Joseph Smith – Prophet of the Restoration
Today, as always, the skeptic’s voice challenges Truth, the word of God, and each must choose to whom he will listen.
Robert Blatchford (17 March 1851 – 17 December 1943) was a socialist campaigner, journalist and author in the United Kingdom. He was a prominent atheist and opponent of eugenics
Robert Blatchfor’s book God and My Neighbor, attacked with vigor accepted Christian beliefs, such as God, Christ, prayer, and immortality. He boldly asserted, “I claim to have proved everything I set out to prove so fully and decisively that no Christian, however great or able he may be, can answer my arguments or shake my case.” He surrounded himself with a wall of skepticism. Then a surprising thing happened. His wall suddenly crumbled to dust. He was left exposed and undefended. Slowly he began to feel his way back to the faith he had scorned and ridiculed. What had caused this profound change in his outlook? His wife died. With a broken heart, he went into the room where lay all that was mortal of her. He looked again at the face he loved so well. Coming out, he said to a friend: “It is she, and yet it is not she. Everything is changed. Something that was there before is taken away. She is not the same. What can be gone if it be not the soul?”
Later he wrote: “Death is not what some people imagine. It is only like going into another room. In that other room we shall find the dear women and men and the sweet children we have loved and lost.”
How do you tell in 68 minutes the story of someone whose accomplishments were larger than life? In this case, with long-range planning, intense preparation, prayer—and the kind of help that film production companies ordinarily do not get. Those involved in filming Joseph Smith The Prophet of the Restoration can attest that there was help with the project beyond what they could have accomplished on their own—help, for example, with casting lead actors and with two perfect days for scheduled filming in the middle of a run of bad weather.
The result is a film that depicts the Prophet Joseph Smith as a man with human qualities but with extraordinary ability to respond to divine direction and to lead others according to that direction.
Production of the film required careful coordination and planning. For example:
• Filming took place over several months in Nauvoo; Upstate New York; the historic Upper Canada Village near Ottawa; Lincoln’s New Salem Village near Springfield, Illinois; the Mississippi River; Manchester, England; and the Church’s Motion Picture Studio near Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.
• The film has a principal cast of about 40 individuals. A crew of more than 100 took part in the production, and some scenes included up to 300 local actors as extras. In addition, many locals were hired to help with makeup, hairdressing, and so on, for on-location shooting.
• Wardrobes were extensively researched to create costumes authentic to the early 1800s.
• The film was produced under the direction of the First Presidency and through the Church’s Audiovisual Department. It premiered on December 17, 2005, one week before the 200th anniversary of Joseph Smith’s birth, in the Legacy Theater of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building on Temple Square.
A Beautiful Talk by President Ezra Taft Benson
“By their fruits ye shall know them”! (Matt. 7:20.) The fruits of Joseph Smith’s teachings have withstood over 150 years of investigation, criticism, and persecution. The message, the Church, and the people stand as a vindication of the truth of his testimony and works.
Just as prophets of the past were without honor in their own countries and were persecuted and killed, Joseph Smith was maligned and martyred in his generation.
Was Joseph Smith sent from God? We answer an emphatic “yes”!
“He lived great, and he died great in the eyes of God and his people; and like most of the Lord’s anointed in ancient times, has sealed his mission and his works with his own blood.” (D&C 135:3.)
“The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done.”
Joseph Smith’s Favorite Hymn, A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief