Instructor composes musical work inspired by President Clark's book
Writer: Paul Morgan
When President Kim B. Clark wrote his inspirational book, Armor: Divine Protection in a Darkening World, his aim was to provide clear and uncomplicated spiritual advice about how to overcome the hardships of the world put forth by the Adversary.
In his book President Clark teaches that through reliance on the Savior and His Atonement, we can receive strength and the ability to withstand all that we encounter. He shares perceptions about casting off the effects of evil and donning spiritual armor to become a true follower of our Savior.
Hyrum Conrad, an instructor in the BYU-Idaho Department of Theatre and Dance, was teaching a New Testament Gospel Doctrine class in Sunday School when he decided the inspiring points emphasized in President Clark's book would make an impressive spiritual climax to the course.
With the permission of Deseret Book and President Clark, Conrad produced a 40-minute narrative theatre script comprised of various excerpts from the book. These expressions conveyed the main points and helpful instruction within President Clark's book.
Several months after his Sunday School presentation, Conrad's mind continued to return to the condensed script he had created. The impression came that the script could be enhanced by carefully selected pieces of music. These musical selections, combined with the readings, would help provide a new way of conveying President Clark's important message.
With renewed permission of President Clark, Conrad began working on "Armor," a choir concert with readers. Conrad has also worked closely with Kevin Brower, dean of the College of Performing and Visual Arts, to select music for the presentation and utilize the strengths of Men's Choir. A stirring original composition has been commissioned to conclude this concert.
"Nothing like this has ever been done with the Men's Choir before. It will be like having a spiritual conversation with President Clark through the voices of 50 young men," said Conrad.
The concert will be presented at 7:30 pm on June 14 and 15 in the Black Box Theatre of the Eliza R. Snow Performing Arts Center.
"'Armor' will run just over an hour, and allows people to hear and feel the power of President Clark's insights," Conrad said. "Explanations concerning what we each can do to live the gospel and be protected against the influences of the Adversary will be taught. We will be reminded that the whole armor of God is more than protection. Putting it on confers on each of us the personal capacity to be on the Lord's errand in building the kingdom of God right where we are."