The Garden of Gethsemane. It sits on the Mount of Olives on a hillside across from the Temple Mount. In the Savior’s time, the Jewish Temple was there, as well as an entrance called the Golden Gate, which was the closest entrance through the wall to the Temple Mount. This illustration combines the modern olive trees that are there today with the ancient city of Jerusalem and the Temple, depicting how it may have looked in the Savior’s time. There are already many be stirring artworks of the Savior suffering in Gethsemane. For my illustration I wanted the viewer to see Gethsemane as a reminder that no matter how difficult our personal trials, there is One that has gone before us that has shown us how to endure, accept the Father’s will, and conquer in the end.
During our lives there are times we are sometimes called to endure the hardest of things. Some are so difficult that we wonder if we will even survive the grief and pain we feel. The loss of family, loved ones, betrayal by those we trust, loneliness, mortal bodies that are chronically ill, mental illness, the list goes on. Sometimes these events are called a personal Gethsemane. Many people I know seem to be going through one of right now, a trial that pulls your very heartstrings. During these trials, there is comfort in knowing that one person knows and understands your pain better than anyone. The Savior who in great suffering prayed, saying, “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me.” also trusted God, adding “nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.”
I think most of us pray for relief from our most difficult trials, wondering if we can endure any more. I know that on the other side of these trials there is hope. The Savior showed us how to endure and how to trust in God’s plan for us. He conquered pain, suffering, and death. Justice will be dealt. Families will be reunited, bodies and minds will be restored to perfection, hearts will be mended. While we may learn to know the Savior through suffering, we can know that “all of these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.”
Neal a Maxwell “The soul is like a violin string: it makes music only when it is stretched.”
This picture is dedicated to my sister Anita and her husband, in memory of their son Sasha, who passed away 3 weeks ago, as well as all of those we know and love who are going through growing experiences where God is stretching you to make music