“We Know Them”: A Cross-Stitch Journey

Early 2020, the Church History Museum (for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) announced the theme for their 12th International Art Competition: “All Are Alike Unto God.”

As an occasional cross-stitcher, this seemed like a great opportunity to dive back into the hobby. I was immediately inspired by the “If The World Was A Village of 100 People” concept. This isn’t a new idea, but this infographic by Jack Hagley is a good introduction.

An image detailing statistics of the percentage of people with access to various services, their religion, gender, and more

I wasn’t sure how old this data was, and I also wanted to develop my own set of characteristics, so I did some of my own research. The categories I decided to include were: eye and hair color, gender, sexuality, religion, disability, continent, country, ethnicity, and age. Most of the characteristics involved searching out a wide variety of sources to make sure I had the most accurate information.

My gender categories includes not only male and female, but also intersex, transgender, and nonbinary. Sexuality includes heterosexual, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and asexual orientations. Disabilities included physical, mental, deafness, and blindness. This category I feel is most underrepresented, but since most disabilities are invisible, I’m okay with my limitations in portraying disabilities.

Continents were easy to break down by population percentage, but country, ethnicity, and age were all tied into my continent breakdowns. Ages were determined per continent, grouping males and females into under 15, 15-64, and 65+. (Intersex, non-binary, and transgender people were selected from these groups afterwards to ease in calculations.) Countries were determined by population percentage within the continents, but when percentages got small enough to only equal one person, I randomly selected from the smaller remaining countries. Ethnicities were then determined by the highest percentage ethnic group within the country, divided if necessitated by the size of the country.

With my basic statistics calculated, I wrote a Python program to randomly assign attributes to each of the one hundred people. This was a good start, though it needed some minor tweaking afterwards, especially regarding religion in some countries (e.g. Christianity is significantly less common in China, and Hinduism is more prevalent in India). 

The next step was creating patterns for each one of the people. I used Stitch People templates, including their religious and cultural patterns. However, my desire to incorporate national dress meant I spent a lot of time developing my own designs after researching typical or traditional clothes of the country and/or ethnicity each person was from. Each person took an average of an hour to design, including the research process.

cross stitch pattern of a chinese man in traditional clothing cross stitch pattern of a romani woman cross stitch pattern of a brazilian woman in a traditional dress

During the design process, I gave each person a name chosen from their respective cultures. Although these names aren’t visible in the final project, I saw myself as how our Heavenly Parents see us—They know our names and our lives even if we can’t know the lives of everyone around us.

The next step was stitching the people themselves; these took an average of two hours per person. I chose white linen, as linen is one of the few fabrics mentioned in the scriptures. I intentionally left the backs visible as a reminder of the complexity of our lives, no matter how put together we may seem on the outside. I embraced the imperfections in my stitching, embedding the imperfection of the human condition.

After they had been stitched, I added borders in silver and gold thread to prevent significant fraying. The silver and the gold are representative of our Heavenly Mother and Heavenly Father respectively. 

These are the figures before I hung them up.


18 cross stitched people dressed in primarily traditional Chinese clothing

Asia—Assorted Countries:

cross stitches of fourteen people dressed in the traditional clothing of their respective countries

Asia—Countries with more than one figure

ten cross stitched figures in various traditional clothing


seventeen cross stitched people dressed in primarily traditional Indian clothing

Africa (grouped roughly by country for those that have multiple from a country)

seventeen cross stitched people in a variety of traditional African clothing


ten cross stitched people dressed in traditional european clothing

Latin and South America (including Mexico):

eight cross stitched people in primarily latin american traditional clothing

North America (United States and Canada):

five cross stitched people from the US and Canada


a cross stitched woman from Australia

I also included figures of Heavenly Father, Heavenly Mother, and Jesus Christ. These were stitched without features, providing a blank canvas for people to provide their own interpretations. Heavenly Father was stitched in gold thread, while Heavenly Mother was stitched in silver thread; Jesus Christ was stitched in a combination of the two. They were also stitched at double the size of the other figures.

Three stitched figures with no particular features

The next step was to hang them into a mobile. My intention for doing so was to keep any one person from being more important than any other. A mobile requires all of the pieces to be in balance with each other. The Heavenly Family is placed at the top, connecting us all to Them and balancing through Them.

Each embroidery hoop (traditionally used for cross stitching) holds the figures for one continent. Countries with multiple figures have the figures attached along the same string. Even though some figures seem to be above others in the country, they are still all needed for balance, and none of them hang directly from another person.

cross stitched figures in a mobile
cross stitched figures in a mobile
cross stitched figures in a mobile
cross stitched figures in a mobile
cross stitched figures in a mobile
cross stitched figures in a mobile
cross stitched figures in a mobile
cross stitched figures in a mobile
cross stitched figures in a mobile
cross stitched figures in a mobile
cross stitched figures in a mobile

I’d like to hope that people are able to see elements of themselves in the figures, as well as find where they balance in the world. I believe that our Heavenly Parents know us even more intimately than I know these figures that I created. 

Names of Christ across Christian Religions

This was published in 2014 as part of a university course assignment. It has not been updated since that time, as evidenced by the color selection in the charts.

Beginning with my project on General Conference, I decided to compare the usage frequency of names of Christ across religions. I looked at the official Vatican website, the National Association of Evangelicals website, the United Methodist Church website, and the North American Lutheran Church website. I kept my numbers for General Conference, which is kept on the church’s website. While this doesn’t seem to be directly similar, this provides the best cross section of formal usage in the LDS church.

I used the General Conference corpus to get data for the LDS church. For the remainder of the churches, I used the site search feature of Google to get the numbers. Occasionally, I had to do some qualitative adjusting to weed out results that were irrelevant to the data needed. I also did some math to make sure that titles weren’t double counted, e.g. Jesus was not counted twice under both ‘Jesus Christ’ and ‘Christ Jesus.’

A table that uses very poor color choices to show positions of different names for Christ. There are six columns with ten names for Christ each in order of the frequency.

Column 1: Mormon
God, Lord, Christ, Jesus Christ, Jesus, Savior, Lord Jesus Christ, Almighty, Son of God, Redeemer.

Column 2: Catholic
Jesus, Christ, God, Lord, Jesus Christ, Lord Jesus, Creator, Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, Redeemer.

Column 3: Baptist
God, Jesus Christ, Lord, Savior, Lord Jesus Christ, Christ, Creator, Lord Jesus, Christ Jesus, Savior Jesus Christ. 

Column 4: Evangelical
God, Jesus Christ, Lord, Savior, Christ, Jesus, Lord Jesus, Lord Jesus Christ, Creator, Son of God.

Column 5: Methodist
Christ, Jesus, Jesus Christ, Lord, God, Savior, Creator, Christ Jesus, Lord Jesus, Lord Jesus Christ.

Column 6: Lutheran
God, Jesus, Christ, Jesus Christ, Savior, Lord, Lord Jesus Christ, Christ Jesus, Lord Jesus, Lord God.
Chart showing frequency of name usage for Jesus Christ by Mormons, Catholics, Baptists, Evangelicals, Methodists, and Lutherans

Unsurprisingly, all churches had different names that ranked in the top ten. Some names were used within the top ten across all churches, while others were used in only one church. A few names were used in all but one church. ‘Lord Jesus’ is an example of one of these. It appears in the top ten ranking of every church but the LDS church. (For reference, it doesn’t show up in the complete rankings until 19th, so still in the top twenty, but not nearly as frequent as the other churches use it.)  ‘Jesus’ is not in the top ten of the Baptist church, but only barely, coming in at 11th on the complete rankings. However, this is a contrast to the other churches where the name ranks first or second in half of the other churches. ‘Savior’ is also a word that appears in five out of the six churches, not showing up in the Catholic list until 16th.  There are also words unique to religions. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only church to have ‘Almighty’ in its top ten list, falling as far as 19th in the Baptist list. Baptists however have the unique distinction of being the only church with ‘Savior Jesus Christ’ in the top ten. Due to the nature of the search, this may be due to the frequency of the phrase “our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ” which was difficult to have it not appear in the searches. ‘Creator’ also appeared in more than half of the churches’ top ten lists. ‘Christ Jesus’ and ‘Son of God’ appeared in half of the lists. ‘God,’ ‘Christ,’ ‘Lord,’ ‘Jesus Christ,’ and ‘Lord Jesus Christ’ were used in all of the churches.

The Catholic Church and Methodist church were both surprising insofar as ‘God’ wasn’t listed as the top name. In fact, both ‘Jesus’ and ‘Christ’ ranked higher in the Catholic Church, and four other titles ranked higher in the Methodist church. I was also slightly surprised to find that ‘Christ Jesus’ didn’t rank in the top ten for Evangelicals, because I had always perceived that as an Evangelical phraseology.

To look at frequencies within this top ten list, I assigned each position in the list a certain number of points: the most frequent name received ten points, second most frequent received nine points, etc. This allowed me to see which names were used most frequently overall without regard to religious group. In general, it appears that if a name was used frequently, it was used frequently across the spectrum, whereas if a name was used less frequently, it was generally used less frequently across the spectrum.

A list of names for Christ using in the same awful colors as the previous table. 

List is as follows: God, Christ, Jesus Christ, Lord, Jesus, Savior, Lord Jesus Christ, Lord Jesus, Creator, Christ Jesus, Son of God, Almighty, Redeemer, Savior Jesus Christ, Lord God
Top names for Christ used across all denominations

Besides the frequencies, what was also interesting was the words that didn’t appear in certain churches, or even at much lower frequencies. Old Testament names (Holy One of Israel, God of Abraham, Lord of Hosts, Jehovah, etc.) were much less frequent in all churches but the Catholic and LDS churches. However, this is possible that it was due more to sample size, rather than to actual differences in religious discourse. Creating a larger corpus of for each religion may eliminate or enhance these dissimilarities.

Finally, I sorted the frequencies into six different categories: words with zero occurrences, words with 1-10, words with 11-100 occurrences, words with 101-1000 occurrences, words with 1001-10,000 occurrences, and words with more than 10,000 occurrences.

Chart info in caption and in following paragraphs.
Chart showing frequencies of usage. Red representing words with zero occurrences; orange for words with 1-10, yellow for words with 11-100, light green for words with 101-1000, dark green for words with 1001-10,000, and blue for words with more than 10,000 occurrences.

This showed some surprising things. First of all, Mormons and Catholics both use a wide variety of terms across varying usage levels. While there are some used much more frequently than others, they still use many different terms with very few or no terms used not at all. Baptists, Lutherans, and Methodists are similarly spread out across terms, but as not much to the same extent, as one third to one half of the words don’t appear at all (though this could be due to the size of the corpora). Evangelicals, however, are an anomaly. They use a few names often and the rest rarely or not at all.

Overall, different Christian religions use different names for Christ at different frequencies, something I’d hypothesized to be the case. These differing frequencies can be the result of different emphases within the churches concerning the role of Christ. It would be helpful to do this again with larger amounts of data from ‘official’ church sources to better determine the ‘official’ frequencies. Once that is done, it would be interesting to compare them to unofficial sources for each church to see if the frequencies stayed the same among members. If this is the case, would a member from one church shift the frequency of their title usage when they convert to a different religion? There is definitely room for further research on this topic.