American Prophet Synopsis

The following is a small excerpt from an article that appeared in the LDS Church News for the week ended Nov. 13, 1999, written by Julie Dockstader (click here for a link to the full article):

"American Prophet," written by well-known documentary screenwriter Heidi Swinton, filmed mainly by cinematographer Mark Goodman, and with music by the Emmy and Pearl Award-winning team of Merrill Jenson and Sam Cardon, begins in Nauvoo, Ill., on a sunny June day. The scene depicts the events surrounding June 27, 1844, when Joseph and his brother, Hyrum, were killed at Carthage Jail. After portraying the grief of the families of Joseph and Hyrum and the Saints, as well as the glee of the enemies of the Church, the film goes back in time to the eastern American coast in the early 1800s. From there, Joseph's family roots and his birth on Dec. 23, 1805, are mentioned.
      Then begins Joseph's life, from his boyhood in New York and the experience of the First Vision in Palmyra, to his marriage to Emma Hale (whose voice is dramatized by Megan Follows of "Anne of Green Gables" fame) and through his family life, the founding of the Church in 1830 and the relentless persecution it endured. The film includes a poignant scene of the feet of Joseph in chains in Missouri when he stood to rebuke his guards.

Joseph Smith, as shown in Del Parson's portrait

Photo courtesy of Lee Groberg and Deseret Book