Building Healthy Community through a Gospel of Beauty

Building a healthy community may mean asking for help—Minerva Teichert did just that, helping her paint a gospel of beauty through her art.

Building a healthy community means supporting one another, but it begins by having the courage to ask for help. In Laura Paulsen Howe’s article “I Have Dreamed with Her,” she illustrates the incredible strengthening power that comes when a community unites to help a friend.

"It is likely that without Alice Merrill Horne, the Latter-day Saint world would not know Minerva Teichert." --Laura Paulsen Howe

Image by Dan Cook

In 1932 Minerva Teichert, a Latter-day Saint artist, was in danger of losing her ranch. She finally confided in Alice Merrill Horne—her agent, mentor, and friend—about her family’s situation. “I cannot tell you how sorry I am to receive your letter,” Alice responded. “Nothing stirs me so much as your danger of losing your old home.”

Alice immediately pulled the Church community together to pay off the mortgage. Leaders of church organizations each paid one hundred dollars—a substantial sum to sacrifice in 1932—to purchase Minerva’s entire Handcart Pioneer collection. Howe’s article highlights the importance of how one person can inspire the community to come together for good: “Indeed, it is likely that without Alice Merrill Horne, the Latter-day Saint world would not know Minerva Teichert.”

Alice’s personal mantra—inspired by the whisperings of the Spirit during a priesthood blessing—was to create a gospel of beauty. Alice, true to her mantra, served and loved Minerva in a way that helped Minerva see the beauty not only of paint on canvas, but of the power of community. 

When Minerva was courageous enough to ask her community for help, she was blessed with an increased capacity to use her incredible artistic talents to help others see the beauty of the gospel. Just as Alice served Minerva during her time of need to build a strong, supportive friendship, we can wholeheartedly support our neighbors during difficult times. And just as Minerva found the courage to ask for assistance in her difficult circumstances, we can be blessed when we ask for help. Together, we can build strong, loving, healthy communities. 

Read Laura Howe’s “I Have Dreamed with Her” to learn more about Minerva Teichert and Alice Horne’s inspiring relationship. 

Source: BYU Studies

—Madison Mulvey, Latter-day Saint Insights


Find more insights 

Watch J. Kirk Richards’s experience painting for Church’s International Art Competition: “9th Annual Artist’s Competition.”

Learn more about how art inspires community by reading “Finding Inspiration Through Art” by Payton Pingree.

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