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17 Miracles


Deborah

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I just saw this movie: 17 Miracles

Very emotional and you could hear crying throughout. At the end all the audience could do is sit in silence through the credits. It made me think about miracles in my life, and yes I've had some that are comparable to what is in the movie. But we hear a lot about how there are no more miracles in the church.

This got me to thinking about why the pioneers experienced such extraordinary things. I think much of it has to do with the sacrifices they were willing to make. I also think that in today's society we are living with miracles everyday but have become so used to them so we don't recognize them as such. For example when you think what people used to have to go through just to provide a meal, and we can walk into an air conditioned store and go home and cook on our stoves that just require turning on. That would have been a miracle to these early pioneers.

I don't think we see the angels until we have reached the nadir of our suffering and have proven ourselves willing to sacrifice. Perhaps because we live in such comforts we won't experience many such things. But I wonder how that will change when we begin going through the ordeals that are sure to come and which the last two conferences have warned about.

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I saw the film earlier today. It was mercilessly panned by the twenty-something, know-it-all movie critic who writes for my local paper, and I know that if she pans something, there's a good chance I'll like it (and vice-versa). ;) (Oh, to be young once again, before I had forgotten it all! Why, oh why didn't I write it all down?! :unknw:;))

Would the movie have the same power for someone whose bloodlines don't extend back to the events portrayed therein (or to similar events, as mine do), or for someone who lacks that common religious heritage? Perhaps my local movie critic would say not, and she might be right about that. I thought the production values were top-notch, and I thought the acting was quite good (Total Sap that I Am :D).

I haven't seen any background on the movie as to whom its producers are trying to reach; if it doesn't draw a wider audience in ... beyond those who have a religious or historical or family connection ... could it nonetheless be considered successful for touching those who are "predisposed" to be touched by it? I'd be interested in what the producers might have to say (or, indeed, have said) about that.

My experience was much like yours: lots of tears, pin-drop quiet through the credits. Movies don't often accomplish that, even on a small scale. Lots of critics positively rave about pure drivel while panning anything worthwhile. I, along with others I know (many on this Board among them) ought to be, and are, content to march to the beat of a different drummer. :)

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I don't think we see the angels until we have reached the nadir of our suffering and have proven ourselves willing to sacrifice. Perhaps because we live in such comforts we won't experience many such things. But I wonder how that will change when we begin going through the ordeals that are sure to come and which the last two conferences have warned about.

Your post reminded me of one of my favorite Ensign articles, "When Do the Angels Come?" by Bruce Hafen. Elder Hafen emphasizes the importance of unseen angels, contrasting the dramatic manifestations that attended the Kirtland Temple dedication with the Nauvoo Temple dedication, which had "no visible manifestations, no angelic ministries, no Pentecost."

Interestingly, he observes that "unseen angelic manifestations in the 'extremities' of our lives may, over time, have more profound meaning than the more visible outpouring of Kirtland" and concludes: "When do the angels come? If we seek to be worthy, they are near us when we need them most. The mountain might even be full with the horsemen of Israel and their chariots of fire."

I read a book a couple of years ago on the Martin and Willie handcart companies. The author wasn't a Mormon, and was fairly hostile to Brigham Young, but he had unreserved admiration for the handcart pioneers. So do I. Especially, for Levi Savage, who knew exactly what was coming but threw in his lot with handcart pioneers anyway. After trying unsuccessfully to dissuade them from leaving so late in the season, he told them: "Brethren and sisters, what I have said I know to be true, but seeing you are to go forward, I will go with you, will help you all I can, will work with you, will rest with you, will suffer with you, and if necessary I will die with you. May God have mercy bless and preserve us." Greater love hath no man that this.

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Especially, for Levi Savage, who knew exactly what was coming but threw in his lot with handcart pioneers anyway. After trying unsuccessfully to dissuade them from leaving so late in the season, he told them: "Brethren and sisters, what I have said I know to be true, but seeing you are to go forward, I will go with you, will help you all I can, will work with you, will rest with you, will suffer with you, and if necessary I will die with you. May God have mercy bless and preserve us." Greater love hath no man that this.

That was well portrayed in the movie. The actor who played Levi was excellent.

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It was mercilessly panned by the twenty-something, know-it-all movie critic who writes for my local paper

here is a positive review:

review

On FB, some people indicated they brought non-LDS friends who were also moved by it.

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  • 4 weeks later...

My parents stake got back a couple weeks ago from trekking at martin's cove. Our stake is doing it in august (which i think is insane considering the temperatures that are likely to exist and that there is practically no shade along the trek route).

I know that at martin's cove they are extremely good at making the trek experience very spiritual while keeping it very safe for everyone invovled. The women's pull and the rescue crossing of the sweetwater where three young men are picked to take every person across without them having to get wet (as happened in real life) seem to be the highlight for the youth and leaders alike.

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My 14 year old g-daughter just went on trek. On Sunday an adult and youth who went bore their testimonies. Lots of tears. Apparently just enacting it can bring miracles.

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  • 1 month later...

It was difficult for me to watch Willie and Richards rebuke Levi Savage the way they did. I never knew that the willie and martin tragedy might have been the result of poor leadership.

I read somewhere that Brigham Young ripped Richards up one side and down the other for encouraging the saints to press on so late. I hope that's true. I'm trying to confirm the validity of that. I read some of Levi's journal entries and it again fueled my anger toward Willie and Richards I can't believe the foolish things Willie said to the saints and was shocked at the way he taddled to Richards. I'm glad they made Savage the hero of the story, he seems to have been a very good man.

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I'm glad they made Savage the hero of the story, he seems to have been a very good man.

Particularly impressive was the fact that even though openly rebuked he still followed the company so that he could do what he could to help them.

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My 14 year old g-daughter just went on trek. On Sunday an adult and youth who went bore their testimonies. Lots of tears. Apparently just enacting it can bring miracles.

Our stake is doing a trek this week. At the end of the trek, they set up a movie viewing on the property for the youth. Havng seen the movie I wish I could be there to see the youth.

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Particularly impressive was the fact that even though openly rebuked he still followed the company so that he could do what he could to help them.

I did not realize he was on the Mormon Battalion and had taken part in finding remains of the Donner Party.

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It was difficult for me to watch Willie and Richards rebuke Levi Savage the way they did. I never knew that the willie and martin tragedy might have been the result of poor leadership.

I read somewhere that Brigham Young ripped Richards up one side and down the other for encouraging the saints to press on so late. I hope that's true. I'm trying to confirm the validity of that. I read some of Levi's journal entries and it again fueled my anger toward Willie and Richards I can't believe the foolish things Willie said to the saints and was shocked at the way he taddled to Richards. I'm glad they made Savage the hero of the story, he seems to have been a very good man.

That point is important for leaders of the church to be mindful of the needs and circumstances of the saints before demanding sacrifices. An excess of zeal should never be interpreted as being equal to faith.

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