The recent official Mormon publication Ensign (Sep 2010) has six different depictions of Christ. None of them is very realistic:
Page 1 and 5: Christ appearing in the New World: hair perfect, well-trimmed beard, spotless white robe, and light-colored skin. Some of the inidividuals he is communicating with look like people of color. Extreme movie star good looks.
Page 6. This small simplistic image intended for children is bizarre: hair perfectly parted down the middle, well-trimmed beard, robe a little more realistic, but his skin color is lily white. The adjacent images all show children of different races, so what’s with the European Christ? A real missed opportunity here.
Page 8. A little more realistic: hair and beard less groomed, brown robe, but his skin is still pale. I like the illuminated cross behind his head.
Page 10. What’s with this Christ? blond hair (slicked back), well-trimmed beard, bizarre white robe, and the skin is glowing white. This is the most Scandanavian of the depictions, and leaves me speechless.
Page 25. Christ praying: well-groomed hair and beard, dull-yellow coat over off-white robe, and darker skin (looks like a deep sun tan). This illustration also gives him movie star good looks.
Page 40, 42, and 45 (repeated 7 times): Photographs of the cover to the spiral bound “Preach My Gospel: A Guide to Missionary Service.” This Christ is the most disappointing because of its intended use, missionary work. Christ has well-groomed hair (parted down the middle) and beard, white robe, and pale skin. The illustration, which shows John baptizing Christ, shows a similar John (except he has a tan robe and a slightly more rugged looking face).
Christ was born into a Mediterranean environment (King of the Jews), his skin was not lily white. How dark we will probably never know, but he was not Scandanavian. If Mormonism wants to be a truly international church, it needs to drop the European Christ, and come up with more realistic images. If the LDS Church wants to atone for past racial problems, it would be good to have a rather dark-skinned Christ. It would be good for the membership also.
I travel to Africa a great deal. It would be good for the members there to see a more realistic depiction of our Savior. Colonialism needs to end.