|Diane, Dawn, Me, Jan, Kembe|
Let me be honest, I wasn't super excited about Meet the Mormons because why would I need to meet any more? I also was indeed surprised that the LDS Church was going to release a film in theaters. By the way, this particular movie was originally created to be shown in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, but had such positive reviews at other prescreenings, that they decided to take it to THE big screen, not just one big screen.
If you are a Latter-day Saint you will enjoy the film and might even cry. If you are not a Latter-day Saint and are curious about Mormons and what they're really like, this will give you a feel for what they are trying to accomplish in life. If you don't like Mormons and don't want to know anything about them, but for some weird reason see the movie anyway, if you take the Mormon element out of the film, you are left with stories of humanity where people are trying to better their own lives and the lives of people around them. You realize there is goodness left in the world. Some people are drawn to that goodness, and the people in this film happen to be tied together after the pattern of Christ because of their religion. No matter your feelings about Mormons, you won't go away from the film feeling yucky.
Now, because this was a prescreening, those of us there had some little perks. For one, I got to meet and sit by Kembe Sullivan from Atlanta who is the wife of the bishop in the movie. During the question and answer period after the film, we learned that she was born in Kenya, lived in South Africa, immigrated to California, and now lives in Georgia. Her cute kids are now 10, 8, and 4, I think, which is really close in age to my kids! Someone asked if there were any "I wishes" after the filming. Kembe said she wished she wouldn't have sounded so whiney getting the kids ready for church. At the time of filming she said she was working at a "brick and mortar" school, so her husband actually got the kids ready for the day most of the time, so I guess she didn't feel justified complaining when she only had to do it one day a week. Either way, though, for whomever gets the kids ready, it is hard work! Another funny thing Kembe shared was that her husband asked the public affairs person in their ward to find someone to be interviewed for the documentary. She tried, but returned to him without luck and asked, "why don't you do it?" and he said ok.
I was also able to meet Dawn Armstrong, "The Missionary Mom" from Utah. Again, I have to be honest: I knew her story was last, so it had to be good, but I seriously wondered how the story of a mom from Utah could warrant the finale of the film? I don't know how much I want to spoil it, but her story did not disappoint. She has overcome really hard things, but because of good choices, she is in a great spot now. She's had eight children, and her oldest son, now returned from his mission, encouraged their family to participate in this project. I don't think Dawn thinks she has such a powerful story, so it's wonderful that her son pushed for it. She said she only wishes that there could have been more of an introduction to her family in the film.
The story of the football coach was great, as was the boxer, and the humanitarian, but I have to say always one of my favorites is that of Gail Halvorsen, the Candy Bomber. I cried through most all of his. Maybe it's black and white pictures that make me cry. We'll blame it on that. I just love how he gave so many people hope in such a dreadful time of history. I think I also get emotional because he came in 2012 to the Christmas Concert at Temple Square where they shared his story and dropped candy parachutes from the Conference Center ceiling and it was magical.
I was impressed with the spread of women bloggers represented at this prescreening. There were women from Feminist Mormon Housewives, Exponent II, WAVE, Juvenile Instructor, The Small Seed, Holly on the Hill, LDS Women, LDS Women of God, Sistas in Zion, Mormon Women Stand, and others who I can't remember. I admit, because we wore name tags with which blogs we represented, I was less likely to talk to some of the others in the beginning, but afterward, when feelings were so good, I think the tone had changed, or maybe it was just my attitude. I think we realized we're here to spread Christ's goodness, and not to argue with one another, and maybe that was Public Affair's intent of inviting us.
|I've always wanted to meet a Sista! Wow I'm pale!|
|Q&A with Jessica Moody, Kembe, and Dawn|