Just some background on this exhibit, in Europe, specifically Sweden, Denmark, and Germany, there are these churches wherein they have altar paintings. A painting of Christ over the altar. These churches were so generous to allow the paintings, many of which had never left their place over the altar, to travel to Utah for a few months to be on exhibit at this museum.
Many of the paintings were ones that are well known in the LDS church. However, my favorites were not. My absolute favorite was Agony in the Garden by Franz Schwartz.
I told my parents about this and they came down to Provo yesterday and we went to the exhibit again with them. There was so much to learn about all these paintings, and the second time through, Joe and I both learned entirely new things.
A particular painting stood out to me in a way that didn't before, Christ and the Rich Young Ruler by Heinrich Hoffman. I stared at this painting, it was so familiar, and I realized that Joseph and I owned a portion of this painting, it sits in our house.
This picture is special to me. Joseph and I were so incredibly blessed for my Grams and Grandpop to attend our sealing in the Brigham City Temple. They gave us a check, as a gift, and we wondered what we would buy with the check. My mom suggested a small statue or picture of Christ, so that is what we purchased.
A few months later I woke up from a nightmare that the painting was stolen from our home and Joe consoled me as I was in a mess of tears. I calmed down enough to shower and dress myself, and we got in our car and drove to my Grams's funeral. The painting has always reminded me of my grandparents and their influence for good in my life. Learning more about the painting last night was just incredibly special.
In the painting, Christ implores the rich young man to follow him. To give up his wordly possessions and become a true apostle of Christ.
An interpretation of the painting states that for all intents and purposes, that young man is a good man, a member of Christ's gospel, and yet he places things above serving Christ. The painting invites him to become a true disciple of Christ and to follow him with full faith, modeling his life after Christ and serving others.
The woman giving her interpretation stated that many people who follow Christ are good people, but they will change their loyalties and opinions based on the winds of the world. She stated that we should be true Christians, drawing our line upon the ground stating "This is where I stand, Christ, and this is where I will stay, with you, serving you always."
So today I'm drawing my line in the sand and dedicating my life to serving as Christ did and as he would today, lifting those around me in need of help, giving my time and energy to bettering the world. I am not perfect and I will certainly make mistakes but my goal is to do everything in my power to be a true Christian. And I invite you to do the same.