Arts & Entertainment
The Church needs your creativity, social media knowhow, and filmmaking skills!
This week the Church launched a new campaign called Come Listen that asks members to create a video of their general conference experience. The videos will not only become part of church history (sweet!), but they’ll be used to create a short film titled “Come, Listen to a Prophet’s Voice,” a film to invite non-members to do just that.
They want to see your general conference traditions, travel, faith, reaction, or anything about your personal experience with it.
This whole campaign sounds pretty awesome. The Church is really trying to get members to utilize social media and new technology to share the gospel, and Come Listen is a perfect way to do that. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said it best in his last general conference address:
“With so many social media resources and a multitude of more or less useful gadgets at our disposal, sharing the good news of the gospel is easier and the effects more far-reaching than ever before. With the blessings of modern technology, we can express gratitude and joy about God’s great plan for His children in a way that can be heard not only around our workplace but around the world.”
So get out your video cameras and start sharing the gospel. For more information on guidelines, visit the official Come Listen website here.
I've had the pleasure of working with Sister Elaine Dalton for the past few weeks while she promotes her new book, A Return to Virtue. These are my impressions of her after getting to spend time with her. Sister Elaine Dalton, general Young Women president, recently published a book entitled A Return to Virtue. I'm working as her publicist right now and am thrilled to get to interact with her on a somewhat regular basis.
Last week, she had an interview with Deseret News, one of the larger newspapers here in Utah. I met the reporter at Sister Dalton's office and the two of us were greeted by Sister Dalton, dressed in her staple color: soft yellow. We walked into her office in the Relief Society Building on Temple Square. The office was the epitome of Sister Dalton: clean, classy, warm, and light. Again, her staple color was found all throughout the room, with little hints of light blue here and there. It was absolutely beautiful.
The photographer took a couple of pictures of Sister Dalton, then the reporter, Christine Rappleye, started with her questions. I sat quietly and watched Sister Dalton as she answered the questions—what an incredibly dignified, poised woman. She's the type of person who leaves you feeling warm and so good about yourself after she's been speaking with you. If she has the light of Christ in her, what it would be like to be around the Savior?
Two amazing things I noticed about Sister Dalton during my interactions:
1. The last few times I've seen Sister Dalton, she has been wearing a long gold chain with a few small pendants hanging off. I haven't been able to pick out what the other small things are on there, but the one that stood out the most was the Young Women medallion, proudly displayed. Some find it embarrassing or childish to wear the Young Women medallion—not her. There is absolutely no doubt that she loves the young women of the world. She sees exactly who they are and who they can and will be.
With so many movies depicting or about the Prophet Joseph Smith, one might ask, what more could you possibly see? Plenty, as I recently learned.
We’ve all seen the many movies depicting Joseph Smith. The Restoration, the Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration movie on Temple Square, and many other seminary and Sunday school shorter videos. (If you haven’t seen The Restoration or Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration, I just discovered that you can watch them on lds.org for free in their media library.) So one may ask, what more can there possibly be to say (or show)?
A lot, it turns out. Plates of Gold shows Joseph and Emma as you’ve never seen them before. Much of the time, they’re not the older, charismatic leaders who always know what to say and what to do.
We see Joseph struggling to understand his role in the world, asking, “What if I disappoint the Lord?” We see him get angry and snap back at times, then cry and go through all the motions of someone heartsick and heartbroken at others. We see the giddy excitement of a young man—a boy, almost—practicing repeatedly to ask for a young woman’s hand in marriage. We see his insecurities as he attempts to know exactly whom he can trust and exactly how much and with what he can trust them.
We see Emma as a sometimes snide young woman who retorts sharply to other suitors who think themselves better than Joseph. We see her as a playful girl who can’t stop giggling while hiding from (and spying on) an unwanted suitor. We see her not as the traditionally stoic woman but someone who borders on complaint when trials are heaped upon them or she isn’t allowed to see the plates when so many others are.
In my quest to resolve my love of movies with my frustration at spending money on something not worthwhile, I found the following sites that help me screen movie content for sex, violence, and other things beforehand.
I love movies. A lot. But what I don’t love is the extraneous sex and gore often thrown in, in base attempts to appeal to the masses.
We, a peculiar people, are not the masses, which means a lot of times this doesn’t appeal to us, and we get stuck in sticky situations. It’s easy to turn off the TV or close out of Netflix when you’re at home watching something on your own. But what about when you’re with other people? What about when you’ve paid 10 bucks to go to the theater? Do you cover your eyes? Walk out? Or laugh along?
I often find myself wishing I could know exactly what was going to be in a movie I’m thinking about seeing as far as questionable content is concerned. Some things I would rather not see at all, some I would watch with my best friend but not my parents, and some are only a problem when very little children are around.
But how am I to know? There is actually a wealth of resources on the web to help screen your movie choices for you. Since I recently watched The Help in theaters when some family members came to visit, I decided to use the movie as a method of comparison on some of the top sites I found.
Common Sense Media (commonsensemedia.org)
This site has a great balance of features when it comes to movie content review sites. Using ratings on a scale of 1 to 5, it evaluates positive messages; positive role models; violence; sex; language; consumerism; and drinking, drugs, and smoking. Each rating has a paragraph explaining the rating it received, as well as an overall “What parents need to know” introductory paragraph. I love the age ratings: They have a chart starting at age 2 and continuing to 17: red means they shouldn’t see it, green means it should be a good fit, and yellow means it depends on the kid. The Help was acceptable to any kid age 12 and up, according to this site, while 10-year-olds fell in the yellow category. One of the best features is that it brings up questions that you may want to discuss with your children after the movie.
I wasn't sure about a CD with remakes of my favorite Disney songs, but I was in for a happy surprise with these violin arrangements. I’m a traditional sort of person. When I hear a song and fall in love with it, I don’t like to hear people mess it up with variations. A classic is a classic, and that’s the way it is. What’s that saying about “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”? Yeah.
So I was a little apprehensive when I sat down to listen to Jenny Oaks Baker’s new CD, Wish Upon a Star. Because it’s a remake of classic Disney songs. Uh oh.
But as I started listening, I was surprised, then confused, then pleased, then very pleased. This is Disney like you’ve never heard it before. You may not even realize at first that what you are listening to is Disney because the music is so flowing and elegant that it sweeps you away completely. But then—suddenly—you think, “Wait! I recognize this tune!” And sure enough, emerging out of the intricate melodies of violin and accompaniments is a familiar Disney favorite.
Kurt Bestor has written beautiful arrangements that differ enough from the Disney songs to become their own unique masterpieces while still stirring up remembrances of the emotions captured in the Disney originals, and Jenny Oaks Baker performs flawlessly. With this as my first introduction to both the composer and the violinist, I am now an eager convert.