Using the Book of Mormon Art Catalog

Kenneth L. Alford

Kenneth L. Alford, "Using the Book of Mormon Art Catalog," Religious Educator 25, no. 1 (2024): 109–118.

Kenneth L. Alford ( is a professor of Church History and Doctrine at BYU.

BOM Art LogoThe Book of Mormon Art Catalog can help increase interest in the Book of Mormon and add variety to any gospel lesson.

Abstract: The Book of Mormon Art Catalog ( is an online repository for thousands of images pertaining to the Book of Mormon. The purpose of this article is to help readers learn to use the Book of Mormon Art Catalog website quickly and efficiently. It discusses how the website is organized, lists supplementary videos and resources that are available (at no charge), and explains the many search filters that are available to help users narrow their search queries. Users may search by scripture reference, topic, artist, date of creation, country of origin, artistic style or technique, art medium, and many other criteria. This article also includes a step-by-step sample image search.

Keywords: Artwork, teaching the gospel, Book of Mormon, Come, Follow Me

The Book of Mormon Art Catalog ( is an excellent resource for gospel teachers, Church organization leaders, families, and any individuals who are looking to visualize the Book of Mormon in new ways. (Scan this QR code with your mobile phone’s camera to visit the Book of Mormon Art Catalog website.)

QR codeFigure 1. QR code for the Book of Mormon Art Catalog.

Background and overview information about the Book of Mormon Art Catalog is outlined in the previous article (“Creating the Book of Mormon Art Catalog: Why Religious Art Matters” by Jennifer Champoux). The purpose of this article is to help you learn to use this resource quickly and efficiently.

The website’s homepage offers users the following options in a menu bar near the top of the screen: Browse the Artwork, About (the Artwork), News, Contact Us, and Videos. Each menu option is explained in sequence below.

Browse the Artwork

The Book of Mormon Art Catalog offers several ways to find artwork. If you click on the Browse the Artwork link on the homepage, you are presented with six different ways to search for images (see fig. 2).

Browse artwork optionsFigure 2. Browse the Artwork search options, one way to search for images.

  • Artist. You can search almost eight hundred artists by name to see all their submitted work.
  • Date. Artwork from 1870 to the present can be searched by creation year.
  • Scripture Reference. Artwork is categorized and searchable by Book of Mormon chapters, such as 1 Nephi 14 or Alma 56. There are more scripture reference options (245) than there are chapters in the Book of Mormon (239), since a few options include multiple chapters.
  • Place. This search option generally refers to the country in which the artwork was created, not a location in the Book of Mormon that it represents. Artists from over fifty countries, from Albania to Zimbabwe, have submitted their art to the Book of Mormon Art Catalog. It some instances an artist is listed twice, such as C. C. A. Christensen—first, under the country of their birth (in Christensen’s case, Denmark) and second, the country where the artwork was produced (in this case, the United States).
  • Topic. There are over one hundred topics which range from “Abinadi and King Noah” to “Zoram.” There are nearly a dozen entries related to the “Jaredites,” for example. Users are encouraged to review the entire topics list when searching—“Captain Moroni and the Title of Liberty” is included in the list, but “Title of Liberty” is not. Users are invited to submit suggestions for additional topic entries.
  • Style and Technique. Almost two dozen artistic styles and techniques are listed, including Abstract, Carving, Ceramic, Digital Illustration, Drawing, Engraving, Etching, Figurative, Film, Folk, Installation, Mixed Media, Mosaic, Nonrepresentational, Painting, Paper, Photography, Pottery, Print, Sculpture, Stained Glass, and Textile.

The browsing categories probably used most often are the Scripture Reference and Topic lists.

The homepage also provides the opportunity to Search the Full Catalog with Filters, which enables users to easily fine-tune their art searches (fig. 3). Twelve search filters, which may be applied individually or together in a variety of ways, are available. In addition to the previous search categories discussed (Artist, Date, Place, Topic, Scripture Reference, and Style and Technique), the full catalog search includes additional filters:

  • Animals. Over one hundred animals are represented in the catalog—from alpacas to zebras.
  • Figures. A filter that might also be renamed “Index” or something similar, this search filter is basically an expanded version of the Topic category and includes named individuals (like Lehi and Nephi), unnamed individuals (like “daughters of Ishmael” and “Amulek’s wife”), groups of people (like Amlicites and Anti-Nephi-Lehies), categories of people (like wicked priests and Stripling Warriors), and general nouns (like angel and pioneer), as well as additional gospel subjects (like allegories of faith/hope/charity and missionary).
  • Symbols. This feature includes over eight hundred search terms—primarily nouns, such as anchor, apple, bell, bracelet, coin, fog, headdress, olive tree, prison, secret combinations, teacher, and watchtower in a very eclectic list.
  • Medium. Primarily an expansion of Style and Technique, this filter provides additional detail about the art medium used to create each image; for example, there are over 120 entries pertaining only to acrylics, ranging from acrylic and ink on fossilized ivory to acrylic on handmade circular drum.
  • Artist Gender. A user can search for artwork based on the gender of its creator: female, male, other, and unknown.
  • Church Media Use. This filter identifies which images have appeared in Church publications, such as the Gospel Art collection, Book of Mormon Stories, Church History Museum Store Catalog, the Ensign, the Liahona, and the Friend.

Unlike the Browse the Artwork web page, each of the filters on the Search and Filter Catalog web page list how many works in the catalog match the specific filter you are selecting. For example, at the time of this writing there are thirty-two images in the catalog by Val Chadwick Bagley, five images created in 1871, 120 images from Argentina, 129 images of Abinadi and King Noah, 279 images of 1 Nephi 8, forty-three still images from Book of Mormon films, two images that feature an alpaca, 240 images of Alma the Younger, eighteen images of baptism, nine images that were generated by artificial intelligence, 794 images created by a woman, and 826 images from the Church-produced Book of Mormon Stories. As multiple filters are selected, the number of relevant images is adjusted appropriately by the website. Teachers and families can use these twelve filters to find images that best suit the needs of their students and families.

About (the Artwork)

The website notes that “catalog entries for each artwork are annotated with information including artist, title, date, medium, dimensions, location, copyright, topic, scripture reference, figures, symbols, artist’s information, Church media use, exhibition history, awards, and relevant literature. Sources include the Church History Museum Collection, online exhibitions by the Church (including the International Art Competitions), Church magazines and manuals, Brigham Young University Museum of Art, Springville Museum of Art, Book of Mormon Central Art Contest online exhibitions, artist studios, commercial art galleries, and private collections.”[1] Users are encouraged to contact the website administrators if they are able to provide missing or incomplete image information.


The News web page includes information about recent video posts, blog posts about the art, exhibitions, and publications related to Book of Mormon art, and changes to the catalog or the website.

Contact Us

The Book of Mormon Art Catalog website includes a Contact Us web page where users can suggest art for possible inclusion in the catalog. While that web page is titled Suggest an Artwork, users can also send site administrators questions about the artwork (including copyright permission questions) using the Message box.


The Book of Mormon Art Catalog website includes several other resources that are worth exploring. For example, selecting the Videos option on the homepage menu bar displays numerous videos about the catalog. Scan the QR code in figure 4 to view a forty-nine-minute video presentation by Jennifer Champoux, the website’s creator, providing an overview and explanation of the Book of Mormon Art Catalog website.

QR codeFigure 3. Scan this QR code to view an overview video about this website.

Other videos about the Book of Mormon Art Catalog are also available:

  • “BEHOLD: Conversations on Book of Mormon Art” video series (interviews with scholars about Book of Mormon art to complement the 2024 Come, Follow Me curriculum, each less than fifteen minutes)
  • “About the Book of Mormon Catalog” videos (providing news and updates about this art catalog)
  • “Latter-day Saint Art” videos (on a wide variety of topics—ranging from “Diversity in Religious Art” to “What is Mormon art?”)
  • “Artworks—Brief Introductions” videos (a series of short videos in which scholars, artists, and individuals share their insights into selected art works included in the Book of Mormon Art Catalog)

Sample Image Search

Here is an example of how you might use the Book of Mormon Art Catalog to find one or more images for use in a family Come, Follow Me study session. Imagine that the current reading block includes Alma 43 and the story of Captain Moroni raising the Title of Liberty. Here is what you might do:

  • Visit the Book of Mormon Art Catalog website (; see fig. 1).
  • Click on the Search the Full Catalog with Filters link on the homepage (see fig. 3).
  • The Search and Filter Catalog options looks like this (fig. 4):

Search and filter catalog pageFigure 4. Default Search and Filter Catalog.

  • There are several ways you can find the same artwork. You could, for example, select Alma 46 under the Scripture References filter (which would show you sixty-seven images that pertain to Alma 46). Or you could select Moroni (Captain) and Title of Liberty under the Topics filter (listing eighty-four images) as shown in figure 5.

topics filterFigure 5. Topics filter selected.

  • You may feel that eighty-four images are too many to check. So imagine that one of your favorite Latter-day Saint artists is Jorge Cocco. In addition to the Topics filter that you previously picked, you could also select Cocco, Jorge under the Artists filter, as shown in figure 6.

artists filterFigure 6. Artists filter selected.

  • With those two filter selections, the website informs you that there are two Title of Liberty images by Jorge Cocco (see fig. 7).

example of search resultsFigure 7. Search results.

  • You decide you would like to use the image titled “El estandarte de la Libertad” during your family’s study time. After clicking on the image title, you will see additional information about that image (see fig. 8):

details page for a searched imageFigure 8. Image details page.

  • After selecting the Click to Enlarge link, you can download a copy of that image (see fig. 9). Please note that the images are protected by copyright and may only be used for educational and research purposes. It is the user’s obligation to consider and comply with copyright restrictions. Images may not be used commercially or in publications without the written permission of the artist or copyright holder.

El Estandarte de la LibertadFigure 9. A JPEG image you can use for personal study and teaching. Jorge Cocco, Santángelo, El estandarte de la Libertad, 2021, oil on canvas, 36 x 24 inches.


The Book of Mormon Art Catalog can help increase interest in the Book of Mormon and add variety to any gospel lesson or presentation. The website’s developers have stated that it “is our hope that this database will allow for further scholarship on Book of Mormon art, new opportunities for artists to reach a broader audience and to engage with each other and with the art that has come before, and increased ability for members of the Church and other interested individuals to access and utilize a greater variety of visual sources for devotional purposes.”[2] I believe they are succeeding.


[1] “What’s in the Catalog,” Book of Mormon Art Catalog,

[2] “About the Catalog,” Book of Mormon Art Catalog,