Honorable Mention: 2023 BYU Book of Mormon Art Contest: Jayden Itejere

“Behold” by Jayden Itejere received an honorable mention in our BYU Book of Mormon Art Contest.

Itejere is an art major. He explains, “This piece represents 1 Nephi 1:12, where Nephi envisions his posterity. Although the following verses foretell hardship and conflict, as an isolated scripture this verse has brought me comfort as a reflection of the beauty of seeing “multitudes of people…as many as the sand of the sea.” This painting, mirroring Norman Rockwell’s Freedom from Want, is a study of glimpsing my family as a parallel for all families of the earth. My family is a family of pioneers, converts to the church, and nonmembers. My mother grew up LDS in the United States, with pioneer ancestors. My father converted to the church as a child. His family is from Nigeria, who then moved to England. After getting married to my mom, my dad immigrated to the United States. I am the oldest son and have two blood-related siblings. My youngest sister was adopted from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The other two brothers represented are not legally my siblings, but I consider them family because they have lived with us since 2014, because of their own difficult family circumstances. In a global church, most families look like mine with an intermingling of cultures, backgrounds, and stories within the walls of the same home. Within 1 Nephi 1:12 verse, a variant of “behold” is repeated three times. The dictionary suggest behold means to see or observe a thing of a person, especially a remarkable or impressive one. My family, like every other, is extraordinary, holding immeasurable value. And all it takes to notice that is to behold.”