Tonight, we watched "The Restoration" for FHE. There are so many things I love about that movie. I may even venture to say that it is my favorite movie. (For contrast, the second place movie is "What's Up Doc?") Granted, the story of the First Vision always brings the Spirit but many of the reasons it is my favorite don't have much to do with story itself.
1. It takes place in Palmyra. I loved my time in Rochester and tonight I even whispered to Doug, "Sure you don't want to move there?" (Then I considered how hard I've heard the NY pharmacy law board exam is and I changed my mind.) Still, it is a beautiful part of the country and I have many fond memories of the area. I frequently found solace in the forests and hills and gorges of the area.
2. They were filming the movie right when I first moved to the area. Therefore, there are a few familiar faces in the film. (More on that later.)
3. The film was released to DVD while I was on my mission and we were able to use it as a great missionary tool. So, not only does it bring back great memories of being in Rochester and my time when I was just starting to grow my testimony, but also of my mission and all the testimony changes that occurred there. I have so many memories of how I felt while watching the film with investigators.
4. I love the little side-story of the Dad carving the little horse for his son. I love that they tie it in with the scriptures to help us realize exactly what I stated in #4 - that Heavenly Father is aware of us and wants the best for us. He will carve out the treasures of our lives.
5. The first time I was watching it on my mission was during a bit of a difficult time. I was struggling with feelings of frustration and inadequacy in sharing the gospel with my parents. And I felt somewhat alone on my mission since I did not receive much support from them. They did try by sending packages once and a while but didn't understand the concepts of weekly emails or letters. Near the end of the film, (during the scene when they are passing the sacrament), my friend, Brother Molinari, is in the background. You may recall that Brother Molinari was very influential in my decision to serve a mission. He too left under similar circumstances in regards to family support and seeing just a glimpse of him in the film gave me a reassurance that Heavenly Father was fully aware of my trials and concerns and that He would provide supports and anchors for me.
I am grateful for such films and their ability to touch our minds and our hearts with the Spirit. I am grateful for Joseph Smith and all that he endured to bring about the Restoration of the Gospel. And I am grateful for a Master Architect at work to bring about the salvation of man.