Anew missionary video that captures a family's joy in finding the gospel will premiere over the Church satellite network in a missionary open house Oct. 25.
" `On the Way Home,' is a wonderful video showing how a young woman's concern for her friend led to a `mighty change' in the hearts and lives of her friend and family," said Elder L. Aldin Porter of the Presidency of the Seventy and Executive Director of the Missionary Department."We hope that members and missionaries will use this latest Church video to help many more people realize that through Jesus Christ, our Heavenly Father has provided the plan for families and individuals to find peace and happiness."
Open houses are to be held at local meetinghouses throughout North America. Stake and ward, district and branch mission leaders will host the gatherings. The "Direct Gospel Message" video will be incorporated into the local open houses. "On the Way Home" will be telecast at 4 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., Mountain Standard Time.
The video, directed by LDS filmmaker Kieth Merrill, uses the popular techniques of the Church's Homefront series. From it emerges a touching portrait of a family struggling with conflicts, but finding unity through the truths taught by missionaries.
"The video really does introduce the gospel. It centers on the Savior and the need to be compassionate and give service," said Sherman M. Crump, Managing Director of the Missionary Department. "It centers on relationships, difficulties, even death, and the need to keep the commandments and be morally clean."
The satellite system offers a warm way of introducing friends to the Church, he explained. Members are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity and invite their non-member and less-active friends to the open house that will be held in their ward or stake center.
"And, of course, the members in general are welcome as well," said Brother Crump.
He said that those who have seen the video, both members and non-members, feel the sweetness and power of the message.
"The end is so hopeful. This may be the best we've ever done," he said.
A number of the actors in the video are members, including the sister missionaries who teach the family. The pair, Julie Gunner and Kimberly Walker, are returned missionaries who serve as instructors at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah. The young woman who introduces her friend to the Church, Amy Westerby, is also LDS.
Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Council of the Twelve, in a video message to priesthood leaders, said the open house "is a marvelous missionary opportunity. We hope you are anticipating this event with as much excitement as we feel."
Elder Wirthlin said that open houses of this nature are successful because "members and meetinghouses are a light to the work, an ensign to the nations."
He encouraged priesthood leaders to build on the feelings left by the video to create a spiritual atmosphere. When the host of the open house bears his testimony, "it will be one of the most powerful parts of the presentation," said Elder Wirthlin.
After the video, non-members and less-active members will be invited to view one of four displays that will be set up, and another short video presentation. These displays and videos will center on the Savior and related teachings. The people attending will be given an opportunity to learn more about the basic truths of the gospel.
He noted that the satellite open house for the previous Direct Gospel Message video, "The Prodigal Son" was shown in open houses in 1990. It was the most successful of the six Direct Gospel Message videos produced so far. Of the more than 400,000 people, including members, attending the 1990 open houses, about 6,500 people were interested in learning more. About half became members of the Church, estimated Elder Wirthlin.