James Curran, also known on YouTube as JamestheMormon, has said repeatedly that he is not a rapper, yet anyone that has ever listened to his music may find what he says to be a bit confusing and somewhat of a contradiction. On his blog, he explains why he says that he is not a rapper:

My father gets up every day at 5 a.m. and rides the train to downtown Chicago for a couple hours each way reading his scriptures, the Wall Street journal and all things stock and finance. When he gets into his office, he proceeds to stare and click at a computer screen trading whatever it is he’s buying or selling that day for like 10 -12 hours!? When he’s not doing that he’s being a husband or fulfilling his church High Council calling throughout the week and all day on Sunday. Occasionally, for fun and relaxation, he likes to go out into his garden on a Saturday and take care of his garden.

Is my Father a gardener? Like, is that how you would introduce him? Is that what defines him? Is that who he is? I would argue no. He is so much more than that, that if you were to say “Hey this is Jim Curran the gardener”, that would be really, really weird and wouldn’t make any sense.

James the MormonHe continues by pointing out that he is as serious about his music as his father is about gardening. He further states that music is a hobby – something that is therapeutic in a sense for him – but it does not define who he is. He has no desire to do shows, monetize his music in any way, or have any immediate plans of going on tour. In fact, the prompting that he had received to do original music made him feel uneasy so he chose to ignore it. However, the more that he attempted to ignore the prompting, the more he knew that it was something that he was supposed to be doing.

Therefore, being a returned missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he decided that his first song would be about the doctrine of the Restoration – the first lesson that a missionary normally teaches someone who is investigating the Church. He also comments that it is the basis of his testimony about God and Jesus Christ.

To help him create the song, he called on his long-time friend Radhames Gomez (also known as @frankzoojun) who sent him 12 beats that he liked, but there was one in particular that struck a bell with him, and he knew that it was the one that was to be used for the Restoration video. However, he did not start writing the song right away. He procrastinated. His procrastination turned into an even stronger prompting to write the song, and so he made the decision to set aside a Sunday to get into the proper mindset for writing a song about such an important and sacred topic. On his blog, he explains what happened next:

On my way to church that day Nick Larsen my ex-girlfriend’s brother invited me to come see him talk at his ward and sit with his family I haven’t seen in a long time. Even though I was like a minute away from my ward building, I hadn’t seen them in a long time, so I flipped around and headed over. As sacrament begins they announce the theme is ENTIRELY on the RESTORATION. Not only that but I have yet to have a more powerful and edifying sacrament. I go home feeling ready and say a prayer asking Heavenly Father to tell me what to write because I honestly had no idea what I was doing.

When I was figuring out who to sing the chorus, it was pretty clear that @jaywarrenn would be a good fit but I didn’t realize until later that the Lord wanted him specifically.

Sam Wilder filmed and edited the video, Chance Clift mixed and mastered it, and the video was published on his YouTube channel on his birthday, 19 August 2015. Having no idea what the response to the video would be, three weeks later, he received a screenshot from his sister of a message from her friend who is currently serving a mission. The friend stated that the video was being used in her mission to help teach the Restoration to Memphis gangster investigators. The friend also referred to him as an awesome missionary.

 

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