Me with Bruce Newbold, the Preacher Man

That Time I Was in the Joseph Smith Movie

A funny thing happened to me on my way to Nauvoo…

I was in a movie about Joseph Smith.

Me with Bruce Newbold, the Preacher Man
Me with Bruce Newbold, the Preacher Man

It was the fall of 2004, and I was attending the BYU Semester at Nauvoo. Much of the filming for the Church’s move on the life of Joseph Smith took place in and around that beautiful city. I was on a walk when I ran into Ashley Smith and Amy Killpack and they excitedly told me that they had just signed up to be extras in the Joseph Smith movie. Curious, I went to the local LDS Chapel in Nauvoo—and about a half hour later, I had signed up to be in the movie.

On the set of the Joseph Smith movie.
On the set of the Joseph Smith movie.

The scene we were a part of was the one depicting a “great religious excitement.” Filming was a full-day event and took place at a state park in Springfield, Illinois. There were hundreds of extras and we all met under a large, white tent where we filled out several sheets of information and were given period-clothing. Much to my dismay, I was given a thick, blonde wig to wear.

Despite the wig, we had a lot of fun filming. There were lots of great people, great food and entertainment and we even got to meet some of the core cast of the movie (we weren’t supposed to have cameras so I tried to secretly take photo of “Alvin” and “Hyrum” as they were leaning against a tree, but the flash accidentally went off. They looked around around and one of them said: “Who stole my soul?”).

Sadly, I’m not in the final cut of the video. Well, that’s not true. I am…but I’m a little blur. I’m standing next to the big tree in the middle of the “scene of great religious excitement.” But I’m too far away for even me recognize me.

The Church recently released a new version of “Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration” to watch online. I actually like this edit of the video better. They added more emphasis on the Book of Mormon, Brigham Young and toned down some of the cheesier parts of the movie. 🙂 It’s really good! Watch it for yourself (and see if you can spot my blur!).

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Seth Adam Smith

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