(Scroll down and push the pause button on the music)
Tonight I feel my heart is too full to adequately express my thoughts in writing. The Church had a private premiere for the Brethren and their families and all the General Auxiliary leaders at the Jordan Commons Theater to see the film, "Emma Smith, My Story". It may be the first time a Prophet has had a congregation stand for him in a Movie Theater!
Emma Hale Smith endured more hardships, anguish, and trial in her lifetime, never once leaving Joseph's side. Many people do not know her story, and therefore judge her for falling away from the Church after the Martyrdom at Carthage Jail. When the prophet, Joseph Smith was martyred, six of 11 children had already been buried and four and half months later David Hyrum was born. During a segment when Joseph is reassuring his mother, Luck Mack Smith (another strong woman) that "Emma is a strong woman", Lucy responds, "But being strong can be a very lonely thing." I am truly amazed that Emma endured as much as she did. She truly was and is "an elect woman of God".
Present at the premiere, were about 20 of the descendants of the Smith family, none of which are members of the Church. Recently, President Hinckley and each of the Brethren asked each of us to pray for the Smith Family descendants all over the world that "they can be gathered in, brought within the power and inspiration and covenant of baptism, to participate in those sacred ordinances that were revealed to us, and to the world, by the prophet Joseph Smith."(Pres. Boyd K. Packer)
According to the producers, Mike Kennedy and Paul Savage, the main purpose in producing the film is to bring the Smith's heritage to a knowledge of their legacy. One third of Joseph and Emma's descendants live in Australia. (I never knew that!) While they had documents and diaries from Emma (some never before seen in Utah), they don't fully comprehend their place in history. Kennedy said this film is meant to help fulfill the promises made in the Doctrine and Covenants Section 109: 68-70. He is the first male descendant of Emma and Joseph's to join the LDS church.
The entire cast of the production (the same cast from "Joseph Smith, The Prophet") was in attendance. At the conclusion of this powerful production, we made our way to the exit, though I felt compelled and prompted to thank "Emma" (Katherine Nelson-Thompson). Before expressing my gratitude to her, I found myself looking up at "Joseph", shaking his hand, managing only to utter the words "Thank You" amidst the stream of tears running down my cheeks. I immediately looked over at Katherine who had separated herself momentarily from the crowd, also overcome by the incredible Spirit present. I could have let her be, but I felt so strongly I needed to thank her. As if the Spirit was moving my feet in her direction, she came towards me as well and it was though our hearts spoke to each other and we hugged for several moments, tears streaming down both of our faces. I simply whispered, "Thank You" in her ear and then turned and walked away.
I hope each of you will take the opportunity to go see this production. When I returned home tonight, I visited the darkened room of my baby girl, peacefully sleeping away in her crib, kneeling by her bedside and with heavy heart, thanking my Heavenly Father for this beautiful life I have been given.
How blessed we are to know: To know that this Church is true and that is was restored by a true Prophet of God. As mothers, we can look to Emma as a powerful example of faith unwavering, endless endurance, and immeasurable strength. Today, 13 million strong, the
Church goes forward...and so does she.