About the Work
He is Jesus Christ began in April 1997 when my mission president, President Charles Cuénot of the France Bordeaux Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, asked me to “do something” for the annual missionary Christmas Conference. I thought he meant that he wanted me to sing a solo, or do something of that nature. However, he continued to explain that he wanted me to write an hour long program to be presented by the missionaries of our mission. What he did not know is that prior to leaving on a mission, I had decided that the rigors of missionary work would not allow me the time to write music, and so I had made a promise to myself that I would not. This presented a dilemma. However, I agreed to do what he asked with the understanding that I would not spend any “proselyting time” to do it. So, over the next month or so, it was work as usual for my companion and I: knocking on doors, visiting friends, and talking to people in the streets all day long. But now, as we returned at night, I would sit down with some staff paper and write. I had no access to a piano in our apartment, and so for the first time, I was forced to write what was in my head with only a little bit of help from an old, beat-up guitar left in the apartment (I should probably note that I don’t play the guitar). I could only pray that it would sound like it was supposed to. Fortunately, I was able to translate much of the material from ideas and songs I had worked on before my mission into French for use in the presentation. Still, a lot of new music had to be written in order to fill the strict one-hour quota set forth by President Cuénot.
There is much that could be told about the amazing experiences we lived through during the writing and eventual presentation of He is Jesus Christ in the cities of Southwestern France, but suffice it to say that it was a time never to be forgotten by any of us, as a small group of missionaries’ testimonies of the divinity of the Savior were tested and strengthened.
Upon my return from the mission field I felt strongly that He is Jesus Christ needed to be translated into English and presented at Christmas time. The performance was pulled off thanks to the help of many talented friends. Each night, the ward building was filled to overflowing. Many of those in attendance asked for a recording. And so this recording is simply another step in the progression of this project. It is finally scored for full-orchestra to sound like what I have heard it in my head since the day I began writing with a beat-up guitar. I must thank my Father in Heaven and His Son Jesus Christ, my wonderfully supportive parents and incredible family, Charles Cuénot, all those who have participated in this project from Bordeaux France to this recording, Jim Gardner III, and Linsey Brinkerhoff, because without them this would never have happened. I hope that in listening to this music, you will experience even just a touch of what I have felt for my Savior during this journey.