|Chad Hawkins, "Jordan River Temple"|
Being raised in a Christian home, I learned from my earliest years the stories of Jesus Christ. As I matured and began to experience life, I was exposed to many non-Christian lifestyles and alternative philosophies. As much as I trusted my upbringing, I made a serious effort to learn for myself of the reality of Jesus. As a young man and many times since, I can state that I have had many "first encounters" with the reality and importance of Jesus Christ. I specifically mention "many" first encounters because for me, every experience with my Savior is unique and I learn something new. Thus, each is a "first encounter".
In my hundreds of published works of art, I have combined beautiful architecture, natural beauty and an image of Christ. The buildings are Latter-day Saint (Mormon) temples. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints consider a temple to be the "House of the Lord". While the temple is the visual focus of the art, if the viewer continues to seek, he shall find an image of Christ subtly placed in each of my works. Likewise in life, if we have faith and seek, we will find Christ in our own lives.
Understanding the physical attributes and character of Jesus Christ is vital to one's faith in Him. Truly knowing Christ allows the humble seeker of truth to have confidence in Him as their Savior. The gospel of Jesus Christ is timeless and will always remain relevant because it provides the peace we all search for in this life and in the life to come.