News Story

“Truth Restored” Commercials: No Actors, No Scripts

Betty Stevenson looked at the video camera, trying to keep the tears from welling in her eyes, and talked about her parents. With conviction she declared that families are eternal, a concept she referred to as “absolutely beautiful and correct.”  

“There was no script! They let me be Betty!” she shouted when asked if she had read a part for the 60-second commercial. 

Stevenson is not an actress, and she was not reciting memorized lines. She is a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and according to her, that interview for the “Truth Restored” campaign was captured in only one take.  

“I have not a clue how they found me or why they chose me,” she said when asked how she was selected to take part in the Church’s newest missionary outreach effort. She did, however, recall a promise a Church leader made to her years ago. She was told she would “teach the gospel in marked success” and be “blessed beyond her fondest expectation” for doing so.

Commercials have now aired in three test areas of the United States, each spot featuring a recent convert to the Church sharing his or her personal experiences in searching out answers to questions such as “Does my family go beyond this life?” and “Does God know me?” 

The Church conducted over 200 interviews for the campaign, with most of the interviewees suggested by their local Church leaders. Only a handful of people were selected to share their conversion stories on camera. Those chosen received no coaching. They were asked to simply share their answers to questions about their baptism and conversion or elements of their faith.  

“I think the most direction they received was, ‘Can you say that again faster?’ ” explained Scott Swofford, the Missionary department's director of media. “There was no ‘Well, could you say this’ or ‘Could you say it like that.’” 

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