David Archuleta, a famous singer who gained his celebrity status on the television series American Idol, and member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also referred to as the “Mormon Church” by friends of other faiths), is currently serving a 2-year volunteer mission in South America.
Mormon missionaries give of their time, money, and talents to serve the people to whichever land they are called to, and then they help individuals come closer to the Lord Jesus Christ. My own husband went on a mission to Chicago, Illinois—but for all he knew when he submitted his papers (application to serve), he could have been called to Europe, Zimbabwe, or even Pocatello, Idaho; but his purpose would have been the same regardless—to invite/help others come closer to Jesus Christ.
When David Archuleta announced that he would be serving a mission at a concert in Salt Lake City, Utah, the audience cheered and cheered, and they wouldn’t stop cheering! In fact, a video of his announcement was made, with a couple of different cameras; those videos have over 500,000 views on YouTube.com! Needless to say, fellow Latter-day Saints were thrilled at the idea of David Archuleta putting the Lord Jesus Christ first, and serving Him in this unique way.
My sister had the opportunity to live two doors down from the Archuleta family in Utah while David was a younger. I remember vividly one Sunday, after my sister had moved into the Archuleta’s neighborhood, her coming over to my parents house and telling us of this 12-year-old boy who sang in church about the Savior; she was crying just telling us about it! She said not only was his voice amazing, but he sang with such emotion and testimony. I thought, “Wow, there must be something special about this kid.” I also remember being in my sister’s front yard, on multiple occasions, when this young David Archuleta, Mormon boy, would be roller-blading past the house, while waving, smiling, and saying hi. My sister is proud to say that she was one of the many who had encouraged him to audition for American Idol when he became old enough.
I also had the opportunity to learn about some of the service-oriented things that David did before serving his Mormon mission, such as: I would hear word from my friends, and friends of friends, and grandparents of friends, that they saw David serving in the Mormon temples (on many occasions), performing baptisms for the dead. And my sister’s old neighbor, and friend, shared that during David’s busy music life, just after the American Idol season ended, he was home for a few short days. What do you think he did during that time? He was able to finish his Eagle Scout requirements, and then he offered to baby-sit for my sister’s friend one evening so that her and her husband could ‘get out’ for the night (all at no cost to the parents of course). Indeed his “nice guy” appearance is truly genuine.
Just before David Archuleta, the Mormon singer, left on his mission he had filmed a “thought” about leaving his family, friends, and even fans for 2-years. He shares his true emotion by expressing the questions he was having, like: what would happen to his family and friends while he was gone, what will the people be like that he is going to meet on his mission, the fear of leaving what he is comfortable with—while being excited to grow “in a way that [he] wouldn’t ever get to, normally…” etc. David testified that it would be challenging, but that it is our challenges that help us to grow. He, like other young adult Mormon missionaries, is a regular human being, and a child of God. Of course we are all going to have concerns when we enter “the unknown”; but we can always seek the counsel of God through His word, such as the counsel that was given to Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon, found in a book of modern-day scripture, just before they were going to preach the gospel, “Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you, my friends Sidney and Joseph, your families are well; they are in mine hands, and I will do with them as seemeth me good; for in me there is all power” (Doctrine and Covenants 100:1).
We can follow David’s example, and the example of Jesus Christ, by “[setting] aside the things of this world, and seek[ing] for the things of a better” (Doctrine and Covenants 25:10).