James Curran is not your average Mormon. “James the Mormon,” a 28-year-old entrepreneur and entertainer, is quickly becoming an internet sensation by indirectly sharing the gospel with his unique perspective and viral videos.
His clean “Drake-style” rap videos as well as his comical videos are receiving lots of attention and not only within the Mormon community. With one of his videos receiving 7,000 views in just seven hours, James has a significant social media presence. James told LDS.net,
My goal is that people will associate me with the Church and it will open a door. ‘That dude is rapping and I like it and he’s Mormon… wait, and he’s black?’
James realized the magnitude of his influence when one of his friend’s went on a business trip to Connecticut. As his friend made mention of her faith, a group of non-Mormon business associates showed her a “video of this rapper that I like who is Mormon.”
Although James is praised for his rapping, he doesn’t identify as a rapper. “Rapping is just something I like to do, a hobby, but I’m not a ‘rapper.'”
With an international background, James is proving to be relatable to a wide variety of people. His mother, a convert and a U.S. Ambassador, brought her family with her as she traveled the world which gave James the opportunity of living his formative years in Taiwan, China, Virginia, Russia and Uzbekistan.
Although James was born into the Church, it took him a while before he received his own testimony.
“I was born in the Church, but I literally never had a testimony. Then a series of events happened in my life, my girlfriend’s dad hated me and didn’t want me to date his daughter if I wasn’t a returned missionary. My mom was crying everyday because I didn’t go on a mission. So I decided to go on a mission. It wasn’t because I wanted to share the message of the Restoration or anything like that. I thought, ‘Why not? It’s good.'”
So James entered the Missionary Training Center at 23-years-old with ultimately no knowledge of gospel doctrine. Then one day in the MTC, someone taught the Restoration and James describes it as,
It was like a million lightbulbs went off. From that moment forward I knew that I had to devote the rest of my life to sharing the gospel.
After his mission he made it a priority to be a member missionary, and then “James the Mormon” was born. “There will never be another moment when people don’t know I’m a Mormon. I am James the Mormon.”