I was in an LDS bookstore browsing through the greeting cards. Nestled amidst the birthday, baptism, missionary, and priesthood cards I came across a card (blank-inside) depicting Joseph Smith cradling his brother, Hyrum, who had just been shot. The art on the card is a reproduction of a painting by LDS artist Liz Lemon Swindle called “Oh, my dear brother Hyrum!” The setting is Carthage Jail.
As I contemplated the greeting cards on display, I tried to imagine an occasion for which the card bearing the bloody picture of Hyrum’s death would be appropriate. Or desirable.
The back of the card quotes Liz Lemon Swindle’s words, “What a price was paid for each of us. May we never forget.”
- Would a Mormon send this card, then, to a new convert, welcoming him into the Church?
- Would it be sent as a sympathy card to someone who has lost a loved one?
- Would a parent send it as an encouragement card to a missionary son or daughter?
- Would a Latter-day Saint send it to a doubting Mormon in an effort to strengthen a waning testimony?
I honestly can’t come up with any occasion for sending this greeting card that makes sense to me. But I’m not LDS. What am I missing?
(Please be thoughtful and sensitive in your discussion.)