“Steadfast in the Spotlight” aired between General Conference sessions on Sunday, April 5, focusing on famous Mormons and their testimonies that keep them strong no matter their place in the lime light.
The special featured three LDS artists: organist Richard Elliott, London Broadway star Savannah Stevenson, and folk hymn-revival group called the Lower Lights.
Richard Elliot is a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and attributes his conversion, in-part, to his talent on the organ.
“I was assigned to tutor another student in music theory,” Elliot said. “In the course of those tutoring sessions, I spoke to her about music, and she taught me the gospel.”
Elliot makes an effort to educate his audience on things of the gospel.
“I am certainly trying to be an ambassador for the organ, just as much as I am an ambassador for the Church,” he said.
Like Elliot, Savannah Stevenson makes sharing her faith a priority in her career as a Broadway actress. She currently stars as Glinda in the Broadway production of Wicked, currently running in London.
“In some ways it’s hard to be a Christian and be an actor,” Stevenson said. “A lot of the work out there in the industry is not what I want to involve myself in. I’ve learned to not cross those lines because it’s not worth me feeling like I’ve compromised my own faith. Everyone I work with knows what I believe and they love to talk with me about it.”
Stevenson was also given the opportunity to play Mary, the mother of Jesus, in Church productions, and says it has been one of the highlights of her career thus far.
“I think personally I’ve learned that we are blessed in ways we are not expecting, and I feel like this experience has been a huge blessing,” Stevenson said.
The third feature of the special is The Lower Lights – a folk-style band, made of LDS musicians who re-vamp old Hymns and infuse them with their signature Americana style. The band is made up of more than 30 members, each professional musicians with different day jobs, who find common ground in their love for music and their love for the gospel.
“There is such a great spirit about it because everybody wants to be here,” said band member Paul Jacobson.
Their music touches listeners everywhere, and has received unprecedented praise.
“It’s incredible how much this music has touched people,” said band percussionist and LDS Bishop, Patrick Campbell. “I never in my life would have thought that what we set out to do would be so well-received and so well-loved.”
As these Mormons live their lives in the spotlight, they draw on strength from one another and their common belief in Jesus Christ and the LDS Church.
“I hope that, in everything I do, that I’m able to show the joy that has come into my life from the gospel,” said singer/songwriter Cherie Call. “And if I can do that with a lot of people on the stage, all at the same time, that’s wonderful.”