On Wednesday, 15 April 2015, the Center for Constitutional Studies at Utah Valley University hosted an august program composed of distinguished religious studies and constitutional scholars to include U.S. Supreme Court law clerks and contributors from various denominations.
The Spring Constitutional Symposium on Religious Freedom concluded with international singer-songwriter, and return missionary, David James Archuleta, speaking on the subject “From Being in the Spotlight to Living in His Light: How Religious Freedom has Impacted my Life as a Musical Performer.” Rick A. Griffin, director of the Center for Constitutional Studies, expressed his thoughts about inviting Archuleta to speak and perform at the symposium:
Because freedom of religion is a freedom shared by all Americans and because music has been such a powerful medium of religious expression, vibrating through the pages of our nation’s political and constitutional history, the center was especially interested in including a prominent musical guest speaker. We are excited to have popular singer and songwriter David Archuleta as the finale’s featured speaker and musical performer.
Archuleta spoke about the compelling dynamics of his musical career, and highlighted some of the challenges that he has met on his journey as he has tried to conjoin his religious convictions with the dictates of the American music industry. He stated that there was a great amount of uneasiness among some of the music industry professionals, and even some members of his faith, when at the peak of his career he announced that he had decided that he needed to serve a full-time, two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He told his fans, “I needed to do something that had nothing to do with me.” Having returned home after serving an honorable mission in the South American nation of Chile, Archuleta reflects that “his fidelity to his faith and religious principles had brought him peace and satisfaction both personally and professionally.”
He favored the audience that evening with renditions of “He Lives in You,” “Be Still My Soul,” and “Glorious.”