Recently moved to upstate New York from the comfort of their Vermont homestead, the Benjamin Steed family makes their way into the established social structure of Palmyra. In their attempt ... See full summary »


Russell Holt (as Russ Holt)


Russell Holt (as Russ Holt), Gerald N. Lund (novel)





Cast overview, first billed only:
Sam Hennings ... Benjamin Steed
Brenda Strong ... Mary Ann Steed
Eric Johnson ... Joshua Steed
Alexander Carroll ... Nathan Steed
Tiffany Dupont ... Lydia McBride
Brighton Hertford Brighton Hertford ... Melissa Steed / Narrator
Kimberly Varadi ... Becca Steed
Colin Ford ... Matthew Steed
Kathryn Firago Kathryn Firago ... Hannah McBride
Jim Grimshaw ... Josiah McBride
Jonathan Scarfe ... Joseph Smith
Sarah Darling ... Emma Smith
Edward Albert ... Martin Harris
Ryan Wood Ryan Wood ... Hyrum Smith
Jordan Rose Tarter Jordan Rose Tarter ... Sophronia Smith


Recently moved to upstate New York from the comfort of their Vermont homestead, the Benjamin Steed family makes their way into the established social structure of Palmyra. In their attempt to settle peacefully into the new community, they discover that the help they have hired to clear their land is at the center of a religious controversy - a controversy that threatens to tear the family apart. As two of the Steed brothers contend for the favor of a wealthy merchant's daughter, they find themselves on opposite sides of the religious question. Although the family struggles to smooth the contention, they soon face deeper issues of family loyalty and the pursuit of truth. Written by SD

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


One Man....A Remarkable Vision; One Family....A Desperate Struggle


Romance | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some mild thematic elements and violence

Did You Know?


The script required composer Sam Cardon to write an original period violin piece that the character of Lydia McBride would play. He anticipated that Tiffany Dupont, who plays Lydia would just act like she was playing for the camera and then they would mix the sound in for the final cut. But by mere chance, Tiffany Dupont majored in violin at the University of Georgia and she ended up playing the piece live for the camera. See more »


Joshua Steed says he is regressing back to an ape but Charles Darwin didn't publish his theory of evolution till 1859. Almost 30 years after the time period in the film. See more »


Hyrum Smith: You really need to stop beating everybody in stick pull.
See more »


Followed by The Work and the Glory II: American Zion (2005) See more »

User Reviews

A Solid Effort for LDS Cinema
12 February 2005 | by bpolhemusSee all my reviews

My wife and I had just completed reading all nine volumes of TW&TG just a month or so previous to our taking in the motion picture. We are fortunate that we live in one of the few areas outside the Wasatch Front that is privileged to get these films for short engagements at one single Mega-plex here in west Houston.

I had read reviews here and elsewhere that had led me to believe the quality of the acting would be "below average," but I have to say that I cannot agree. No one is bucking for an "Oscar" here but the acting is at least on the level of your typical made-for-TV miniseries, the like of which were popular in the late-70s and 80s. Even some of the minor characters like that of "Will Murdock" were played quite believably; I did not note much in the way of "hammy" quality even in those scenes where you might expect it (crowd scenes e.g.) With minor changes the story was faithful to the first volume of Lund's "nonology," and although I thought the part of Joseph Smith Jr. was ably played the focus really was on the Steed family and friends and the reactions of those protagonists to what was transpiring.

They spent a good amount of script-time on the conflict between the family members--especially Joshua and his father--and I thought did a good job of efficiently moving the story along without the benefit of "backstory" that the novel affords.

I think I enjoyed most of all the seemingly accurate depiction of American frontier life in the 1830s (even though like the book, the dialog is glaringly "modern"), and the score.

The music's effectiveness was accompanied by a very good audio track that allowed a clear understanding of what was being said (even asides by "extras" during crowd scenes). The sound quality overall was just superb.

The camera work was likewise. I am amazed at how well-lighted even a low-budget film like this can be given current technology. There were a few scenes that were rather dim, but I thought this actually contributed to the feeling of being there at a time when coal-lamps were the source of light after dark. One scene of this type that comes to mind was that of Mary Ann Steed reading the concluding verses of the Gospel of John early on an Easter Sunday.

All in all, I quite enjoyed this film and will be sure to pick it up on DVD when it is released. I am quite critical of independent LDS films because I think too many of them fail to measure up to the standards set by the BYU Film Department/LDS Film Studios' official releases for the Church, most of which are about as good as they come.

I thought The Work and the Glory set the bar a little higher, and hope that the production company is able to realize a profit on the release so that we might possibly look forward to a continuation of the Steed saga in future releases based on the Lund series of books.

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Release Date:

21 January 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Pillar of Light: The Work and the Glory See more »

Filming Locations:

Johnson City, Tennessee, USA See more »


Box Office


$7,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$251,145, 28 November 2004

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

Manchester Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


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