The latest holiday video from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints continues the initiative to celebrate the life of the Savior with the world and allow church members to share their testimony via social media.
The Easter video "Because He Lives" premiered online last week at HeLives.Mormon.org. The video combines dramatizations of Jesus Christ’s mission with images of how his life relates to everyday people.
“Jesus Christ is more than an important historical figure,” said Elder Brent H. Nielson of the LDS Church's First Quorum of the Seventy and assistant executive director of the Missionary Department. “He rose on the third day after his death. He lives today. Because he lives, when we seek him, we can find his enabling power and receive the guidance needed to overcome life’s challenges.”
According to Greg Droubay, director of media for the LDS Church's Missionary Department, “Because He Lives” builds on holiday media initiatives from the previous year. Droubay said the 2014 Easter video “Because of Him” focused on “the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and its associated possibilities and promise in our lives.” The Christmas 2014 video “He is the Gift,” he said, conveyed the message of reconnecting with “the first and greatest gift ever given by our Heavenly Father” and sharing “this sacred gift.”
“This Easter, the message moves to a focus on the living Christ and his desire to help and heal us as we seek and follow him,” Droubay said. “We believe and bear witness that Jesus Christ died, but the focus of this year’s Easter initiative is on the reality that he lives.”
The theme was based on “The Living Christ," a testimony written by the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 2000.
The LDS missionary executive council started the creative process for “Because He Lives” last November. Once the core message was identified, a team worked to “determine how to best communicate the message with the world,” Droubay said.
"Because He Lives" is a compilation of dramatizations produced as part of the LDS Church's Bible Videos project, footage that the church bought the rights to use and new material filmed by the LDS Church's Publishing Services Department. As was the case with the previous seasonal productions, original music was composed for the video.
“Once the script is in place and the style and tone of the video have been established, a composer is hired to write original music for the video,” Droubay said.
The video and corresponding elements go through different iterations with church leaders approving all aspects, Droubay said.
"Because He Lives" is intended to be shared on social media using the hashtag #BecauseHeLives along with church member’s testimonies. The "powerful video" is a way "to share the joy of this Easter season," writes Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in a church magazine article titled “Because He Lives.”
“Like those angelic messengers in the meridian of time, we also declare, ‘He is not here: for he is risen,’” Elder Nelson writes. “He lives. And because he lives we, too, can know ‘peace in this world and eternal life in the world to come’ (see Doctrine & Covenants 59:23).”
The video was produced in 21 languages, from Albanian to Ukrainian, and was made for a global audience.
“The church will use the Internet, social media and other technology to share the initiative with God’s children in most countries around the world,” Droubay said. “Coupled with the participation of church members, the church hopes to reach a truly global audience in sharing a united witness that Jesus Christ lives with an invitation to come unto him.”
Last Easter's "Because of Him" video had 5.5 million views worldwide. “He is the Gift” had 34 million views during the Christmas season. While the Easter initiative was a one-week effort, the Christmas initiative lasted four weeks, Droubay explained. But there was also an increase of about 500,000 views per day for the Christmas video.
“We attribute this increase in large part to members of the church being more aware of the initiatives and being more willing to actively participate,” Droubay said.
Similar to the sign that corresponded with the “He is the Gift” Christmas video, an image of a map point marker with the words “He is Here” is available at HeLives.Mormon.org. People are encouraged to print and cut out the marker, take a picture with it and share it online.
“Members and nonmembers are invited to share where they feel and see the influence of the living Christ in their lives,” Droubay said. “We hope this will be an easy way for people around the world to look for and better recognize the influence of Jesus Christ in their lives.”
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