The youth of the Pleasant View Seventh Ward, Pleasant View Utah Stake, wanted to prepare a special slide presentation on the life of Christ for the ward Christmas program. They started working on the project in June so that the scenes would have the spring look of Jerusalem instead of snow-covered Utah.
The group searched for locations that would suggest an inn, a manger, a tomb, and a large rock well. The foyer of a local Mexican restaurant had a rough stone wall, an iron gate, and a garden that served as the setting for the story of Zacharias and Elizabeth. Finding a tame donkey proved to be the most difficult task, but through an unexpected conversation, one was located.
Mothers were responsible for their children’s costumes. Creativity was encouraged. A large number of young people were in the cast because every family in the ward was given the opportunity to participate.
Christine Lee portrayed Mary; Aaron Barker represented Joseph; and Chris Casey had the challenge of taking the part of Jesus. They were often required to spend extra time in the filming because of the many scenes they were required to be in. Chris Casey showed great reverence as he took the part of Christ. The filming of Christ and the children seemed so realistic that both adults and children found themselves talking quietly.
As the group worked, they were pleased with the results. A simple background in a home appeared as a background for a temple room, and a small trail on a hill loomed large and sad for Jesus to labor with his heavy cross.
The finished slides were shown while a cassette tape related the drama of the story. Those involved in the filming were touched by the power of the scriptures and the significance that the Christmas story has in their lives.