Keith McCord Reporting Reporting
What do you think of when someone mentions Elvis Presley? The music, the outfits, and his gyrations during his early career, of course. What you probably don't think of is his spiritual side, witnessed by notes he left in a Book of Mormon. A new movie, currently in production, shows that side of the "King".
On an Orem soundstage, production is underway on a new movie about Elvis Presley, but it will not focus on his music. Fans certainly remember the King in his early years -- young, vibrant. Prior to his death, Presley struggled with alcohol and drugs, which is well documented. What isn't, was his spiritual journey in those last years.
Rob Diamond, Director/Screenwriter: "Elvis was very interested in spirituality. To me he was a seeker of truth and knowledge, and any information that could make him a better man."
Rob Diamond has written and is directing "Tears of a King" which explores that part of Elvis' life. The movie looks at the period when Presley studied the teachings of the LDS Church. He was given a Book of Mormon and visited with missionaries a number of times.
The producers wanted to make this film, after examining Presley's Book of Mormon, which is now in the church's historical department. The Osmond family, which knew Presley, was given the book after his death, and donated it to the church.
On various pages throughout the book, are handwritten notes, believed to be written by Presley. He'd underlined the word "KING" throughout the book; and on one page, there is this: "My daughter Lisa needs this church. She's nine. Please help her..."
Rob Diamond: "My feeling of looking at the passages that he marked, were of a man that was hurting and sincerely wanted help from his maker."
The numerous handwritten notes-- though not authenticated as being Presley's-- were the inspiration for the film.
Rob Diamond: "And so, hopefully, when people walk away from the film they won't care whether he studied Mormonism, Judiasm or whatever, that they are drawn to a man who was seeking truth and peace in his life."
No one will ever know, however, whether Elvis indeed found it.
The movie "Tears of a King" will be released next year, to coincide with the 30th anniversary of Presley's death.