True North

James Harvey Glines and Elizabeth Ann Meyers were married in Nauvoo, Illinois in 1845. He was 23 and she was 14. They were newlyweds and new converts to the “Mormon” faith. It wasn’t long before they began to witness the atrocities of mob violence that rose up against the Mormon city of Nauvoo. With neighbors and friends they fled for their lives, being unprepared to leave their homes in the dead of winter. Constantly exposed to the elements, but sustained by their faith, they finally arrived in the Valley of the Great Salt Lake 1848.

James and Elizabeth settled in Cedar Fort, Utah where they worked hard to rebuild their lives and become self-sufficient once again. During the next decade, their family grew as they established a comfortable farm in a new, relatively peaceful Mormon community. James Harvey was eventually called to leave his wife and 16 children to serve a 3-year Mission to New Hampshire. Prior to his leaving, he charged Elizabeth with the duty of reminding their children of the reason they had moved from Nauvoo. He wanted them to be taught from the Book of Mormon and come to understand for themselves why they had sacrificed so much for religious freedom. He wanted them to know that the Book of Mormon points all men to Christ. And as another Testament of Christ, it enables men to develop a trust in the true and living God.

In the painting, Elizabeth is pointing to the North Star, a constant in the sky regardless of the season. As a trusted beacon of light, it is symbolic of the Christ. She holds the Scriptures open on her lap, symbolizing the sure foundation upon which we build our lives and convictions. They are the testifiers of Christ. Sarah Helen, age 4, stands at her side holding a compass with a needle that always points True North, again, symbolizing that Christ is our North Star, our only constant in this world of uncertainty.