In 2007, 16-year-old David Archuleta auditioned for American Idol and immediately captured the heart of America. Later that season, he competed in the finals against David Cook, and ultimately was named the runner-up after receiving more than 40 million votes after the finale.
Because he is from Murray, Utah, many people that saw his audition believed he was likely a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church). This raised a common question–”Is David Archuleta Mormon?” Since that time, he’s confirmed that he is a practicing and active member of the Mormon Church.
This video was taken at a fireside (youth meeting) on June 1, 2008. David performed this song and one other as part of the meeting at a school for troubled youth. The school is a 10-month program for kids to help them get certain things under control in their lives. This is a great example of the type of outreach that David is taking part in. (Since there have been questions related to this video, I want to clarify that this was not filmed in a chapel.)
Due to his American Idol appearance, David Archuleta joined a diverse group of “famous Mormons.” From other singers like the Osmonds to Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings to football great Steve Young, Mormons have gained notoriety through many avenues. In fact, David Archuleta was not the first Mormon (and likely won’t be the last!) to perform well on American Idol. Brooke White finished in the top 5 of the same season David, with earlier seasons featuring Carmen Rasmussen and Jon Peter Lewis.
During the time of American Idol, the Mormon Church actually released an interesting press released entitled, “How Mormons Deal With Fame.” The article discusses how these members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints balance and reconcile their fame with their faith.
Among thousands, or even millions, of David Archuleta fans, his faith raises a number of questions:
- What does it mean to be Mormon?
- What do Mormons believe?
- Will David Archuleta serve a Mormon mission and be a Mormon missionary?
I’ve put together a few pages here to help answer some of these common questions about David Archuleta’s Mormon faith. Though I don’t know David personally, I’ve watched him over the past couple years during the American Idol season and the events that followed. David Archuleta strikes me as a person whose faith is tremendously important to him and is one who exemplifies the teachings of Jesus Christ through his kindness toward others. Through his interviews and example, David is already a great unofficial “Mormon missionary,” or emissary, to his fans and others.