By Dane DeHart
Four months of hard work, script writing and rehearsals paid off Saturday night at the Orem Institute of Religion”s production of The Living Christ.
The entire event was planned and produced by the institute”s Latter-Day Celebration Choir and was based on the document “The Living Christ,” released by the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 2000. The script, the songs and even the decorations were centered around the document”s message of Christ”s birth, his healing power and the Atonement.
The Christmas program was partly written by one of its members. The choir depicted events surrounding Christ”s birth on a full stage decorated like the ancient world.
“I really like having the opportunity to touch other peoples” lives using music,” said Katy Wadly, a Utah Valley State College nursing student and second-year member of the choir.
As guests walked into the Orem Institute building, they were greeted by a “citizen of Bethlehem” and ushered through a “Bethlehem market” where they were offered food customary to the time of Christ. The procession ended with a live nativity portraying a shepherd, the inn and Mary and Joseph leaning over the baby Jesus.
“What I like most is it”s not centered around anything but the gospel,” said Ben Killgore, the choir member who portrayed the voice of Jesus Christ in the production.
The choir quoted “The Living Christ” throughout the night and sang such songs as “Still, Still, Still,” an a cappella version of “We Three Kings” and “Where Shepherds Lately Knelt.”
Diane Bailey, a BYU student from Alamo, Calif., said she wasn”t expecting a production so professional.
“The spirit they brought was palpable,” she said.
From the angel who heralded the shepherds to Jesus” birth to an ancient Book of Mormon prophet, all characters shared testimony of Christ”s birth and life.