Wings of the Morning (Mga Bagwis Ng Umaga) by Elspeth Young

Wings of the Morning (Mga Bagwis Ng Umaga)

{ The Messiah }
Al Young Studios cannot make or sell any prints of this work at this time. Read more...

If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me...

Psalm 139:9-10

The story behind Wings of the Morning (Mga Bagwis Ng Umaga)

The Psalmist describes those upon “the uttermost parts of the sea” as being held by the Lord's right hand.  Accordingly, this painting features the Savior's right hand in a clasp of such power and resolve that there is no possibility of His failing to lift His Filipina sister—just as He lifts us all.

The painting is also intended to remind viewers of the Bible and Book of Mormon's repeated promises that those upon the isles of the sea are neither lost to nor forgotten by the Lord (see 2 Nephi 10:7-8, 20-30, 29:7; 1 Nephi 21:8-10; 3 Nephi 16:1-3).

The countenance of the Filipina woman expresses profound worship mingled with the yearning humility of the meek who shall “inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5).  Her kneeling posture bespeaks the reverence of testimony, “at the last day, when all men shall stand to be judged of him,” when “every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess before him” (Mosiah 27:31).  Her gaze, which meets her loving Master's, echoes the promise of Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin who stated, “As a special witness of Him, I testify to you this day that the time will come when every man, woman, and child will look into the Savior's loving eyes.” (“Follow Me,” April 2002 General Conference).

Symbolism in Wings of the Morning (Mga Bagwis Ng Umaga)

Elspeth has worked with temple interior designers to ensure that color themes in the painting have been carefully planned to coordinate with the color schemes planned for each of the five new temples in the Philippines.

The painstaking research represented by this painting has been verified with the help of current and former general authority's wives serving in the Philippines Area and other Church members native to the Philippines.

She has also carefully studied the culture and art of this island nation to incorporate color and techniques which mirror Filipino tastes.

The two figures are painted on a trail symbolic both of “the covenant path” and the height to which the “mountain of the Lord's house” lifts every child of God.  The view is the Filipino Lake Taal as seen from Mount Macolod, Luzon and the vegetation at their feet is found on the tops of the mountains on many of the Islands' most famous peaks.

A brilliant sunrise dotted with birds in flight reminds the viewer of the morning referenced by the Psalmist, as well as the promises of Isaiah to those who “wait upon the Lord” (see Isaiah 40:31).

Morning light radiates from the Savior's figure (the brightest and whitest portions of the painting) reflecting the glory of His presence, and remind viewers of the painting's title.  (See also D&C 110:3).  His costume echoes the description of the resurrected Christ as recorded by John in Revelation 1:13.

The model for the Filipina woman is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints native to the Philippine Islands, descended from ancestors native to both central and southern Philippines, including the Visayas Islands, Cavite, and Manilla.

Her costume is closely based on the Philippines's traditional national folk costume, the baro't saya, an icon of their national unity as well as a symbol of the Philippine's long-standing Christianity.  Its color is the creamy opalescence of white and golden south sea pearls native to the Islands (a reminder of the Philippines itself, commonly known as the “pearl of the Orient”).   The pearlescent nature of her countenance and costume also serves to remind the viewer of the Lord's promise to the faithful, “And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels...” (Malachi 3:17). She is barefoot, denoting her respect for the sacredness of the ground on which the Savior stands (see Acts 7:33, Exodus 3:5).

The sampaguita lilies at her feet (originally “sumpa kita” in Tagalog, which translates “I promise you”) is the national flower of the Philippines. This small white blossom has become a symbol of love, purity, devotion, dedication, strength, and fidelity to the Filipino people.  It is also the motif of the Urdaneta Temple.
© By Intellectual Reserve, Inc. You may not print, copy, or reproduce this artwork or make derivative works from it without the prior written consent of the copyright holder. Al Young Studios cannot make or sell any prints of this artwork at this time. Read more...

From the Newsroom

Mga Bagwis Ng Umaga (Wings of the Morning)

By Elspeth C. Young This handmade, original oil painting was created by the artist in the studios at Ben Haven.

Purchase the original artworkThis original artwork is not for sale

Purchase open-edition print(s) of this artworkNo prints of this artwork are currently available

This copyrighted artwork cannot be used as an illustrationThe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints owns all rights to this painting.  If you have any questions, please contact the Church directly.  Read more . .... Read more »

Tags: Wings of the Morning (Mga Bagwis Ng Umaga), 2021, Oil paintings and prints, Temple artworks

Heaven's help is the indispensable thing

By Elspeth C. Young This handmade, original oil painting was created by the artist in the studios at Ben Haven.

Painting completed — 2021 September

equipment created or modified for this project

dimensions (unframed width x height)
48 in. x 65 in.


costumes, miniatures, and props created for this project

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... Read more »

Tags: Wings of the Morning (Mga Bagwis Ng Umaga), 2021, Project commentaries, Tips and techniques

Elspeth C. Young completes new oil painting - "Wings of the Morning (Mga Bagwis Ng Umaga)"

By Al R. Young Wings of the Morning (Mga Bagwis Ng Umaga) 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: Wings of the Morning (Mga Bagwis Ng Umaga), 2021, Elspeth C. Young, Legacy, News, Oil paintings and prints, The Messiah Art Collection