American Idol star to take a break, work as Mormon missionary
David Archuleta's church highly recommends that young men 19-21 serve two years far from home
The Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints strongly encourages its youth to go on two-year mission stints before starting their families or careers.
The Season 7 runner-up comes from a devoutly Mormon family, but saw his singing career skyrocket early as a 16-year-old teenage heart-throb who received millions of phoned-in votes each week from fans.
Unlike Idol finalists Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson, Archuleta has not become a star.
In fact, he was recently dropped by his record label, Jive, following the disappointing performance of his latest album, 2010′s ‘The Other Side of Down.’
“I’ve chosen to serve a full-time mission,” the teary-eyed 20-year-old
announced at the Christmas concert at Salt Lake City’s Abravanel Hall. “It’s not because someone told me I was supposed to do it and not because I no longer want to do music anymore. It’s because it’s what I feel I need to do next in my life. It’s the same feeling that I’ve always tried to follow in my life — the feeling that’s allowed me to have the opportunities I’ve had, the challenges and the blessings, too. And I’ve learned to trust that feeling and answer when it calls.”