My feelings have been drawn out as of late in some deep, personal introspection, ironically on what I presumed to be a completely unrelated topic. At this particular moment, these feelings are quite tender. Perhaps this is a result of the reflections upon light and truth that had come into my life as a youth, and how there is a longing to return to that more so than I find myself at present.
As these feelings have drawn me closer to God, I find myself contemplating my relatively insignificant role as media producer, and how absolutely trivial that is when compared to the much weightier matters of family responsibility and Church membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. So intensely have been these feelings that I would almost leave it all behind. And why not? If the most important things in this life are our relationship with God, our relationships with our spouses and our children, and then our relationship with all the rest of humanity — what place does filmmaking or media production have in all of this, anyways? It is so trivial in comparison. Ought not our time and energies be wasted away in building up the Church of Christ, first in our homes, and then around us?
I am reminded of a recent sit down visit with Adam Figueira. Adam found himself in downtown Salt Lake at the temple for an important family event. I had contacted him previously so that we might sit down and discuss things before I left the state. Our backdrop was inside the old Salt Lake Assembly Hall which sits just to the south of the Tabernacle on Temple Square.
After a few pleasantries, and brief catching up. I told him of the strange paradox that I find myself in as a media producer. My priorities are continually shifting towards Zion, being more prone to find beauty in the little things, finding myself as I’ve explained earlier in this post with a desire towards the Church and Kingdom of God, or in other words, towards light and truth. The stronger these impressions and feelings grow, the less I am inclined to seek after anything associated with the media.
About half way through our discussion, we were appropriately interrupted by two sister missionaries (remember, we were on Temple Square) who invited us to both find someone to whom we could invite to receive missionary discussions. I so appreciated that interruption because it drove home even more so the very point of what I was trying to articulate (and probably not very effectively) to Adam. Our musings about film making and media theory were of so far lesser importance than those good sisters’ message of peace.
So here is the irony of the circumstance, the further away I find myself moving from the culture and lifestyles associated with media entertainment and production, the more urgent I feel it is that I do something with our media to promote Zion. And only as such do I seek to do anything related to media production.
Presently, an individual whose heart is set on Zion will not afford herself (or himself) to be caught up in anything of the prestige, promotion, or glamor associated with film making and media production. We have no part with it. Instead, our works point people to God. If any praise be directed towards us, it is only an acknowledgement of God’s hand upon us, and we do well to deflect such. President Dieter F. Utchdorf shared this wise counsel which he received from James E. Faust, “‘They will treat you very kindly. They will say nice things about you.’ [President Faust] laughed a little and then said, ‘Dieter, be thankful for this. But don’t you ever inhale it.'”
So as I look out on the new day, I find myself shunning the wisdom of the world with this simple little phrase, “Please, no fame, no fortune, but light and truth abundantly!”