The Sphinx is the best-known sculpture in Gilgal Garden. It is also, Child wrote “the basis of thought or inspiration for all that is built around it.” The contrast of the unhewn stones arranged to suggest a crouching animal with the finely carved face of LDS Church founder Joseph Smith makes this a remarkable piece. Child carefully selected the huge quartzite stones to form the Sphinx’s body and hired sculptor Maurice Brooks to create the face using an oxyacetylene torch.
The Sphinx represents Child’s belief that the answers to life’s great questions cannot be discovered with the intellect, but only through faith. The sphinx is an ancient symbol of riddles and mystery. Joseph Smith’s face symbolizes Child’s conviction that the LDS Priesthood reveals to mankind the answers to life’s mysteries.
Hortense Child’s audio interpretation of The Sphinx sculpture