Joseph Smith, Jr. Subject of New LDS Film

Joseph Smith, Jr. Subject of New LDS Film

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Carole Mikita reporting A new film is being shot now at BYU Motion Picture Studios. The subject is the life of the founder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Cold, rain and mud simply adds to the atmosphere of this film, set in 1820 in Palmyra, New York as the Erie Canal was being built.

The script centers on the life of one young man, who Latter-day Saints believe changed Christianity. Working title: Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration.

Ron Munns/ producer 'Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration': "We're doing this film because President Hinckley wants it done now. He wants to have this as part of the celebration next year of Joseph's anniversary, 200 years since his birth."

Nathan Mitchell of Springfield, Oregon landed the lead role. He calls it thrilling and terrifying at the same time.

Nathan Mitchell/ plays Joseph Smith: "It's a huge responsibility to live up to the legacy of the prophet. Also everybody has their ideas of what he was like."

There are actually four young men playing the role of Joseph Smith at different ages. One of them has special permission to be here today.

Dustin Harding plays Joseph at age 17. He's from Orem but now lives at the Missionary Training Center, preparing to leave for two years in New England.

Elder Dustin Harding/ role of 17-year-old Joseph Smith, Jr.: "I've been called to New Hampshire and Sharon, Vermont is in there, where Joseph Smith was born. There's a visitors' center there and I don't know what to expect, but I'm really excited."

Since missionaries are always supposed to be with their companions, by his side is Elder Cal Lyons of Glendale, Arizona-- an extra for the day.

This will be the third church film. The first was "Legacy", about the westward trek of the pioneers, and then "The Testaments" which links the Bible with the Book of Mormon.

The producer says the idea with this new movie is to tell a story few outside the faith know.

"Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration" is scheduled to be screened December of 2005 in the Legacy Theatre inside the Joseph Smith Memorial Bldg.

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