And He Shall Direct Thy Paths by Elspeth Young

And He Shall Direct Thy Paths

{ Lois }
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Original oil painting$5,385.00
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When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice...

2 Timothy 1:5

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6

The story behind And He Shall Direct Thy Paths

Paul praises Lois in his epistle to her grandson, Timothy, as one in whom dwells "unfeigned faith" (see 2 Timothy 1:5).  Unfeigned means true or genuine, and it is this kind of constant, abiding faith which the painting seeks to inspire.  Lois' faith influenced not only her own life, but the lives of her posterity.  Paul indicates that the faith which Timothy possessed "dwelt first" in his mother and grandmother, from which we may understand that they inspired a legacy of faith.  Just as the Book of Mormon prophet, Lehi, was desirous that his family partake of God's love (see 1 Nephi 8:12), Lois' faith endures in the lives of those within her sphere of influence.

Symbolism in And He Shall Direct Thy Paths

True faith is trust in the Lord and His commandments; trust in His "straight and narrow path" for each of us.  Such faith embraces the word of the Lord as revealed through the Holy scriptures and the word of modern-day Prophets and Apostles, leading "the man of Christ in a strait and narrow course...And land[ing] their souls, yea, their immortal souls, at the right hand of God in the kingdom of go no more out" (Helaman 3:29-30).

The stairway behind the figure signifies this path of faith.  In Proverbs we read that those who trust in the Lord and rely fully on His wisdom, and not their own understanding, will be directed in all their paths.  The path of faith, referred to in scripture as a "straight and narrow path" (see 1 Nephi 8:20, 3 Nephi 13:14, Matthew 7:14) always leads upward to higher ground.  In the words of the prophet Joseph Smith (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 348), we "ascend step by step."

Likewise, within this image, the staircase beyond the figure beckons the viewer's attention upward.  But this path is not always perfectly clear to us at the outset of our journey, nor even during that journey.  There are times of trial and testing; times when we must put our hand in the Lord's and trust to His guiding influence.  Hence, the path beyond Lois is distinct and well-lit at some portions, but not at others.  However, notwithstanding the darkness surrounding her, she is completely in the light.  Within this piece, the light is symbolic of the Savior who is the Light of the World, "which giveth you light...[and] enlighteneth your eyes" (D&C 88:11).  His light is mirrored in the faces of those who have "received his image in [their] countenance" (Alma 5:14).  Here, that light enlivens the countenance of Lois.

Though not every stair tread is visible, the destination above the stairway symbolizes the way in which faith in the ordinances and covenants of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ helps us "see the end from the beginning" (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "See the End from the Beginning," Liahona, May 2006, 42–45)  "Looking forward" with an eye of faith, as the Book of Mormon prophet, Alma, instructs (see Alma 5:15), allows us to have our ultimate goal, that of eternal life and exaltation, always in sight, no matter where we are on the path toward it.

Lois' gaze is content and serene, indicating her trust in the Lord and His promises.  Like Sarah and Abraham, she "judged him faithful who had promised" (Hebrews 11:11) and was willing to put her "hand into the hand of God" knowing that it would be "better than a light and safer than a known way" (In "The Gate of the Year," The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, 2nd ed. (1953), 239.)
© 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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Illustration: And He Shall Direct Thy Paths

By Al R. Young
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).

The correct form of attribution when publishing an image is specified in the license agreement issued to the publisher by Al Young Studios.Guidelines for requests to copy or publish artworks created by the Artists of Al Young Studios

Guidelines for commissioning Al Young Studios to create illustrations
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Elspeth C. Young completes new oil painting - "And He Shall Direct Thy Paths"

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