By: Dr. Rex Duff, BA, MA, M.Div., MHA, D. Ministry, J.D.

The Gospel according to Mat and Savanna Shaw ?

     In 2020, there has been a general lock-down because of the Coronavirus. During this period a father and daughter duet first appeared on YouTube. Each of these individuals each put out singles, but when they sang together, they instantly had over 50 million listeners. (Ben Arkell, Family, Feel Good, Videos, 10/26/2020). This led to their first CD album in late 2020. Of the 13 songs they performed, one of the songs they stated was their original song. The song is entitled, “Picture this,” and is also the title of the CD. Inside the paper insert the song states, music and lyrics are written by “Mat Shaw, Savanna Shaw, Stephen Nelson and Anjanette Mickelson.” Stephen Nelson is a piano player. 

In the song it states, “You came and helped me to open my eyes to things I have missed all along. After a life full of comfortable dreams what if I was wrong all along? CHORUS – Picture this – What if all it takes is a moment believing the end doesn’t end it begins, Picture this – What if all we wanted was there all along leading us to what’s so hard to see – Picture this” (Bold and underlining added)

 If Mat and his daughter were from an evangelical church, we might not find anything unusual about these lyrics. “What if all it takes is a moment believing the end doesn’t end it begins”. 

The Bible states in Romans 10:9-13, “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shell be saved” (NKJV). The Bible further declares in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, old things have passed away, behold, all things have become new” (NKJV).

 Further in the song it states, “I don’t have to see the end to go on. This twist of fate’s worth the wait, never been more happy to be wrong all along” (From Picture this, the lyrics)

 Why than are their musical lyrics so puzzling? The answer is very simple, the Shaw’s are Mormons from Kaysville, Utah (Google search for religion of Mat and Savanna Shaw) 

The Mormon Church teaches these points on Salvation -- 

   1. Everyone will experience salvation in some way (Mormon plan of Salvation by Phil               Roberts, SBC, 3/30/2016). 

  2. Hell is for murderers, apostates from the Mormon church, the Devil and his angels                (Roberts)

 3. There are 3 heavens. The highest the celestial heaven, is where Mormons will achieve           godhood. This is called eternal life. (Mormon Concept of God, Apologetics and                       Interfaith  Evangelism publication)

 4. Jesus is our spiritual brother, the first born from the Father. He is a spirit child of the               Heavenly Father. He is the older brother of the Devil, just as all humans are sons of               God.  We are all related. “The Heavenly Father is the same species as man; he has a             body of flesh and bone – only more perfect than we could imagine. He’s married to a             Heavenly mother” (A look at Mormon theology and practice by Stephanie Simpson,               12/16/2007, Los Angeles Times).

 5. Faith is not in Christ, but a “response to whatever Christ commands, not as a trust in           His complete ability to save. This kind of faith never results in a personal relationship           with him” (Christ). (Gospel Principles, Salt Lake City, The Church of Jesus Christ of               Latter-day Saints, 1995; pp.117-121)

 6. Repentant people must “spend the balance of your lives trying to live the                               commandments of the Lord so he can eventually pardon you and cleanse you” (Ibid,           page 126)

 7. One must be baptized only in the Mormon Church, (James E. Talmage, The Articles of            Faith, Salt Lake City: Desert Press, 1976, p.137) and is “the gateway through which we          enter the celestial kingdom” (Gospel Principles, p. 131).

 8. The giving of the Holy Spirit comes only through the laying on of hands by a member of         the priestly class of the Mormon Church. (Talmage, Articles of Faith, p.167)

 9. The designated person next needs to receive the temple endowments (ceremony                    anointing) (McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p.227) 

10. The next step is a celestial marriage, a marriage in the temple. “Such marriages are               essential so that once worthy Mormons are resurrected and possibly progress to                 godhood, they may have their spouse with them to produce and procreate children for         their world and universe” (Roberts 3/30/2016). 

11. One must Observe the Word of Wisdom (No alcohol, coffee or tea) (Gospel Principles,          p.195). 

12. One must support the present Prophet of the Mormon Church (McConkie, Mormon                Doctrine, p.150). 

13. One must give 10% each year of your increase to the Mormon Church (Ibid, p.796)

 14. One must attend the weekly Church meetings of the Mormon Church. (McConkie,                 Mormon Doctrine, p.660) 

15. Finally, “obedience to the Mormon Church, its teachings, and the prophet is essential           for the Mormon to gain exaltation in the Celestial Kingdom” (McConkie, Mormon                   Doctrine, p. 539). 

What can we conclude from the song, “Picture this”? Clearly the song does not present a Mormon path to Salvation and Heaven. Hopefully, both Mat and Savannah have experienced true salvation which is truly, “a moment believing”, and are not writing lyrics to just sell CD’s to an evangelical audience?

 However, more likely the Shaw’s (reading the back of their paper-insert) are talking about a moment of gaining self-confidence. Sadly, if this is the case, they will end up in Hell, with all those who deny the Trinity of God, and don’t submit to Christ Lordship. Jesus is God, not a product from the Father! Jesus has always been with the Father, and in the beginning was with the Father (John 1:1). 

Recently, the Shaw’s released on You tube, “Amazing Grace”, maybe there is still hope for their salvation? 



   | General Editor: Rex Duff | Webmaster: Charles Felts | Updated: 04/23/2021 |
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