Below, I’ve left the original post so that new readers will understand what I’m talking about. First of all, I have to be clear that I’ve never felt like anyone was mean or judgmental about my work. You’ve all been very kind. My only concern was that, if so many people were uncomfortable with what I do, maybe I was too biased to see that it wasn’t appropriate. I’m so grateful for all of your comments. They were overwhelmingly positive, which has really helped me to make a decision. I’ll continue to post helps and ideas each month and I’ll illustrate songs whenever possible.
For the last several months, I’ve been having a moral dilemma, and I need your advice.
First of all, this blog got started when I began drawing pictures for use in my own home and then my Primary. Eventually I decided that if I was spending all of this time on art, I might as well see if anyone else could make use of it. I never intended to distribute it, so I hadn’t worried too much about church policy. I just drew on what I’d seen in Deseret Book and the Friend for inspiration on what’s “ok” and what’s not.
As I began sharing my art, I was made aware of policies I’d never read regarding the depiction of Diety. I decided to remove all drawings of Heavenly Father (I only had one song), and to be extremely careful about drawing Christ. However, after a lot of careful study and prayer, I still felt that my drawings of Christ were acceptable for the reasons stated near the bottom of this page. I had a strong desire to serve and didn’t want to be a “slothful servant,” waiting around to be asked to serve, so I chose to continue making and sharing my art.
I know that many members still feel that my pictures of Christ shouldn’t be used in church, and I absolutely respect that. For several months I’ve been thinking about skipping songs which I can’t figure out how to illustrate without including those pictures. However, recently, I’ve seen several people say that they’re hearing from their leadership that they shouldn’t use anything that isn’t produced by the church. To this point, I’d been working with the understanding that we are to use church-produced material whenever possible and then other materials when we can’t find anything that fits our needs. I’m sure that’s what I’d read in the manuals. But bf that policy is changing, or if I’ve misunderstood it, then I feel absolutely awful for having misled anyone into using my “banned books.”
Now, my immediate leadership has been supportive to this point, but I’m currently in the process of checking with “higher-ups” to see if I’m missing anything. In the meantime, I really need your opinions. As I’ve said before, whether or not my stuff is “allowed,” it won’t benefit the kids if you’re unsure about using it. They won’t feel the Spirit. So, my question to you is…
- Do I keep illustrating every song and let you decide what is appropriate and what is not?
- Do I illustrate just the songs that don’t require a depiction of Christ?
- or- Do I shut down the site, reclaim my 40 hours each week, and stop leading people into mists of darkness?
Now, be gentle, because I’m a huge baby, but I really do appreciate your opinions, no matter what they are.