There has been a lot of discussion lately about whether or not we are allowed to use cartoon pictures of Christ in teaching Primary. I do not want this post to turn into an argument, so please read it with the understanding that I’m simply sharing my ideas- not trying to define doctrine :). If you feel like you have to defend your use of my artwork, please don’t use it. If, however, you feel good about it and want an explanation of why I personally find it acceptable, my thoughts are below:
1. Although I have heard many times that cartoon representations of Christ are not allowed, I have not been able to find specific counsel in any of the church handbooks. That leads me to believe that this is an informal suggestion that has become part of the LDS rule-culture (like the idea of cola being contrary to the Word of Wisdom). If I’ve missed something, please let me know.
2. As further evidence (not proof) that this is acceptable, I have seen many materials in the church bookstores which include cartoon drawings of Christ. I understand that these bookstores are not officially operated by the church, but I do find that they try to carry only those materials which are acceptable for use in church activities.
3. Absent any formal advice, I find that the most important consideration is whether or not you and your presidency feel it is acceptable. I began making my own drawings because nearly all of the flipcharts and visual aids I found online plagiarized clipart, professional photography or paintings done by commercial LDS artists. I personally feel better about using a respectful drawing of Christ than about using others’ work without permission. I could not, therefore, teach with the Spirit if I were using the artwork that is often suggested. For this reason, I always suggest that if you feel uncomfortable using my art, you should not use it.
4. I put a LOT of careful, prayerful consideration into each of my drawings. I try to portray Christ as respectfully as possible with my limited talent :). I do not portray Christ as doing anything I could not imagine him doing in Sacrament Meeting (goofy facial expressions, etc.). And I will not draw pictures of sacred events such as the Atonement and crucifixion.