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Question

 

Dear Gramps,

Who is the British actor that portrays Christ in all of the recent church videos and memes?  Is he LDS?  What is his story?  Did he have to sign an agreement to keep his life and future career choices honorable, so as not to bring reproach upon the image of the Savior?

Robert

 

Answer

 

Dear Robert,

The actor is the American John Foss (Behind the Scenes on the Jerusalem Movie Set). IMDB profile John Foss, though it doesn’t include his work for the Church. He has also played Joseph Smith.  His website fosscreative shows a few pictures of him in his portrayals of the Savior.  Unfortunately, that is all I know about him.

Your last question really intrigues me.  The short answer is: I don’t know.  But the answer doesn’t end there.  First, we can consider what the church handbook has said about portrayal of deity:

God the Father and the Holy Ghost are not to be portrayed in meetings, dramas, or musicals.

 

If the Savior is portrayed, it must be done with the utmost reverence and dignity. Only brethren of wholesome personal character should be considered for the part. The person who portrays the Savior should not sing or dance. When speaking, he should use only direct quotations of scriptures spoken by the Savior.

 

At the end of the performance, the person should not wear the costume in the foyer or elsewhere. He should change immediately into street clothes.

 

The Savior should not be portrayed by children in dramatization except in a nativity scene.

Handbook (2:13.6.15)

Beyond that, while it does seem reasonable that there would be some expectation that he would keep his future life and career choices honorable, I wonder (if he is a member of the church) if such an agreement wouldn’t be a bit redundant?  Redundant because each of us makes a covenant when we are baptized to take upon us the name of the Christ.  What does that mean if not that we will keep our life choices honorable so as not to bring reproach upon the image of the Savior?  We are not well-known actors portraying the Savior, of course, but we are well-known to our acquaintances as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  (Or if not we should be.)  People who do not know the Savior will often make judgements about Christians, about Christ and His church due to our actions. Do our actions honor Him?  Also consider, no earthly contract between men is as binding as a covenant with God.

So let us all live such that we bring honor to Christ’s name.

 

Gramps

 

 

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