Archuleta's mission announcement came from the heart

This week, David Archuleta made a special announcement to his fans attending his Christmas concert at Abravanel Hall in Salt Lake:

“I have chosen to serve a full-time mission … ”

And the crowd went wild!

I had chills watching Archuleta get so emotional he couldn’t even finish his sentence, while the screaming audience rose to a standing ovation and cheered his decision.

“… for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. And it’s not because someone told me I was supposed to do it, and not because I don’t want to do music anymore … but it’s because of the feeling that I have felt I need to do next in my life.”

For someone who usually comes across as shy and adorably uncomfortable speaking in front of large crowds, I have never heard Archuleta speak so assuredly and from the heart.

Putting a successful music career on hold in his prime and choosing instead to serve the Lord, to me, shows an incredible amount of discipline, courage and faith.

Archuleta came straight off “American Idol” Season 7 as the runner-up to David Cook and immediately signed a record deal with Jive records, releasing a single called “Crush,” which has since sold more than a 1.9 million digital downloads.

His self-titled album, “David Archuleta,” has sold more than 900,000 copies worldwide. He has gone on to tour the world, make appearances on several top Disney TV shows, opened for Brad Paisley at Provo’s Stadium of Fire and performed with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir last year as the featured musical guest at its annual Christmas concert.

However, despite all his publicity, talent and fiercely loyal fan base, it seemed to me like Archuleta’s career was not headed in the direction a former top 2 “American Idol” finalist’s should be. With a voice as incredible as his and that sweet, genuine personality and demeanor, I was perplexed as to why he wasn’t as white-hot as he should be.

I’ve learned a lot of things since my run on “American Idol” many years ago. One of those things, as Archuleta mentioned, was to trust in that “feeling” and rely heavily upon the Lord for guidance. I was also sometimes confused as to why certain things worked out and certain things didn’t, but now I can clearly see the path that was laid out for me, and grateful I made the choice to walk down it. I’m a firm believer that spiritual guidance will be given in our lives if we are living worthy to receive it and ready to accept it.

“It’s the same feeling that I’ve always followed, that I’ve tried to follow in my life,” Archuleta went on to say. “It’s the feeling that’s allowed me to have the opportunities I’ve had in my life, the challenges I’ve had to overcome — and the blessings, too. I’ve learned to trust that feeling, and I’ve learned I need to answer when it calls.”

I believe that Heavenly Father has a very special plan for David Archuleta. I can’t imagine all the doors that will open for him and the lives he’ll bless because of his unique experience and willing heart. He is such a wonderful example, constantly impressing me with not only his talent, but his character.

He is one of my heroes.

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