"Come unto me and ye shall partake of the fruit of the tree of life..."
Alma 5:24

Why should our church unit (ward, stake or multi-stake) invest its resources in putting on full scale production?

We can testify that there is a unique and powerful bonding that takes place as people work together discovering and developing their talents within the specific framework of a show. The Brethren recognize this as they stated the purpose of these events in their letter to local leaders: "to provide a sense of unity and opportunities to develop friendships…"

In this particular show families may be incorporated in a variety of ways. In fact, we encourage family involvement that family members will come away with a memory that glues them just-that-much-tighter together. In the original production, many members of the acting ensemble and choir had their children on stage with them. It was a delightful experience. In addition, we allowed any and all family members to attend rehearsals at any time. We also heard time and time again how grateful our adult performers were for the opportunity. So many of our cultural arts activities in the church are focused on the youth, that adults rarely, if ever, get to participate directly; yet their desires and talents are as keen as when they themselves were youth, and enjoyed such opportunities.

We can be sure that there are many members in every corner of the vineyard who have talents that either they are unaware of to this point, or who know they have talents but have nowhere to use them. It is almost impossible today to participate in community or professional theatre and not have to compromise standards in some way. First of all, it is difficult to even be cast in a show without a head-shot and resume, and secondly, the plays themselves, the directors, the casts, and the rehearsal requirements more often than not, reflect worldly standards. It didn't used to be that way, and it's very unfortunate for the Saints today. We need to create our own wholesome outlets for developing and using our talent.

A very important thing to consider is the potential effect on our less active members, our non-member friends, and the community at large. “With Mine Own Hand” is written to draw the actors and audience to the Book of Mormon. If you can put on a first-rate show, using the Book of Mormon as your focus, the impression for good we leave on our friends and community will be significant. You can involve individuals who may be reluctant or slow to express interest in the church otherwise. You can draw in members of the community as our audience and let them taste our spirit and the spirit of the Book of Mormon. New investigators and baptismal commitments came on the heels of the original production. The potential for good in this regard is obviously great.

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