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The original 30" x 40" painting of The Morning Breaks—Manti, created by using a transparent-technique, is one of a series by the artist Chad S. Hawkins.
The Morning Breaks series is based upon the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ premier hymn, The Morning Breaks. Within this beloved hymn, lyricist Parley P. Pratt makes the bold declaration celebrating the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. “The idea to create this series,” explains Chad, “came to me after pondering this hymn. I thought about how beautiful and appropriate it would be to create paintings combining the moment of daybreak with specific lines of text within this inspired hymn. ‘The morning breaks, the shadows flee; . . . The dawning of a brighter day, . . . Majestic rises on the world. The clouds of error disappear Before the rays of truth divine; The glory bursting from afar, Wide o’er the nations soon will shine.’My goal is for the viewer of these paintings to visually comprehend the symbolism that is found within this hymn. Just as the glorious dawn dispels the shadows of darkness, the restored gospel promises light to a world waiting in spiritual darkness.”
In this painting, subtly located in the prominent evergreens below the temple is the hidden figure of Moroni, the son of Mormon. Based upon the statue of Moroni found near the temple grounds, Moroni is seen raising his right hand toward the temple while carrying the gold plates with his left. Moroni’s importance to the Manti Temple was revealed in 1877, when Brigham Young stated that the Prophet Moroni had dedicated the ground upon which the Manti temple now stands.