(2 Nephi 4:15).
The angel Moroni weather vane atop the original Nauvoo temple represents an active
participation in bringing the everlasting gospel to “them that dwell on the earth”
(Revelation 14:6). Moroni’s trumpeting implores us to “make known his wonderful works.”
God also promises great blessings to those who are faithful in living the gospel:
“Prove yourselves unto me that ye are faithful in all things whatsoever I command
you, that I may bless you, and crown you with honor, immortality, and eternal life”
(D&C 124:55). My painting incorporates both the admonition to be faithful and the
command to broadcast the joy of the gospel, as represented by the angel Moroni.
The allegory of the olive tree, recorded in Jacob 5, makes known to me God’s wonderful
works. It is an allegory of the Master, of His devotion and work in the vineyard
throughout the world and of the work of his servants. The olive tree is one of the
archetypal elements of the earth, known for its ability to grow in dry, unforgiving
soil. In the center of the artwork lies the quatrefoil from Christian symbolism.
A window represents the four gospels and all servants who labor diligently for the
salvation of man. In Native American culture, the leaves of the quatrefoil symbolize
the four outermost parts of the vineyard.
This painting depicts various aspects of the Atonement. It is based on Isaiah 53:2,
“For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground.”
The most wonderful work of God is the Atonement. The Father sent His Son “as a tender
plant” to suffer for our sins. The Savior made old become new, and He still continues
to do so with our lives. In the midst of the wasteland of the world, Christ is the
only way of light and life.
Scriptures from Isaiah are represented on banners in each of the nine floral blocks.
The Salt Lake Temple is depicted in the center block. The grapevine border suggests
abundance of life and the life of the Savior.
“Behold, I have dreamed a dream” (1 Nephi 8:2), Lehi proclaimed to his family. He
then described a tree whose bright, white fruit filled his soul with great joy. With
the feeling of a tender parent, Lehi entreated his family to partake of the fruit
of the tree—the love of God. In this piece, the tree of life feeds on the fountain
of living waters. Its gnarly trunk, rooted in the rock of revelation, gives foothold
to all who climb to partake of the fruit. Light enlivens the roots, leaves, and fruit.
Righteous desire starts us on the path; joy is our reward.
“This work is pieced together with pearl shells, featuring ancient Chinese architecture
and people. The colors displayed by the pearl shells are more dazzling than ivory
and will not fade. That is why I chose pearl shells.”
” I have done two versions of this sculpture. The first represented Christ healing
in the Old World. This version represents the Book of Mormon account of Christ healing
His “other sheep . . . which are not of this fold” (John 10:16). Christ asked the
people if there were any sick among them and said, “Bring them hither and I will
heal them, for I have compassion upon you; my bowels are filled with mercy. . . .
And he did heal them every one as they were brought forth unto him. . . . And it
came to pass that he commanded that their little children should be brought. . .
. And he spake unto the multitude, and said unto them: Behold your little ones” (3
Nephi 17:7, 9, 11, 23).”
“I can almost name each piece as I form it, for its expression of solemnity almost
brings out a personality that I can recognize. The scriptural source for this sculpture
is 3 Nephi, chapters 12, 15, and 28, in the Book of Mormon.”
Our Savior created all things with His love through His words, and we can feel God’s
love through all things around us. The followers of Christ can inherit eternal life,
for everyone who keeps the Lord’s commandments, acts in faith, and works righteousness
will receive a crown of eternal life. “For behold, this is my work and my glory—to
bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39).
I beheld a tree, whose fruit was desirable to make one happy. And it came to pass
that I did go forth and partake of the fruit thereof; and I beheld that it was most
sweet, above all that I ever before tasted. Yea, and I beheld that the fruit thereof
was white, to exceed all the whiteness that I had ever seen. And as I partook of
the fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy; wherefore, I began
to be desirous that my family should partake of it also; for I knew that it was desirable
above all other fruit. —1 Nephi 8:10–12
When asked what he would like his work to be known for Albin responded; "If
I can enrich the lives of those who view my work in any way, I have accomplished
my goal. There is something of the divine that comes through the work of one who
has mastered his mode of expression and who has something good to say. When that
message comes through and awakens something within the viewer that improves his or
her life; that, I believe, is the higher purpose of art. That's what I strive for."
Many scriptures use things we see around us every day as symbols of the Savior and
His gospel. I included scriptures within the landscape to visually connect the Creator
with His wondrous creations, as referred to in Alma 30:44: “All things denote there
is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it.”
“For the mountain waves shall dash upon you. Nevertheless, I will bring you up again
out of the depths of the sea; for the winds have gone forth out of my mouth, and
also the rains and the floods have I sent forth” (Ether 2:24). The Jaredites “did
sing praises unto the Lord” (Ether 6:9) throughout their journey of 344 days upon
the waters. They endured the terrible tempests with gladness, knowing it was the
Lord who caused the furious wind. They viewed their trials as a manifestation of
divine guidance, “and it came to pass that the wind did never cease to blow towards
the promised land while they were upon the waters” (Ether 6:8).
The kneeling figure of Faith calls to the viewer with her right hand as she carefully
nurtures a young plant with her left hand. This tender plant is the word of the gospel,
as Alma describes (see Alma 32). Hope, the figure on the right, waits patiently but
expectantly for the fruit the plant will one day bear as she looks toward Charity.
Charity, the pure love of Christ, which “never faileth,” stands in the others’ company,
representing the transcendence of charity, as Paul so eloquently describes (see 1
Corinthians 13). Charity holds a light that gives life to the growing plant so that
it “swelleth, and sprouteth” and eventually flourishes and bears fruit (Alma 32:30).
My painting was inspired by the story of the Liahona in the Book of Mormon.
“And it came to pass that as my father arose in the morning, and went forth to the
tent door, to his great astonishment he beheld upon the ground a round ball of curious
workmanship; and it was of fine brass. And within the ball were two spindles; and
the one pointed the way whither we should go into the wilderness. . . . And we did
follow the directions of the ball, which led us in the more fertile parts of the
wilderness” (1 Nephi 16:10, 16).
Cattle, a traditional African instrument of exchange used to seal sacred contracts,
here represent the covenant white-haired Lehi is making with the Lord. His family,
upper right, make their way to the tree, but Laman and Lemuel and two seated figures
are interested only in worldly things.