From The Encyclopedia of Mormonism
Author: Jacobsen, Florence S.
Replicas of the Christus statue by Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen (1768-1844) are located in several LDS visitors centers. These white carrara marble statues of Christ, with his hands outstretched, inviting all to come to him, help present the central doctrine of the Church: that Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God and the Savior and Redeemer of the world.
The first such statue acquired by the Church was a gift of Stephen L Richards, First Counselor to President David O. McKay (1951-1959). In 1966 this heroic-size (11 feet, 1 inch) Christus was placed in the North Visitors Center on Temple Square in Salt Lake City.
The second Christus was commissioned for display in the Church's pavilion at the New York World's Fair (1964-1965) and was sculpted by Aldo Rebachi of Florence, Italy. It was intended to help visitors understand that Latter-day Saints (or Mormons) are Christians. This statue was later placed in the Visitors Center on the grounds of the Los Angeles Temple.
Additional Christus statues are currently located at visitors centers adjacent to temples in New Zealand; Hawaii; Mexico City; Washington, D.C.; and Mesa, Arizona.