In conjunction with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint’s Ogden temple open house, the Layton Utah Northridge LDS stake will be performing “Savior of the World,” a musical representation of the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. “Savior of the World” will be performed Aug. 22-Aug. 30 in Peery’s Egyptian Theater.
Stephani Kofoed, a graduate of WSU and an ensemble member in this production, said “Savior of the World” was not originally planned to be part of the temple open house, but agreed to it after rehearsals had started. In agreeing to perform during the temple open house, Kofoed said that meant giving up several months of rehearsal time and more than doubling the number of performances.
“It’s been a whirlwind!” Kofoed said. “Everyone has stepped it up and become more professional and learned things that they haven’t had to in the past . . . It’s been really exciting for everyone involved to step it up.”
While this production was created and is performed by members of the LDS church, Kofoed said she believes this production appeals to anyone with a belief or knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Kofoed also said that there is nothing in “Savior of the World” that is not in either the new or old testaments of the bible.
“It’s very nondenominational,” Kofoed said. “It’s a celebration of his birth, life and death. If you’re interested in Christ, or if you believe in Christ or his story, I think it would be very interesting for you to come and see it.”
Barbra Nielson, producer for “Savior of the World”, agreed with Kofoed in that the production is nondenominational, but said a few prophets from the LDS scripture, the Book of Mormon, are depicted in the production.
“His birth and his resurrection are two key parts,” Nielson said. “This is our LDS passion play. It appeals to all christians and all who are interested in Christianity.”
Nielson said that of all the messages conveyed in “Savior of the World,” she hopes that the audience remember that the gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel of hope and of love.
“We all need the hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ,” Nielson said. “We get so caught up in everyone’s differences and we have to find out what antagonizes us about them that we forget that the message is hope and peace and rejoicing.”
Bret Ellis, vice president of information technology at WSU and logistics specialist for “Savior of the World,” said he has witnessed many small miracles while involved with this production due to the great dedication of those involved.
“There have been little miracles along the way, little things that we didn’t expect or understand,” Ellis said. “It really has been a neat experience being involved in something you believe is for your Heavenly Father and is a celebration of our savior’s life.”
Ellis said that attendees of “Savior of the World” are likely to feel something they may not be familiar with. Ellis said the feeling of peace and comfort attendees will feel is called the Holy Ghost.
Members of the LDS church believe the Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead whose job is to “guide us in our decisions and protect us from physical and spiritual danger,” according to lds.org.
“When you hear the songs and the words, you feel different,” Ellis said. “You feel a spirit, a comfortable feeling that’s saying that this is a true story . . . the songs, the music, the words, you just come away saying yes, that feels right.”
“Savior of the World” is a free event. Tickets are not required for the event, but they are available at http://tickets.northridgeproductions.org/. Having a ticket guarantees a seat at the event, however, approximately 300 seats are reserved each night for walk-in seating.
Even though it isn’t Christmas, Nielson said she hopes this production reminds attendees that Christ is not just in Christmas and Easter, but that Christ can and should be in our everyday lives.
“I hope that people . . . have an experience that makes them look at the mountains and think of God,” Nielson said.