TV special reflects LDS progress in German Democratic Republic

A new KBYU-TV production, "A Fortress of Faith," documents the story of the Church in the German Democratic Republic. The documentary features profiles of contemporary LDS families living in diverse geographical areas of the German Democratic Republic (DDR).

The special focuses on the faith and tenacity of a people who were mostly isolated from Church fellowship before the fall of the Berlin Wall in December 1989. The documentary, which was worked on during a five-year-period of time, traces the historical roots of the gospel in the Saxon lands and chronicles recent events that led to the renewal of missionary efforts in the DDR.Included is the historic entrance into the DDR of the first eight missionaries to labor in the new mission in Dresden in 1989.

After political changes in the DDR in the autumn of 1989, a KBYU crew went to the country to expand interviews and videotapes that were gathered in 1988 when President Thomas S. Monson of the First Presidency traveled there for the dedication of new meetinghouses and to meet with top government officials relative to the resumption of missionary work.

The unfolding of recent events, the spirit of missionary work and the cooperation of government officials in the DDR is "nothing less than miraculous," according to one German sister.

"Never before have such things happened. It is a miracle for the Church members in our country. Now The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is well known in the whole country."

In the documentary are closing testimonies from missionaries and members, coupled with a powerful challenge by Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Council of the Twelve who calls upon members worldwide to learn lessons from these members in the German Democratic Republic.

The documentary is scheduled to air Sunday, May 20, at 7 p.m. (MDT) on KBYU-TV's channel 11. Those interested in receiving videotapes of the documentary should write KBYU-TV, C-302 HAFC, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah 84602, or telephone (801) 378-0050.

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