Inside the Story: Emotional art unites families who lost Latter-day Saint missionaries

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Inside the Story: Emotional art unites families who lost Latter-day Saint missionaries (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) A talented artist who paints missionaries who died while serving for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was honored by families who benefited from his portraits.

JR Johansen has now painted 61 portraits for free.

He calls the special missionary portraits "Angels Among Us."

Family and friends of the missionaries he has painted over the years came together to honor Johansen, and reflect on the lives cut short.

"It's just touched us so much because we had nothing like this before," said Derrick Jack.

His brother, William, passed away at the young age of 20 while serving a mission for the Church.

At the event, all the portraits Johansen painted were on display.

"I'm humbled by parents who have been through such an ordeal and still have faith in God," he said.

A year ago when Johansen did this event, he had done 21 paintings. Now he's at 61--meaning he has done 40 paintings in one year for free.

"This is far better than painting for money," he said. "This is the joy of painting."

Johansen is so committed to this, he even has a genealogist helping him research Latter-day Saint missionaries who died while serving.

If you or anyone you know has lost a loved one in this situation, he's hoping to hear from you.

You can contact him at 385-244-7027 or reach out to genealogist Cindy Thredgold at connorsmomonamission@gmail.com or through her website, momonamission2017.wordpress.com.


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