Will Ye Not Now Return Unto Me by Al Young

Will Ye Not Now Return Unto Me


{ The Messiah }
Paper prints & posters
High grade art reproductions available on high quality 9pt (100#) paper. Combined shipping available for most smaller sizes.
4" x 4.75"$3.9511" x 17"$20.0014" x 18"$41.0018" x 24"$70.00
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Bookmark$1.50Original oil painting$5,960.00
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And it came to pass that there was a voice heard among all the inhabitants of the earth, upon all the face of this land crying:….O all ye that are spared because ye were more righteous than they, will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you?

3 Nephi 9:1, 13

The story behind Will Ye Not Now Return Unto Me

At the time of the Messiah’s crucifixion in Jerusalem, the inhabitants of the Americas experienced a cataclysm that destroyed most of the population.  Some people were carried away in a whirlwind, but most perished as cities caught fire or were swallowed up in the earth or were swept into the sea.

The account says that the face of the land “became deformed, because of the tempests, and the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the quaking of the earth” and that “the rocks were rent in twain; they were broken up upon the face of the whole earth.”  Following the tumult, a dense darkness enveloped the land so that the people who had survived “could feel the vapor of darkness; and there was not any light seen, because of the darkness, neither candles, neither torches…neither fire, nor glimmer, neither the sun, nor the moon, nor the stars, for so great were the mists of darkness which were upon the face of the land.”

The darkness lasted for three days, and the howling and weeping and mourning of the people were great and terrible.  In the midst of the suffering, a voice was heard by all the inhabitants of the land.  It spoke of the destructions that had come upon the people, naming city after city that had been destroyed, and telling of the wickedness that had brought about the awful ruin.  Then the voice that had such power in the midst of the dreadful darkness said these words:

O all ye that are spared because ye were more righteous than they, will ye not now return unto, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you?

Yea, verily I say unto you, if ye will come unto me ye shall have eternal life.

Behold, mine arm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him will I receive; and blessed are those who come unto me.

Behold, I am Jesus Christ the Son of God.

I created the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are.

I was with the Father from the beginning.

I am in the Father, and the Father in me; and in me hath the Father glorified his name.

I came unto my own, and my own received me not.

And the scriptures concerning my coming are fulfilled.

And as many as have received me, to them have I given to become the sons of God; and even so will I to as many as shall believe on my name, for behold, by me redemption cometh, and in me is the law of Moses fulfilled.

I am the light and the life of the world.

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.

3 Nephi 9:13-18

Symbolism in Will Ye Not Now Return Unto Me

Q: How does the composition express the particular moment chosen for the subject?

A: The composition presents a particularly intimate view of the Redeemer.  When He first spoke to the peoples of ancient America, as part of His personal ministry among them, they had suffered cataclysm for three days.  Their distress was dreadful.  They were as yet engulfed in the close and complete darkness that had not only settled over the land, but was so dense that no fire could be kindled nor any light seen.

The Savior—in word, in deed, in every way—dwells above the darkness.  He is the light of the world.  When He came to the inhabitants of ancient America, He brought that light with Him.  In this painting, He looks toward those who dwell in darkness beneath the storm clouds at the bottom of the painting.  His countenance is the countenance of peace.  He takes no pleasure in the soul that suffers, nor in the misery of anyone who perishes.  He searches for those who need the light and life He alone can give.

In all the moments of our travail in the darkness by which we are so often surrounded in this world, He alone fills the heaven of our hope.  As we suffer, the expansiveness of our own horizon shrinks until it narrows almost to the snuffing point at which the wick of our souls expires.  This is a painting not only of the moment during which His voice was heard by all the inhabitants of the land; it is the moment in any of our lives when hope is all but gone.

Q: What do you hope people will feel or understand as a result of looking at this painting?

A: If this painting is even a tiny step in anyone's effort to know Him better, it will have served the greatest good to be imagined.  John the Beloved said it this way:  "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent," (John 17:3) which is the same declaration to be found in the words by which the Book of Mormon ends:  "And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you by the power of the Holy Ghost.  And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things" (Moroni 10:4-5).

The Messiah is the truth of all things.

Curatorial Details

The panel is Masonite. Several gesso layers were applied directly to the panel. The gesso was manufactured by Utrecht Mfg. Corp., 6 Corporate Dr., Cranbury, New Jersey 08512 USA. Oil paints used in the creation of this painting include Old-Holland Classic Oil Colours (Driebergen, Holland), Rembrandt colors manufactured by Royal Talens, P.O. Box 4, Apeldoorn, Holland, and M. Graham & Co., West Linn, Oregon 97068 USA. The medium used was Walnut Alkyd Medium, also manufactured by M. Graham & Co.
© By Al 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: Will Ye Not Now Return Unto Me

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

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Tags: Will Ye Not Now Return Unto Me, 2008, Book of Mormon characters


Illustration: Will Ye Not Now Return Unto Me

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
Return to this portfolio
Browse all portfolios
Browse Newsroom articles about Illustration
The original image is available for sale, please contact us for details... Read more »

Tags: Will Ye Not Now Return Unto Me, 2008, People and Stories of the Bible


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