Cassie Shepherd

November 12, 2010

Modern-Day Mother in Zion

Modern-Day Mother in Zion by Anita HartCarroll
A few months a go we had a lesson in Relief Society and this painting was used as a visual. Sitting in the back I didn't pay much attention to it until our teacher started reading about the symbolism. I was touched by the spiritual message it carried and immediately thought of my oldest sister, Mary.

Shortly after, I contacted the talented artist, Anita HartCarroll, and had her ship some copies of her painting. I framed one for myself and gave the other to Mary as a birthday gift. I wanted to post this on my blog in order to share the great message that is portrayed.

In the letter that Anita sent with the copy of the painting she described this work of art as such;

"I wanted to show a modern mother who has strength and is equal to the task. It was very important to me to show that she has been injured from the battles she has fought, and from the obvious sweat, dirt and fresh wounds it is clear that she is not finished nor at rest. It was also important to me to show that she is leading others to follow her into what appears to be more darkness. There is no glorious end in sight yet - she is very much still in the war zone.

The torch she carries symbolized Jesus Christ. He is all the light she needs, and He displaces the darkness for her. The armor she wears symbolizes the priesthood that is available to shield her from deadly attacks. Her weapons, the spear and the sword, are the Word of God. Her baby sleeps in peace on her back, oblivious to any danger and well guarded by her mother. The small son at her side looks to his mother for protection, hope, wisdom, and leadership. I wanted to show a young woman who is obviously not a movie cartoon superhero nor a sweet, innocent, perfectly quaffed model of womanly beauty. This young mother is capable, determined, and strong even in the midst of exhaustion and wounds. In other words, she is all Latter-Day Saint women...whom the Lord has saved for the last dispensation."

This painting and more from Anita can be found at Anita's Rickety Easel.

It is also currently on an exhibit online as part of the 8th International Art Competition: Remembering the Great Things of God through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.


  1. She loved it BTW. I called just as she was opening it....

  2. But she didn't love it nearly as much as I love you. I am truly grateful to have such a kind, thoughtful, strong woman as my little sister. You really are the best and I am going to miss you so much. How is it that 3 of my four sisters all live out of state now - what's a girl going to do?

  3. Aw, thanks! I am going to miss you too! I'm not quite sure what I am going to do with no family out there. It is going to be very very different.

    And, I know what you can do!!!! Come visit me!