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It was an awesome thrill recently to see Orson Scott Card, one of America’s top science fiction authors and who wrote “Ender’s Game” write a review of my work and others in the 8th International LDS Art Competition In Salt Lake City. This appeared in Mormon Times of Deseret News.

Orson writes, “Another treatment of the Articles of Faith is a series of plaster panels intended for a 13-panel doorway, by Jacob Elton Dobson. Each panel shows two scenes in bas-relief, on the left an ancient event and on the right the modern continuation. So for the second Article of Faith, we see Adam kneeling at a sacrificial altar -- and a modern person kneeling by his bed in a prayer of repentance. It is a new and compelling idea to see the bed as an altar. For the third Article of Faith, Dobson shows us Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus wrapping the body of the slain Savior for burial, and on the right we seen two priests uncovering the sacrament -- changing the meaning of both cloths.”

This was surreal for me having read "Ender's Game" the first semester I began art school. Reality is truly stranger than fiction.


Article of Faith #1 has been commissioned for a traveling exhibit titled “The Art of the Restoration”.  The theme is about Jesus Christ and how He is at the center of the restored latter-day gospel.  It will feature 60 of the top artists in the LDS church and produced by the Artist Guild International. Here is the Guild's website:  The art exhibit will travel around to several cities in both the United States and Europe. The individual latter-day artists and their patrons who sponsored the work will be demonstrating to the world their testimonies of Jesus Christ.

Title of Piece: Article of Faith 1, Doorway Lintel 

Dimensions: 2’ x 7’

Article of Faith 1 Reads:

"We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost."

In the center of this overarching panel we see God the Eternal Father and His Son Jesus Christ, being seen by two of their disciples through the power of the Holy Ghost. Both of these disciples experienced threats from an enemy. In their moments of seeming destruction they call upon God and both witness the Lord Jesus Christ standing at the right hand of God. On the left side of the panel there will be Stephen facing the Godhead in the center of the panel representing an old dispensation. On the right side of the panel will be Joseph Smith in the sacred grove facing the center of the panel towards the Godhead representing the new dispensation. I have increasingly felt it my responsibility to testify that we are still strong believers in our message of the restoration. I believe that we have a bold opportunity to testify of the restoration with a momentous 13 ft doorway with Christ at the center in Article of Faith 1.

MARCH 2009


8th International LDS Art Competition In Salt Lake City

This March, Articles of Faith 2 & 3 relief sculptures were selected for a international juried art exhibition that had nearly 1,100 entries of amateur and professional artists from 44 countries.  There were close to 200 artworks that were selected for this exhibition in the Salt Lake Conference Center.  These Articles of Faith relief sculptures were also awarded one of the top Merit Awards in this competition. They were on display for this past April General Conference and will also be up through October’s conference. Click on link below to view the 8th International Art Competition online exhibit. 


Articles of Faith Background

The Articles of Faith outline 13 basic points of belief of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In 1842 the Prophet Joseph Smith first wrote them in a letter to John Wentworth, a Chicago newspaper editor, in response to Mr. Wentworth's request to know what members of the Church believed. They were subsequently published in Church periodicals. They are now regarded as scripture and included in the Pearl of Great Price. President Monson said in February 2002, "Can you think of a more firm foundation, a more basic philosophy to guide any of us than the Articles of Faith?" 

Doorway Background

In March of 2007 I had a strong desire to express an unwavering testimony that I share with millions of my faith. When I heard someone suggest that modern Mormons have lost their bold beliefs of the past that are embodied in The Thirteen Articles of Faith I felt a strong desire to do something.  So while I was sitting in fast and testimony meeting and listening to a member testify of her faith, I got the idea to sculpt a bold thirteen-foot doorway with panels depicting these Articles of Faith.  In these past two years there has been an overwhelming energy to see this accomplished and to overcome any obstacles.  Even though this has been a large task so far, the ideas (usually the most difficult part of art making) have just landed in front of me. I told my wife Anna that this project is like seeing a rose open. While I have worked hard on the mechanics, the layers of ideas reveal themselves with ease.  As I have prepared the framework, the inspirations have just come. The following images are examples of this type of doorway sculpted by Triqueti and Ghiberti from art history or antiquity. “Come ye… all who have knowledge of antiquities… and bring… all the precious trees of the earth; And with... copper, and with brass... and with all your precious things of the earth; and build a house to my name, for the Most High to dwell therein.”  -Doctrine & Covenants 124:26-27 

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Doorway Goal

The ultimate goal is to have this doorway finished with panels cast in bronze and mounted on wood backing and trim to make up the full doorway. There will be two sculpted olive branches that will surround the doors on the outer framework. They will start at the bottom of each side and grow up to graft together at the top. My desire is that the doorway will be put on public display in a museum, visitor center, or temple to provide a new perspective of this restored gospel to many. I am also working on having this work published so that it may reach a wider audience. I have increasingly felt it my responsibility to tell of our beliefs in images so that "he who runs may read".  In contrast to the written word or film that requires more commitment of time, fine art has a powerful way of speaking in an instant to the casual observer. As I have toured with these sculptures to four different secular exhibits, it has been exciting to hear those not of my faith interpret much of what I wanted to express.  It is appropriate that this Articles of Faith Doorway requires such a great amount of faith of many to undertake and to finish.


This project can only be accomplished with the collaborative minds and support of many.  Bold projects such as this become a wonderful opportunity for many to come together and create a miracle that only a community can.  If you share in this vision and would like to be a part of this bold undertaking by becoming a patron, please make a donation by calling 317-658-2027.  You mail also email

Thank You

Jacob Dobson

Indianapolis, IN


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Article of Faith #2

"We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam's transgression."

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image to enlarge.)

Article of Faith #3

"We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel." 

How Do You Interpret Articles of Faith Panels 2 & 3?

As this project has evolved, it has been thrilling to see one pattern or parallel revealed on top of another.  What do you think are the patterns and parallels? Try and come up with your own ideas before you read what I had in mind. There are many appropriate interpretations.

Please Share Your Ideas and Feedback

It is my desire that this doorway be accomplished with the dialogue and input of those that share this testimony, so that it really does reflect the embodied convictions of many. Please feel free to share your ideas and feedback.


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The panels represent the parallel patterns found in the gospel. The duality of each panel illustrates patterns of old dispensations paralleled with our modern dispensation.

Article of Faith #2 Sculpture

In this left panel, Adam and an ordinary individual representing mankind are seen bowing together offering in prayer a desire to be “at one with” the Lord. Notice how both “altars” direct the eye to Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane where the ultimate sacrifice was made through the atonement as He overcome spiritual death for the sons and daughters of Adam. 

Article of Faith #3 Sculpture

In the right panel we see two of the Lord’s disciples—Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus—wrapping the Lord’s body in clean linen. Paralleling this depiction are two modern disciples preparing the symbols of the Lord’s body, for the sacrament. Notice how the “altars” direct the eye to Christ’s empty Garden Tomb where the ultimate goal was accomplished through his resurrection as He overcame physical death for all of us.


Article of Faith #1 Sculpture

"We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost."

In the center of this overarching panel we see God the Eternal Father and His Son Jesus Christ, being seen by two of their disciples through the power of the Holy Ghost. On the left side of the panel there will be Stephen in the New Testament being stoned to death and witnessing the Lord Jesus Christ standing at the right hand of God depicted in the center of the panel. On the right side of the panel will be Joseph Smith as a young man seeing in his first vision with the same God the Father and Jesus Christ at the center of the panel.  

Article of Faith #4 Sculpture

"We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost."

On the left of this panel Christ is being baptized by John the Baptist by immersion. On the right side of the panel will be Joseph Smith being baptized by Oliver Cowdrey by immersion.

Below here is the rest of the Articles of Faith and their orientation on the door. Please feel free to share your ideas and feedback.

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This ratio has been found many times in science, nature and in art for centuries. After finishing my design for the panels and the overall doorway, it was awesome to discover that I had used divine ratio subconsciously in various places.

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Artists often use this divine proportion in their work and sometimes unknowingly. Understanding its mysterious pattern conveys a relationship between God and His creations. The study of this phenomena suggest strong possibilities of a creator. It is natural when we are seeking beauty that we would follow our Creators pattern of unity subconsciously. It is believed that since we are all created in His image that we would also create using His divine proportion. Other names for this phenomena are golden ratio, golden mean, divine proportion, sacred geometry, or spiritual geometry.

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ge to enlarge.)  


Part 1 (Click on image to enlarge.)

Part 2 (Click on image to enlarge.)

Please feel free to share your ideas and feedback.


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Master of Fine Arts Degree 2004 

New York Academy of Art - Manhattan, NY


Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree 2002 

Brigham Young University - Laie, Hawaii


My formal studies of the figure began in Hawaii with Viliami Toluta'u and Mataumu Alisa. I then received the best figurative training possible in the world at the New York Academy of Art where I earned my master's degree. There in the heart of the art world I received a direct lineage of techniques that were handed down from the great masters of old. While in Manhattan I studied the figure with a modern approach while sharing a personal dialogue with the most forward thinking renowned artists of our time.  They included Vincent Desiderio, Martha Erlebacher, Harvey Citron, Robert Taplin, Steven Assael, Wade Schuman, and Leonid Lerman. The education in Hawaii and New York City provided technical and aesthetic tools needed to assist the expressive creation of my art. As a full time instructor I am able of pursue my goal of learning and developing as I teach Sculpture, Life Drawing and Art History courses at the Art Institute of Indianapolis. Everyday I love balancing my studio work with my wife and three kids. My family has been my greatest source of inspiration and support.