The Albuquerque New Mexico Temple is one of a series of detailed pencil drawings and paintings created by the artist Chad S. Hawkins. In 1989, at the age of seventeen, Chad started this unique temple series, becoming the original LDS artist to involve hidden spiritual images in his artwork.
From the temple grounds, visitors are able to see a panoramic view of the Sandia Mountains. Within these mountains, Chad has sketched Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd, in the mountain, with his flock of sheep in the clouds and among the mountain peaks. Christ is the Shepherd; his sheepfold is the Church of Jesus Christ (see John 10:14). As we attend the temple, we learn more richly and deeply the purpose of life and the significance of the atoning sacrifice of the Lord, Jesus Christ. “He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom . . .” (Isaiah 40:11).
In 1846, the Mormon Battalion crossed what is now New Mexico during its historic march to the Pacific Coast from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. In September 1996, more than 700 Church members in New Mexico joined with government officials in rededicating a monument built to honor members of the Mormon Battalion, who blazed trails through the state 150 years earlier. The twenty foot native stone monument features a plaque with a wagon wheel adorning its top. The wagon wheel on top of the monument has been drawn subtly within this drawing in the lower right corner.