New Church Logo of Jesus in a Bell Jar?

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Shulem
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Re: New Church Logo of Jesus in a Bell Jar?

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Moksha wrote:
Sun Dec 13, 2020 6:03 pm
Shulem wrote:
Sun Dec 13, 2020 3:28 pm
I would like to point out though, that your expression of "awe" and "reverence" is exactly what I believe Moses was trying to avoid when he tendered the Second Commandment in forbidding the children of Israel in making graven images to represent deity -- any deity, whether Jehovah or some other god in which the Israelites were forbidden to worship.
I doubt a nomadic people could have created such a statue or even a golden calf. I suspect these are references taken from the culture when they were in later Babylonian captivity.

I don't really buy into that graven image thing either. Great art can inspire great feelings and great feelings can be part of our religious and spiritual experience.

They were not nomadic at first. They were fully established residents in the land of Egypt, settled in the Delta and having access to all of the technologies of the day under their overlords -- such as being craftsman and artists, even as the Egyptians. Moses understood better than anyone the value and sensibilities that graven images could inspire into the thoughts and emotions of a religious mind. He was totally against that. He established a new religion having a code and punishments affixed to those who violated them. Graven images were not permitted.

The Second Commandment was original to Moses' religion after he left Egypt. Moses and his followers were skilled experts possessing the same kind of abilities as the Egyptians. Moses was absolutely set in the idea that his followers would not make graven images of gods and that reverence and awe to Jehovah was a spiritual matter completely void of images to that effect. The religious experience under Moses did not include that form of worship. Period.

I wish David Bokovoy were here to comment.
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Re: New Church Logo of Jesus in a Bell Jar?

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Moksha wrote:
Sun Dec 13, 2020 6:03 pm
If the Brethren placed a replica of Michelangelo's The Pieta in the visitor's center, it would gain an appreciation by the members. Dr. Peterson would have something positive to say about it. What would your take on that artwork be, Shulem?

My take? I think that would be wonderful. Just fine. Telling the story of Christ using image and sculpture seems fine to me. My point of contention in this thread is that graven images of Christ being depicted as an immortal GOD is strictly prohibited under the Law of Moses, per the Second Commandment, which was never revoked by Jesus or his disciples.
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A matter of record -- adultery

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I do not mean to disparage Bertel Thorvaldsen in any way, but I feel inclined to point out the fact that the man who sculpted the Christus, the official logo of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was an ADULTERER.

Prior to sculpting the Christus, Bertel Thorvaldsen, was an unmarried man, the lover of a married woman. Thorvaldsen never married but fathered two children through his mistress. Thorvaldsen is also known to have loved two other women.

That's all I wish to say on the subject. I only want to point out that the "inspired" sculptor who crafted the Christus was an adulterer. The sin of adultery according to Mormonism is a sin second to murder. I have to wonder if Church leaders who originally declared that the piece was an inspired work were aware that the man who created it was a practicing adulterer. I doubt Spencer W. Kimball was aware of Thorvaldsen's immoral love life that undoubtedly influenced ("inspired") him to craft such sensual works of art.

I find this very interesting and very revealing. I wonder if the Church has addressed this and reconciled Thorvaldsen's continuous acts of immorality while crafting what would become the statue and center piece of future Mormonism. Statements made by Church leaders about those who are guilty of adultery are quite severe.
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Fat lip

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Shulem wrote:
Sun Dec 13, 2020 3:51 am
Indeed, the face reveals a care-worn concern typical and prevalent of the mortal experience when man faces the uncertainty of the human condition. The face of Christus is less than divine and fails to capture a timeless glance of Almighty God's majestic glory that one might expect when looking at the face of God. Here we are forced to look at knotted hair and a twisted beard that seems oily and unkept. The sad and unbalanced lips are almost shameful. In sum, the sculpture fails to inspire majesty and is a horrible representation of the happiness of God. The starkness of the white stone is the only thing that saves the portrait from falling into utter gloom and a sense of brooding! Suppose the carved medium was in dark diorite stone rather than stark white that is placed under intense lighting and colorful backgrounds in order to make the statue more inviting. Recall the original is posing in front of a shining gold background which is what gives the statue a glorious luster. I'm afraid the Christus is a total failure in depicting the happiness of God and does not reflect a sense of love and wellbeing. It does not inspire me.

Image

I'm going to have to be honest. I feel a sense of duty to mercilessly tell what I think of this attempt to portray the immortality of the Man Jesus, expressed in this stone image. It just doesn't work for me. Apart from what I said in the above comments, I have more to reveal. Look at the lips -- just look at those lips! Are those the lips of perfection, a lower fat lip with a thin top? My goodness, there is an almost sinister look of gloom as the attempted symmetry fails to balance in a resolute expression of perfection. There is a crookedness to the frown that irks me seeing that it should be coming from an all smiling God who loves the world with a totality that cannot be comprehended by mortal minds.

Just look at that frown! The lack of balance is ever so slight but it's there, and in the gloom of that expression there is failure. What do I see hidden behind this attempt to smile? Looking at the lips as the face droops in an expression that suggests disgust, one cannot help but envision a mouth having crooked teeth. Think about that! Look at the face and the manner in which the lips compress and you'll get the sense that Jesus needs to see a dentist.

How is it that I come up with this stuff? Well, I'm just being honest and telling it as I see it.

I'm sure that my critical comments of this great work of art will not be generally well received, but I think my input and ideas have validity and should be taken into consideration.

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Last edited by Shulem on Mon Dec 14, 2020 4:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Now that's a SMILE!

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Image

Statue of Thutmose III
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Self-portrait and no smiles

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Is it possible that Bertel Thorvaldsen may have borrowed features of himself and incorporated them into the Christus? Compare Thorvaldsen's self-portrait with Christus. It's conceivable that he may have transferred some of his own characteristics into the statue's expression. Notice how neither smile.

Self-portrait by Thorvaldsen

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Image
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Missing nail mark?

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A Christus hand in the Rome Visitors’ Center

Image
Elder Bruce R. McConkie, General Conference, April 1985 wrote:With great mallets they drove spikes of iron through his feet and hands and wrists. Truly he was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities.
Elder David B. Haight, General Conference, Oct 1989 wrote:I witnessed His struggling up the hill in His weakened condition carrying the cross and His being stretched upon it as it lay on the ground, that the crude spikes could be driven with a mallet into His hands and wrists and feet to secure His body as it hung on the cross for public display.
Elder James E. Faust, General Conference, Oct 1983 wrote:I testify that the Savior will come again, and that at his second coming some will say, "What are these wounds in thine hands and in thy feet?" He will show the wounds in His hands, wrists, and feet, and they will ask when and where he received these wounds. He will answer: "I am Jesus that was crucified. I am the Son of God"

The Christus statue manifests nail marks in the palms only. There are no marks in the wrists, hence an incomplete representation of Christ's wounds is manifested in the statue. This fails to harmonize with the teachings of the Church and certain specific doctrines pertaining to the temple that must NOT be discussed in this forum.

I believe the Church chose to exclude marks on the statue's wrists in order to avoid public discussion of specific temple rites known only to those who participate in the temple endowment ceremony.

So much for that.
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"What are these wounds in thine hands and in thy feet?"

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ImageImage

The following citation gives reference to a Mormon interpretation of a so-called prophecy of Christ manifesting his crucifixion wounds to Jews in the last days. The clip is taken directly from O.T. Zachariah, whereby, Joseph Smith ignorantly assumed it referenced Christ appearing with wounds in his hands and feet:
SECTION 45 DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS wrote:
Christ will stand on the Mount of Olives, and the Jews will see the wounds in His hands and feet

51 And then shall the Jews look upon me and say: What are these wounds in thine hands and in thy feet?

52 Then shall they know that I am the Lord; for I will say unto them: These wounds are the wounds with which I was wounded in the house of my friends. I am he who was lifted up. I am Jesus that was crucified. I am the Son of God
Zachariah 13:6 wrote: And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.

Unfortunately for Joseph Smith, he misunderstood the real meaning and real time of the verse which has nothing to do with a future Christ showing off wounds (nail marks) in his hands and feet but alludes to wounds across the body as expressly seen between the hands of a mortal man. The Hebrew version is:

"wounds between your hands"

NLT 13:6 And if someone asks, ‘Then what about those wounds on your chest?’ he will say, ‘I was wounded at my friends’ house!’

NIV 13:6 If someone asks, ‘What are these wounds on your body?’ they will answer, ‘The wounds I was given at the house of my friends.’

RSV 13:6 And if one asks him, 'What are these wounds on your back?' he will say, 'The wounds I received in the house of my friends.'"

And finally, Joseph Smith failed to pay attention to the Adam Clarke commentary in this instance:
Adam Clarke Commentary wrote:Verse 6

What are these wounds in thine hands? - Marks which he had received in honor of his idols. But he shall excuse himself by stating that he had received these marks in his own family; when, most probably, they had been dedicated to some of those idols. See the note on Isaiah 44:5. I do not think that these words are spoken at all concerning Jesus Christ. I have heard them quoted in this way; but I cannot hear such an application of them without horror. In quoting from the Old Testament in reference to the New, we cannot be too cautious. We may wound the truth instead of honoring it.
Last edited by Shulem on Tue Dec 15, 2020 2:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New Church Logo of Jesus in a Bell Jar?

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I wanted to post another example of Thorvaldsen's artwork, but I did not want to inflame Dr. Scratch's rules or sensibilities. Got to be more European for that type of thing I guess. Anyway, he was plenty talented. Judging artists by peccadillos in their personal life seems to be missing the point of their art. If they were passionless conformists they might not be artists. Perhaps they would have taken up a career in chartered accountancy. I can appreciate a van Gogh painting, even if he might not be able to hear my compliment. Jesus would say, "Notice the lines and balance, Moksha, and the cerulean blue".
Last edited by Moksha on Wed Dec 16, 2020 4:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New Church Logo of Jesus in a Bell Jar?

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Moksha wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 9:50 am
Judging artists by peccadillos in their personal life seems to be missing the point of their art. If they were passionless conformists they might not be artists.
Had to look it up:
pec·ca·dil·lo wrote:a small, relatively unimportant offense or sin.

Right. I certainly am not judging the man (Thorvaldsen) or find fault with him simply because he committed adultery, fornication, and fathered children out of the bonds of wedlock. It's not my circus or monkeys to judge him for that! But, I do know of a church that is highly critical of such things and will even refuse to allow those kind of people to join their church unless they make serious amends. You do know which church I refer to, right, Moksha? It's a very judgmental church, to say the least -- having a very high standard and bar in order to join their organization. You can't drink coffee. You can't even drink tea. You can't sip wine with dinner and neither can you toast in the new year with a glass of champagne!

The dress standards of this church are regularly very conservative -- some might consider overly stringent. Women must keep their shoulders covered at all times and the men are strongly counseled to never wear a tank top. I do believe it would be frowned upon if brethren of the church were to walk about with their chests exposed through open clothing -- the bearing of the chest in public discourse is considered inappropriate. The only time a man may expose a nipple would be in a sporting event, especially water sports and activities that involve swimming. Otherwise, to flaunt one's bare chest is a lewd display -- or at least highly inappropriate!
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