The Book of Mormon Movie

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The Book of Mormon Movie, Volume 1:
The Journey
DVD cover of the movie The Book of Mormon Movie, Vol. 1.jpg
DVD cover
Directed by Gary Rogers
Produced by Gary Rogers
Written by
Music by Robert C. Bowden
Cinematography Neal Brown
Edited by
  • Ira Baker
  • David Hales
Mormon Movies
Distributed by Halestone Distribution
Release date
  • September 12, 2003 (2003-09-12)
Running time
119 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $1.5 million[1]
Box office $1.7 million[1]

The Book of Mormon Movie, Volume 1: The Journey is a 2003 American adventure drama film directed by Gary Rogers and written by Rogers and Craig Clyde. A film adaptation of the first two books in The Book of Mormon, a religious text of scripture, the film was given a limited theatrical release on September 12, 2003.


The movie is based on the first two books of the Book of Mormon. It is the story of Lehi, his wife Sariah, and their four sons: Laman, Lemuel, Sam, and Nephi. Lehi leaves Jerusalem in 600 B.C. after having prophesied concerning the destruction of Jerusalem and people wanted to kill him. He journeys into the wilderness with his family. He sends Nephi and his brothers back to Jerusalem after the brass plates and the family of Ishmael. The sons and daughters of Lehi marry the sons and daughters of Ishmael. They take their families and continue into the wilderness. Ishmael dies in the wilderness. They come to the sea. Nephi's brothers rebel against him; he confounds them, and builds a ship. They cross the sea to the promised land in the Americas. Lehi dies in the promised land. Nephi's brethren rebel against him again. The plot concludes with Nephi departing again into the wilderness.




Rogers's inspiration was the Cecil B. DeMille 1956 version of The Ten Commandments. He envisioned The Book of Mormon as one long historical epic. His plan was to make nine films that cover the entire story of the book.

The film's length is two hours, and it was revealed on the DVD commentary that the first cut of the film was two hours and forty minutes.


Noah Danby was cast as Nephi because of his strong resemblance to the art of Arnold Friberg.[citation needed] He had never read the Book of Mormon prior to his casting. Danby is a devout Lutheran, and while at first he didn't feel comfortable in making the film due to religious differences, he has said in an interview for The Hollywood Reporter that he took the role to gain experience as an actor.


The desert scenes were filmed in Utah in the spring, and it was very cold. The "great and spacious building" was a five-foot miniature. The boat does not appear in the theatrical version of the scene in which the family arrives in the promised land. It was digitally added to that scene for the DVD version.

Mike Ripplinger directed and filmed the behind the scenes portion on the DVD release.

The costume designer used Mormon art and illustrations to guide her selections.[citation needed]

The film was mentioned in Paul C. Gutjahrs 2012 book The Book of Mormon: A Biography.[2]


The film was rated PG-13 for "a scene of violence", having contained an image of Nephi with blood splatter on his face after beheading Laban. This image was removed for home media releases, and the film received a PG rating on DVD.

Box office[edit]

Produced for $1.5 million, Book of Mormon opened in 29 theaters on September 12, 2003 and made $114,573 in its first weekend, ranking number 41 in the domestic box office.[3] The film played for 35 weeks before closing on May 13, 2004, its widest release being 38 theaters, and it had grossed $1,680,020.[1]

It is the fourth highest-grossing film in the history of LDS cinema.[4]

Critical reception[edit]

The film was widely panned by Mormon[5] and non-Mormon critics.[6] Variety described it as "[w]ell meaning but often as tediously earnest as a Sunday sermon".[7] In the Bloggernacle, A Motley Vision gave it a grade of C–.[8]

Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes scored 17% of 6 critics giving the film a positive review.[9]


Robert C. Bowden, who was responsible for the music in this movie was the director of the Mormon Youth Symphony and Chorus.
Book Of Mormon Movie, Volume 1: The Journey
Soundtrack album by Robert C. Bowden
Released 2003
Length 01:06:08
Label Mormon Movies, L.L.C.
  1. "Prologue/Joseph Meets Moroni" (01:48)
  2. "Main Theme" (02:31)
  3. "Playing Ball" (00:19)
  4. "I Nephi" (01:48)
  5. "Lucan Gets Laban" (01:39)
  6. "We Shall Never See This House Again" (01:32)
  7. "Leaving Jerusalem" (01:34)
  8. "In the Presence of Deity" (02:26)
  9. "Brothers Return From Brass Plates" (01:38)
  10. "Laman's Chase" (00:48)
  11. "Nephi Sneaking Into Jerusalem" (02:15)
  12. "Beheading of Laban" (02:28)
  13. "Returned to the Tent of My Father" (00:38)
  14. "Return for Ishmael's Family" (01:15)
  15. "Love Theme" (03:37)
  16. "Nephi's Vision" (03:26)
  17. "Wedding & Celebration" (02:55)
  18. "Wandering in the Desert" (02:36)
  19. "Ishmael's Death/Bountiful" (03:03)
  20. "Enticing" (01:35)
  21. "Storm at Sea" (03:00)
  22. "The Promised Land" (03:42)
  23. "Lehi's Death" (03:33)
  24. "Attack at Night" (00:48)
  25. "I Miss My Brothers" (02:25)
  26. "Sam's Journey" (00:53)
  27. "Lamanites" (02:29)
  28. "End Theme" (05:37)
  29. "Forever Will Be" (03:50)


External links[edit]