Oluf Christian Larsen
Posing for the famous artist, Dr. Avard Fairbanks.
The artist Avard Fairbanks asked Oluf Christian Larsen to pose for two works of art: Elijah the Prophet and Father Lehi blessing his son Joseph." Both pieces of art are located at the LDS Hawaii Temple in Laie, Hawaii.
"The Hawaiian Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Laie, Hawaii. Dr. Fairbanks and his brother J. Leo were commissioned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to erect four sculpture friezes for the temple in Hawaii. Avard sent for his sweetheart while in Hawaii, and they were married in Honolulu. They finished their work on the temple in 1918 and returned home. Works included the four friezes at the top of the temple, the baptismal font, a statue of Lehi blessing his son Joseph, and a panel portraying a Hawaiian mother and her children." (Taken from www.avardfairbanks.com).
Lehi Blessing His Son Joseph
Behind the temple stands the statue of Lehi blessing his youngest son Joseph. It is erected in a secluded courtyard enclosed by a tall hedge. There is such a sense of serenity and awe in its presence that people naturally speak in low tones while viewing it. Yet there is no sanctimonious effect. The figure of Lehi, though once vigorous, shows the signs of age and waning years. He has placed his hands upon the robust young son who is patient and attentive to the admonitions and prophecy of one whose end draws near.
The words Lehi spoke have been recorded in Second Nephi in the Book of Mormon. Among other things, he says that Joseph's seed shall not be destroyed and that there shall rise up one mighty among them who shall do much good, both in word and in deed. This monument is appropriate for the Hawaiian temple, since the Latter-day Saint Church has maintained a belief that Polynesians are descended of people spoken of in the Book of Mormon.
(For a short biography of Dr. Avard Fairbanks, visit http://www.avardfairbanks.com/info/biography.html).
West Frieze of the Hawaiian Temple, depicting the prophets and leaders of the Old Testament. Image: www.avardfairbanks.com
Oluf Christian Larsen posing for artist Avard Fairbanks. Fairbanks created a frieze of Old Testament prophets for the top portion of the LDS Hawaii Temple. Oluf was used to model the old testament prophet Elijah. Photo: Johannah Christensen Larsen collection.
The Avard Fairbanks statue: Lehi blesses his son Joseph. This statue stands in a secluded courtyard behind the Hawaiian Temple. Oluf Christian Larsen was the model for Lehi. Photo: www.avardfairbanks.com.
Alma (son of Oluf Christian Larsen and Johanna Christensen Larsen) and wife Maragaret visit the Avard Fairbanks statue of Lehi blessing his son Joseph during a 1960's trip to Hawaii.
2007 photo of the Lehi blessing his son Joseph statue on the grounds of the Hawaii LDS Temple. Photo: Gregory K. Larsen.
Three generations of Oluf Christian Larsen’s grandsons: Fourth Generation, Gregory K. Larsen; Fifth Generation: David Gregory Larsen; Sixth Generation: David Gregory Larsen, Jr., photo taken in June, 2007. Photo: Gregory K. Larsen.
Below is a 2008 photo of the Avard Fairbank's frieze located on the Hawaii LDS Temple. Photo: Wallace Larsen.