Sunday, April 2, 2017

Endless

In some pioneer journals it is stated that what seemed endless?
a.                  Buffalo herds
b.                  Mountains
c.                   Trials
d.                  Natives
Yesterday’s answer:
(C)   Mormon Preachers
There hangs from time to time in the State Art Museum in Copenhagen an oil by the noted Danish artist Christen Dalsgaard that was painted about this time, 1855-56. Its title is Mormon Preachers. The scene is the interior of a Danish carpenter shop. Two missionaries are calling on the carpenter and his family. The room has the low, beamed ceilings and the whitewashed walls that were later to be found in Utah. There are eight figures, but two are placed and lighted to stand out. One is a missionary, perhaps in his early thirties, with one booted foot propped up on a carpenter’s rest, using it as a pulpit to hold an open book presumably of the Book of Mormon, while he lectures with a sincerity and conviction that glow through the canvas. In the foreground, seated, is the second highlighted figure, a little blind girl, her face lifted up in the beams of light from the casement window as she seems to drink in the words of the missionary. Perhaps he is reminding her that Christ healed the blind and that the Book of Mormon restores the early Christian works. Beside her sits an old man, probably a farmer, with one hand twisted over his cane and dressed in heavy cloth decorated with the brass buttons of the time, while on the floor beside him is the upturned stovepipe hat. Sticking out is a pamphlet, “En Sandheds Rost,” the original pamphlet of Erastus Snow, published five years before and reprinted many time thereafter. The carpenter stands beside his bench looking over another tract while a genial but skeptical smile plays over his face. A baby plays under the bench, and beside the door leans a barefooted girl, perhaps the servant girl, impassive, with a certain disinterest. Possibly she has heard gossip of the Mormons. In the background the mother of the house tends a baby.
   Before your eyes a hundred years is peeled away and suddenly you glimpse something of the fervor of the missionaries, the great desire to believe on the part of some Danes, and at least a willingness to listen on the part of others.
Robert Mullen, The Latter-day Saints: The Mormons Yesterday and Today (New York: Doubleday, 1966), 130-131.

Here is the painting "Mormon Preachers"

Image result for christen dalsgaard

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