Young Mormon Moviegoers Have Faith in Real-Life Pic ‘Saratov Approach’

In just two weeks, the indie has grossed nearly $500K on only 23 screens

Writing its own box office success in the history books, “The Saratov Approach,” the real-life story of two Mormon missionaries who were kidnapped and tortured in Russia, has quietly become a local B.O. hit in heavily Mormon areas throughout Utah, grossing nearly $500,000 in two weeks on only 23 screens.

During its opening frame two weeks ago, the film, which is written and directed by Garrett Batty, averaged $11,000 per screen — the highest per-screen average for a limited release that weekend.

“Saratov Approach” has generated a groundswell of support from the Mormon community, especially Mormon teens and Brigham Young U. college students, who are touting the film on social media.

“Normally, you have moms and dads saying to their kids, ‘Come on, let’s go support our heritage,'” explained Brandon Purdie, an independent distribution consultant, who is releasing the film via his company Purdie Distribution.

“The difference with this film is that you see young audiences carrying the movie,” Purdie added.

Unlike Christian faith-based films, whose producers use ministry outreach to promote their films, Mormons do not allow promoting materials for commercial gain in their congregations.

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Instead, Purdie and producer-actor Maclain Nelson attribute the film’s word-of-mouth with younger auds primarily to the film’s real-life modern story, as opposed to the more traditional films about the Mormon religion.

“We really did our best to be as honest as possible and not to sugar-coat the story,” said Nelson, who recently held a private screening of “Saratov” for Larry King, whose wife is a devout Mormon.

The story centers on Mormon missionaries, Travis Tuttle and Andrew Propst, who made global headlines in 1998 when they were abducted, tortured and held hostage for nearly a week in Saratov, Russia.

The film expands Friday to heavily populated Mormon cities outside Utah, including Mesa, Ariz., and Boise, Idaho. Major U.S. markets such as Denver, L.A., Houston and Sacramento expand on Dec. 6.

Purdie said he anticipates “Saratov” to play at approximately 500 locations at its widest, with potential for cross-over appeal. In fact, the nation’s largest theater chains including Regal, AMC and Cinemark are requesting the film have a wider footprint based on its early success.

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  1. Why viewwers still use to read newss papees when in this technological world all is acchessible on net?

  2. Mike says:

    Not sure why my comment isn’t getting through… let’s try this again:

    You’ll have to excuse me for being curt, but here are some facts, magregorioni:

    1. I said I was not Mormon, and barely even religious. I believe in God. Sometimes.

    2. I live in Los Angeles. Utah means Sundance for me. That’s it.

    3. As I previously wrote: Top billed #3 & #4 (the Russian actors) listed on IMDb are not Mormon. (they’re leads too, FYI)

    4. Regarding 95% accuracy of story. Here is an interview from 2 1/2 weeks ago of the real kidnapped guys: www ldsmag com/article/1/13496 – So it’s actually 100% according to them, but I docked them the 5% on the account of some conversations not taking place. There is another article that did say it was 95%, but to be honest I’m too lazy to dig it up right now. If easier, just pretend I originally wrote that it was 100% accurate.

    5. Instead of trying to belittle my phrasing on how it touches the heart, don’t take my word for it only, also look on Twitter: #SaratovApproach

    6. I’m not familiar with “Brigham City” (or any other “Mormon cinema” as you call it), but if it’s good as you say it is then I’m even happier for “The Saratov Approach” which has already exceeded Brigham’s box office by quite a bit.

  3. magregorioni says:

    All right! Now we are talking! Some double teaming two on one hot sweaty action. Let’s go! Let’s see where to start… First, you are right susan and mike. I must hate Mormons to dislike the film. Sorry to disappoint you both, but I am Mormon, which by the tone of your remarks, I can tell you are as well, and probably both live in Utah or Idaho. Next to answer your questions. Yes I saw the movie. Did you read the article? Either of you? My comments on it are not ill informed. Start on imdb and list the cast, director, writer and crew and go down to see who is mormon and who is not. It’s fact not ill informed. @ Susan “Judging by what’s in the media” what does that even mean? Producers Jake Van Wagner and others are Mormon, lead actors, mormon, most of cast, mormon. Pretty easy to follow that. @Mike, 95% accurate? Where the hell are you pulling that percentage from? And it’s hard mike to “strip away” the “mormon thing” as you call it, when during the film you are being hit over the head with it like somebody swinging a set of golden plates in a burlap sack. “Hearts being touched on twitter?” You sure you aren’t mormon? Or at least living in Provo? I mean, that’s a dead give away. That’s like using the phrases “tender mercies,” “nourish and strengthen our bodies,” “ever fiber of my being,” or my favorite, “returned missionary”. There are good examples of great Mormon films. Brigham City….That’s a solid example of what I was trying to articulate below. It was a great film with great acting, and it was forging its own path cinematically. That should be the direction of Mormon Cinema. Looking to push excellence, instead of pandering. But see? We say “Mormon cinema” or “Mormon films” right? Because instead of making great movies, we tell Mormon stories to Mormons because it works in niche marketing. I dont blame them. But don’t try to pass this freaking film off as cinematic greatness. As it stands right now there is no difference between saratov approach, and kirk cameron movies. Both are just as preachy, balmy, luke warm and lazy.

  4. Susan says:

    Gregorio – did you see the movie? Of course, whether you have or have not seen it, you will feel compelled to answer yes. Judging from what’s in the media about the film, not everyone in production nor cast were Mormon. It’s being marketed across the USA. I just don’t think you know what you’re talking about. Are you sure that you are not just taking an opportunity to badmouth Mormons? It’s a popular hobby it appears. Or maybe some organisations benefit from putting them down and it is in your job description….? Not sure but your rant seems ill-informed.

  5. Mike says:

    Been tracking this project lately and its current box office success, but felt compelled to finally chime in when I read this slander: “a propaganda film for mormonism” from username gregorio:

    Since when is making a movie that is based on a true story a bad thing? (which you label as such with your totally off-base comment of it being ‘propaganda’) The movie is how it is because it is 95% accurate according to the actual people that got kidnapped. They sat there, with the director, re-telling their crazy ordeal. And then they made sure their story was brought to the big screen with the utmost accuracy. I love Hollywood films, but nowadays the whole “based on a true story” is to be taken with such a big grain of salt that “The Saratov Approach” was, dare-I-say, refreshing! And I’m not Mormon, and even further from religious to be even more frank.

    Is it a heavy vehicle right now for Mormons? You bet. The international incident happened to two MORMON missionaries. So of course Mormon viewers would be the first to assume it’s geared towards them. Does it have cross-appeal to other religions? Absolutely. The overall uplifting message of this film goes beyond a specific religion. And the trifecta: how will it affect people who are NOT religious? If it’s even half as good as how people’s hearts are touched on Twitter right now (search #SaratovApproach), then it’s a home run for all involved. The fact that it’s rated PG-13 is also great for a broader market appeal.

    If you strip away the whole “Mormon” thing, you’ll see the movie is not about pushing any religion on you. It’s about making you feel that even in the most of desperate times, good can still overcome evil. It doesn’t say you’ll only overcome it if you are Mormon, because again, this is a TRUE STORY. I don’t know one person that cannot relate to being in a tough position, especially after our economy went near The Great Depression. And while it may hit closer to home for Mormons (especially ones that are about to go serve missions like the two that were depicted in the film), the overall impact to be had is if you have a heart, you will be touched by this true story.

    Having said that, yes, it’s definitely not a perfect film. But let’s not forget this is not a studio feature either. With their limited budget, and filming primarily happening in local Utah (and some in Ukraine), I’ll assume most of the actors WERE local. Mormon? Not sure. But I know for a fact the two Russian actors that played the captors were from Los Angeles and not Mormon. But none of that matters, you see? I’ll also say that there was quite an overabundance of shaky cam usage and that the missionary actors were a bit too old to play the part, but apart from that it was a fairly solid project. A far cry from the review you linked, or your assertion on what this film was really all about.

  6. gregorio says:

    To compare the director of “scout camp” and the “saratov approach” to hitchcock is like comparing Uwe Boll to Steven Spielberg. The movie is appealing to the concentrations of mormons where the film is being screened. Read the article, Idaho, Utah, and other cities with high concentrations of mormons. On the artistic side since when are mormon missionaries in their late thirties? Both of the actors are way too old for the roles and is corbin the “go to” actor for mormon films? If it’s not propaganda, why is the films entire cast predominantly mormon, funded by mormons, filmed and made by mormons, screened for mormons, in cities with high concentrations of mormons? Propaganda is defined as “information, esp. of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause, event, situation or point of view”. If Mormons want a more broad appeal with their artistic endeavors perhaps they should try being a little less exclusive and a little more inclusive in their approach to film making. I hope you hear me on this topic, Aaron Eckhart is a great actor, not because he is mormon. Neil La Butte is a phenomenal screenwriter, not because he is mormon. They are excellent at what they do because of the sacrifice and effort for their art. As opposed to what this film is which in my opinion is lazy pandering. Hitchcock broke new ground. This film, like many faith based films, takes a religious topic and dresses it up to look hollywood. If you make a mormon themed film, by mormons, with mormons, funded by mormons and screened predominantly for mormons? It is pandering, lazy and definitely in no way hitchcock. But it is a quick way to make a buck.

  7. Susan says:

    @Gregorio – I doubt that the producers thought it would go beyond the Mormon niche, however in spite of being set up for that audience, the movie appears to be appealing to a wide-spectrum of audience members. It is reminiscent of Hitchcock and I’d be surprised if it doesn’t blow everyone away in spite of the Mormon element. Being kidnapped is a universal fear. Nothing Mormon-propaganda-ish about that.

  8. gregorio says:

    This film ends up unfortunately being a propaganda film for mormonism. It does not stand alone as great filmmaking. Soap opera acting, jumbled direction. Beyond the artistic problems I had with it, it is exactly what one reviewer talks about on filmmakingreview dot com. That while other movies have characters that are Jewish, Catholic, LGBT, whatever, their belief is a character point or a part of the film that moves it along. This was an event that took place that they could have told in a compelling way rather than playing to the niche mormon movie going crowd. Instead they play directly to it with a bullhorn in a way that makes it look like mormonism will trump all evil in the world. For that reason it will continue to do well only in areas with high concentrations of mormons and nowhere else.

  9. Arlene Bartlett says:

    Great movie. We will spread the word. Thank you. The Bartlett’s in Las Vegas.

  10. ellenicolegibson says:

    Hey does anyone know if the film is super violent? I see they get beat up, but is there anything gorey or really disturbing?

  11. Erna says:

    I saw the movie tonight in Mesa AZ. I absolutely loved it. There were however very few young people it was more middle aged folk and older like myself. We laughed, we cried and we clapped at the end. Where did those wonderful faithful missionaries serve the remainder of their mission?
    Thanks for a great movie.

  12. jody says:

    Note to Author: This comment should be corrected as Mormons are Christian.

    “Unlike Christian faith-based films, whose producers use ministry outreach to promote their films,
    Mormons do not allow promoting materials for commercial gain in their congregations.”

    Perhaps rephrasing it to say Unlike Protestant Christian faith-based films….

    (Mormons are not a protestant faith) – Just wishing for accuracy. Thank You!

    • Mormons are more than Christian. They’re Saints, claiming authority to officiate in the administrations and ordinances of the Church of Jesus Christ, not just approaching the representation of it. An honest, clear effort to distinguish the difference between other Christian-based faiths is appropriate. There must be a reason why the Church is not named The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Christians…Something to think about.

  13. kingporthos says:

    Also, for those of you who have the interest, check out “James, the Brother of Jesus” by Robert Eisenmann. It is a massive tome that will teach you more about Jesus in the first hundred pages than you have learned in all of your doctrinal pursuits. See also “How Jesus Became Christian” by Barrie Wilson, “The Mythmaker: Paul and the Invention of Christianity” by Hyam MacCoby, and “The Jesus Dynasty: The Hidden History of Jesus, His Royal Family, and the Birth of Christianity” by James D. Tabor.

    Happy reading!

  14. kingporthos says:

    BTW, the author of “Catholicism” was Richard P. McBrien, 1994.

  15. ldsknack says:

    if you can’t take a little ribbing about your religion you might be a radical…..

    • kingporthos says:

      Sixtus, your brain must be minimus. I do not question your faith in your doctrine, only the factual truthfulness of that doctrine. Remember, just because cockroaches outnumber humans does not mean that they are the superior species. And, likewise, just because Catholics outnumber all other Christians does not mean that Catholic doctrine is more “true” or correct. If you wish to keep following doctrine espoused by men in expensive dresses who wear pointy hats, then more power to you. Just please refrain from polluting cyberspace with your fantasy drivel. Thanks you and have a blessed day!

  16. ldsknack says:

    I think I like this kingporthos

  17. Ace says:

    Some, not all, thankfully, don’t really want the truth and have a loving, intelligent, and engaging discussion. I’m going to my independent Baptist church that preaches and practices the truth in love. We help each other, in our local communities, all over this world, hope some of you will join us one day. Thanks to those who responded peacefully and lovingly as decent human beings should.

    • kingporthos says:

      Sorry, Ace. But your earlier comments below are anything but loving: abusive, self-righteous, pedantic twaddle based on your limited understanding of flawed doctrine. ALL Protestant doctrine flows from Catholic doctrine. Protestants “protested” the abuses of the Catholic church–Martin Luther, anyone?–and gained their name thereby. Protestantism, including Baptist theology, derives from Catholicism, period. In a book called “Catholicism” written by the then-dean of religious studies at Notre Dame University about 20 years ago, the author acknowledged in a chapter entitled “The Triune God” that (1) the doctrine doesn’t appear in the Old Testament, (2) it doesn’t appear in the New Testament, and (3) a true understanding of the Trinity was “slowly and often unevenly developed over the course of some fifteen centuries” after the crucifixion of Jesus. That doctrine doesn’t sound very authentic if it took 15 centuries to “develop.” Please stop repeating the fairy-tale pronouncements derived and diluted from centuries-old falsehoods designed to subjugate and control the lives of all whom the church touched. Develop a relationship with your Father, who art in heaven, and not with his messenger and servant Jesus of Nazareth.

      • kingporthos says:

        Sixtus, God didn’t found the Catholic church, Constantine did 3 centuries later. Your dearth of facts is appalling. Please stop commenting because your ignorance of fact is hurting our brains!

    • renov8s13 says:

      Babtist. That explains everything now.

    • ldsknack says:

      baptists…..

  18. Ace says:

    I cannot believe anyone who calls others “idiots”, for you speak not the truth as it is not done in love and with a proper understanding of the Scriptures. Jesus was worshipped and He rebuked them not, He is the Saviour and salvation is only of the Lord Jehovah, Jesus Christ.

    • renov8s13 says:

      When the jehovah are on my street. I quickly do a police chalk outline of a person on my porch.

    • kingporthos says:

      Ah, you must be the number one idiot who refuses to acknowledge the actual text of Scripture to propound an imagined doctrine that has been corrupted by the political influences of corrupt European religious leaders for the last seventeen hundred years. Good job! Keep up with that ardent belief in a ridiculous fairy tale brought to you by those that sponsored the Crusades and the Inquisition!

  19. Neal B. Forzodd says:

    Can you just shut up? My gawwwwd, man. look at yourself. You’re commenting about a group of people’s salvation who know nothing about. Who the H are you to judge another’s faith? any faith? – much less these Mormons who as i see it, do their best to be christ-like people. Just grow up and stop it with your petty differences. Worry about yourself. How’s that?

    • Chaylon Holland says:

      Neil, what if his comments are true. You must admit, giving truth to someone who lives under a lie is a very loving thing to do, regardless of the subject matter.

    • Ace says:

      What about freedom of speech, I see you have lots of love coming out of you. I used to be Mormon, so, yes, I do know what I am talking about. Growing up means to know the truth, speak the truth in love. Sad to say, you haven’t grown up. Are you concerned about the truth? I pity you if you don’t repent. What in the world was wrong, from the Scriptures, that I said. Why have such a hissy fit over it?

  20. renov8s13 says:

    The south park episode will always be my favorite mormon story.

  21. JMarcus says:

    This movie looks really good. I can’t wait until it comes to town.

  22. Clay says:

    I wonder if it will play in New York? Given the success of Mormonism mockery on Broadway there might be interest in something that portrays us in a more positive way. It will be interesting to see.

  23. ldsknack says:

    what is foolish about sending your “young man” out into the world, teach and help others, and gain experiences that will help him throughout his life? what a great opportunity to learn about the world and the people that live in it.

  24. ldsknack says:

    wow. the trinity didn’t come about until Constantinople (Nicene Creed). Nice try.

    • The Holy Trinty has always been! The Three Angles visited Abraham in the tent is pointing to the Holy Trinty. Almighty God has exclaimed Himself in the plural as “Us” not Me! Just because it was written in the Nicean Creed, it was doctrine well, well before that! Have Faith!

    • Ace says:

      Baptists have always believed in the trinity because it is in the Bible, who cares about manmade creeds.

  25. coco says:

    Sixtus, I agree with you, but it still looks like a great movie. Jesus will sort out all of the untruths in due time, and God will judge us all on how we loved one another. In the meantime, our Morman brothers and sisters give a great example as to having God and family at the center of your life. If this movie comes to my largely Catholic community, I’ll go see it!

    • Neal B. Forzodd says:

      Ace said: “His word plainly declares that those who deny the deity of Christ, as Mormons do, are not Christians.”

      WOW. That statement alone shows how very little you know about Mormons and Christians. *shaking my head at you* I challenge you to find a group of faithful Christians who are more Christian than Mormons who actually make an effort to be kind and charitable to others, following the admonition of Paul. – for “we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.” – and that is CHRIST. Amen. game over. There is none other way . .just Christ. so just stop it. You’re embarrassing yourself with your ignorance. Please.

    • amh says:

      Ace, I’m sorry that your information and understanding of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is so incorrect. We most definitely believe in the deity of Christ! We are called the Church of “Jesus Christ” after all! Please go to lds.org to learn more, correct information.

    • No, this is a very good story about to people following their faith and how they try to escape their fate and try to find away to survive. But here the Saints of the Catholic Faith like St. Peter and St. Paul who embraced their cross and met their fate in heroic Martyrdom in a humble manner not trying to escape unless an angel comes and break the chains or earthquakes! Again it’s a great story and film!

      • kingporthos says:

        Um, the earliest Baptists date to about 1609 and the first pastor was John Smyth, not to be confused with Joseph Smith 2 centuries later. So, are you trying to make us believe that John the Baptist started the Baptists in 1609 when he was clearly beheaded in ~30 AD? Do you not even know your own history, yet are so quick to disparage others?

  26. mark says:

    Jesus wasn’t a Christian, assuming that he existed at all.

    The human mind is not capable of grasping the Universe. We are like a little child entering a huge library. The walls are covered to the ceilings with books in many different tongues. The child knows that someone must have written these books. It does not know who or how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. But the child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books, a mysterious order which it does not comprehend, but only dimly suspects.
    
- Albert Einstein

    “Let the human mind loose. It must be loose. It will be loose. Superstition and dogmatism cannot confine it.”
    – John Adams

    “I have examined all the known superstitions of the word, and I do not find in our particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology. Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned. What has been the effect of this coercion? To make one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites; to support roguery and error all over the earth.”
    – Thomas Jefferson

    “What influence in fact have Christian ecclesiastical establishments had on civil society? In many instances they have been upholding the thrones of political tyranny. In no instance have they been seen as the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wished to subvert the public liberty have found in the clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate liberty, does not need the clergy.”
    – James Madison

    “In no instance have the churches been guardians of the liberties of the people.”
    – James Madison

    “A firehouse is more useful than a church.”
    – Benjamin Franklin

    • Ace says:

      And your evidence is…

    • Jesus Christ is real. He is God and He is more alive now 2000 years after His Resurrection! He is present at all the Catholic Masses around the world where His true disciples eat His Sacred Body and Blood in the Holy Eucharist everyday! Jesus Christ’s Sacred Heart beats and Breathes through the Holy Catholic Church! So wake up and search for Him in the silence and in the silence you will find Him waiting for you, my friends!

    • Ariel says:

      One good John Adams quote deserves another:

      “The Christian religion is, above all the religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern times, the religion of wisdom, virtue, equity and humanity, let the Blackguard Paine say what he will.”

      Not to imply that Mormonism is a Christian sect, btw.

  27. ldsknack says:

    it helps to get out and see the world before you pass judgment on others….

  28. Mormongirl says:

    Wow, it is obvious from so many comments that are hateful and false that there are many who truly know nothing about the Mormon religion. There are so many false ideas about the church. Where are they coming from? Satan is a strong force to keep people from knowing truth. I would suggest studying the religion on mormon.org or lds.org, you don’t have to join just be more accurate in your statements. Unless you educate yourself on the matter, you don’t have any right to make up false statements concerning the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We are an honest, Jesus loving, hard working moral people. We don’t worship Joseph Smith but believe he interpreted ancient scripture testifying of a visit from Jesus to the ancient American continent. In the bible Christ said, in John 10:16 “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” Makes sense to me. If you don’t believe in the bible…well, that’s your problem.

    • pixartink says:

      I think you can use all the propaganda against mormonism you want, that obviously you spent some time acquiring, or you can study the doctrine to know if there is goodness in the Mormon religion. The question is, why all the hostility towards it? Something to think about…

      As far as the comment about someone knowing a “bad mormon” well there are “bad catholics, lutherans atheists, etc.” there are also great catholics, lutherans, atheists etc. Not all practice what they preach and we are all human and make mistakes. That is why we have the atonement.

      I am a Mormon I love all people, you are free to believe what you will. This is America. You can state your views, but be kind. I look forward to seeing the movie, and that’s what this was all about afterall.

    • renov8s13 says:

      “We are an honest, Jesus loving, hard working moral people.” you say. But, I have had a completely different experience with one of your brothers. He presented himself at a very devote Mormon. underneath he hid his true self. After working with him for 2 years, trust me, the hatred towards people and especially his wife was aweful. And guess what, He got fired from his job for a pack of lies and illegal activity.

    • SDA27 says:

      Mormongirl, what false comment did Atilla The Hunney make? Kook – Josephs Smith, at certain times in his life, was a “money digger” who stuck his head in a hat to look at his sear stone to search for lost treasure. No record exists that this method of treasure hunting produced any treasure. This is not disputed, and even fairlds.org, Richard Bushman, FARMS, and every other faithful LDS defender concedes this, i.e. that Joseph Smith really did stick his head in a hat to look at his peep stone for lost treasure. False Prophet – We do not have the original BOM Plates, so it is impossible to compare the current version (or original manuscript) to the actual plates. However, the ONLY two “translations” that we can compare to the original text are the Pearl of Great Price (Book of Abraham), and the Kinderhook Plates. The Kinderhook Plates was a 19th Century Fabrication devised to deceive Joseph Smith, and it worked. Joseph Smith attempted to translate them (see the Official Church History), and just finally, within the past ten years, the LDS Defenders noted above finally have admitted that the Kinderhook Plates are false, and that Joseph Smith was translating them with his “secular eyes,” not his spiritual eyes, hence his translation is bogus. Even more telling, almost no accredited, non-LDS Egyptologist believes that the BOA is authentic. The papyri from which Joseph Smith “translated” the BOA has been reviewed and determined to be simply a funerary text. Pedophile – Joseph Smith was married to at least 30 women while he was alive, ten of whom were already married, and one was 14 years-old, Heber C. Kimball’s daughter. Moreover, he married other teenage girls as well. This is accepted by the LDS Church and it’s defenders. So, in conclusion, stop playing the typical Mormon Victim card. It is ENTIRELY reasonable for a normal, objective to person to have serious issues with Joseph Smith and make the claims that Atilla TheHunney made. Whether it means the Church is true or not, is another issue, but it’s time you, and the rest of the Members be a little more reasonable and educated about our religion. Also, please fact check, just try, and you only need to use LDS friendly websites.

  29. It is sad that Mormons, as well as many others, fall into the catagory of what the Apostle Paul speaks about in Romans 10:1-4. “Brothers, my hearts desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.” http://downtownministries.blogspot.com/

    • Robert Bryan says:

      SPOT ON. As a former Mormon, who was diligently trying to work my way to Godhood, I know of what I speak. The grace of God surpasses all understanding — but it His way, not ours.

      • ldsknack says:

        David Tiffany, How do you love your neighbor as yourself? This is a commandment of God and all other commandments (other than loving God) spring from this one. All the ‘work’ we do is in accordance to this commandment.

        When you perform charitable work, do you not feel better? Why would you think that all you need is Baptism (another commandment required to be saved) is all you need to be saved?

        I honestly do not think that any believes that you can take the life of another and receive exaltation (with obvious exceptions such as self defense).

      • ldsknack says:

        good luck with that….

      • I myself was a former Mormon, now saved by grace alone. As in the comment below, Mormons will generally try to convince others that they don’t believe in salvation by works, but their own teachings contradict that.
        http://www.lds.org/manual/aaronic-priesthood-manual-1/lesson-30-the-plan-of-salvation?lang=eng&query=one+way+ticket
        Scripture and discussion
        Have the young men read again Abraham 3:25.

        •According to this scripture, why is earth life so important? (We are being tested to see if we will obey the Lord’s commandments.)

        •If we obey the commandments, what will happen?

        Emphasize that this is the way we obtain our return ticket home to our Heavenly Father.

      • ldsknack says:

        every “Mormon” knows that only through Jesus Christ will we gain exaltation. people get confused that the “work” we do will bring us salvation but we know it is not so. We do charitable things to become more like the Savior, not to be the Savior. We help others because we know it is the right thing to do. We try to live our lives in the most righteous manner as possible but we also understand that we are not perfect and only through the grace of God’s Son will we have a chance of salvation.

        period.

  30. Bobbo says:

    How about the movie(s) regarding Mountain Meadows???

    Ahhh, that’s right, not so interested.

    The Mormons were expelled from Russia because they were going through the public records to baptize the dead. They were told to stop. They didn’t. They should have.

  31. Wen says:

    I hope it comes to the big screen in Katy Texas!

  32. Steve says:

    This is a story about a movie. But it seems everyone likes to get off topic. Sounds like an interesting movie and I would like to see it. I only have one comment – isn’t the definition of a Christian some that believes in Jesus Christ? I mean there are about 41,000 different denominations of the Christian religions that all seem to have their own little twist on what they believe. But still the center of their religion is Jesus Christ.

    • lesellers says:

      How can one cram so many distortions into a single paragraph?

      There is not a single sentence in your post that is true.

    • ldsknack says:

      i have studied it for 30 years… it is the truth.

    • Mesa Sun Devil says:

      Atilla, Could you please provide examples of the plagiary of the Old Testament contained in the Book of Mormon? I have read and studied both books and would be interested in seeing these examples… I must have missed them.

  33. baldrnyu says:

    All you have to do is mention the word “Mormon” and the same trolls come out that show their hate for blacks and people of other political persuasions. I am not LDS, but I pity the hate they have for my honest, hardworking neighbors. It makes me ashamed that these bible thumpers who call themselves Christians. They have no idea what it means to be a Christian.

    • marlene stevens says:

      I don’t know where you live but I am in Alabama and I am a Mormon convert. Our Stake President is Black and a good friend of ours. We don’t hate anyone with other political persuasions here but have sure felt the reverse discrimination. Maybe you need to see how different things are in our part of the country. I pity you for whatever has brought you to thinking this way. Must have been a really bad experience with someone.

      • Patricia says:

        Unfortunately what the guy is saying is that you aren’t allowed to disagree with anyone because disagreement now means hate

      • Darrell says:

        I think baldrnyu was not saying Mormons were hateful, quite the opposite. They are saying those that hate on Mormons, blacks, etc. are “trolls” and hypocritical. At least that is what I read from their comment.

  34. Steve Kartchner says:

    Can you people get over your petty bickering and realize this movie is about an international political incident. The fact that the guys who were abducted happened to be Mormon is pretty much irrelevant. Think about it, the president of the United States put his weight into the game for two Americans. If I remember correctly Bill Clinton has never been and is not now Mormon, he was the President of the United States of America. I have no doubt that the film will show the two young men relying heavily on there faith in God, but so would a Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist, Muslim or any other person with faith in God in such a situation. I also have no doubt that the makers of the film targeted a Mormon audience for capital gain, but so what.
    IMNSHO take your bible thumping elsewhere.

    • Patricia says:

      Unfortunately what the guy is saying is that you aren’t allowed to disagree with anyone because disagreement now means hate

  35. mary Louise says:

    This is a movie for all ages and all faiths .. it is wonderfully done and carries message for all no matter what your beliefs .. the questions are who are we really ???
    and what am I made of ????

  36. Jman says:

    Actually, the bigots here are anti-mormon “Christians.” Sad.

    • Anon1068 says:

      The Evangelicals profess to be followers of Christ. Yet, Christ taught to “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” I have never seems religious group filled with more hatred than the Evangelicals. And they love to spend their time attacking other Christians in their hatred. They call Christians who are of a different variation “cults” and use that as an excuse to spew their vile, hate filled words. I am sure Christ would be so proud to have them call themselves his followers.

      In reality, as a Christian, I think he weeps for them.

  37. SteChatte says:

    So were they tortured for being supremely obnoxious and constantly bothering people up and down the neighborhood…or possibly did some excessively strict Soviet leftovers have a problem with 21-year-olds misrepresenting themselves as “Elders”?

    • Lois says:

      If you had followed what happened when it happened or had seen the movie at least, you would know that is not what happened. Just curious, how do you misrepresent yourself as an “Elder”? Just because you don’t agree with their difinition doesn’t make it wrong.

    • Jman says:

      You are neither clever nor interesting. But you keep grinding that axe.

  38. ldsknack says:

    oh, like Christians, Catholics, or any other faith doesn’t have shameful events perpatrated by humans in their closets….unbelievable

  39. Craig says:

    The movie was excellent and, whether you are a Mormon or not (or even a believer of any type), it is worth seeing.

    Among the many great segments of the film was one that I thought was particularly good. It showed how people of different faiths, as well as those with no religious background, came together to pray for and/or send good wishes for these Mormon missionaries and their families.

    This event, for a short time, broke down religious and political barriers and that is a great message for not only then but also today.

  40. warren wilson says:

    Correction:
    Unlike OTHER Christian faith-based films, whose producers use ministry outreach to promote their films, Mormons do not allow promoting materials for commercial gain in their congregations.

    • Jason says:

      No they said it correctly since Mormons are not Christians.

      • Thomas says:

        Jason,
        I think you should try a different approach. Catholic, Orthrodox and Protestant Christians don’t recognize the book of Mormon as scripture. The disconnect stems from their mistaken reliance on this false testament about the nature of Jesus. The silver lining is that their hearts have the desire to know Jesus and praise be to God for that.

      • Anon1068 says:

        You bigotry and hatred are very pleasing to the Christ you profess to follow.

      • Mormon and Proud says:

        Jason, The Definition of “Christian” is – One who Believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ. Hence the name “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints”. If you still have doubts check out “The Articles of Faith” They describe in 13 easily read paragraphs what “Our” Beliefs are.

      • jorden says:

        Every Mormon church has on the side of it The Church Of Jesus Christ on the side of it, every single one. Not Christians? I find that hard to believe.

  41. Im an atheist and this looks good

  42. Andrew See says:

    Saw this movie. Powerful stuff. Hope this gets a wide release.

  43. Jake Grafton says:

    I am God and I created this universe with a billion galaxies, each with a 100 billion stars, each with a set of planets. A universe so vast that we cannot see the edge. I put life on JUST one planet though. I really care what these people THAT I INVENTED think of me. In fact, they better beg every Sunday for me to forgive them, or I will banish them to HELL!!!! ….these people that I created.

    I DEMAND TO BE WORSHIPPED! One ‘thank you’ is not enough by the way. EVERY SUNDAY….Christmas too, and on some churchy holidays.

    Oh, and by the way, all the other religions…they are totally crazy and wrong.

    God out.

    • Goodthingthebibleisn'ttheend says:

      http://www.lds.org/scriptures/pgp/moses/1.39

      35 But only an account of this earth, and the inhabitants thereof, give I unto you. For behold, there are many worlds that have passed away by the word of my power. And there are many that now stand, and innumerable are they unto man; but all things are numbered unto me, for they are mine and I know them.

      38 And as one earth shall pass away, and the heavens thereof even so shall another come; and there is no end to my works, neither to my words.

      39 For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.

    • Mike says:

      I’m confused. Your message contends their is no God yet you pretend to be God to get your message across.
      Which is it?

    • Craig says:

      A helpful hint, Jake; before publicly demonstrating your ignorance of Mormon doctrine, you really should do a little research.

      I am sure I am not the only Latter-day Saint that chuckled at your apparent ignorance.

      Feel free to Google, “And worlds without end have I created…” You may also want to read some of the Mormon teachings to understand that the Latter-day Saint concept of God is far from what you depicted above.

    • ldsknack says:

      so God thinks every religion is crazy and wrong except which one?

  44. Joe says:

    I’d rather have Mormon neighbors than nearly any other kind of people. I’m not Mormon either.

    • Anna says:

      Actually I preferred the movie September Dawn. A truer vision of mormonism. After 34 years in the same home we moved because of our mormon neighbors. They encroached on every neighbor’s property. They seemed to think that God gave them the whole neighborhood.

      • Rob says:

        Yes, we are taught in our church services to have no respect for others property. Really? I had an annoying born again neighbor once too but I didn’t fault the religion. Crazy.

      • Mike says:

        In your ignorance you blame a religion instead of the people who you say offended you.

      • dennis brown says:

        Don’t talk bad about Mormons. I have been in love with Marie Osmond since I was a teenager

      • yes, your petty dispute and grudge is a great reason to think poorly of an entire group of people and follow your advice to “learn of them” by way of un-objective propaganda? Bitter are you?

      • ldsknack says:

        don’t blame that on the Church. some people are just inconsiderate…..

  45. ldsknack says:

    People not of the LDS faith always seem to know what “we” believe. just so you know, Jesus is the Creator of this World. silly silly people. I am so thankful that for the last 237 years we have had a Constitution that allows for the freedom of Religion. How about you “Christians” stop hating and start trying to get along so we can get this country back on track.

    • mark says:

      How could Jesus be the creator of this world when the Earth had already been here for over four billion years before he was born? And where in the Bible, or Book of Mormon, or any other religious dogma does it mention dinosaurs or other long extinct species?

      Believing the Earth is six thousand years old should have been left behind in the Bronze Age.

    • jody says:

      Amen bro!

  46. Vasco DeGama says:

    still like South Park’s history of Mormonism best….

  47. jody says:

    It is TRUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! have u read the book of mormon??????????????? do it, ask God if it is true………….. he will answer uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu.

  48. Minumus says:

    Bugbear!

    Glad adherents of the bugbear (the definition of “Mormon”) get something to watch.

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