Sunday, October 3, 2010

Movie Review: Road to Zion; British Isles
This is a three part series of movies made for KBYU.  I know they are going to be shown on KBYU over the next week.  However I watched them from the KBYU website.
These movies helped me get a better sense of the conditions in England surrounding Isaac Wardle and his family.
The first movie took us to Preston, where the first missionaries to England traveled after landing at Liverpool.  The movie first presents the conditions in Preston, which was crowded having doubled in population over the last several years.  It also presented working in a textile mill.  It presented the story of the vision the missionaries had of the evil spirits which were determined to stop the work.  I had heard of this, but not heard the actual story.
It talked about the first baptisms in the River Ribble.  It also talked about the one of the first meeting sites, the cockpit which had been used for cock fights before they were outlawed. branch, The ward in Preston is the longest existing unit in the church.

The next film presented the second apostolic mission to England.  It presented Wilford Woodruff and the conversion of the group United Brethren.  The United Brethren had a chapel, which they gave to the church, the first chapel owned by the church.
This movie also told the early story of the Church to Wales.  Although Dan Jones wasn't the first missionary there, he had great success.  He was with Joseph Smith the night before Joseph was murdered.  Joseph asked him if he was afraid to die.  He said not for a cause such as this.  Then Joseph Smith prophesied that he would complete his mission to wales.  He actually completed two missions to Wales.  Dan Jones is known as one of the great missionaries of the church.
The third film started with the history of the church in Scotland.  7000 people immigrated from Scotland to the western United States in the 1800s.
It then talked about the history of printing and shipping in Liverpool.  It showed a replica of a ship and the berths in steerage.  I think the conditions were nicer in the film than those described aboard the Horizon.  To think of people leaving their families members behind, who they may never see again, is very moving.
The film then concludes with the modern church and the growth of the church in England.  The Church struggled through the two wars.  After this the policy of emigration changed, and members began to stay in England.  Then with the completion of the Temple in the late 1950s was the catalyst for continued growth. Today there are 44 stakes in Britain.
I would recommend these movies for anyone wanting to understand the history of England as it relates to the Mormon Church.

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