KAYSVILLE, Utah — As an ancient tabernacle exhibit enters its last month on display in northern Utah, many visitors have been drawn to a large mural on the wall in the visitors’ center section of the tour.
“The Covenant Path,” by Nathan Hale of the Roy Utah Stake, measures 8 feet tall and 20 feet wide. It takes the viewer through the journey of ordinances and steps needed to return to God’s presence. The covenant path is represented on the left side of the mural, while representations of Jesus Christ, temples, family history work and the three degrees of glory fill up the right side of the mural.
Read more: Youth and young adults lead tours at ancient tabernacle replica, pointing to Christ and temple covenants
Hale made the mural in March while serving a Church service mission. He showed the Church News how the colors move from warm yellows and oranges to cooler purples and blues as the eye moves left to right, in a way expressing action in the beginning and peace and resolution at the end.
He said the symbols on the mural are recognizable for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and easily explained to others.
President Kelly L. Taylor, Hale’s stake president and mission president, said the mural came about in just a matter of days, which was truly miraculous for something of this magnitude. And it shows how the Lord uses His people when they offer their time and talents and get to work.
A quick deadline
When the tabernacle display was in the planning stages, President Taylor happened to be in a coordinating council meeting with representatives from several northern Utah stakes sponsoring the experience. He offered his help as an artist and said his business could help make the visitors’ center displays.
But one spot was still blank; a spot that could help make the connection between the covenants from the Old Testament and the restored gospel. The committee needed something to demonstrate the covenant path.
As the organizers tried different things, they felt it would be best to have a new design. President Taylor thought of then-Elder Hale, who he said is artistically talented and whom he knew needed a chance to share his art.
But they were in a time crunch. It had to go to print in about three days. President Taylor said, “Normally you don’t work on those types of time frames, but you do when you need to get things done.”
Through inspiration and determination, Hale got the artwork finished in time. When the mural was printed, it was the largest-size project Hale has done. He said, “That was definitely a nearly overwhelming feeling of ‘wow.’”
How the Lord works through people
The tabernacle display spent the month of April in Bountiful, Utah; May in Syracuse, Utah; and is in Kaysville through June. As of Sunday, June 5, more than 76,000 visitors had seen it. More information can be found at www.tabernacle2022.com.
Those who learn about Hale’s part in the display are touched by the story. Elder Kevin W. Pearson, General Authority Seventy and president of the Church’s Utah Area, has taken family members through the tabernacle tour and visitors’ center.
“Everyone is drawn to that mural,” Elder Pearson said.
Visitors have written on comment cards: “Excellent and beautiful exhibits.” “The dedication in bringing this forth for others to enjoy and be blessed is amazing.” “This experience was inspired and beautiful.”
Hale’s two-year mission ended in May, in which he served in many capacities and wherever needed. He said he will now pursue more art lessons and continue to work on designing and communicating through art.
About the story behind the mural President Taylor said, “Some people think the miracle is the artwork, but I think the miracle is the connections the Lord could use. There are no coincidences in the gospel of Jesus Christ,” like the fact that he was at that coordinating council meeting and has a background in design and works at a company that could help.
“And when we needed specific artwork, I had a missionary who is incredibly gifted, and I’ve been trying to get him a chance to do something with his art anyway — he’s that good,” said President Taylor.
“The way the Lord can line that up to accomplish something, that’s where the miracle is.”