A warm relationship between her daughter and a boy from Utah led Patti Biddulph Kemp to write a musical-drama about sharing the gospel and setting a good example.
"The Light Within," includes 17 songs and involves a cast of about 40. It will be presented July 14 at a youth conference of the Kansas City Missouri and Olathe Kansas stakes, and again July 19 for the Kansas City stake."The main idea of the play is that when we become like the Savior, His light will shine within us, and others will want to know about the gospel," Sister Kemp said. "It teaches concrete and specific things young people can do to spread the gospel in a way that is comfortable."
In the story, Jeff, a teen-aged Church member, moves to Kansas City from Utah after his best friend and fellow high school athlete is killed in an accident. Jeff develops a friendship with Lori, another member of the Church.
Together they build their courage and learn how to share the gospel with some of their friends. Meanwhile, another young man repents after he realizes his bad example and unkindness caused a young woman not to want to investigate the Church.
An emotional high point is reached when Jeff moves away and leaves a ball mitt to Lori as a symbol of their friendship. The mitt had been given to him by his friend in Utah who had died.
"The play was inspired by a true story," Sister Kemp said. "A boy moved here from Utah a year after his friend was killed. Both were very athletic. He was only here for six weeks, but he had a real impact on my own daughter's life. They developed a very special friendship that they still share. It has never gone in a romantic direction, but they are close friends. The incident with the ball glove is true."
Sister Kemp said one of the lead parts is being played by a young woman who is not a Church member, and through her involvement in the play, her family has become interested in the Church.
A professional photographer and a sound technician donated their services to enhance the multi-media show.
Music was drawn from previously published material composed by Janice Kapp Perry and Joyce Saunders Lundberg, and was used with permission.