Church public service announcements can change lives, officials at Bonneville Media Communications attest.
Proof in point is a newspaper article that appeared last summer in the Las Vegas Sun and recently sent to Bonneville officials. A mother wrote about finding her 14-year-old son in his room, sitting next to a loaded shotgun and crying. He told her he saw a Mormon Church public service message on TV. Its song, "Turn It Around," helped him reflect on the importance of his life.Bonneville writer-producer Stan Ferguson said that since the "Homefront" series of Church public service spots began airing in 1971, letters have come to Bonneville from many people telling of problems they have.
"There are a lot of people out there hurting, and we hope that with public service messages, we can make a difference in people's lives," he said. "Often, people don't have anywhere to turn; sometimes these messages are the sparks that help people realize there is a solution. Never in our fondest hopes would we imagine that somebody would turn around a situation where he was contemplating suicide."
The "Let Love Turn It Around" campaign was directed by Robert Lieberman of Harmony Pictures. The spots dramatized people in potentially negative situations that they are able to turn into positive ones.
The tagline of the campaign was: "Sometimes the best times don't start out that way. Let love turn it around." Music and lyrics were composed by Bonneville's Mike McLean.
Ferguson, who obtained the newspaper article from a church member in Las Vegas, sent the newspaper clipping on to Stuart Gross, president of Harmony Pictures. "It made my day," said Gross. "It felt better than any of those prestigious industry awards we all love to receive."
The member who sent the article wrote" "I thought you might be interested in knowing that the spot announcements the Church is putting on TV are really reaching people. They are listening.'