“Joseph Smith: Volume 1: Plates of Gold” is making a token run of theaters before it heads to DVD sales at Deseret Book and Seagulls and repeat TV airings on KBYU, BYUTV, KJZZ and on KSL in between airings of LDS General Conference. Alas, there has never been a high-quality film adaptation of the Joseph Smith story with a spiritual edge, and there probably never will be now that Richard Dutcher prefers to make violent thrillers.
However, my wife, Kati, and I saw the latest effort on Labor Day in a North Ogden theater and we were pleasantly surprised. LDS filmmaker Christian Vuissa has made a film that is watchable for its entire 105 minutes or so. “Volume 1″ relates the young LDS prophet’s life from age 21 to 25, from the death of his brother, Alvin, to the establishment of the church. Most of the film concerns Joseph (Dustin Harding) romancing an marrying teacher Emma Hale (Lyndsay Farr) over the objections of her father, Isaac Hale (Michael Flynn). In between the loving, Joseph struggles to translate and publish the Golden Plates which become The Book of Mormon.