"If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can't it get us out?" Will Rogers
Question #4846 posted on 04/13/2004 midnight

Dear 100 Hour Board,
That picture of Jesus in the red robe. People say that half the face is supposed to be happy and the other half stern or something. was that really the artist's intention? I'm curious.
- Goldilocks

A: Dear Goldilocks,

The painting you're referring to is called "Christ in a Red Robe" by Del Parsons. I've also wondered the same thing you have. When I was little I remember the missionaries came over and told us about that picture. He said something like that: one half pleased and the other half stern. I looked around online and couldn't find anything saying one way or the other. This is the stuff I could find.

From http://www.ciao.ie/Fiction__Review_5317275

"North of Rexburg,Idaho U.S.A. lives an artist,Del Parsons,also a member of the said church,who has painted the newest portrait of christ.
He has since given many talks and been to many gatherings sharing his artistic talent and in particular,the experience he had of painting the saviour.

Del parsons was of course,very pleased and humbled by the invitation to portray the lord in a new portrait that the church would use world-wide.
He approached the assignment with prayer and study,hoping that his efforts would be blessed and that his work would be acceptable to the general authorities of the church who had comissioned him.
In his firesides (meetings) Del parsons displays his first attempt and explains that after submitting it,he anxiously waited for the approval of the brethren. And then the word came...

'We're sorry,but this is not right.Please try again.'

further humbled,he explained that he reapproached the weighty task,with a prayerful heart and a desire to be an instrument in the lord's hands to provide this work of art.
Brother parsons displays his second painting.He says that at length,this one was submitted and complimented,but ultimately,turned away again...still not suitable. Certain changes needed to be made.

Fireside participants anxiously await the unveiling of the third and final...the accepted painting.

Brother Parsons explained that it was through much prayer and fasting,that he was finally provided with the inspiration and the guidance to portray the saviour in a way that the brethren would find acceptable..and indeed,in a way that would be acceptable to the lord himself."

Another version of the story... http://homepages.paradise.net.nz/gcherian/journal1.htm

If I ever do find out definitively about that Mormon urban legend, I'll post the answer.