LDS Easter video's a hit on the Web

Salt Lake City, USA - It may not have generated the initial Internet buzz of the "Where the Wild Things Are" movie trailer or have the sustained lasting power of the "Evolution of Dance" YouTube video, but an LDS-hosted video was one of the Web's most-watched features over Easter weekend.

Created by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the four-and-a-half minute video titled "An Apostle's Easter Thoughts on Christ" coupled segments from the recent April general-conference address by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the church's Quorum of the Twelve with visual clips from a number of church videos.

A majority of those clips came from a church film, "The Testaments of One Fold and One Shepherd."

The video was posted simultaneously Friday on the church's Web site and on the Mormon Messages channel on YouTube — one of several church-sponsored YouTube channels used for videos that help explain and share church doctrines.

Linked via e-mail and Twitter and posted on Facebook and MySpace pages, the video had surpassed the 100,000-viewings mark within the first 24 hours and reached more than 260,000 by mid-afternoon Monday, with more than 800 "ratings" of approval and more than 200 comments on YouTube.

The popularity of the video — highlighting Elder Holland's comments on the Savior's final moments of mortality and a message of hope to those feeling alone or abandoned — benefited from its message paralleling the Easter holiday.

By Monday morning, the church's Easter video was ranked atop the Viral Video Chart, which identifies and ranks the Internet's most popularly viewed videos.

The video was also ranked high on YouTube as well — the No. 1 "most-viewed," No. 2 "top-favorited" and No. 5 "top-rated" video of the week in YouTube's "Nonprofits & Activism" category and the No. 71 "most-viewed" of the week of all offerings on YouTube.