“Beyond the testimony of the Holy Ghost, the Witnesses represent the only evidence for the Book of Mormon provided by the Lord himself. Candidly examining all substantial arguments, pro and con, this project will argue powerfully for their credibility.”
Daniel C. Peterson
The Interpreter Foundation
For nearly 200 years, skeptics and critics have been trying to explain away what many Book of Mormon witnesses stated—that they had seen angels and hefted golden metal plates containing ancient inscriptions. To their dying days, these witnesses defended their testimonies even in the face of cruel mobs, the ridicule of society, and betrayal by friends. Why?
WITNESSES, produced by the Interpreter Foundation, consists of three main segments working together as a comprehensive project. Each will reconnect us with the history, the claims and counter-claims, and ultimately the stalwart consistency of each witness’ testimony.
Many know the story of the witnesses but few know why three men who, though intimately involved in the beginnings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, chose to leave it. Would they return? To reach a broader and younger audience, the dramatic film WITNESSES introduces viewers to the key Book of Mormon witnesses and their dramatic stories.
Were the eleven official witnesses of the Book of Mormon reliable? Were there unofficial witnesses? What did women experience? Were the plates actually gold? Could witnesses really hear the voice of God and yet still doubt His prophet? In a unique and innovative blend of behind-the-scene footage with scholars, skeptics, and experts, this hour will get families talking as we face the fact that none of the witnesses ever denied their claims, but boldly proclaimed their testimonies.
The face of television viewing is no longer confined to the living room. Audiences seek content on computer screens, social media, tablets, and phones. They search for entertainment and new knowledge and they search for truth. The Witnesses project looks to provide these things in a unique offering of drama and documentary, feature length and short-form.
The feature will be a dramatic retelling of the compelling true story of three men who asked God for a witness, aimed at a broader and younger audience. The documentary will engage our audience as expert scholars help us understand why these men left the church but never left their faith. Snippets, offered via the Interpreter Foundation website, will offer in-depth, short-form content.
Content of varying length will be created for broadcast, social media, classroom, web and streaming distribution and for sharing throughout the world. Efforts to reach the widest possible audience are well under way. Contracts for local, national, and international distribution will be pursued shortly after completion of script rewrites.
BYU Religious Education has contracted for rights to include Witnesses in their curricula. Consequently, tens of thousands of students will enlarge their comprehension and appreciation of the witnesses.
The filmmakers have created content for nation-wide PBS audiences, and cable stations such as BYUtv, as well as for international cable distribution. All will be pursued to reach local, national, and international audiences in an effort to provide new information, answer sensitive questions, and focus on faith.
Daniel C. Peterson and Deborah D. Peterson, The Interpreter Foundation
Red Brick Filmworks (see www.redbrickfilmworks.com)
Mark Goodman (see Handel’s Messiah, Fires of Faith, Joseph Smith: American Prophet)
Mitch Davis, Mark Goodman, James Jordan