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|Title||Ever After, I Knew|
|Year of Publication||2021|
|Keywords||Church History; Pioneers; Women|
Submitted to 2021 Book of Mormon Central Art Contest.
Before trekking west in 1848, the widow of Hyrum Smith, Mary Fielding Smith, needed supplies and animals. Accompanied by her brother Joseph Fielding and her eight-year-old son Joseph F. Smith, she traveled to St. Louis and bought the provisions.
On their return they awoke one morning to find their oxen missing. Joseph Fielding and young Joseph F. spent hours searching the tall prairie grasses to no avail. As they reached the camp despairing, Joseph F. saw and heard his mother praying that God would help them find the oxen.
She arose, welcomed them to eat breakfast, and said she’d take a turn looking. They were astonished. As she left the campfire, a cattleman rode by and told her he'd seen her oxen going “that-a-way.” She kept her path in the opposite direction and found the oxen tied to a willow under the riverbank.
Joseph F’s adult account recalls: “This circumstance was one of the first practical and positive demonstrations of the efficacy of prayer I had ever witnessed. It made an indelible impression upon my mind, and has been a source of comfort, assurance and guidance to me throughout all my life.” ("The Life of Joseph F. Smith.”)
The artist studied illustration at Brigham Young University under mentors Robert Barrett and Richard Hull. She interned at The Illustration House in NYC and loved painting for The Friend Magazine before becoming a full-time mom.
Clerking at Books of Wonder in Manhattan was also a favorite adventure while collecting rejection letters from every publisher in the city over her lunch breaks. But it was worth this artist’s time—if only to help host a book signing for JK Rowling upon the release of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
The artist’s only masterpieces to date are her six children.
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