Meet The Mormons

For the first time, Mormon leaders in America have permitted the Church in the UK to open its doors to cameras. With unprecedented access to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, this documentary follows a young British Mormon as he gives up two years of his life to convert the people of Leeds.

Known to most people as the men in suits who knock on our doors, young Mormon missionaries have the job of converting us to their particular brand of Christianity – they are the ‘Ambassadors of God’.

The film follows twenty-year-old Josh Field from Sussex. He is one of around 200,000 Mormons in the UK.

Mormons believe that every worthy, able young man should serve in this way. For Josh, it is an emotional and challenging rite of passage, full of sacrifice. Like many young people his age, Josh has a regular social life with a mix of friends, goes to dances at the weekend and completed mainstream school. Now, he must surrender entirely to Church rules and as soon as his training begins, he is banned from seeing family and friends.

The strict measures are in place to keep missionaries like Josh away from temptation and prevent them from straying from the rules. The rules also dictate that Josh can no longer use his first name and, although Mormons stay virgins until they are married, Josh must give up even a simple hug with girls.

While Mormons are Christians, they have a number of controversial beliefs and rituals that set them apart from mainstream Christianity. These include: believing that Jesus came to America after his resurrection; performing baptisms for dead people – in baptismal fonts on the back of 12 oxen, and wearing special underwear they believe helps protect them from temptation and evil.

This film gains fascinating and extremely rare insight into a controlled world, through the eyes of a young British Mormon, dedicated to serving his Church.

A touching and human look into the lonely life of a missionary transplanted from Missouri to Leeds

Sam Wollaston, The Guardian
Broadcaster
Thursday 26 June at 10.00 pm
Credits
Filmed, produced and directed Lynn Alleway
Executive Producers Emma Loach and Wendy Robbins
Director of Photography Steve Robinson
Film Editor Sean Mackenzie