NOTE FOR WEB DEVELOPERS: This page was created for a faculty member in the College of Communications. The URL josephfsmithfilm.byu.edu redirects here. Even though it’s not attached to any other pages on the comms site, it is important that it stays up as long as possible.
Four Interviews: While producing “I Saw the Hosts of the Dead,” there were four interviews by Church leaders, professors and historians that I thought were quite remarkable because I asked very few questions. Those interviewed had the opportunity to share their answers in an open ended manner. I felt a need to preserve these wonderful interviews on this web page in their entirety and archive them for scholars, Smith family members and those interested in learning more about the life of President Joseph F. Smith. Please see the interviews below.
Kevin Kelly Producer, Director, Co-Author
President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve, was so generous with his time. He was excited to share his personal perspective about his great grandfather, President Joseph F. Smith. His interview is a treasure in that he shares personal details about his mother and her family that I don’t believe are captured anywhere else.
Richard C. Bennett, Professor, Chair of the Church History and Doctrine at Brigham Young University, gave a remarkable interview, full of rich detail and wonderful insights. At the end of the interview I was visibly astonished and asked how he could remember all the dates with such accuracy. Dr. Bennett replied, “I gave the final test on this very subject to my students yesterday.”
Richard N. Holzapfel, former professor of Church History at Brigham Young, currently serves as an Area Seventy and as a Senior Manager at the Missionary Department of the Church. Dr. Holzapfel has published several books about Joseph F. Smith. Being an expert on the subject, his insights about the life of President Smith are authentic, meaningful and often quite touching.
Lisa Olsen Tait, Church Historian, gives an interview detailing the woman in Joseph F. Smith’s life, starting with life of his mother, Mary Fielding Smith. The nuances of these stories, as told by Sister Tait, brings to life the warmth and generosity of President Joseph F. Smith’s dealings with his wives, children and close associates. This unique perspective adds a dimension of tenderness to this great prophet leader.