Latter-day Saint soldiers who fought in Korean War compared to Book of Mormon story in new short film

Inspirational video, produced by a former mission leader, features contributions from two senior Church leaders

In 1951, a Utah National Guard artillery unit of 240 soldiers stood alone against 4,000 enemy Chinese and North Korean soldiers. Surrounded and outmanned, the small band fought valiantly and won the battle without the loss of a single soldier. For their bravery, the unit received the Presidential Unit Citation from U.S. President Harry Truman.

The remarkable story of this unit, the 213th Armored Field Artillery Battalion, is told in a new 11-minute video titled “The Miracle at Gapyeong.”

The video was written by Brad Taylor, a former missionary and mission president in Korea for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and draws parallels between the unit’s miraculous survival and the Book of Mormon’s story of the 2,000 sons of Helaman, who fought to protect their families and faith without losing a single life.

Members of the 213th Artillery Battalion from southern Utah fight during a Korean War engagement.
Members of the 213th Artillery Battalion from southern Utah fight during a Korean War engagement. | Courtesy of families of the 213th Artillery Battalion

President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency, and President Jeffrey R. Holland, acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, contributed to the making of the film because they knew the soldiers of the 213th Armored Field Artillery Battalion, which was made up of men from Utah — St. George, Cedar City, Richfield, Beaver and Fillmore.

President Oaks did not serve in Korea but trained with the 213th Artillery Battalion in the National Guard in Provo, Utah. Over the years, he interviewed them and collected their stories and documents, which he later provided to the filmmakers.

President Holland speaks in the video’s introduction and at the end of the film.

“The lesson that we can take from the ‘Miracle at Gapyeong’ is that when we are true and faithful to the Lord, miracles of all different shapes, sizes and timing will happen in our lives,” he said in the video. “To our remarkable youth of today, I say, please, please be faithful. Please be courageous and obedient. Please trust in the Lord with all your heart. I promise that He will direct you for good.”

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