Atarah was a beautiful young Jaredite girl. She was best friends with Dinah, the daughter of one of the kings, who was the same age as Atarah. Atarah’s parents worked for the king, so they would bring Atarah to the king’s palace with them. Atarah was an only child. Her parents desired more children, but more did not come to them. Dinah had many siblings who cared for Atarah as one of their own.
Atarah’s father worked in the King’s garden, while her mother worked in the palace helping the queen. One of Atarah’s main jobs, especially as a young girl was to dust the furnishings in the palace. She was given a beautiful feather duster made from feathers of an ostrich-like bird. Atarah loved the duster as the feathers were carefully dyed with many beautiful colors. She would dance through the palace with her feather duster, carefully dusting the many furnishings in the palace.
Because Atarah spent so much time in the palace, she became part of the family (as well as her parents). She was educated with the king’s children and she played with them. One of her very favorite things to do was to sit in the king’s living room and listen to him read the scriptures to his family. Every day, the king would gather his family to read scriptures and to teach them about Jesus Christ. Now, having several children, some days were quite chaotic, but that did not discourage him. He had a strong testimony of the coming of Jesus Christ and wanted his children to learn to love Jesus, as he loved Him.
The king knew that it was easy for people to fall into wickedness, as it had already happened several times among the Jaredite people. The king did not want this to happen to any of his children, so he testified often about Jesus Christ.
One of Atarah’s favorite things to do, especially as she grew older, was to draw and paint. She was blessed with a unique gift to draw people, especially faces. She was able to capture emotion in each of her drawing. Because the king knew the brilliance of Atarah’s gift, when he sent people to various cities to shop at their markets, he told them to purchase the best canvases, paints, brushes, and other tools they could find. They brought back paints, papers, brushes, and canvases made of the best materials. Atarah was elated every time she received new materials.
As Atarah listened daily to the king and his family talk about Jesus Christ, she desired to draw pictures of Him. She talked to the king about Jesus and how he thought she should draw and paint His picture. The king introduced Atarah to one of the prophets so she could talk to him of how she could draw and paint His picture. Atarah prayed for knowledge and guidance to know how to draw Him.
Atarah began having dreams about Jesus. She saw many aspects of His life. She dreamed about His birth, baptism, the Sermon on the Mount and other teaching, His apostles, His death and resurrection, and many other parts of His life that are not recorded in scripture.
She talked to the prophet and the king about her dreams and what she thought Jesus would look like. The prophet confirmed her thoughts.
After drawing and painting the faces of many different people, mostly her friends and family, she finally became comfortable in attempting drawing the face of Jesus. She first used a pencil type tool, something that she could easily erase as needed. When she had a drawing she felt pleased with, she took the drawing to the prophet. He loved the drawing and gave her a couple suggestions. Atarah modified her drawing and took it back to the prophet. The prophet showed the drawing to his wife and she was in awe. The Spirit touched her heart and soul that Atarah’s picture was very similar to what Jesus would actually look like. Atarah was in tears, the prophet and his wife were in tears as they contemplated the earthly mission of Jesus Christ.
Atarah then began her first painting of Jesus. She had the best tools to work with. She had the best paints of a variety of colors. She had the best canvas that was brought to her. She wanted the materials to be the very best as she was going to paint the face of the person who would save her and her people from their sins. The king allowed her to use a room in the palace to paint.
Atarah worked for weeks on her painting. Occasionally, the prophet and his wife would come and view the progress. The king and the queen would come in to look at the painting. Anytime anyone would come and look at the painting, they would feel reverence and awe for their Savior.
Finally, Atarah finished the painting. It was magnificent! It was holy! It was placed in a sacred area where many could come and view it. Those who looked upon it were filled with the spirit and hope that Jesus would actually come and Atone for their sins as was prophesied by the prophets.
Atarah continued to paint pictures of Jesus. She painted many different pictures of his life and his mission. She painted pictures of his suffering in Gethsemane and on the cross. She painted pictures of his resurrection and his visits to his apostles in Jerusalem and visits to the inhabitants of the place she lived. She also painted pictures of Jesus in the latter-days and the millennium. Her paintings and drawings were well-known and many would travel great distances to see her paintings.