Watch David Archuleta Facebook Event That Touched Thousands
Contributed By Ryan Morgenegg, Church News staff writer
- David Archuleta answered questions and sang for more than 34,000 streams worldwide.
- The broadcast has been viewed over 100,000 times since the event aired.
- The video is available still available for youth events, family home evenings, or devotionals.
“The decision to make time for God makes you realize that everything else going on is just to help us move toward what the real goal is, … to live with God again.” —David Archuleta, returned missionary and former American Idol contestant
It was the first time the Church had ever done a live face-to-face event for youth.
Returned missionary and former American Idol finalist David Archuleta spoke with youth in 91 countries doing two separate one-hour events, one in Spanish and one in English. The broadcast went to more than 34,000 video streams around the world, some in front of up to 80 youth on one stream at LDS meetinghouses and in homes.
Moderating the event was Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson, Young Women general president, and Brother David L. Beck, Young Men general president. They asked Brother Archuleta a variety of questions, along with questions from youth around the world. The event was broadcast on youth.lds.org. (It is still available for viewing on youth.lds.org and on YouTube at youtube.com/watch?v=gGwNTwdj08o.)
In addition to answering questions, Brother Archuleta sang four songs during the English version and three songs during the Spanish version. Even in the English version, he sang part of the opening song in Spanish. The four English songs were “If the Savior Stood Beside Me,” “Called to Serve,” “I Need Thee Every Hour,” and “The Spirit of God.”
Kendra Lowe, one of his band members and a Latter-day Saint, accompanied him on the piano. She said, “Working on the music with David was one of those sweet and powerful experiences. We got together several times for these hymns, where normally we may have spent a few hours and then been done. He wanted it to be what God wanted. So did I. It was magical. The Spirit of God was so palpable during the filming that at one point I thought I’d see the heavens open and angels flood the room. I’m sure there were unseen angels everywhere.”
Many people were touched by the face-to-face event, including Allie, a viewer who wrote in. She said, “Hey David, even though I may not be LDS, I am Lutheran. You truly inspire me with your faith and ambition. Thank you for that.”
Sharing his testimony about his service as a full-time missionary in Chile, Brother Archuleta spoke about why he decided to leave a successful career and go out and serve a mission. In addition, he talked about how he remains true to his values in the entertainment industry, what he is looking for in a wife, what makes him truly happy, and much more. Brother Archuleta said, “I was invited by Brother Beck to share my experience of my mission. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to share what I learned and how it has changed my life and opened my eyes.”
Manuel from the Philippines said, “I watched David from the time he was 12 when I was not yet a member of the Church. Every time I listened to his music I felt that there was something in him. … Because of your message tonight, it made me more excited to serve a mission.”
The event was publicized on a variety of social media channels, including LDS.org, Mormon Channel, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and by email. The number of viewers watching the Spanish version was slightly higher, with 17,501 streams versus 16,787 for the English version. On the night of the broadcast, the event trended nationally in the top ten on Twitter for about 20 minutes, and more than 31,000 comments were shared on Facebook, with 95,213 total engagements. (Engagements occur when a person likes, shares, clicks, or comments on something.) As of July 31 there were 75,924 views since the airdate and more than 23,000 on YouTube. The broadcast has been viewed over 100,000 times since the event aired.
“I hope that whoever can see the chat will know that each of our lives is constantly going and going, but making the decision to make time for God makes you realize that everything else going on is just to help us move toward what the real goal is, and that is to live with God again,” said Brother Archuleta. “Maybe it was two years of life and opportunities, but there has not been a greater decision in my life. It has changed me.”
Jenna from Canada said, “A friend of mine asked me to watch this. I am so glad that I did. You see, I’ve been inactive for months. … As I was watching, David mentioned being away from the Church and feeling something missing. It was like the Lord slapped me in the face with the truth. I need the gospel, and I know I need to get back to the Church and the temple.”
The hour-long video can be shared in its entirety or in segments at youth events, family home evenings, or devotionals. Mario from Chile said, “We are parents of four children. Today in our family night we shared this interview, and my two oldest sons recognized principles that will help them serve a mission. Thanks for this tremendous idea!”
The Church plans to host more face-to-face interviews for youth. Details will be available on youth.lds.org.