Some of the most recognizable names in the Mormon community came together on Tuesday night for a screening of “Meet the Mormons,” a feature-length documentary produced by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that hits theaters Friday, Oct. 10.
Following the movie, many of them shared their thoughts on the movie and how they feel it represents members of the LDS Church.
Marie Osmond: "I liked it in the sense that there are so many ideas of what Mormons are out there that I think it really explained how the gospel of Jesus Christ changes your life. We’re encouraged to love all people and to spread our happiness that we find in serving others, and I thought that was a lovely message."
"I think the message I took away from it mostly is that I’m grateful there is something out there that explains what we believe other than 'The Book of Mormon' on Broadway."
Steve Craig: "Fantastic film. It has those parts where you’re laughing and smiling and parts where you’re shedding tears. … Great movie for people who are Mormons to see and (for) non-Mormons. I think it’s an incredible movie talking about human emotions, challenges of life, caring for one another and loving one another.”
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland: "Well I’ve seen it and it gets better every time. I love it. It’s a wonderful, sweet, personal testimony. It’s kind of one big long extended testimony. It’s about faith. It’s about goodness. It’s about change. It’s about the future. It’s everything the gospel stands for."
"It’s a statement about the goodness of the gospel, and these families are just representative of millions of families who live that way.”
David Archuleta: "I loved it. It was great. I just love the combination of the stories. It just shows people who we are. ... I think it shows people of good character. It shows how having faith- and family-centered lives has strengthened their lives and their faith in Christ. It’s awesome, and I’m so happy to be a part of it."
Elaine Bradley: "I liked that it felt like you were getting to know people and that those people happened to be Mormon."
"I liked how each different person had a different take on the gospel, but it was all so Jesus Christ centered, which I think is important in dispelling myths about Mormons that the focus is on Jesus, Christians. So I really liked that common theme and that it happened naturally because that’s what we believe."
"I would hope that seeing the movie, even if it didn’t bring you to think about Mormonism or the LDS Church, that it would bring you to think about Christ."
"I’m happy that it exists, and I’ll refer people to it for sure."
Stephanie Nielson: “It was the most inspiring movie that I’ve ever seen — ever."
“Obviously I felt more like the mother, Dawn, because she was like me. We’re fighters. It was beautifully done. I just feel like I really relate to her.”
Christian Nielson: “Mormons are good people. It was a great film about some people that I think are going to be great representatives of a sample of who our church is and what we are about.”
Elder David A. Bednar: “Well, you know you can only do so much with six individuals or families, but you could redo this movie with literally thousands and millions of Latter-day Saints. It’s not about the church’s institution. It’s about the people and how the gospel of Jesus Christ transforms their lives. It’s quite remarkable."
“Well, as an old washed-up athlete, I've got to tell you, I love segments about the Navy football coach and the football scenes, but I find each of the segments to be very instructive. It’s all very, very helpful.”
LaVell Edwards: “It was great, very well done. Just the story line … and the different people that they had. I thought it was tremendous.”
Shawn Bradley: "I loved it. It was inspirational. It was emotional. I didn’t expect to be that drawn in emotionally. ... They did a phenomenal job of telling their story and really touching people on an emotional level and yet letting people know who we are as Mormons."
"Each of the six are amazing stories. I have a special place in my heart for missionaries, so when the young man went on his mission to South Africa, it took me back to when I was leaving and going to the airport, so that was kind of forefront in my mind."
"There’s 15 million stories that could be told that are no less interesting than what we’ve been showed, but that was something we can be proud of. It was faith energizing. It was for me, so hopefully it was for others."
Dan Reynolds: “I really enjoyed it. I thought it was really powerful.”
Colette Butler: "It’s amazing because it’s about real people, and it’s not just about, ‘Oh we’re trying to be perfect people.’ We’re just real, honest people trying to do our best every day."
"It really shows the true message of the church, that we believe in Jesus Christ, that we believe in family and love, and that’s really what it’s all about."
Shay Butler ("ShayCarl"): "And service, there was a lot about service, just helping. We’re all here on this earth, life is hard ... so we need to stick together. We’re all brothers and sisters. It doesn’t matter what language you speak or what color your skin is."
"Even if you’re not a member of the church, this is going to encourage people across the world to help others and just to be kinder and to believe in Jesus Christ."
Dave Rose: "I enjoyed all the stories. It was great. The story of the family sending the missionary off touches home. When we sent our son off, you feel that same way. There’s no other place you’d rather have your son be, but it was pretty emotional sending them off."
"There is no question, these are real families that have found a real way to be happy in this life, and there’s a lot of people looking to find that."
Cheryl Rose: “I can absolutely relate. The coach’s wife, I felt her emotions. It was so great … just a mix of wonderful people in our church and just a fun way to kind of let people know who we are. “
Branden Campbell: "I think it’s an awesome representation of the church. One thing that happens time after time as my band tours all over the world is they say, ‘You’re from Utah. Are you Mormon?’ 'Yes.' And we get to answer a lot of questions about that, and I think this will follow up with some of those people. This will answer a lot of those questions."
"It’s definitely something I look forward to sharing with all my friends and family. I’m a convert to the church, so I have a lot of non-member family and friends. ... I think it’s going to answer a lot of questions for people in a such a great cinematic way."
"It affected me greatly. I’m going through some health issues right now, and it just really renewed my faith and just showed that I’m not alone in this journey."
Danny Ainge: “I thought it was a great movie. It was very inspirational, people with faith and disciples of Christ and how to live your life. I came away motivated to be a better person.”
David Osmond: "I like that it really goes into depth about the human aspect of these families. Their stories are so incredible, and I liked that they were showcased in a way that was very human."
"It shows the realness of so many of us Mormons. That nickname ... I love that they pointed that out. As I’ve travelled the world, I’ve come across a lot of those same stereotypes and misconceptions, so I love that it breaks that down in a simplistic way.”
Greg Miller: "I thought it was very inspirational."
"I think it’s a very good representation. That’s one of the neat things about it. The six stories were so diverse in all walks of life, but they all had the common theme of faith and family and charity and service, but I think the challenges were diverse enough that somebody could identify with just about any one of them."
Ryan Innes: "I loved it. I don’t normally get teary-eyed, but I was kind of moved to tears."
"They showed a black bishop. That’s obviously something that most people wouldn’t think is happening. They showed a mother who had children out of wedlock and found her life again and is now sending her child off to do the same thing that saved her. I thought there were a lot of things that represented us in a lot of different ways."
"Obviously, there are a few more stories that can be told, but I think this give us a good representation that we’re just normal people."
President Kevin J. Worthen: "It was wonderful. ... I think people will get a really good idea of what members of the church are like … the diversity and the different ways in which they live their lives."
Jeremy Warner: "It’s very professional. Very interesting people. … It shows more variety than people generally have in their mind about Mormons.”
Jason Grey: "I cried a little, which I never cry in movies. It really touched me.”
Matt Meese: “I loved it. I really liked it a lot. It wasn’t what I expected and that last story I thought was … it was really good.”
Whitney Call: “I really loved it. It impresses without trying to do anything more than just telling some true stories. … We cried a few times.”
Jared Shores (director): “It definitely empowered me I think as a Mormon to see myself as not inside the mold but more as an individual. I think that’s what I really like about the film is portraying the individuality of all of God’s children.”
Jenna Kim Jones: "It just shows people who Mormons really are, and what makes us happy, why we’re doing what we’re doing, and why we’re trying so hard to be good people."
"It’s such an easy thing to bring people to. It’s so easy to say, ‘Hey, do you want to go to a movie?' Who doesn’t want to go to a movie? It’s the best thing to do in town."
"Every time I watch it, I just get so motivated and pumped, so I’m walking out of here kind of on an adrenaline rush."
"I do think they are a true, honest and genuine representation of what Mormons are. So it’s such an honor to even have a small part in telling their story."
Stuart Edge: "I just came out feeling inspired. Maybe that’s the message, which in my view is kind of a good thing. There wasn’t one message they were trying to force feed you. It was just like here’s an inspiring film and take with it what you will."
"I felt like they did a really good job of ... showcasing the blessings of living the gospel-centered life and at the same time that it’s not always easy living a gospel-centered life."
Brett Roberts: "Oh we loved it. ... Especially moving I think was the mom with the son leaving on a mission."
John Roberts: "I think a lot of people think that Mormons are, like they live like the Amish or something, so just to break some of those stereotypes I think it will be pretty effective."
Rick Macy: "It’s really what people who aren’t members of the church need to see, just kind of an in-depth look at the lives of very simple but very extraordinary people, but you’re going to find those kind of people throughout the church. It was very inspiring. You couldn’t have had a better glimpse into what our church is all about: family, the Savior, absolutely."
"It's more than what I expected, actually, it was very touching, very moving and beautifully taught. Their testimonies were everything."