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Mormon church plans film to mark founder's 200th birth anniversary

Posted: Friday, October 29, 2004

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) The Mormon church is producing a film on the life of founding prophet Joseph Smith Jr., whose claim to have discovered long-lost Christian scriptures in 1827 built the foundation for one of the world's fastest growing religions.

The movie, as yet unnamed, marks the 200th anniversary of Smith's birth on Dec. 23, 1805. It will be shown free of charge at the church visitors' center off Temple Square.

Mormon film director Richard Dutcher earlier announced plans for a $12 million feature film on Smith for the bicentennial, but production has not begun.

Smith said that as a 14-year-old farmboy in Palmyra, N.Y., he witnessed a vision of God and Jesus Christ and later dug up golden plates from which he translated the Book of Mormon, then returned them to an angel.

Smith's scriptures are about to appear as comic books drawn by Mormon illustrator Mike Allred, in installments over the next two years.

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