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The Restoration (2004)

| Short | 2004 (USA)
14-year-old Joseph Smith lives in upstate New York in the early 19th century. His father is a Christian man of faith, but chooses not to attend church with his mother and siblings. Several ... See full summary »

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Dustin Harding ...
Joseph Smith (uncredited)
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14-year-old Joseph Smith lives in upstate New York in the early 19th century. His father is a Christian man of faith, but chooses not to attend church with his mother and siblings. Several local preachers argue with one another about points of doctrine. Joseph begins to ask his family members and various preachers questions about doctrine. Joseph decides that he wants to find out which church he should join to be saved. He attends the meetings of various denominations and finds they all interpret the Bible differently. Eventually, while studying the Bible, Joseph concludes that neither his fellow mortals nor an appeal to the Bible can provide him with the answers he is seeking. Joseph goes into the woods to follow James' instructions and "ask of God. (James 1:5)" What happens next will change his life...and the lives of millions.

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Quest for faith
18 February 2012 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

This short subject produced by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is a retelling of the spiritual awakening of the first prophet of said church Joseph Smith. Young Dustin Harding steps into the shoes of such celebrated players as Vincent Price who portrayed Smith albeit at a latter stage of life.

Someone had a nice eye for details in portraying life on the settled frontier and might have seen the John Ford classic Young Mr. Lincoln which beautifully depicts that era. Where Smith grew up in Palmyra, New York was the scene of many religious movements, lots of evangelism took place in that area known as the 'Burned Over District' do to the various preachers telling of fire and brimstone. From that area came a kind of Christian socialism from John Randolph Noyes and also the anti-Mason movement started in the same area of upstate/western New York. In fact a good deal of the film showing the teenage Smith's quest for a proper faith shows him listening to many preachers talking and recruiting for their faith.

Dustin Harding seems to have made a career of playing of playing the young Joseph Smith, he's done it in several projects and has appeared in an occasional mainstream film.

The Restoration is a decent and sincere film depicting how Joseph Smith found his faith climaxed by that vision of angels that came to him in Palmyra. Who knows what he saw, but no denying what he inspired. The film is a lot better than many mainline evangelical films I've seen and reviewed here.


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