This image was inspired by my wife and son when he was leaving on his mission. We were at the airport saying our good-byes, and I watched him as he hugged my wife. She was hanging on, having a very hard time letting him go, and he was hugging her, but he was looking beyond her — toward the airplane. He was obviously ready to go. The expression on her face was one of trepidation. It was as if she were asking herself, “Have I prepared him for this? Have I done all I could?” While his expression was one of eager determination. He had been preparing so long for this and he was ready to get started.
That moment made me think of the story of the Stripling Warriors. Those two thousand young men had never fought before. They had no idea what they were up against, or what to expect going into battle against the Lamanites, but that didn’t matter to them. They were prepared in spirit and in faith. They knew that the things their mothers had taught them were true, and they were willing to march into the unknown, with their strength and courage coming from their faith. I think about those young men and their resolve to defend their families and their homes. They went forth with bravery and they succeeded. Then I think about their mothers. I know how worried and afraid they must have been. That’s what moms do. They worry and they wonder if they have prepared their sons. That is really the feeling I wanted to portray in this painting.