by John English:
I wasn't sure I was going to see Meet the Mormons in theaters. After all, it looked like something I could record on KSL in between General Conference sessions. All eight reviews at RottenTomatoes were negative, though some of them seemed to be slamming it for not being a hard-hitting expose.
It's a documentary produced by the LDS church for nonmembers, but really, it is just as much for members, maybe more so. Meet your fellow Mormons. Come meet some members of your global family.
It's hosted by New York resident and former Daily Show employee Jenna Kim Jones, and she narrates as we meet the six spotlighted members, each getting between 10-15 minutes. Watching their stories unfold made me wonder how director Blair Treu and his crew might treat my family, or my neighbors' families. I'm sure it would accentuate the positive. (Hey, Blair, if you want...)
First we meet Jermaine Sullivan, African-American bishop of a ward in Atlanta, Georgia. He's a younger man, so he's really able to relate to the youth in the ward. Then we fly to Virginia, where we meet Ken Niumatalolo, the Pacific Islander head coach of Navy's football team. From there, we go to Costa Rica, where we meet kickboxer Carolina Munoz Marin. Next, we get the story of Col. Gail Halvorsen, the original Candy Bomber from post-WWII Berlin. After that, we fly to Nepal to meet humanitarian Bishnu Adhikari. Then we conclude with missionary mom Dawn Armstrong.
Each story manages to illustrate how different each life is, and yet how similar because they - we - are all linked by the gospel of Jesus Christ. There were six families I'd love to have in my ward. Maybe I already do, if I'd be a little more extroverted toward my neighbors.
John English is a technical project manager living in Utah. He was born in California and also lived in Texas, Washington, Idaho and Wyoming as a kid. He served his mission in Washington Seattle and graduated from Utah Valley University. In his 18+ years of blissful marriage, he's begat five children, adopted six more, and fostered still more beyond that. He's also a movie buff, political junkie, and Utah Jazz fan. Twitter: @jermsguy. Blog: jerlsguy.blogspot.com.