At the age of twenty-four, David James Archuleta has come into his own as an accomplished singer-songwriter, musician, and actor. Inspired by a Les Misérables video, David started singing at the age of six, and by the age of ten, he was performing publicly. In a Utah Talent Competition, he received a standing ovation and won the Child Division with his rendition of “I Will Always Love You” by Dolly Parton. That performance led to other television singing appearances and paved the way for what would become a very successful and rewarding career in the music industry.
When David was twelve years old, he became the Junior Vocal Champion on Star Search 2. However, he is perhaps best remembered as the young sixteen year old who captured the heart of America and became one of the youngest contestants on the seventh season of American Idol in 2007. He advanced to the finals and competed against David Cook, ultimately being named the runner-up after receiving 44 percent of over 97 million votes.
David comes from a rich Latino heritage. He was born on 28 December 1990 in Miami, Florida to Lupe Marie (née Mayorga), a salsa singer and dancer, and Jeff Archuleta, a jazz musician. His mother is from Honduras and his father is of Spanish–Basque, Danish, Irish, German, and Iroquois descent. David also speaks fluent Spanish and served a two-year full time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Santiago, Chile.
Remaining true to his family heritage, David will be performing in the Church’s 2015 Latino Event called “Luz de las naciones: Juventud de la promesa” (Translation: Light of the Nations: Youth of the Promise) at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on 22, 23 and 24 October at 8:00 p.m. MDT. Participating in the event with him will be 2,000 returned missionaries, elders and sisters under the age of 30, married or single, of The Church of Jesus Christ who will be donning their name tags. The returned missionaries are expected to uphold missionary dress and grooming standards. Elder Jorge T. Becerra of the Seventy commented about the “missionary march”:
In order to kind of show the power in numbers of those who accept a mission call, we want to have this missionary march that, during a very key part of the program, missionaries, like in the days of the stripling warriors, will accept their calls and take their places and march forward to be instruments in the hands of the Lord.
They must be willing to look, live and act like missionaries during the program. Their march to this music will bear testimony to thousands of people of the importance of missionary work, and many hearts will be touched.
In the Book of Mormon, which Latter-day Saints testify to be Another Testament of Jesus Christ, the stripling warriors were 2,000 young men who comprised the army of Helaman. They attributed their own faith and trust in God to the faith exemplified by their mothers. David will recount the story during the performance prior to singing a duet with his mother.
The program will also include a youth and young adult choir, musicians, and dance groups performing a variety of contemporary and traditional dances from Latin America. The presentation will be in Spanish with a limited number of headsets available on a first-come, first-served basis for those who speak English or Portuguese. There will also be a religious devotional in Spanish in the Conference Center at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, 25 October 2015. Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, will preside and speak at the devotional. David Archuleta will also be sharing a message.