Sunday night my stake hosted a fireside where Brother Mark Mabry and others involved in the “Reflections of Christ” exhibit shared their testimonies of Christ through the spoken word, music, video and pictures.
Sadly, my words can do little to convey the power of the music, video, testimony and spirit present during the fireside. Sufficient to say, many eyes were filled with tears throughout the entire presentation.
The sacred music shared by composer and pianist Brother Clyde Bawden was deeply moving. The sweet melodies flowed from the piano and drew my soul closer to Christ. Cellist Sister Hope Sheppard accompanied Brother Bawden’s piano playing and added a deep and rich flavor to the music. Finally, I marveled at the talent and richness of Brother Freddie Ashby’s voice. During the slideshow of the pictures, I thought I was hearing the recorded soundtrack, when I looked up; I was amazed to see Brother Ashby singing at the microphone. Wow!
Brother Cameron Trejo bore a short and simple testimony of the Savior and some of his experiences “Reflections of Christ.” This was his first opportunity to speak publicly about the exhibit.
He mentioned his approach to the filming the documentary was “technical”. While shooting the video of the angels photo shoot, he said that he still had not caught the vision and impact of the project. That definitely changed and his video is proof that he caught the vision.
Brother Trejo told of a phone call he had with his wife while driving home from
In closing, Brother Trejo, with tears streaming down his cheeks said, “This video is our testimony that we know that our Savior lives and loves us.”
After Brother Trejo sat down, the documentary of the making of “Reflections of Christ” was shown to those in attendance. Once again, there were few dry eyes in the congregation.
Brother Mark Mabry, the photographer and originator of the exhibit, spoke next.
“This is amazing,” he said with a smile as he looked over the stake-conference-sized crowd in the chapel and cultural-hall overflow. “I don’t know that I’ve ever spoken to a group this large.”
He asked everyone who owned a trampoline to stand up.
About 30 or so people stood up.
He then asked everyone who owned a rectangular trampoline to remain standing.
Everyone sat down.
Brother Mabry began to tell the story of how he procured a rectangular trampoline for the angel shoot.
“Rectangular trampolines are bouncier, and I knew I needed a rectangular trampoline for the angel shoot,” he said.
Brother Mabry prayed for a way to find a rectangular trampoline but was frustrated when he was unable to locate one and didn’t have the money to buy one.
A client soon called and needed an immediate photo shoot.
Finally, in the middle of a photo shoot with this client, he felt prompted to ask the client if he knew where he could borrow a rectangular trampoline. After asking the question, his client looked up and said, “Oh, I have one.”
Brother Mabry related another experience with prayer and the power of God’s promises.
On the morning of the baptismal photo shoot, he spent some time reading from the scriptures and praying. Brother Mabry, in a self-deprecating way, described the spiritual requirements involved in preparing for “Reflections of Christ” and how he had to “cram for the test.” He began a long prayer; the level of communication soon changed.
“I had a real connection, I knew I was being heard,” he said.
“I said, ‘Heavenly Father, we have a schedule (he was holding it in his hands), if you would let me keep my schedule, I promise this will do good things.’ I felt a resounding YES and ended my prayer.”
His photo shoot was scheduled for 11:30 a.m. The sky opened at 11:30 a.m., light shot down (no angels singing), cloudy, beautiful light, perfect for shooting. Brother Mabry quickly realized that he was behind schedule. He and the rest of the cast and crew hurried down to the lake in their RV, a 30-minute drive, to start the photo shoot.
The baptismal shoot was scheduled for one hour. By 12:30 p.m., the rain started falling again.
“The rain drops you see in the baptismal photo is a testimony of the power and covenants we make with God,” Brother Mabry explained.
Preparing for “Reflections of Christ”
“I served a mission in
Brother Mabry explained that although he could not teach with surety, he had hope and good convincing of the truth through his upbringing.
One year prior to “Reflections of Christ”, Brother Mabry prayed to Heavenly Father to let him know that Christ is real.
“I prayed and felt a small burning in the bosom, but I kept praying for an overwhelming conversion,” he said. “I wanted to be able to tell people that Jesus is real.”
During his quest for conversion, Brother Mabry received promptings to change his life. The first such prompting was to throw away an expensive collection of books of his favorite artists…artists he said inspired him.
“I had another prompting shortly thereafter: ‘change your music.’ So I started listening to jazz and country,” he said.
The next prompting he had, “Stop drinking Monsters (energy drink),” said Brother Mabry.
After making these changes in his life, he was prepared to produce the work and closer to being able to say, “Christ lives.”
“My life got better with each change,” he said. “And I was able to see things more clearly.”
“At the end, I could say with surety and fluency that Christ lives,” said Brother Mabry.
After Brother Mabry closed with his testimony, the congregation saw the Reflections Slideshow, with Brother Freddie Ashby singing “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing”, accompanied by Brother Clyde Bawden on piano and Sister Hope Sheppard on cello.
I invite everyone to view the same presentation and enjoy the powerful music and pictures from “Reflections of Christ” by clicking here.
Reflections of Christ
For those who have not yet had the opportunity, I invite you to visit the “Reflections of Christ” web site and learn more about this wonderful photo exhibit. Feel free to share it with your friends and invite them to “Come unto Christ” through this powerful exhibit!