On 12 October 2018, a new documentary drama directed by Chantelle Squires, portraying the early history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and societal racially discriminatory practices, will debut in limited theaters. It is the story of two powerful and influential women in the early history of the Church – Emma Smith, the wife of the Prophet Joseph Smith, and Jane Elizabeth Manning James, a woman of profound faith and one of the pioneer black converts to the Church.
Filmed on location in Utah and Illinois, the film centers on the inconceivable friendship forged between Jane and Emma who come together to survive the perilous night after Joseph is murdered by a mob in the jail in Carthage, Illinois. Jane cries out to God, asking what He would have her to do to help her friend, in this her darkest hour. Can she hear His voice, and will she have the strength and fortitude to do as God commands her to do?
During those times, society mandated that the two women be enemies. The gospel of Jesus Christ, however, teaches, “The rich and poor meet together: the Lord is the maker of them all” (Proverbs 22:2). And, “there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all” (Colossians 3:11). God is not a respecter of persons. We are all children of God!
Inspired by the upcoming film, Jane and Emma, a flash mob surprised the folks at the Cougar-eat at Brigham Young University during BYU Education Week with a new version of the song, “I am a child of God.” The song is featured on the soundtrack of the movie.
LDS Living.com reports, “As the food court at the Wilkinson Center filled with the voices singing “I am a child of God,” it became apparent this was about more than just a song. It was worship from brothers and sisters of different genders, races, and backgrounds who were alike unto God.”
Zandra Vranes and Tamu Smith, hosts of the Sistas in Zion podcast, are producers of the film. Zandra Vranes commented, “If we really believe that, that all are alike unto God, how would we behave?” How would we act toward each other? . . . We hoped by doing something that was action based, that by coming out and bringing this message, it will encourage people to do their part.” Tamu Smith added, “We wanted something so that we could capture people’s attention, and at the same time, we know that singing is a way of worship and praise and we wanted to praise and worship with our brothers and sisters at Education Week. . .. We want people to know that we are all brothers and sisters and the gospel belongs to all of us. We are all here. We’re all willing to do our part to help promote God’s voice, to help uplift God’s voice anyway we can.” She also said that the flash mob also helped to create visibility for the upcoming film before its October 12 release.
Clotile Bonner Farkus of the Bonner family plays the role of Jane’s older sister, Angeline Manning, in Jane and Emma. She also joined her family in creating the music for the film. The message in the music, which is featured in the end credits, was a sacred one. Clotile says, “All of our souls are in this music.”
We surprised the folks at BYU Education Week with a musical number from the Jane and Emma Movie soundtrack! Thanks to all the talented members of the community who lent their voices to help us share the message that we are all children of God.Go see Jane and Emma on October 12, 2018, to hear the incredible music on the film by The Bonner Family. #JaneAndEmma
Posted by Jane and Emma Movie on Friday, August 24, 2018