February 28 - March 6
Detail from James Jacques Joseph Tissot (1836-1902),
Jacob’s Dream, c. 1896-1902, gouache on board, 12 3/16 x 5 7/8 in, The Jewish Museum, New York. Image provided by the Jewish Museum, New York. Gift of the heirs of Jacob Schiff. This artwork will be featured in the coming
Prophets, Priests, and Queens exhibition, opening at the Museum of Art on May 6, 2022.
Jacob’s dream of a ladder connecting heaven and earth is told in Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. As depicted in this painting by James Tissot, Jacob saw angels ascending and descending from between where he rested and where the Lord stood. Though the Lord promised “I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither though goest” (Genesis 28:15), the site of Jacob’s vision remained of particular significance to him. He marked the location, referred to it as “the house of God… the gate of heaven” (Genesis 28:17), and left that place forever changed. What revelatory places have you encountered in your life? How have those places changed the way you feel, think, and act?
March 7 - 13
Detail from Edward Moran (1829-1901),
Shipwrecked, c.1877, oil on canvas, 30 x 50 1/2 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art.
The early years of Joseph’s life saw him repeatedly approach success and glory, only for his hopes to be unfairly spoiled: his envious brothers sold him into slavery, a vengeful woman slandered his reputation, and his master abandoned him. Like this capsized ship in a stormy sea, Joseph endured countless cruel setbacks just as things seemed to be getting better. Nevertheless, we are told that “the Lord was with Joseph” (Genesis 39:2), and Joseph never abandoned his trust in God. When things seem hopeless because of the various shipwrecks and setbacks in your life, how do you sustain your faith?
March 14 - 20
Minerva Teichert (1888-1976),
The Miracle of The Gulls, c.1935, oil on canvas, 69 x 57 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, gift of Flora Sundberg, 1936.
Famine was and continues to be one of the deadliest disasters a community can face. When famine struck the ancient Near-East in Genesis 41, it drove Jacob’s family to risk their lives begging for bread in Egypt. Fortunately for them, they were met by their long-lost brother Joseph. Joseph had suffered serious hardship, but his or the arduous path had placed him in a position to bless those he loved.
This beloved painting from Minerva Teichert showcases another famine endured by pioneer settlers whose crops had been devastated by crickets. Tradition holds that when flocks of seagulls approached the imperiled fields, farmers initially feared that they would further devastate the crops. Instead, they devoured the plague of locusts. Like these seagulls, and the trials of Joseph’s youth, we often fail to recognize blessings when they first appear. What unlikely blessings have you witnessed in your life?
March 21 - 27
Benjamin West (1738-1820),
The Baptism of Our Saviour, c.1794, oil on canvas, 36 x 28 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, gift of anonymous donor, 1975.
As the Hebrews suffered bondage and murder in Egypt, the Lord heard their anguished cries. “I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel,” he told Moses, “and I have remembered my covenant. Wherefore... I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians” (Genesis 6:5-6).
This painting by Benjamin West shows the baptism of Jesus, an ordinance Latter-day Saints strongly associate with specific covenants. Look closely at the face of the Savior, and think about any covenants that you have made. How do your covenants protect you from trials?