When Moriah Peters was a young girl, she dreamed of being a lawyer. Her love of music was there, but it was a dream rather than a career path. In high school, her "how to get there" plan formed and she laid out her steps ... First, go to college (and since she had a scholarship from Cal State-Fullerton, this would be easy enough). Second, major in psychology and minor in music. Third, go to law school to become a practicing attorney. For the young believer who was very involved in her church and even led bible studies for other girls at her public school, there was only one thing missing - God's plans. So she prayed what she calls "one of the most important and dangerous prayers" of her life, saying, "God, I just want to be used by you."
Suddenly, her well-ordered plans were gone, replaced by God's leading towards music. For the (then) high school senior, American Idol seemed like the path to get there, especially after her mom agreed that the show certainly felt like the direction God was showing them. Months of interviews and auditions came and went and she made it through every one with ease. Though she was never silent about her faith, it wasn't an issue with the various levels of producers (no small thing in the entertainment industry) so she continued to feel like she had a shot.
The day that she sang in front of the judges, that all changed. The judges had plenty of nice things to say about her voice and personality, but they weren't complimentary about her lifestyle, her faith or her stance on purity that meant she had never been kissed and wouldn't be until she said "I do" on her wedding day. She says that they told her, "You’re trying to be too perfect. You need to go into the world and make some mistakes. You've never been kissed? Go kiss someone! You’ll feel sexier."
The Door Closed
As she left the stage, host Ryan Seacrest met her with a camera crew for her "after" interview. Even though she (and other contestants) had been encouraged to vent if they were angry or upset, she chose not to. When he asked her how she felt, she replied, "God has opened the door up until this point, and now He's closed them and I'm not going to question any of this. I know He has a bigger plan."
When she shared her experience live on Spirit 105.3 last year, she admitted that while she said it and she knew it in her heart, she still found herself questioning God as she left the building. "Why did I just spend 5 months of my senior year praying for this when I could have been studying for finals?" followed by "What was this all for?"
And A New Door Opened
The Lord didn't waste any time showing her exactly what it was all for. As she got outside, a man approached her and shared that he had overheard her audition, her conversation with the judges and her comments to Ryan Seacrest. As a father of a teenage boy, he was impressed and his son was encouraged by her words and her grace. The man wanted to introduce her someone - Wendi Foy - who had been a part of the all-girl trio, Sierra.
She met with Wendi and within a year had gone to Nashville and recorded three demos. Wendi personally shopped them to the labels and after only a week, called Peters to tell her that five labels were interested in signing her.
Moriah chose Provident and enrolled at Grand Canyon University to take marketing classes online so she could follow her musical path and still get her education. Her debut album, I Choose Jesus, released in April 2012.
As for the never been kissed thing, Peters can no longer put that on her resume. On July 7, 2013, she got her first kiss as soon as the Pastor told Joel SmallBone (from for KING & COUNTRY), "You may now kiss your bride."
Moriah represents something not found in our mainstream culture (much like her sister-in-law, Rebecca St. James does) - purity and strong values. She shares her story on I am Second in order to show other young ladies that you don't have to let the world set your standards. In fact, if you do, you short-change both yourself and God.
- Moriah will be on the 'Restart' tour with Newsboys and for KING & COUNTRY (September 20 - October 27)