The ability to spread the gospel message and be a positive influence to thousands of people is a luxury that is now available to countless members of the church with access to the internet.
We’ve compiled a list of 25 incredible LDS influencers who reach thousands of people every day while slowly breaking down barriers of misunderstanding and allowing people to see the goodness that people of the LDS faith exude. Not only do they reach thousands of people, but they are spreading positive messages and doing their part to share goodness.
While these are listed in no particular order, we did rank our top 5 LDS influencers of 2017 at the end of this article.
Jeremy Guthrie is a retired Major League Baseball player who has always been very open about his faith. Guthrie started two games in the World Series with the Kansas City Royals. Since retiring from baseball, Guthrie has remained active on Twitter, always sharing about his faith and spreading messages from the Church
2017 Moment: Guthrie’s response to Conan O’Brien’s tweet about Mormon missionaries was a highlight of the year:
— Jeremy Guthrie (@TheRealJGuts) November 29, 2017
Michelle Pearson is a returned missionary and mommy vlogger who just welcomed twins into her family. She has a growing business and YouTube channel, and there is no one else we’d rather see be such an influence on the world. She is good, through and through.
2017 Moment: Michelle published her first book Deep Breaths: New Mom’s Handbook – Baby’s First Year.
The Bucket List Family
The Bucket List Family is a family of four (soon to be five) that sold everything they owned to travel the world and document their journey. Swimming with whales, riding camels, visiting beautiful beaches – every day is something new. Their focus? Adventure, culture, and service.
2017 Moment: Garrett, the dad, received some cool press for learning how to free dive for an extended period of time. See here > Garrett Free-Diving
Maddie Wilson is a country singer from Utah who adds country flair to popular music with covers and videos. Her music is uplifting and family-friendly, and she most definitely uses her talents for good.
2017 Moment: Maddie not only got married in 2017, but she also released an original song “Freckles” which encourages people everywhere to celebrate their uniqueness. You can watch that video below.
James the Mormon and Cameron Gade
James the Mormon and Cameron Gade work so much magic together, they get to share a picture in this article. James is an incredible musician who is using his gift to share the gospel and reach people that others can’t. Cameron is the man behind the camera who turns every video into an artistic story.
2017 Moment: Cameron and James teamed up with Mormon Hub to create this informative video about what goes on inside a Mormon Temple. It definitely struck a chord with people, as it garnered over 1.4 million views.
Kenya Clark is an incredible musician who “was born to sing to uplift, inspire & honor every good thing” – and that’s not just lip service. Kenya does lots of good with her music and is a rising star on the music scene. She’ll be performing at RootsTech in February of 2018 and is hoping to visit Africa to perform. Remember the name Kenya – you’ll hear it a lot more in 2018.
2017 Moment: Her “Moana in Real Life” video (shot by Nick Sales and arranged by Masa Fukuda) has close to 2 million views, and that video introduced Kenya to the world – and she’s here to stay. She also recently teamed up with Sony/Orchard on her first original song: Edge of Loneliness.
Greg Trimble is an author and businessman who uses his influence to tackle common questions that people have about the Mormon church. If you are active on social media, you no doubt have seen Greg’s name pop up because of the many compelling articles he has written on his blog.
2017 Moment: Greg released his first two books, Dads Who Stay and Fight: How to be a Hero for Your Family, and The Virtual Missionary: The Power of Your Digital Testimony.
Nick Sales works so much magic and does so much good, but many don’t know about it. Nick is a very talented videographer who works with talented artists such as Maddie Wilson, Madilyn Paige, One Voice Children’s Choir, among others.
2017 Moment: Seeing Nick step out from behind the camera and join the cast of 3 Mormons was awesome. You can watch Nick with the crew as they discuss the Plan of Salvation here > Nick with the 3 Mormons
Hillary Abplanalp might be a name that some don’t recognize, but thousands of others who are not of our faith have learned gospel principles such as faith, hope, submission to God’s will, and the importance of eternal family from her. Hillary is the mother of Evie Clair, who is a very talented singer that appeared on America’s Got Talent this year. Hillary was the one behind the scenes managing Evie’s career, while at the same time caring for her husband Amos, who passed away after a bout with colon cancer.
2017 Moment: Hilary kept a daily family blog during the year documenting Amos’s cancer journey, and millions of people were able to learn from a very choice and righteous wife and mother. She detailed every step of Amos’s cancer battle, along with his service as Bishop, and their family’s hope and faith in the plan that God had for their family.
Hank Smith is becoming a household name among LDS members – and if you haven’t heard of him yet, just think of him as the modern version of John Bytheway. Hank is a seminary and institute teacher as well as a renowned public speaker with the goal of helping people laugh and learn to create better relationships.
2017 Moment: Hank released his first book, Be Happy : Simple Secrets to a Happy Life.
Devin SuperTramp: If you’ve seen an awesome YouTube video that involved outdoor extreme sports, it was most likely filmed by Devin. From cliff diving to crazy Nerf wars, Devin is the man behind the camera and makes a lot of magic happen. Not only is he a generational talent, but he also has high standards and won’t compromise them – even if it means losing out on money or prestige. Devin is one of the most humble men you’ll ever meet.
2017 Moment: Devin would say that his greatest accomplishment in 2017 was being married to his wife Megan.
John Dye is the principal social media and influencer marketing strategist at Bonneville Communications. John works heavily with the Mormon.org Easter and Christmas initiatives and was one of the main reasons the recent #LightTheWorld initiative was such a success. He is one of the most well-connected and gracious people you’ll ever meet.
2017 Moment: John became even more accomplished during 2017 when he married Jenny Noonan, who is one of the hosts of the podcast, The Cultural Hall.
Shonduras is a social media rockstar and Snapchat guru who has exploded onto the YouTube scene as well. He’s traveled the world, become best buds with Casey Neistat, and even been a presenter at the Shorty Awards show.
2017 Moment: Shonduras announced the purchase of an esports team and the launch of a company called Spacestation Gaming.
Dan and Lincoln
Dan and Lincoln from the YouTube channel What’s Inside cut stuff open and travel the world on awesome adventures. They had a backstage pass to a lot of incredible events, like this year’s World Series. The cool thing about it is they take us along for the ride and give us a sneak peek inside it all.
2017 Moment: The What’s Inside gang hit 5 million subscribers in 2017.
David Archuleta might be most well known for his great run on American Idol, but he continues to spread his influence worldwide thanks to his amazing voice and his humble demeanor.
2017 Moment: It didn’t hurt that he was the brains behind one of the best hashtags this year, the #SingAllThePartsChallenge. Go to Twitter, search that hashtag, and thank David later. 😉
The Ohana Adventure
The Ohana Adventure is an incredible family from Utah that enjoys making family-friendly videos, including awesome parody videos that make the word viral seem like small fish. They also keep things real, hoping to teach their kids that anything going on in life can be talked about and solved together.
2017 Moment: How about a mega-viral video to accelerate their propulsion on YouTube! Their top video of the year? Yeah, it had 40,000,000 views!
Monica Welch Scott
Monica Welch Scott is a brilliant pianist who has arranged numerous viral primary songs that you’ve probably seen if you have been paying attention to Facebook in 2017. Monica does a wonderful job of teaching gospel truths through her music and loves to involve children in her productions.
2017 Moment: Monica’s original song called “He Lives and Loves Me” took off in 2017. Listen here > He Lives and Loves Me
Studio C is an internet sketch comedy show made up of former BYU students. Their YouTube channel is approaching 2 million subscribers and they post videos every Tuesday and Friday.
2017 Moment: Studio C surpassed 1 billion views on their YouTube channel in 2017, and took a step towards clarifying misconceptions about Mormons in this sketch called “Mormon Misunderstanding”.
The Tannerites are vloggers in Utah who have over 100 million views on their YouTube channel. They are amazing examples of teaching the world about the joy of family, and their main hashtag is #itsfamilytime. There are lots of amazing vlogging families that could be added to this list as well. (April and Davey, Ellie and Jared, The Beach House, The Jurgys, J House Vlogs, and many more.)
2017 Moment: Their oldest son, Branson, went on his mission this year to France. A mission president from another mission in France even contacted the family to let them know that multiple people have been baptized because they knew of Branson from YouTube.
Now for the top 5 most influential LDS personalities of 2017.
5. Al Fox Carraway
Not only does Al Carraway have an incredible personality, but she also uses the influence she has to share an important message: God loves you. Al travels around the country doing firesides and shares her personal conversion story and the many obstacles she had to overcome.
2017 Moment: Al released her second book, Cheers to Eternity, where she and her husband, Ben, share advice on relationships and give tips on how to make marriage fun.
4. The Piano Guys
The Piano Guys are not just incredible artists and musicians, they are incredible men. I attended an event with them last year where they did some Q&A, and all of their answers were so full of wisdom. It was like listening to General Authorities speak. They spread light around the world through incredibly uplifting music.
2017 Moment: The Piano Guys hosted a #LightTheWorld livestream event on their YouTube channel during the Christmas season to encourage fans to spread love through small acts of service. They were joined by the likes of David Archuleta, Lexi Walker, Nathan Pacheco, Peter Hollens, and others.
3. Lindsey Stirling
Lindsey Stirling is an incredible dancing violinist who pours her heart and soul into every performance. She is a YouTube sensation and tours the world playing her upbeat violin music. Not only does she arrange her music and kill it on YouTube (her channel has over 10 million subscribers), she also edits all of her music videos. Talk about multi-talented!
2017 Moment: Lindsey was one of the celebrities that performed on this season’s Dancing with the Stars, where she came up just short with a second-place finish.
2. Claire Ryann
Claire Ryann is a bundle of cuteness who is bursting with talent. She and her dad, Dave Crosby, were guests on Ellen FOUR times in 2017, and this year was full of a lot of firsts for Claire. I’m excited to say that I was able to attend her first live performance – which she nailed!
2017 Moment: Claire got to visit Disney and sing with the voice of Moana, Auli’i Cravalho. That might be every young girl’s dream!
1. Evie Clair
Evie Clair reached an incredibly large audience with the greatest message there is to share – that of love and family. A finalist on America’s Got Talent, Evie shared her family’s journey with the world as her father Amos passed away after a short battle with colon cancer. The best thing about it all is that Evie is so good-natured – she is a pure soul with a lifetime ahead of her in which she will work miracles and open doors that others can’t.
2017 Moment: Becoming a finalist on America’s Got Talent takes the cake. Now Evie tours the country sharing her amazing music and has engaged in the fight to battle cancer head-on.
Who is missing from this list that we should add? There are definitely enough quality online LDS influencers to do a part 2. Who is your favorite online LDS influencer?