This My Son by Elspeth Young

This My Son

{ This My Son }
Pre-mounted Giclées on canvas (gatorboard)
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12" x 16"$140.0012" x 16.25"$142.0014" x 18"$175.00
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Original oil painting$8,634.00 Sold
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O my son, I desire that ye should deny the justice of God no more.

Do not endeavor to excuse yourself in the least point because of your sins, by denying the justice of God; but do you let the justice of God, and his mercy, and his long-suffering have full sway in your heart; and let it bring you down to the dust in humility.

And now, O my son, ye are called of God to preach the word unto this people.

And now, my son, go thy way, declare the word with truth and soberness, that thou mayest bring souls unto repentance, that the great plan of mercy may have claim upon them.

And may God grant unto you even according to my words.


Alma 42:30-31

The story behind This My Son

Alma the Younger was a prophet of God in the Americas during the two centuries immediately prior to the birth of Jesus Christ.  The story of his own waywardness and subsequent repentance as a youth—resulting in a greatly altered life--is a story of hope to all who earnestly seek forgiveness when it seems that forgiveness is impossible; nevertheless, this painting is concerned with the forgiveness that this repentant father extends to his wayward son, Corianton.

When Corianton was a young man, he accompanied his father, older brother, and several other carefully selected servants of the Lord, who embarked upon a mission to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to a people who had apostatized from the Church and established their own heathen religion.  During his ministry, Corianton abandoned his commission and became entangled in harlotry.  His conduct adversely affected the overall success of the effort to reclaim those who had left the Church.

Not long after returning home, Alma, preparing to depart on yet another missionary journey, gave his farewell blessing to each of his sons.  His charge to Corianton is not only one of the finest doctrinal discourses in all of scripture, but reaches out to his erring son as an example of undying love fit for the ages.  It is the conclusion of that paternal benediction captured in this painting (see Alma 42:30-31).  Nor was the manner in which Alma dealt with his son futile, for Corianton did repent, did return to the ministry to which he had been called, and did endure faithful to the end of his days (see Alma 63:10-11).

Symbolism in This My Son

While Alma faces the viewer, Corianton is facing away.  Consequently, in the expression on Alma's face we see reflected the willingness of God to let us turn our back on the sins we have committed, on the trouble and anguish we have caused, and on the destruction the adversary has prepared for us—the destruction of our happiness, our lives, our very souls.   Alma's embrace is neither a partial nor a tentative expression of forgiveness, love, and acceptance, but is powerful in its very grasp; conveying the completeness of the Father's desire to lift us—from where we are—up and out of the darkness seeking always to drag us down.  Nor can we see Corianton's face, which means that were we to see him in another context, for example, we would not recognize him, we would not know him for the sinner he had been; we would know him only in the sublime context of God's forgiveness, a truly blessed condition in which He declares that the sins of anyone this forgiven shall be remembered no more.

Corianton's clothing is iconic of the wanderer (any prodigal); unlike the simple purity of Alma's robe, Corianton's garb also draws attention to itself and the wearer.  Just as Corianton's boastful behavior drew him "among the borders of the Lamanites, after the harlot Isabel," so his clothing faintly echoes perceptions of traditional Lamanite costume.
© By Elspeth Young, All Rights Reserved. You may not print, copy, or reproduce this artwork or make derivative works from it without the prior written consent of the copyright holder. For permissions, please review our FAQ page.

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Gallery Walk: This My Son by Elspeth Young

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the story in this painting
the creation of this paintingOriginal artworks produced by the Artists of Al Young Studios are part of themed collections because the Studios is organized after the pattern of the Renaissance workshops of the old masters.  The Artists take the long view of their work as being a lifetime journey toward mastery of artistic expression through selected techniques, reaching as far back as the 16th century.  Artists work as peers in an intensely creative community in which each artist pursues his or her own work as part of the group's philosophy... Read more »

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This My Son by Elspeth Young featured in New Era magazine

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This My Son by Elspeth Young appears in the March 2014 issue of the New Era magazine, published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. On the magazine's Facebook presence, the image received 2,364 likes and 715 shares.

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Illustration: This My Son

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High-resolution digital copies are available from the Studios for use as illustrations.  Use the serial number—appearing below the thumbnail—in requesting permission from the Studios (see links at the bottom of this page for detail).

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The original image is available for sale, please contact us for details... Read more »

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