In the reverent spirit of this art and this website, Angela Johnson extends an invitation to all those who have experienced a studio tour of the Tree of Life and the Light of the World Garden; to share thoughts, impressions, insights. Each of us has unique perspectives that can greatly lift the heart of another person.
Please submit your perspectives to firstname.lastname@example.org Your perspective may be expressed in an artistic format. We invite you to submit a photo with an explanation of your art. The objective of this website is to focus specifically on Jesus Christ and the artistic witnesses created by Angela Johnson.
“As we set foot in this exhibit, we instantly felt that we were standing on sacred ground. We were transported to another realm, where we felt like we were walking with real people, and experiencing stories which were similar to our own. Through the medium of sculpture, Angela has uncovered life, energy and spiritual messages which apply to our day. We could have spent hours examining each sculpture, drinking in the depth of symbolism which emanates from every character. This is by far the most powerful 3-dimensional experience we have had – stepping into the scriptures to live and breathe the vision of the Tree of Life.”
~ The Ardizzone’s
“I have reflected on my visit to the Tree of Life exhibit many times in the last several weeks, and there have been two specific insights that keep drifting into my thoughts. The first is that the path beneath the rod of iron is uphill and on rough terrain. I have pondered many times the truth that our path in life is meant to be a test and a challenge . . . . but still possible to follow successfully. By grasping the help Heavenly Father has given us in the form of scripture, revelation, and answers to prayer we are able to press forward despite stumbling, slipping, and struggling on our way. We can be absolutely confident that we are headed in the right direction even though our steps may be uneven and awkward. We always know where we are going and how to get there. I sometimes feel shame when I get dirty, tired, and clumsy along the way, but shame is the adversary trying to discourage me. The point is to press on even when it's not pretty. He will receive us with joy and love despite some bruises, tattered clothing, sweat, and tears. Reaching Him will be that much sweeter for it.
The second thing I have pondered is one that was surprising to me. I realized that by focusing so intently on the rod of iron I had never fully considered the symbolism of the great and spacious building. To me, it had always been the place I would never pay heed to. This caused me to think of it as a destination – a place where people go never to return to the rod of iron. The artist's decision to show the inside of the building and a woman who left it made me realize that I needed to shift my perception of the vision. Of course we can make the choice to leave the building just as we can make the choice to enter it in the first place. The artist's depiction is what helped me realize that I had been dismissing such a central theme of the vision, and I'm grateful for that.”
~ Lisa Ingo
"The details in each of the Tree of Life sculptures was so intricate and real that it was easy to develop a strong connection with two or three of the characters. You could see your own face and feelings reflected in the expressions of the figures. Our favorite characters represented were Captain Moroni, Enos, Laman and Christ. Our nine-year-old – Michael – was so amazed by the work that he started creating his own clay models the next day."
~ Taryn and Danny Jones
“On visiting the Tree of Life exhibit, my understanding of the plan and purpose of life grew. The life-like models allowed my mind and soul to interact in the vision and feel the comprehensiveness and order of the plan of salvation. I could see my person and path mirrored in the faces of saints, sinners, pioneers, prophets and families. The physical representation of the iron rod leading up a hill between a rock enclave and a steep, misty ravine brought to life the reality of the importance to cleave to the word of God and look toward the brightness of Jesus Christ and His teachings to love one another. I felt peace and reverence in the hilltop scene as I interacted with the striking beauty and light of the white tree, the figure of Jesus Christ, and the joyful families enjoying His light. I left the exhibit inspired by scenes of Christ’s life, particularly that of His baptism, which includes a representation of the Holy Ghost, Jesus Christ, and Father in Heaven. The realism of the figures captured the reality of their existence and allowed the reality of their love to touch my heart.”
~ Jennie Hua
"We brought several groups of friends and family to the studio because it was such a unique experience! The clay displays were captivating; they naturally draw us in! Each of us can relate to some of the figures’ situations! We love how Angela created a scenic array of characters that makes the Tree of Life truly “come to life” in a personal way. Taking themes from Lehi’s spectacular vision recorded in the Book of Mormon, the artist expands our view and makes us think deeply about our own existence and progression. It’s such a universally applicable display of art, which now in its model stage is so spiritually appealing – and then after installation in the Thanksgiving Point gardens, will have a profound effect on visitors across the world for years to come. Miracles are happening and will continue to happen as a result of this artistic inspiration!"
~ Todd and Annette Corry
“As I walked through the exhibit, I was struck by the depiction of God's grace being accessible in all places – the light and the dark. As long as a person seeks God in humility and meekness through the Savior's Atonement, they will find God, even in the darkest of places. The beauty of the Tree of Life exhibit is in its wholeness. It does not simply show the light and ignore the dark, but focuses on seeking the light when encompassed by the dark. It acknowledges the temptations of the dark even when in the light. In other words, it shows that we choose our path and whether or not we will have illumination along the way.”
~ Rachel Streeter
“Angela’s sculptures make the scriptures come alive. Every time I go to the Light of the World garden at Thanksgiving Point, I find myself moving around to where I can look into the eyes of the statue people, especially the eyes of the Savior. There is such detail and emotion in his eyes, his face, his veins. I feel the realness of the people and the stories. These sculptures are a tool, a way that the Spirit testifies to me that Christ lived, ministered, and died for me and my family. They bring such a sweet feeling of closeness to the Savior.
When I received the invitation to attend the new Tree of Life exhibit, I was very excited, and so was my family. The evening of our tour came. As we were looking for the studio, my oldest daughter said, “That’s it! I see Jesus and the tree in the window!” That same familiarity returned, the feeling of closeness to our Savior. Only this time there were additional familiar faces in the scene as well as new people. We were excited to find favorite characters from the Book of Mormon and from church history. We also loved hearing the stories of the people that Angela added to represent stories of other people, many that we could empathize with.
Angela’s work is incredible, obviously a partnership with God. My family and I studied the sculptures, marveling at the details and sharing our discoveries about the different people. We talked about our favorites and who we related the most too.
This was such a spiritual treat for us. We were all so grateful for the experience and for the lovely tour. We want to thank Angela for sharing her work while it is in this raw and beautiful state.”
~ Michelle Tew & Family
“I thought that the exhibit was really cool. It really made the vision of the Tree of Life make more sense to me; like how the way isn't always easy, and how it takes persistence and effort to get through life. I also liked that we were able to see the inside of the great and spacious building. It showed things that happen inside, such as angels helping those who need the truth. It was also nice how the tour guide and her daughter explained and talked about things that stood out to them. Thank you for that."
~ Matthew Streeter (age 11)
“I liked how the exhibit showed a lot of different races, different stories, and people from different points of time. It showed how it doesn't matter who you are, it matters that you follow the word of God. My personal favorite part was the great and spacious building. I liked how it showed the inside, and not just what the people trying to follow the rod were seeing. All the different spirits and stories gave a better perspective on why we want to follow the rod and not go to the building. My favorite statue was King Herod, because his face and position was just fascinating to me. He looked as if he owned the place, sitting on that throne. He gave off the vibe that he belonged there, as if he knew exactly what he was doing in life to get there. I also liked the statue of Satan, and it was really creepy but really cool how his eyes kind of followed you, no matter where you moved. I loved the statue of the children in the building that showed that sometimes you don't always choose to be in the environment that you're forced into, and that there are angels looking out for you, ready to help you along the way. Every person seemed to have a story to tell. Whether it be their faces, their clothing, or the color of their clay, they all had something to say. Stories that I wanted to hear; stories that were finally being told through their statues.”
~ Amelia Streeter (age 13)
“Actually seeing a manifestation of this dream, in a physical layout with an understanding of intended size and dimension, provides a wonderful perspective and truly allows a visitor to enter into different facets of this vision to Father Lehi. As such, a person can ponder in a deeper way, different components of the dream, and the intended meanings and teachings. In it's final form, being allowed to approach, walk around, and immerse yourself in this manifestation will provide a truly unique one of a kind experience, not unlike (but in an even greater way) the incredible sculptures that are already a part of this marvelous garden."
~ Jon Mondragon
“I have been absolutely impressed and just awed at this incredible exhibit of the Tree of Life. This work of Angela Johnson is absolutely inspired. Every time I think about this exhibit, I am so moved an in. a state of wonderment. My mind keeps thinking - WOW!
I have loved this part in the Book of Mormon and I love it even more after viewing Sister Johnson's work. I know it's inspired. I love her interpretation. The different facial expressions on all those models are incredible. And knowing little about her life and what led to this particular work, I know it's Heaven led. It absolutely amazes me at times, the God given talents some people have. I think my talent is to appreciate other people's talents. I think there are few times in the history of mankind when someone produces something that is a game changer. I think Sister Johnson's the Tree of Life will be on of those.
I felt so impressed that it's going to be a great missionary tool. I can see people coming from all over the world to see the exhibit at Thanksgiving Point and ask "Where is this story from?" and then be led to the Book of Mormon.
The spirit of the exhibit is so strong. I'm grateful that I've had the opportunity to already see it twice in its model stage. I can't wait to see it in its final stage at Thanksgiving Point. It truly is Heaven inspired."
~ Dawn Bunker