Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Two Years Before The Lord's Mast: David Archuleta Announces His Intent To Seek A Full-Time LDS Mission Call

Even though David Archuleta's been caught up in the world of celebrity since his appearances on American Idol, he's not lost sight of the more important opportunities in life. And on December 19th, 2011, Archuleta announced his intention to accept one of those opportunities. He will seek a call to become a full-time proselyting missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The announcement, delivered on December 19th during the Salt Lake City show on his My Kind of Christmas Tour, was recorded on video and begins at the 0:52 mark. You will see how he is visibly overcome by both the Holy Spirit and by the favorable reaction of the estimated 2,000 in attendance:

Archuleta stated "It's not because someone told me that I'm supposed to do it, and not because I no longer want to do music, but because it's the feeling that I've felt I need to do this with my life".

Archuleta did not reveal the location of his mission. Undoubtedly this is because the process has merely begun. He must submit to an initial interview with his bishop and submit paperwork specifying his desired locations, financial status, and attesting to his medical and dental health. He must also receive the endowment in a temple, and even procure a patriarchal blessing in advance. Preparation activities are spelled out in greater detail in the Mormon Mission Prep blog.

Where will he serve his mission? His status as a celebrity does not assure him "cake duty" in some First World location, where his creature comforts may be assured but the people, because of their prosperity, are less receptive to the Gospel. He could easily be sent to a Third World location, where obtaining creature comforts can be more difficult, but where the people, because of their poverty, may be more receptive to the Gospel. What we do know is that a General Authority, either an Apostle or a Seventy, gets personally involved in selecting the mission location for each and every missionary applicant.

Will he get special treatment because he's a celebrity? Unlikely. Although David Archuleta has plenty of financial resources of his own to draw from, he'll be held to the same expense account requirements as other missionaries. He'll wear the same dark suit, white shirt, Rockports, and name tags as other missionaries. He'll be expected to abide by the same rules of behavior as other missionaries.

Public Reaction: Quite favorable, even among non-Mormons. On YouTube, Summitto88 wrote "I'm not Mormon, but I have friends who are. I know how important their missions are and I am so happy for you David! I have faith in you and your fans that they'll easily welcome you with open arms afterward. You have made a difference in the world and soon you'll make a difference in a different way. You are an inspiration for me and I wish you the best of luck in all that you do! I know enough from my LDS friends to (hopefully) say the right thing: May heavenly father forever bless you (anti-Mormons flagged it as spam to try and cover it up). And Keltodadubawo wrote "David, you are such an inspiration. Even though I'm not familiar with the LDS church or what a mission entails, I admire you so much for your decision that is so contrary to what other celebrities would do in the prime of their career. We will miss your shining light in the music industry, but WE will ALL be here for you when you get back. Love you so much and I'll be praying for you. God bless you, David Archuleta. You have changed my life".

Favorable reaction is also posted on the LDS Bloggernacle at Adventures In Mormonism and Mormon Momma. Of course, there must needs be opposition in all things, since confronting adversity is one of the cornerstones of mortality, and the opposition sounds off at Recovery From Mormonism, with the standard complement of cynical and snarky remarks typical of scoffers walking after their own lusts. But their opposition merely makes us stronger; as Sarah Palin once said, when you're taking flak, it merely means you're over the target.

No comments: