The Blessings Afar Off by Elspeth Young

The Blessings Afar Off

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14" x 18"$175.00
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Original oil painting$12,723.00 Sold
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And it came to pass that [Pharoah's] priest made an offering unto the god of Pharaoh, and also unto the god of Shagreel, even after the manner of the Egyptians.  Now the god of Shagreel was the sun.  Now, this priest had offered upon this altar three virgins at one time, who were the daughters of Onitah, one of the royal descent directly from the loins of Ham.  These virgins were offered up because of their virtue; they would not bow down to worship gods of wood or of stone, therefore they were killed upon this altar, and it was done after the manner of the Egyptians.

Abraham 1:8-11

The story behind The Blessings Afar Off

This painting depicts one of the three faithful and courageous descendants of Ham preparing for martyrdom, steadfast in the promise that whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world (see Ether 12:4).  Assured of what the Apostle Paul described as God's promises afar off—even a better, country, that is, an heavenly, (see Hebrews 11).  the mood of this young woman is, as another modern martyr declared: Calm as a summer's morning [having] a conscience void of offence towards God and man " (see Doctrine and Covenants 135:4).

Having willingly sacrificed her life, rather than submit to the idolatry and corruption of her day, she and sisters were doubtless among those to whom the Apostle Paul referred when honoring the ancient faithful who were slain with the sword...of whom the world was not worthy (Hebrews 11).

Symbolism in The Blessings Afar Off

The young woman is clothed in a white linen kalasiris typical of women's costuming during the Middle Kingdom Egypt, the era in which it is believed Abraham penned the story of these three sisters.  Its whiteness denotes her purity.

The setting sun behind the contemplative figure suggests not only the premature sunset of the valiant virgin's life, but the exquisite irony that while the Egyptians intended to sacrifice this young woman and her sisters to Shagreel (the temporal sun) the martyrs willingly gave their lives to stand firm in their faith of that Son who is the light and the life and truth of the world.

The white poppy in her hand is an Egyptian symbol of death.

The color scheme of the painting recalls hues found in the wall paintings in Egyptian Tombs of the Middle Kingdom.
© 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.

From the Newsroom

Custom framing services for original artworks and giclees (overview)

By Al R. Young
only high-end custom frames
We have framed our own artworks for more than 30 years, and during that time we have provided a variety of framing services to patrons upon request.  For many reasons—including constant changes in the availability of moulding styles—we cannot offer off-the-shelf framing options or response times typically associated with such a service.  Of necessity, all of our framing projects are aproached, priced, and billed as constuling projects... Read more »

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Gallery Walk: The Blessings Afar Off by Elspeth Young

By Elspeth C. Young

the story in this painting
the creation of this painting
The easel at which Elspeth works was designed and made by Al in 1992.  Since then, it has been modified several times.  The most recent major addition was the framework at which Elspeth is working in the foregoing photograph

For years, I have enjoyed painting Nigerians, Haitians, Ethiopians, African Americans, and a host of other races besides—Mestizo, Native American, Filipino, Oriental, Latino.  The list goes on... Read more »

Tags: The Blessings Afar Off, 2020, Exhibits

After puzzling for three and a half years

By Elspeth C. Young The Blessings Afar Off was painted by the artist in the studios at Ben Haven.

Dimensions (unframed width x height)
14 in. x 18 in.


Research commences - July 2015
Painting completed - March 2019

This section presents only one or two items that may be of interest to professional artists, amateurs, and others interested in the work of the Studios.

These excerpts from Elspeth's Painting Diary during the creation of this painting provide a glimpse of the nature of this project:

February 11, 2019
January 5th I began work in earnest on a 14- x 18-inch panel, using leftover paint at the end of each session working on another project, to rough-in a background for the stucco layer for the new painting of my grandmother... Read more »

Tags: The Blessings Afar Off, 2019, Project commentaries

Elspeth C. Young completes new oil painting - "The Blessings Afar Off"

By Al R. Young The Blessings Afar Off is the newest oil painting to be added to the line of original artworks from Al Young Studios.

Click here to see a larger image of the new painting, read the artist's commentary, and look at the selection of prints--if any are available.... Read more »

Tags: The Blessings Afar Off, 2019, Elspeth C. Young, Legacy, News, Oil paintings and prints, Women of the Bible Art Collection