Friday, November 29, 2013

Legacy - Joseph Smith's witness

I'm sure all you Utah folks remember the days when going to Temple Square to see the film Legacy: A Mormon Journey was the bomb. Those days were called the '90s and they're over. Now we get to watch it on YouTube without going anywhere. On my mission I watched a dubbed version, which we pushed on just about any investigator who was willing to come to the church to watch it.

I loved this movie despite myself. I knew it was cornier than Midwestern ag, but I loved watching the main character convert, contribute to building up the kingdom, get the dame, lose her for the cause of duty, and return to her in Utah with honor. He was the perfect investigator, the perfect convert, the perfect Mormon, the purest Mormon, and I couldn't help but love him for it.

There was, however one thing that bugged me: Joseph Smith's final testimony about seeing Jesus. It felt fake. I know, I know, he's an actor (who happened to look and sound like he could have been a gay Chris Sarandon), not the real Joseph Smith, but he did write those words and therein lay the problem. They sounded phony. They sounded contrived and forced and unbelievable and maybe even deceptive. I didn't like to admit it to myself, but that line was always my least favorite part of the film because it somehow gave credence to the crazy notion that Joseph Smith was a fraud and not a prophet of God.

Wasn't this supposed to be the big testimony-making moment of the film? Why did I feel it threw mine into question?

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