With The Just We Shall Dwell by Elspeth Young

With The Just We Shall Dwell

{ Hyrum and Mary Fielding Smith }
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If a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, and by him who is anointed unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood; and it shall be said unto them—Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection...and they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever.

Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting...

D&C 132:19-20

The story behind With The Just We Shall Dwell

Hyrum's penetrating gaze—filled with that light which Heaven bestows upon a life lived with singleness of heart—is the focal point from which the rest of the painting radiates.

It is said of Hyrum and his brother Joseph: They lived for glory; they died for glory; and glory is their eternal reward.  From age to age shall their names go down to posterity as gems for the sanctified...and their innocent blood [is] a witness to the truth of the everlasting gospel...  an ambassador for the religion of Jesus Christ, that will touch the hearts of honest men among all nations" (D&C 135:7).

Within this depiction, Hyrum's eyes are as bright and clear as gems, and the stark contrast of his countenance against a darkened setting reminds the viewer of what the Lord said to Hyrum:  I [Jesus Christ] am the light which shineth in darkness, and by my power I give these words unto thee" (D&C 11:10-11).

The couple's interlocking hands form a secondary focal point.  They are the focus of Mary's downward gaze, and serve as a comforting reminder that the covenants which bind couples in the House of the Lord are stronger than the cords of death (see D&C 132: 19).  In life, Hyrum's hands were the very first to clear ground for the Kirtland Temple, wherein Elijah's power to bind families was restored.  Because Hyrum was one of the Eight Witnesses of the Book of Mormon, his hands were among the very few to handle the plates from which The Book of Mormon was translated.  Together, Mary and Hyrum's hands suffered and sacrificed to follow Christ's example to comfort and console, to lift and strengthen; together their hands were among the first faithful pioneers who gave all they possessed in the ongoing, latter-day restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ "for the salvation of a ruined world" (D&C 135:6).

While Hyrum, at last, was called upon to surrender his life for his testimony, "Widow Smith," as she was fondly called by her contemporaries, meted out the giving of the remaining eight years of her life through courage, privation and toil.  At Mary's funeral, Heber C. Kimball eulogized:  If any person has lived the life of a Saint, she has.  If any person has acted the part of a mother, she has...(Whitney, Orson F., Life of Heber C. Kimball, Printed at the Juvenille Instruor Office, Salt Lake City, 1888, p. 467).

The title for this painting is taken from one of the most beloved of the latter-day hymns of Zion, "Come, Come Ye Saints," penned during the exodus from Nauvoo to the Rocky Mountains, which Mary and more than 2,500 others made to escape persecution surrounding Joseph and Hyrum's death.  Perhaps Mary found comfort in hymn's poignant assurance:  And should we die before our journey's through...with the just we shall dwell!  But if our lives are spared again to see the Saints their rest obtain, Oh, how we'll make this chorus swell-All is well! All is well!

Symbolism in With The Just We Shall Dwell

In his left hand, Hyrum clasps Mary's hand, which, in turn, holds a small bouquet of the "flowers of the field" (see Psalm 103:15).  It is said that Psalms was Mary's favorite book of scripture and a place to which she turned frequently for solace.

The same Biblical Psalm that remarks the transience of man's life—comparable to grass and flowers destroyed by wind—reassures us that God's mercy is so great and plenteous that it extends, from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and...To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them (Psalm 103:8,11,15-18).

Included in the blooms are wildflowers native to Kirtland, Ohio—where Hyrum and Mary were wed in November 1837—as well as lilacs, a symbol of the grave markers Mary's sister-in-law, Emma Hale Smith, was said to have planted to mark Joseph and Hyrum's place of burial, when the hatred that murdered the two brothers remained so great that it was necessary to conceal their resting place.  Mary brought similar lilac cuttings 1300 miles to Salt Lake City, from Hyrum and Mary's Nauvoo home; both the lilacs and Hyrum's descendants were firmly planted in the tops of the mountains (see Isaiah 2:1-5).

The costuming of the figures is the artist's careful interpretation of extant clothing worn by Mary and Hyrum, as well as artistic depictions of the couple from the Kirtland and Nauvoo periods of Church history.  Hyrum's shirt, waistcoat and trousers, are an 1830s-style version of the same pieces of clothing worn the day he was killed.  Mary's blue gown is adapted from Sutcliffe Maudsley's small portrait of Mary, painted during the Nauvoo era.  The luxurious Scottish paisley shawl enclosing her person was carried by Mary during her trip to the Salt Lake Valley in 1847.  This shawl is also a visual reminder of the Savior's Atonement—or covering in the Hebrew—which enfolds all in the assurance of His grace.

Two small sprigs of forget-me-not are pinned to Hyrum's lapel and appear in Mary's bouquet.  While this wildflower is native throughout the United States, it is also intended to remind the viewer never to forget the sacrifices of the Smith family.  Indeed the Lord Himself promised Hyrum: [Thy] name [shall] be had in honorable remembrance from generation to generation, forever and ever (D&C 124:96).
© 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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By Elspeth C. Young With the Just We Shall Dwell was painted by the artist in the studios at Ben Haven.

Dimensions (unframed width x height)
24 in. x 30 in.


Research commences - February 2016
Painting commences - November 2018
Painting completed - June 2020

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Elspeth C. Young completes new oil painting - "With The Just We Shall Dwell"

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