The Windows of Heaven (film)
|The Windows of Heaven|
|Directed by||Wetzel Whitaker|
|Produced by||Wetzel Whitaker|
|Written by||Richard Neil Evans
|Starring||Francis L. Urry
John B. Fetzer
Alonzo J. Morley
|Music by||Crawford Gates|
|Edited by||Frank S. Wise|
|Distributed by||The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints|
The Windows of Heaven is a 1963 film about Lorenzo Snow, the fifth president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). The film was directed and produced by Wetzel Whitaker with the screenplay by Scott Whitaker and Richard Neil Evans. Francis L. Urry played the role of Lorenzo Snow.
The film follows the leader as he tries to resolve the church's mounting debt and the struggles of the Mormon settlers suffering through drought. In the film, President Snow prophesies to the people of St. George that they will be able to harvest their crops if they obey the law of tithing.
The prophecy that President Snow gives in the movie is based on articles written by his son LeRoi C. Snow thirty-five to forty years after the events of the movie occurred. Contemporary historical records do not support that President Snow ever made the prophecy depicted in the film, instead promising generalized prophetic blessings for obeying the law of tithing. The depiction of rain in St. George is mostly historically accurate, with a reported rainfall of 1.89 inches during that time. However, the rainfall caused extensive damage and contemporary church leaders did not connect it to tithing.:80–81
The film was produced and released while the LDS Church was in a financial crisis, starting the 1950s. The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles examined and approved the film's script. Filming began in 1962 and the General Authorities approved the release version.
Upon its release, The Windows of Heaven was the longest and most publicized film produced by BYU. It premiered in St. George and was well-received among LDS Church members, including President David O. McKay. The film was cut from fifty minutes to thirty-two in 1979 for video release. A ten-minute version of the film was included in the 2006 three-disc DVD compilation on LDS Church history.
- Horne, Dennis B. (2014). "Reexamining Lorenzo Snow's 1899 Tithing Revelation". Mormon Historical Studies. 14 (2): 150–151.
- Bell, E. Jay (1994). "The Windows of Heaven Revisited: The 1899 Tithing Reformation". Journal of Mormon History. Mormon History Association, University of Illinois Press. 20 (1): 45–83. JSTOR 23286314.
- "Windows of Heaven". Mormon Literature & Creative Arts. Retrieved March 8, 2016.