My favorite painting of the Savior is by a little-known Russian painter by the name of Julius von Klever. Here it is:
I love the energy of the painting, the power of the storm, the turbulence of the water, the distance of the struggling ship. I have a large framed copy in my home, and it is one of my treasures.
On Sunday, I was read a talk by Elder Holland from the October 1999 General Conference titled, An High Priest of Good Things to Come. This is a treasure of a talk for the down days and the hard days.
Elder Holland suggests that part of Christ’s power is His experience in the trials of His life. As I pondered that thought and pondered this painting, the thought occurred to me that this majestic portrait of the Savior among the bitter waves emphasizes the trials that He faced. What an image of power that must have been to see the Savior standing amidst the waves in a far more precarious situation than those in the ship and call out, “Be not afraid.”
In the book of Alma, we read:
12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.
13 Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me.
Just one last thought… If one of the purposes of life is to become like Christ, does that also mean that trials matter? That for us to become like Him, we need to face trials?
I think back to the apostles wrestling that ship. How much less powerful would it have been for them had the Savior called to them from the shore instead of standing with them amidst the waves?
I don’t relish the trials I face in my life, but I do recognize the value that they have in teaching me and helping me to grow.