During his over 31-year career at Brigham Young University, Hagen Haltern tirelessly promoted spirituality, beauty and Divine inspiration in art, especially contemporary art, including modern and postmodern art. His philosophy of art based on “Messianic Light” contrasts sharply with the current philosophy behind much of modern and postmodern art. Hagen strongly championed art that would be “virtuous, lovely or of good report or praiseworthy” instead of current trends that promote ugly, degrading or pornographic art.

Picture #1 - Vision

One year ago today on April 2, 2014 was the funeral service for retired BYU Art Professor Hagen Haltern—also his 67th birthday. While remembering my close friend Hagen, I wanted to share his life and the importance of art born of faith and inspiration.[i]

With our two families becoming acquainted while residing in the same ward in the LDS Church for 30 years, my great friend Hagen felt strongly about the importance of the Spirit of God in creating great art. Our thoughts ran parallel, as I felt the same way about the importance of spirituality in science and important inventions. Hagen passed away a year ago after a painful battle against prostate cancer.


BYU Art Department Rising Star

Born in Wittingen, Germany in 1947, Hagen was educated at the Art Institutes of Cologne (Bachelor of Fine Arts) and Düsseldorf (MFA). Hagen served most of his career as a professor in the Art Department of Brigham Young University. Joining the department in 1978, the young artist was considered a “rising star” whose “drawings signaled an artistic talent and awareness that far surpassed” other applicants.[ii]

Picture #2 - Hagen Haltern

In a tribute to Haltern, Brent Orton of Utah artists’ 15 Bytes Magazine explained a key turning point in the artist’s life. “Early in his career, and around the time he joined the LDS Church, Haltern had a powerful spiritual and visual epiphany, a literal vision which ignited the aesthetic-spiritual calling from which he never deviated.” For him, “there was no division between inclination and duty, and none between the meaning of his artistic calling and the ultimate meaning of his life.” He strongly believed that “The most meaningful art will always have spiritual foundations.” “Greatest variety in strongest unity” was his motto. “Haltern’s approach to art . . . was a grand unified-field theory embracing the entire visual universe: a metaphysical quest for light.”[iii]

His 2009 exhibit for the Orem Arts Council’s title summarizes his philosophy: “Visionism: The Art Based on Messianic light.”[iv]

Modern and Postmodern Art: “Tossed About upon the Waves”

In an interview on KBYU in 2009, Hagen Haltern described the philosophy that mostly prevails in the modern and postmodern art world.

“We have had … the great artistic movements or styles that we call modernism and postmodernism.” Haltern stated, and also asked this question of a visiting professor, a postmodernist, from the University of Chicago: “So [do] the postmodernist artists have a higher vision of integration … or is it just a hodge-podge, a mish-mash or a throwing together all these elements?” The professor’s answer: “No, they don’t have a great or new vision.” Haltern: “and that is the difference where I say goodbye to modernism and postmodernism because there are higher forms in the visual world. … you just need to look into nature and it is also in the scriptures that everything is a ‘compound in one,’ (2 Nephi 2:11)”

The result of this “anything goes,” visionless philosophy in modern and postmodern art has resulted in elevating the ugly over the beautiful, the degrading over the uplifting and the destructive over what is of good report or praiseworthy.

From a 2007 article in the Christian Science Monitor entitled “Does beauty still belong in art?”

“Is beauty dead? The answer that springs from much of contemporary art is an unapologetic ‘yes.’ Grime, grit, death, destruction, flesh, and flaws have replaced pretty models, still lifes, and pastoral scenes. In the past 500 years, the opalescent beauty of ‘La Pietà’ has become the urine-soaked effrontery of ‘Piss Christ.’”[v]

For Hagen, the words of the Prophet Mormon often came to mind: “[As] chaff is driven before the wind, or as a vessel is tossed about upon the waves, without sail or anchor, or without anything wherewith to steer her; and even as she is, so are they.” (Mormon 5:18)

Intensive Studio Art Class

Early in his career, Hagen proposed to have an intensive year-long art class under his tutelage for a few students patterned after the teaching approach he had benefitted from in Europe. Eleven students participated in this course with Hagen in the 1982 school year.

Bruce Robertson, one of these students, commented on this unique experience.

“Hagen, when he first began teaching at BYU, had the idea that the only real way to motivate a student to a higher ideal and to really achieve their full potential would be to teach them the way that the masters had taught and to have an intensive system. So he was given permission to try a grand experiment of taking eleven students under his tutelage for a year and be able to have those students share a studio with him, and be able to work alongside him, and be able to dedicate our time specifically to creating art work and to learning what he had to teach us.”

“It didn’t take long for us to kind of begin to understand that it really wasn’t about the artwork that we were producing, that Hagen wasn’t about us becoming better draftsmen. In his own work as a young artist, Hagen had felt encouraged by the new sense of ‘everything goes’ that was prevalent in post World War II Germany and he was discouraged by the lack of anything being said. He felt that there wasn’t anything that artists were trying to say, and so that was a problem for him.”

“He continued to work, and he pondered, and he continued to work. Then one day he had a revelation, a vision of supreme energy and clarity that perhaps like the monk in the cloister, that the artist in the studio should devote his life to God and give himself over to the Master. This was his quest, a quest for wholeness. He said, ‘God is the greatest Artist, therefore the greatest inspiration for art.’ This wasn’t just about gaining the eye of an artist, but being mentored through a journey of spiritual enlightenment. Hagen had found himself with a message of great importance, and that message to us was: we were the works of art.[vi]

In 2009 nine out of the eleven students had a reunion and an art show in the BYU Harris Fine Arts center. All of them had taken the lessons of the Intensive Studio class to heart and had continued creating excellent art work.

This illustration is from the art show by Jacqui Biggs Larsen and is titled “Eternity Waltz.”[vii]

Picture #3- eternity waltz

God’s Essential Attributes for Creation of Inspired, Uplifting Art

Hagen considered one passage of scripture particularly important, and tried to implement it both practically and in the classroom. It is where God Himself talks about attributes needed by artists for the creation of the Tabernacle.


Caption: The Lord had specific requirements for the artists that created the Tabernacle, the Lord’s temple in the desert.[viii]

“AND the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah: And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, To devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, And in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship.” (Exodus 31:1-5)

Hagen wrote about discovering these verses:

“One day, while carelessly browsing through the scriptures, I accidentally found these verses. Somehow these words stuck to my mind and I sensed a hidden meaning and importance to them. Over and over again I pondered these unobtrusive verses in my mind. This little piece of scripture was so intriguing because here God himself spoke about art! Now, where do you hear God involved in art? By and by, I began to understand some broader implications of this precious, condensed and highly charged gem of revelation.”

“God, in fact names five specific levels or categories of meaning of art. And an in depth contemplation of the semantics of these words reveals an astonishing pattern of order with universal application, far beyond art, into all fields of human thoughts and activities.”

“ First level: ‘filled with the Spirit of God’ – anagogical level:

in a heavenly or elated state of mind.

“Second level: “in wisdom” – allegorical level of meaning.

“Third level: ‘in understanding’ – legal level of meaning.

“Fourth level: ‘in knowledge’ – literal level of meaning.

“Fifth level: ‘in all manner of workmanship’ – practical level of meaning.”[ix]

Certainly these verses address the Lord’s requirements for spirituality and character in creation of good art.

Colorado Plateau – Really a Computer Print?

The starting point for many of Hagen’s art pieces is a scanned-in image of a dried wash of lithographic tusche on a flexible film (“ink wash”). This piece entitled “Colorado Plateau” shows how it ended up after extensive computer processing. Hagen and his collaborator and former student Jared Harlow perfected some amazing methods to create their artwork.

The ink wash provides great detail to the foundation of the piece that allows this method to parallel other art mediums in texture and detail. Many people are surprised that Hagen’s work is a computer print due to the characteristics of the methods Hagen and Jared developed.[x]

Picture #5 - Hagen and Jared

Picture #6 - Colorado-Plateau

As an amateur astronomer, I like to compare some of the Hubble pictures that have been extensively processed by computer as additional examples of artistic additions using the computer that greatly enhance the original image in ways similar to Hagen’s approach.

Picture #7 - Eagle_nebula_pillars

Caption: Starting from a Hubble Telescope picture of part of the Eagle Nebula, this computer enhanced image entitled “Pillars of Creation” reveals the stellar nursery that is centered in the clouds of dust of the nebula.[xi]

One of Hagen’s art pieces entitled “Guilin” illustrates some similar color processing that enhances the original subject revealing hidden details.

Picture #8 - Guilin 15-056

Egypt Was a Mother to Us

One of Hagen’s favorite art pieces that he created is entitled “Egypt Was a Mother to Us.” He would talk often about the master craftsmen and artists of the temple in the desert, the Tabernacle. He would also go through the aforementioned verses and list the attributes needed by these artists to do this sacred work.

How could the family of Jacob with at most a few hundred souls including servants become a mighty nation and prevail over the mighty nations in the land of Canaan? How could the Israelites have gained the skills and developed their artistic talents necessary to build the Tabernacle?

Enter Jacob’s son named Joseph who was sold into slavery in Egypt.

The miracle of Joseph becoming the all-powerful “Prime Minister” of Egypt and the Israelites becoming a great nation nurtured and protected in Egypt during many years enabled the miracles of the Exodus and receiving the promised land of Canaan.

Another comparable event is the description in Isaiah and the Book of Mormon about the modern children of Israel being nurtured by the Gentile nations in the last days.

“And it shall come to pass that they shall be gathered in from their long dispersion, from the isles of the sea, and from the four parts of the earth; and the nations of the Gentiles shall be great in the eyes of me, saith God, in carrying them forth to the lands of their inheritance. Yea, the kings of the Gentiles shall be nursing fathers unto them, and their queens shall become nursing mothers; wherefore, the promises of the Lord are great unto the Gentiles, for he hath spoken it, and who can dispute? But behold, this land, said God, shall be a land of thine inheritance, and the Gentiles shall be blessed upon the land. And this land shall be a land of liberty unto the Gentiles … “ (2 Nephi 10:8-11)

Picture #9 - Egypt-was-a-Mother-to-us

A Frequent Powerful Testimony

Hagen frequently bore his testimony in our ward and told of his conversion in Germany in 1969. Elder Fred Zundel, one of the missionaries who baptized Hagen described how rapidly Hagen received a testimony of the Gospel. “As probably most of you know, Hagen was an intellectual. He was an artist first, but he was deeply reflective and widely read. So on more than one occasion, Hagen and I have talked about: What was it? Why wasn’t there this huge intellectual type engagement that would have spread things out for so long?

“Hagen, when I asked him, he said by the second discussion he knew it was true. He felt the recognition of the truth of the restored gospel and he accepted that recognition. ‘My sheep hear my voice.’ Some of us take two years, some of us take longer, some of us take a summer. Hagen had a receptivity in his heart to the truths of the gospel, and he recognized it very quickly, and he stayed with it and he revelled in bearing his testimony to it.”

During his career, Hagen had the opportunity to illustrate one of Elder Boyd K. Packer’s books, “That All May Be Edified”. During the process of working with Elder Packer, Hagen described a dream he had where he saw Elder Packer and a voice saying “This is My servant.” Hagen bore this sacred testimony to our ward and High Priest’s quorum several times.

Picture #10 - Elder Packer book

Caption: Hagen’s intricate drawing showing a closed door in the chapter in Elder Packer’s book entitled “Warning.” “A closed door symbolizes a warning, for there are some places that we must not enter if we are to be protected against danger.”[xii]

Choosing a Strong Family with Foundations Built on Faith and Service

Hagen met his future wife, Barbara Niehoff, in a castle in Bonn at a costume party. Years later, they named their son Clemens after one of the Dukes of that castle. Shortly after they met Hagen joined the church and eventually baptized his future wife, Barbara. They were married in the Swiss Temple in 1974.

Stable family life was not always a given for Hagen. Although born into an artistic family, his mother and father had a turbulent relationship. His mother had studied to become a concert pianist, and his father was an interior designer. Both had strong personalities and clashed often. His father ended up leaving the family when

Hagen was around the age of fourteen, and wasn’t heard from again until decades later when they received notice of his death.

Combined with his sensitive nature, bad memories of early family life haunted him and certainly contributed to looming depression that he fought his entire life. The family was poor and the greatest excitement could be found in obtaining a box of crayons or colored pencils. Hagen knew from an early age that he wanted art to be his life. He always longed for materials with which to make art, paper, pencils, books.

Hagen was the third out of four children. The oldest a sister named Heide, is a gifted painter, the next brother Helge a dancer with a successful career, and the youngest brother Holger was trained in making stained glass.

Barbara and Hagen Haltern have lived in the Orem Park 5th ward almost the entire time since coming to Utah. My family and I spent 30 years in that wonderful ward as well and are close friends of the Halterns. They have three wonderful children and ten grandchildren, with two more grandchildren due in April.[xiii]

Picture #11 - Barbara and Hagen (1970s)

Barbara and Hagen in the mid 1970s

Picture #12 - Barbara and Hagen Haltern

Hagen’s philosophy of spirituality in art was accompanied by solid practice of those beliefs beginning with his beautiful family, a stable family life and continuous service in one wonderful ward in the Church for more than 37 years. Hagen’s service included being a counselor in a BYU bishopric and serving in the High Priest leadership. Barbara’s service included many callings including Relief Society President.

Picture #13 - Haltern family - less detail

Caption: Maja Haltern, Burklie Hiatt, Suzanna Haltern, Britta Haltern, Clemens Haltern, Elias Haltern, Barbara Haltern, Hagen Haltern, Annika Stone, Christopher Stone, Scout Stone, Anna Haltern Stone, Charlotte Stone, Julia Haltern Hugo, Samuel Hugo, Noah Hugo, and Garyth Hugo (not depicted).

Increase of Faith through Ward Service

Our ward was a ward where service above and beyond that which is expected happens regularly. Hagen was a great home teacher and Barbara and he gave frequent service in the ward.

Fifteen year old Andy Tu’itupou’s year long ordeal with bone cancer and my five year old Barbie’s contracting encephalitis during that time as well brought blessings of spirituality and opportunities of service to the whole ward.[xiv] Barbara Haltern particularly gave many, many hours of service over many years with our handicapped daughter Barbie including taking eight hour shifts at night when Barbie could not sleep so we could have some sleep.

Andy’s favorite hymn, which was “Because I Have Been Given Much,” became almost the official ward hymn. These challenges and blessings were described by Bishop Arnold Lemmon in an article in the May, 1996 New Era magazine about Andy Tu’itupou.[xv] Andy and his father home taught the Halterns.

Living in a very active ward of faith and service strengthened both of our families in the spiritual foundations of the Gospel.

Childhood with Hagen as a Father

Hagen’s youngest daughter Anna described her childhood with such a devoted and talented father. “When I was a child, I remember him taking so much time … as he created a lot of things for us. He made beautifully painted cardboard castles and wooden play swords, and some of my favorite things were done when my brother and sister were already in school, and I would find time to myself with him sometimes.

“One year he made an intricate and beautiful snowflake valentine heart for me. Another time he took (I don’t know how he did it) toilet paper and water and made perfect little smooth Easter eggs, and we dried them on the window sill, and I watched them magically come to life. Just special little memories.”[xvi]

Picture #14 - cardboard castle

The cardboard castle Hagen made for his children from a refrigerator box.


Hagen’s daughter Julia commented on her brilliant yet humble Father and experiences she had with him.

“Another thing I love about my dad was that he could converse most intelligently (as I think you all know) with anyone about most anything. His wealth of knowledge was unbelievable, yet coupled with no pretense. He was so humble and it just came so naturally to him that it made it easy to forget just how unique he was.

“I remember a few years ago we were in Southern England on a little vacation, me and Garyth and my children, and we were just kind of driving around the countryside and we happened upon this little site of interest. It was an old castle and we thought we would stop in and have a look. Later, when I mentioned it to my dad on the phone, he was like, ‘Oh yes, Bodiam Castle, I know that one, it is one of the finest examples of moated castles in England. It is also where they filmed Ivanhoe.’ I didn’t even know that after viewing it. But that is just how he was, full of insights and always enriching me with wonderful information.”[xvii]

Hagen’s son Clemens talked about eternal truths his Father taught him.

“My dad taught and showed me a lot of things, some by telling me directly and some I learned just by observing. I’ll just name a few:

“He knew that our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ live – there was no doubt!

He taught me to think and act based on eternal truths and not by the norms or traditions of society. A family will endure if it is centered on God. There was nothing in the world we need to fear.”[xviii]

The Good Shepherd

Hagen made a painting of Christ as the Good Shepherd that hangs in the Bishop’s Office of the ward. The current Bishop, Paul Tu’itupou, remarked in Hagen’s funeral last year,

“That reminds me of a painting that he painted and it is in the Bishop’s office. The painting is of the Good Shepherd holding a lamb. Every time I look at that picture, that reminds me of how he is, he was like a shepherd taking care of lambs. … I love that picture of our Savior holding a lamb, taking care of the lamb.”

Picture #15 - The Good Shepherd

A Positive Influence on His Profession and for All Who Knew Him

Ward member Robin Hancock, in the Music Department at BYU, told of Hagen’s love of the music of Rachmaninoff “as being one of the composers who in his art and in his music had this spiritual quality that seemed to lift up someone listening to it towards Heavenly Father. Hagen was always about finding the deeply spiritual in any kind of art…”[xix]

The descriptions of the role of the artists for the temple in the desert specified in Exodus were his standard of righteousness and excellence. “And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship,.” (Exodus 31:3)

In the words of Bishop Arnold Lemmon: “Hagen possessed a profound passion for teaching art to young and creative minds. All that he taught was from an innate spiritual perspective. I once hiked the Zion Narrows with Hagen and Barbara; I saw indescribable beauty, Hagen saw and felt God’s creations. I saw a colorful rock, he saw God’s hand.”[xx]

Surely the influence of my dear friend Hagen Haltern in promoting uplifting and inspired art and in living the gospel in his family and associations will continue into eternity.

Picture #16 - Christ in Meditation

Christ in Meditation


[i] The first illustration is entitled “vision” and is part of a great selection viewable online of Hagen’s latest works that extensively use the computer as an additional powerful tool for creating abstract art. The link to this art piece online is [https://www.visionism.com/artwork/vision/]. The main web site is www.visionism.com

[ii] Brent Orton, “Hagen Haltern (1947-2014) In Memorium, 15 Bytes Magazine, Utah’s Art Magazine Published by Artists of Utah, May 2014.


“On 27 March 2014 Hagen Gilbert Haltern, as a result of a long struggle with cancer, passed quietly away. 

[The funeral service occurred on 02 April 2014, his 67th birthday.] 

“Hagen Haltern, in the words of the late Brent Gehring, was “an artist’s artist.” Born 2 April 1947 in Wittingen, near Hamburg, Germany, Haltern grew up in Bonn, graduated from the University of Bonn, afterwards studied art at the Art Institute of Cologne, and then the Academy of Fine Art in Düsseldorf. In 1978 Haltern joined the art faculty at BYU. Bruce Smith recalls him as “this rising star from Germany . . .” whose “drawings signaled an artistic talent and awareness that far surpassed what most applicants could provide.”

“One could write much about Haltern’s artistic prowess. His technique could astound. What he could see or envision, he could render. His discipline and his commitment to his personal vision were quintessentially German, and if a medium was inadequate for the communication of that vision, Haltern would often refashion the medium. When paper was too unrefined for how Haltern wished to draw, he would prepare his amazing “marble ground” that allowed both the finest pencil lines and the deepest washes of powdered graphite floated in ox gall. Or he would microwave ink washes to control the flow and the drying of the ink. He always managed to express his vision, and with a master’s aplomb.”

“Bob Adams described Haltern as “. . . the voice in my head, pushing me to see beyond the obvious, to take chances, to push myself out of my comfort zone, away from my preconceptions.” Others recall his gentleness and his integrity (Keri Vincent Skousen), or his love of beauty (Ann Daines Cordes) and his ability to find beauty in the ordinary and overlooked. “It was absolutely clear to us students,” recalls Jacqui Biggs Larsen, “that he felt a great love and reverence for everything connected to the Savior, and that included people” as well as beauty. Haltern integrated his love, his religion and his vision into the singularity that was his soul, from which his art shone as a paean to light. “The world, whether it realizes it or not, just lost one of ‘the greats’” (Tiberius).”

[iii] Brent Orton, “Hagen Haltern (1947-2014) In Memorium, 15 Bytes Magazine, Utah’s Art Magazine Published by Artists of Utah, May 2014.


[iv] “Thinking Aloud with Marcus Smith,” “Hagen Haltern Art Exhibition,” KBYU, 6/15/2009.

Excellent interview with Hagen Haltern as he retired from BYU in 2009. He describes in great detail some of his techniques and his strong positive philosophy of art as well as his 2009 exhibit at the Orem Public Library.


[v] Carol Strickland, “Does beauty still belong in art?” Christian Science Monitor, 9/26/2007.


“This challenge to convention reflects artists’ “I cannot tell a lie” honesty. After the savagery of World War I, art turned to the dark side with wrenching paintings of brutality by German Expressionists such as George Grosz, Otto Dix, and Max Beckmann. ‘We had found in the war,’ the Dada artist Richard Huelsenbeck said in 1917, ‘that Goethe and Schiller and beauty added up to killing and bloodshed and murder.’ After World War II, Theodor Adorno said that ‘to write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric.’

“Morley Safer, who covers art for CBS’s “Sunday Morning,” says, “It’s clear beauty has no place in contemporary art.” He suggests substituting “emotional and intellectual impact” as the criterion to judge quality.”

[vi] Hagen Haltern Funeral Transcript, April 2, 2014 service, Orem Park Fifth Ward Chapel.

[vii] “A Product of Time and Faith: Professor Hagen Haltern’s Intensive Drawing Studio 1982/2009,” October 19 – November 23, 2009, Brigham Young University B. F. Larson Gallery, Faith in Works Committee, 2009. 

[viii] “Stiftshuette Modell Timnapark” by Ruk7 – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tabernacle#/media/File:Stiftshuette_Modell_Timnapark.jpg

[ix] Hagen Haltern, “Art Integration: The Spiritual Foundation and Anagogical Level of Meaning of the Celestial Style,” H and H Book, 216 South 180 West, Orem, Utah. 1989, page 31.

Handwritten book published in 1989 but now out of print. The Hebrew words were included in the book for the levels Hagen discussed. 

Picture #17 - Page from Hagen's Book

[x] Jared Harlow, “Hagen Haltern: 1947-2014,” “Visionism: ART BASED ON THE TRANSCENDENT LIGHT OF GREATEST VARIETY IN STRONGEST UNITY,” March 27, 2014.


“HAGEN HALTERN: 1947-2014

… the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God.

Ezekiel 1:1 

“In 2002 Hagen offered to mentor me for my BFA final project if I would help him to assemble in Photoshop some compositional ideas. What I thought would be a three- or four-month project turned into an enriching 12-year long collaboration.

“Today, sadly, our collaboration has come to an end.

“Hagen had an impeccable sense of compositional design and a rare gift for discerned markmaking. He was a perfectionist who was frustrated with the limitations of any one medium. He spent decades collecting materials and experimenting with various media and tools, from graphite on marble grounds to ink washes in microwaves. He could recognize beauty from any source, no matter how humble or celebrated. Hagen’s goal from his youth was, like Kurt Schwitters’, to “combine all forms of art into complete artistic unity”.

“While a young man, Hagen spent years in a frustrating and agonizing search for this seeming unattainable ideal of artistic unity. His perceived failures left him humbled and empty–like a vacuum. This filling and emptying process prepared Hagen for an experience which would act as a beacon for the rest of his life: his mind was opened and he saw a vision of Messianic Light: Ruakh Elohim.

“Hagen spent his career making art and mentoring students towards that Vision. In the end, everything he has collected, curated, created and composed are only fragments: fragments which humbly point towards a much grander wholeness.

“Hagen was my mentor, my collaborator, and my best friend. His influence and vision will continue through those of us who loved him and learned from him. I will miss him terribly. 

– Jared Harlow, 2014-03-27

See also: Jared Harlow, Personal email message to Ron Millett, March 19, 2015.

“We started working together in 2002, as I was working on my BFA final show. Hagen had seen some Photoshop compositions by one of his masters students, Audrey Tiberius, and realized that there was potential in the medium. He approached me and asked if I would assist him in putting together a few compositions he had in mind. I think we both expected to work together for a few months, for a few pictures, and then move on. But the ideas kept coming, and we kept working. As the years progressed our tools improved, our collaboration deepened, and our work advanced. 

“We would often meet on Saturday mornings. Our time would be spent mostly in three ways: creating new compositions that Hagen had sketched out, making color variations on previous images, or combining past compositions in a serendipitous search for new forms. Because the medium was non-destructive, the possibilities for new work were limitless. We both enjoyed the time together. We worked on an iMac using Adobe Photoshop.” 

[xi] “Pillars of Creation,” Eagle Nebula Hubble Computer Processed Picture, Wikipedia.org, Retrieved 3/13/2015.


[xii] Boyd K. Packer, “That All May Be Edified,” Bookcraft, 1982. Page 201.

[xiii] Hagen Haltern Obituary, Deseret News, March 30, 2014.


Children: Clemens (Spouse: Suzanna), Julia (Spouse: Garyth), Anna (Spouse: Christopher). Grandchildren: Burklie, Maja, Elias, Britta, Samuel, Noah, Scout, Charlotte, Annika and Sasha Julia.

[xiv] My daughter Barbie became ill with encephalitis (infection of the brain) in 1990 a few months after Andy’s bone cancer was discovered in 1989. She is now thirty and has struggled with severe seizures and illnesses since then but has been able to remain at home. A year or so after Andy’s death, Barbie’s brainstem had been injured so much by the very frequent gran mal seizures that she could not sleep. Imagine a ward organizing eight hour night time shifts for months at a time to allow my wife and I to get some sleep. Barbara Haltern participated in those shifts and spent many hours over the years caring for and helping with Barbie.

The Orem Park 5th ward is truly an amazing ward to live in and the Halterns contributed in a major way to that faith and spirit! After a few months of this amazing service and frequent blessings and combined prayers, we were able to find help beyond what the medical profession was able to do that allowed Barbie to get adequate sleep again even though her trial of disability and illness would continue to the present day. This kind of service has allowed our dear Barbie to be cared for at home where she is happy and a wonderful influence on all.

[xv] Arnold Lemmon, “An Honorable Release,” New Era, May 1996.


“Several days after the amputation, Andy asked to receive his patriarchal blessing. I wondered what a blessing would hold for a young man who was facing possible death. I rushed to my office to get my Patriarchal Blessing Recommend book. I jumped in my car and headed for Andy’s bedside, where I found Andy waiting patiently for his interview. I asked Andy where he was getting his obvious strength and peace. ‘From the things I learned in family home evening,’ Andy answered without hesitation. Andy was worthy to receive a patriarchal blessing.”

Later the next year as Andy’s valiant fight neared the end …

“Midafternoon, Andy’s breathing became very labored. His father and I laid our hands on Andy’s head. Brother Tuitupou pleaded with Heavenly Father to now allow his son to return home. Andy died in his mother’s arms. Their front yard was soon full of ward members singing Andy’s favorite hymn, “Because I Have Been Given Much.” The music surrounded the small home, and the family wept as love filled the air.”

[xvi] Hagen Haltern Funeral Transcript, April 2, 2014 service, Orem Park Fifth Ward Chapel. 

[xvii] Hagen Haltern Funeral Transcript, April 2, 2014 service, Orem Park Fifth Ward Chapel.

[xviii] Hagen Haltern Funeral Transcript, April 2, 2014 service, Orem Park Fifth Ward Chapel.

[xix] Hagen Haltern Funeral Transcript, April 2, 2014 service, Orem Park Fifth Ward Chapel. 

[xx] Arnold Lemmon, personal email to Ronald Millett, 3/25/2015.