Humbly, I pose a simple question: Why shouldn’t we tell the real stories of Mormonism?
My wife and I participated in the rededication services of Mexico City Temple last Sunday evening via satellite broadcast. I was reminded of the sacrifices of these modern-day pioneers to travel from their homes in the many parts of Mexico to visit the temple in Mesa Arizona. This was in my lifetime that such trips were made. What’s even more impressive is the trek that those from Central and South America made. I knew of one such family in Costa Rica. They had a framed marriage certificate from the Mesa Arizona temple in their front room.
This morning I found myself caught up in thinking about that unimaginable journey that these young people made to obtain the promises of the eternities for them and their families. I don’t recall how long they had to travel, and I can’t imagine the conditions that attended their travels. Their individual sojourns are no less worthy of a motion picture treatment, than anything that has been produced to date. These are modern-day stories that deserve the attention of the most talented artists and craftsmen in bringing them to the screen.
Humbly, I pose a simple question: Why shouldn’t we tell the real stories of Mormonism? We have the resources, we have the talent, and we have the audience. We had a wonderful cropping of opportunities that sprung up 5 to 10 years ago. Of those that attempted, only one approached telling the real stories of our unique and dynamic faith. That was Mitch Davis with his execution of The Other Side of Heaven. In some regards, this also was more comical and anecdotal than it needed to be.
Going back to my original thought– are there no universal themes in having a belief in something greater than themselves? Is there nothing of substance in the ideal of hope? Are there no engaging dialogs in a couple’s desire to live a better life together? Is there no emotional lift that can be universally felt when depicting a person’s disappointments, sobering impossibilities, and then the realization of a dream fulfilled? Is it impossible to depict such things in film?
Of course we can. I believe that the stories of the faith of the Latter-day Saints are as universal, yet peculiar as any story that ever been told. I believe that they should be told in full, vibrant detail, as far as we are permitted to do so. To this end, do we endeavor.