Lights, camera, faith: The Shawn Stevens story

Published: Tuesday, May 29 2012 5:00 a.m. MDT

As the years passed, he was forgotten in Hollywood circles and the bread truck led to other opportunities. The family owned a restaurant for a time, as well as an LDS distribution company. Eventually Stevens started a studio catering business because he always felt at home on a set with lights, cameras and action. Shawn and Kaylene Stevens also served in the church and tried to set a good example for their four children. The experiences they had brought them closer together and strengthened their testimonies.

Act V — Reflecting on the blessings

More than 25 years since narrating “Our Heavenly Father’s Plan,” Stevens has no regrets.

Over the years, he has been honored to meet several LDS converts who investigated the church after seeing the film.

His oldest son served a mission in Cambodia and now teaches at the Missionary Training Center. His second son is currently serving in Cleveland, and the youngest son is finishing high school with plans to serve. Their daughter will soon marry a returned missionary.

Stevens’ relationship with his family has improved significantly, although the topic of religion is off limits. In researching his family history, Stevens learned he was the descendant of a Canadian convert and pioneer named Roswell Stevens. Roswell knew the Prophet Joseph Smith, served as a bodyguard to early church leaders, journeyed west with the original pioneer company in 1847 and marched with the Mormon Battalion. He also traveled with the Hole-in-the-Rock San Juan pioneers. Stevens believes his heritage may be the reason he joined the church so fast.

In addition to his studio catering business, Stevens has been performing with a quartet called “The Diamonds” for the past six months. After 25 years, he is pondering a return to acting. He and Kaylene are also planning a move to Utah to be closer to his children.

Looking back, Stevens is grateful for the lessons he has learned and the blessings in his life.

“Faith precedes the miracle … and I look at my family as being the miracle,” Stevens said. “When the decision was made to change career directions, I had no idea what I would do. It was seldom easy, but it was always worth it. We’ve seen the blessings come back.”

For McLean, Shawn Stevens is the miracle.

“A talented young, energetic guy makes a contribution and finds joy in it," McLean said. "He’s humbled and grateful he got to bear testimony to millions and decides there are other ways to make a living than being an actor in Hollywood. He trusts in the Lord that all would be well and continues to bear testimony. Not just in words, but in the way he lives his life. To me, that’s one of the great miracles of ‘Our Heavenly Father’s Plan.’ ”

EMAIL: ttoone@desnews.com Twitter: tbtoone

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