The Blessings Afar Off by Elspeth Young

The Blessings Afar Off


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Original oil painting$9,200.00 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


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