God’s Army and other Mormon Cinema

onebrick

I was on my mission when God’s Army came out. I didn’t get to see it till about a year later, when I could finally got a VHS copy. The next challenge was getting a VCR that played the American format. Gosh, I loved that film! Just as Testaments was a wonderful surprise in Church produced movies, God’s Army was a pleasant surprise for movie loving me.

Just recently I was watching it on YouTube, and someone commented that they didn’t understand why this movie was made, this is not going to convert anyone to the church. I don’t think they understood that God’s Army was not produced by the LDS Church. It was an independent movie, telling a story of LDS missionaries. It was made by mostly LDS people, but the actor playing one of the leads–and then again appeared in Brigham City–is Jewish.

God’s army was followed by a number of comedies and the previously mentioned Brigham City, and States of Grace, and then Richard Dutcher left the Church, and the independent Mormon cinema has been kind of… quiet. Or it just doesn’t reach us here. Of course there are a lot more media products available now, but I kind of miss those movies.

Advertisements

The Temple – part 2: The Building of the Salt Lake Temple

onebrick

One of the first LDS movies I’ve seen was Mountain of the Lord. It was the first LDS video I’ve seen that was not totally… churchy. It was enjoyable, interesting, and educational. I had known how long building the Salt Lake Temple took, but it was in this film that first introduced me to why it was that long. Later on serving on Temple Square it was something we often talked about. I love the story of the Temple, and the stories of the people who worked on building it. I think the only story I like more is how the Freiberg Germany Temple came to be built behind the iron curtain in East Germany.

 

My Missionary Scriptures

onebrick

As I mentioned in previous posts, my friend and I are kind of studying the Book of Mormon together, quite long distance. We are taking it slow and steady. I am also reading the scriptures by myself at random times and places, and I try to make an effort of doing some scripture journaling every few days, so I am at three different places in the scriptures simultaneously. To make it easier for me, I use three different copies for the three studies. At this point, I have to admit, that none of them is in Hungarian. I am still getting used to the “new” translation, and the comfort of familiarity only comes with the English copies. So in addition to having my journalized scriptures I use a pocket-sized Book of Mormon in my individual study. It is small, but it’s not a screen. I can carry it everywhere, and just mark it as needed.

I for the study with my friend, and usually for reading anything other than the Book of Mormon I use my missionary scriptures. It’s huge. It has everything. It is easy to read all the cross references, and it’s easy to have a Wikipedia-like experience when starting with a single verse in 2 Nephi one ends up three hours later somewhere in the Old Testament, via the Bible Dictionary, the Doctrine and Covenants, and thanks to a footnote, the New Testament as well.

img_5191

On this photo the book in the middle is the standard sized soft-cover copy of the Book of Mormon. I think it is quite evident why I don’t carry my missionary scriptures around much! I love them, though. I bought them a few months into my mission, and gifted my previous set to a friend. I hardly ever used the previous set, I used an individual copy of the Book of Mormon most of the time, but I really wanted a quad to make study more comfortable. It was made possible when a former missionary who had served in Hungary and had taught me invited my companion and I to dinner, and gifted us with some cash. So scriptures and a new-to-me pair of boots were purchased one P-day, and that quad became what I refer to as my missionary scriptures. It came with me to Anaheim, I used it the one time I was asked to give a talk, I used them for individual and companionship study, I used it to give the spiritual thought when it was my turn. So many memories are attached to this book. Over my years of not being active I still used it whenever I needed to turn to the scriptures for a story or a discussion, or even an online argument.

Using them again regularly has been fun. A lot of times reading my old notes and finding things that I thought was relevant to me 18 years ago brings back memories, and remind me of things that can be helpful in my life again. I love how all the new member enthusiasm shows through those comments! I love reading the scriptures, and I love how my Heavenly Father keeps guiding me as I study them.

 

The Testaments: One Fold and One Shepherd

onebrick

For months I saw legacy multiple times a week. Then a miracle happened. Shortly before I returned from my mission, the Legacy movie was replaced in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. We got to see it in a special showing, and I have to say it made me cry. I only saw it once more before coming home, and not since then. I was so happy to find it on YouTube!

Day 26 – Slow and steady

onebrick

It’s Day 26 of Write 31 Days. It is the first time in years I got this far in the challenge, but this year I find myself with plenty of drafts on topics I want to write about to last me into mid-November.

Yesterday as I was looking for some scriptures to share as part of the spiritual thought at English lesson I had this funny thought to change the name of this blog, and keep on writing on topic. I have never been very good in sticking to a topic in my blogs, but it’s something I might want to think through.

Today will be very busy between work, English, and team building. I am already struggling to find some time for scripture study. With all the emphasis on consistency, I still fail at it. As much as I try, some days I only get a few verses read. There are even days when I read nothing. So a good friend and I decided to read the Book of Mormon together. The first 2 days we managed to get to 1 Nephi 1:3. The Book of Mormon has 6604 verses. At that pace it would take us a little over 12 years to read the Book of Mormon! Luckily we have gotten better at it, and we are moving on to the next chapter.

Back with a real post tomorrow.

The Post That Isn’t

onebrickThere was a special post planned for today. It was a post about special people and events in my life that led me to where I am now in my spiritual life. It was not meant to be long. I cringe once a post goes over 500 words, because no one reads long posts any more, and 500 words are over an A4 page long.

I started to write and the post kept growing. After close to 3 weeks and 3000 words the post was officially longer than my extended essay, and it took longer to write than my bachelor’s thesis. I showed it to the people who had the most significant parts in my story – after all, it was not only my story but theirs, too – and finally decided not to post it. Not now. Maybe later at some point I will be ready to share it with the whole world, but currently, even after being edited down a good 200 words of thoughts and feelings, this is still too personal – too much of the real me.

 

The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ

onebrick

When I was on my mission one of the verses I really loved in the Book of Mormon was 2 Nephi 25:26.

3e254ab287c6249d273258bc7251c590

This was our lives as missionaries. All we did every day was to talk of Christ, to rejoice in Christ, to preach of Christ. We did it when we talked about the blessings of the Temple. We did it as we shared the pioneers’ stories. We did it when we bore our testimonies of His love, sacrifice, and triumph over death. At the flagpole, in the Tabernacle, at the Christus statue. As my friend Gabi said, it was easy to be good on Temple Square. It was easy, because our whole life was centered around Christ and serving Him.

We often recited this verse, and one day I decided to put it to a test when it came to the Book of Mormon. During my personal study the next two months I marked every time He is mentioned in the Book of Mormon.

img_5082

On Sunday when I opened my missionary scriptures in preparation of reading it together with a good friend, I was, again, surprised at all the red marks in the Book of Mormon, showing all the mentions of Christ. Considering that one of my favorite Bible books, Esther, doesn’t even mention God directly, the straightforward witness of the Book of Mormon prophets seems so simple and uncomplicated. Simple and uncomplicated are good, because that is something even I can understand.

As I said earlier, for me the greatest purpose of the Book of Mormon is to invite people to come unto Christ, to bear witness that Christ loves us, and is always ready to receive the faithful and repentant. The Book of Mormon is truly for our time, and the opportunity of learning from it is one of those things that our Heavenly Father has blessed us with in these latter days.