Ephraim's Rescue (2013) Movie Script

You're too late...
She died two hours ago.
The Relief Society sisters
are preparing her for burial.
Brother Johnson.
Your wife would
like to talk to you.
My darling!
I had the most wonderful dream.
There was a man with white
hair and a full white beard
sitting here beside my bed.
He told me that I would bear
and raise seven daughters.
The man also said
there would be a time in life when
they would all stand together
and be a great joy to me.
Being worthy when your
opportunity arrives
is a lesson it took
me years to learn.
It is, for me, what a
good life is all about.
But as a boy, becoming a good man was
the furthest thing from my mind.
It wasn't the first time
I'd put Lindy up wet,
but as it was Sunday, Pa couldn't take
it to me 'til the Sabbath had passed.
They went off to church
and that gave me time
to make the decision to
strike off on my own...
I've always loved the Sabbath.
I determined to show my parents
I could sort out what
this life is all about
and grow up to become a good man.
I worked my way around parts
of the country for a time,
learned what they knew,
then found myself
in the United States Navy
on the USS Columbia!
Three years later
I was back where I began,
at the port of Boston.
May have broke your
china on that one, eh?
- Get out a here.
- Be quick about it, Eph!
You lookin' for a bustin', mister?
That's quite a temper
you've developed there.
Yeah, so?
Where is your home?
Ohio. Who's asking?
How long since you've been there?
Three years. Now, who's asking?
Three years is a long time
from those you cherish.
Yeah. Well, I hope nobody's
waiting for me at the window
'cause I'm going to town, changing
ships and off for another three years.
May I offer to watch your
belongings in your absence?
Now why would I ever...?
Yes, I'd be obliged, sir.
Thank you kindly.
Eph, quit your dawdling!
Time's a wastin'! We got good
times to be had tonight!
Ephraim? What kind of
name is Ephraim, anyway?
I haven't heard a name that
peculiar since those, huh...
those New Guinea blokes, eh?
Strange birds they were.
As quickly as he had arrived,
the Man in the Grey
Tweed Suit was gone.
A new thought entered my head.
I made the decision to forgo
the Navy and return home.
Now, in my later years,
I see more clearly.
Though as a boy I had
stayed close to God,
as a sailor I was drifting
further and further away...
It was time to return and
make amends with my parents.
Acorn, that's a good boy.
Good boy.
I believe you took a
wrong turn, neighbor.
It's Eph!
Ephraim! Ephraim!
My boy!
Where was he buried?
Near the south oak.
Did he have an ailment?
What did he die of?
He was old, Ephraim. He was 52.
During those years at sea, I...
I wanted to make you
and father proud.
Now I'll never know...
If you have any regrets, son, let
them be for your brother Sidney.
Where is Sidney?
He's been led away by
the terrible Mormons.
They have cast a spell upon him.
Where is he?
A-way out west, almost to
the ocean, in Illinois.
Well, then I will go and free him.
Yes, go... as soon as you are able.
Saving Sidney was what
my mother wanted...
and seemed to be an
opportunity to show her
I could do something good.
Looking back, it seems like
everything that happened in my life
was a lesson God
wanted me to learn.
Like the morning a visitor stopped by
to teach me about keeping my head.
Some days, lessons come
one after another.
After taking the right path,
a strange despair fell upon me,
and I was overpowered
by a stupor of thought.
What's the matter with me,
Acorn? I am a blathering idiot...
Must've taken a wrong path.
Something is amiss.
I do not know what to do.
Blessed Father, it's been a
long time since I've done this.
For the first time
in years, I prayed.
Seems since I was a boy,
the Lord was always willing
to keep in touch with me if I was
willing to keep in touch with Him.
And though I'd been
absent without leave,
the Lord was quick to whisper
what I should be doing.
I felt impressed to
get on back home.
Soon as I got there,
I realized why.
Sidney had been told in a
dream he needed to go home.
Son, I want you to
do us both a favor.
I want you to call on Pastor
Reed and Pastor Robbins.
Invite them here Thursday next.
Just being sociable?
You and Sidney are home now.
I want no more of
this Mormon rubbish.
They're good, Christian men.
They'll bring a Christlike message.
- A prophet in our day?!
- Prophets are a thing of the past!
Do you believe that
God is among us?
Most certainly!
"Surely the Lord God
would do nothing
but He revealeth his secret
unto his servants prophets."
Amos 3:7.
Well, if God did speak to man, surely he
would come to learned men such as us!
Proper English is we: "He would
come to learned men such as we."
In any case...
why would God reveal His
word to a young boy?!
Yes! Why would the Lord
speak to a young boy,
like He did Samuel?!
1st Samuel 3:4.
Gentlemen, it is my earnest
testimony given to me
by the spirit that Joseph Smith
is indeed a prophet of God.
And it is my testimony that Joe
Smith is a liar and a thief!
And to believe his stories sets
you among the weakest of morons!
And any man who would follow
him would rob his own mother!
Enough! You have crossed a
line, and I will hear no more!
Leave our home before I...
- Go, go, go!
- Get out!
You're not welcome in
Sunday School anymore!
And forget about the socials!
Get outta here!
And as a kid, I hated
your Sunday School class!
I am sorry, Mother...
But no one can slander my
brother while I am here.
They forgot their hat!
Now why would he
come to a young boy?
No, he would come to learned men
such as us, such as us, yup, yup.
Eph, you need to know that...
what I testified of
to them is true.
God has come again to Earth
and angels minister to men.
I myself was about to die
from a serious rupture,
but through the laying on
of hands, I was healed.
You were healed?
The way Christ healed others?
Here, this is the Book of Mormon.
That very night, I chose to cast my
lot with Sidney and the Mormons...
and another adventure
was about to begin.
I should have known the
moment you returned.
You always have been and
always will be trouble!
You abandoned us once and
you'll leave us again.
Mother, I'm just...
You bring only shame to your
father and embarrassment to me.
Because I seek to do what's right?
No! Because you only think
of your precious self!
It's not within you
to become a good man.
Once again, in my mother's
eyes, I had failed to be good.
So we did as she asked
and bid farewell...
then headed out for
the city of Joseph.
I had many questions,
but they were all answered,
and the determination
became strong within me
to be a defender of the gospel,
of Zion and her cause,
come what may.
The same year I was baptized,
a young man halfway around the
world was baptized also...
His name was Thomas Dobson.
You have gifts, Thomas.
Let the spirit guide
you to foster them.
You can help others with them.
You Mormons!
Run, Thomas!
Though I continually fell short,
I was trying to do better,
which helped me through the
death of Brother Joseph,
the Mormon Battalion
and many other trials.
At length, I made it to
the Salt Lake Valley
and thought to continue my
pursuits there in Zion.
Sidney! You know what the worst
thing about multiple wives is?
Multiple mother-in-laws!
He thinks he's funny, but he's not.
Brother Brigham... Arza.
Eph, there is something that I
would like you to do for me.
Before you spend another
minute in this place,
I want you to go home and
shave off that beard.
Yes, Brother.
Not a word.
I'm really not like my brother.
Well, what got into you?
I think the cat licked you clean.
I look like a peeled onion.
Brother Hanks, did I
ask you to shave?
Yes, Brother Brigham, you did.
Well, then, go on
home and do it right!
Now there is a man that
will give strict obedience,
regardless the nature
of my request.
There is a man that I can trust with
the most important of missions.
Oh, marvelous, me boy, marvelous!
You truly have a gift, Thomas.
Someday you will be a great strength
to many that carry heavy burdens.
Through those next years,
I contracted to carry the mail
from Salt Lake to
St. Louis and back.
I made the trip 'most 50 times...
so many times, it became humdrum.
I crossed the plains during
any season of the year.
I got to where it did not matter
to me what the conditions were.
I was again being prepared.
On one such trip, I was
warned that an angry tribe
was camped a short
distance off the trail.
But rather than avoiding them,
I felt impressed to call on them.
I was taken to the chief's tent.
They were clearly very happy
I had made the effort to stop by.
I believe we are each
given certain gifts.
I was coming to
realize one of mine.
Oye, oye!
The Dobsons are
departing for "Zion"!
Come one, come all, and
buy of their goods!
Mother! How can you allow the
crier to pitch our name about?
He is announcing to all
our private plans.
Truth be told, you have no care
at all about our private plans.
- You are embarrassed.
- And perhaps I am!
I have no desire to travel
to some uncivilized desert,
full of wild beasts, where they
have no respect for the dance.
You have no desire to
leave your sweetheart!
But, Thomas, you know she
will never accept the church.
The Prophet has said,
"Go", and go we must,
for I know this to be
the true church of God.
Me boy, you've got to lose
your life to find it.
Two months later, the Dobsons
were aboard the ship Horizon...
and two months after that...
Me boy, I can scarcely put one
foot in front of the other.
Let it be spoken again, Mother,
I wanted no part of this.
The Lord looks after His own, son.
For your efforts,
you'll be blessed.
What be the trouble?
Trouble? Oh, there be no trouble...
just the matter of Jonathan
Stone, found eaten by the wolves.
Brother Stone!
It can't be!
It can and it be.
Brother Dobson.
I'm told you dance the jig.
The Saints could use a bit
of cheerin' up at this time.
It would mean much to us all.
They must have meant
someone else...
not I.
In October 1856, I had
contracted for a load of fish,
which I pulled out of Utah Lake.
I stayed that night at the
cabin of Gerney Brown.
We're building this brick wall,
and he says, "Hey, Ephraim!
How thick is that brick wall?"
In many ways, I believe my
entire life had been a plan
so I might be prepared for what
became my greatest adventure.
Yes, Brother Brown.
The handcart people are in
trouble, and you are wanted.
Will you help them?
Yes, I will go if I am called.
Ephraim! The handcart people are
in trouble, and you are wanted.
Will you help them?
Well, what if they should
bite us in the night?
Oh, keep your hair on, there'll be
no wolf worries while I'm about.
There I was lying on the ground,
looking right into the eyes
of the biggest, meanest,
beastly wolf I'd ever seen.
I didn't know what to do.
Then a voice said to me,
"Poke him in the eye!"
So I poked him in the eye!
And you know what he did?
He whimpered like a
little pup and ran away,
never to bother me again, and
he won't bother you either.
They're frightened of me, you know.
Bless you, son.
The nights grow colder.
Are you keeping on, Thomas?
Not really, Mother. I'd have
to say, no, not really.
I've waited 19 years to
make this journey, Thomas,
and if we hang on a bit, for the
sure of it, we'll be blessed.
Well, let me tell you how I
would like to be blessed...
If I have to hear that
pipsqueak say one more time
how he poked that wolf in eye,
I'm going to poke him in the eye!
I am sorry, I was only trying
to soothe their fears.
I am so sorry.
It's been a hard
time for him and...
Brother Dobson.
Brother Tyler.
Thomas, I have a calling for you.
I would like you to accept
position in the burial squad.
Are there so many now
that we require a squad?
Thank you, brother.
Pardon me...
Pardon me, brother...
I do not know your name.
Are you dodging me?
It is just difficult for me
to speak to a young girl...
a young, pretty girl...
when I have not
bathed in four weeks.
You haven't bathed in four weeks?
How remarkable.
You smell as if it's
only been three!
Thank you.
Next morning I headed
toward Salt Lake
to learn what Brother
Brigham would have me do.
Are you Ephraim Hanks?
Who's asking?
Messenger from Brother Brigham!
Turns out, right when I was
goin' looking for the prophet,
the prophet was looking for me.
As I pronounced in Conference,
all the piety in the world
will not keep those
souls from harm's way.
We must show our faith
through our actions!
That is my religion and that is the
dictation of the Holy Ghost that I possess.
Go and bring in those Saints
who are still on the plains.
I will get ready and can
start in a few days.
I can be ready on Thursday.
Brother Brigham...
I am ready now!
The Lord prepares each
of us for the purposes
that He has placed us on
this Earth to accomplish.
Moments are set before each one of us
that, if we give all that is within us,
will bring us to an ability and
power we have not before known.
Though the days were still
warm, Brother Brigham knew
things would soon change.
Those of you with strength at all
cross back and help the others!
Those of you with strength at all
cross back and help the others!
Did you hear Captain
Martin, Thomas?
They'll be fine.
Keep to your right! There
are perils on the left!
Keep to your right!
Brother Albert, would you do us
the honor of riding in our cart?
Bless you for your goodness.
I am feeling a bit under
the weather today.
Normally, I would
secure myself across,
perhaps several others, but today
is an exception, to be sure...
I'm really quite a good
swimmer, you should see.
I can get across in
no time, I'm sure.
Just not feeling very today.
I feel bad, I see
these other people.
I feel as though I
could help, but... oh!
That water is wet.
I'll see this across, sister.
Bless you, Captain.
Who will help us, Mommy?
The Lord helps those who
help themselves, Paul.
Now come about.
Let's be on with it.
Keep to your right! There are
deep holes on the left side!
Thank you so much.
It's awfully deep, and, um...
Really, you did a great job.
I'm grateful to be across. Really,
bless you, brother. Thank you.
Steady on!
I did promise I would walk
every step of the way to Zion,
but I really don't
think rivers count.
I mean, it's awfully
deep and awfully wet,
and I just don't think
I would make it.
I mean, I am a pretty good
swimmer, but I don't...
Somebody... Hey!
Help us!
Somebody help them!
Save yourself or you'll
both be drowned!
We're drowning!
Here! Grab hold! Grab hold!
Leave him, let him
go into the water!
No! He is my son!
Father, I need thy help! Father!
Under the bank!
She's over here!
I bear witness to each of you
this day that God lives!
He protected and
saved me son and me.
Without his help, we would
now be drowned in the water.
Any and all who hear my voice know
that a miracle has
come to pass this day
before your very eyes.
I brought you a gift.
My mother says that if one rubs
these leaves into one's hands,
it will soften and heal them.
May I?
Is it working?
For certain, it is working.
Brother Dobson.
He helped everyone he could.
Oh, Albert.
He's fine now, children.
He is right with the Lord.
Let me.
Please, allow me.
He gave everything for the gospel.
It was a pleasant enough
go for a few days,
though my wagon, full of
supplies for the handcarters,
was not the fastest
rig on the trail.
Then, still early in the season,
what Brigham prophesied came true.
To be on the trail in these conditions
meant we were all risking our lives.
Ephraim! Ephraim! Eph!
We're hunkering down here
'til she blows over!
We'll be here 'til spring!
Worthless! Utterly worthless!
Will do better without them at all!
Absolute tosh!
Are you leaving them?
Yes, I am leaving them.
May I have them, please?
They will do you no good. They
can't be made to stay afoot.
Take them, Elizabeth.
Thank you.
For soup.
She wants to boil them and
make a broth for her family.
So it's come to this, has it?
That there is nothing more to eat
than a bit of disgusting broth
made from a stodgy boot?
What's her tale?
Elizabeth Bradshaw...
She's a marvelous sister.
She had two husbands
perish back home,
but she'll not give up
her hope to get to Zion.
When she was already onboard ship,
ready to sail from Liverpool,
her two wealthy
brothers came aboard
and told her not to take her
children to "those forsaken Mormons"
and such a despised place.
They promised that
if she would stay,
she would never yearn for
anything money could buy.
But she held her son close,
turned to her brothers and
said, "The gospel is true.
Joseph Smith is a prophet of God,
and we are going to Zion."
Sister Bradshaw knows, there are
possessions more precious than gold.
Reddick Allred had been assigned to
wait with supplies at South Pass
'til wagons could make it through.
You know what the worst
thing is about, uh...
Multiple wives?
being out here on the
trail all the time?
Chapped lips.
I can tell you how to fix that.
Pick up one of them horse
apples on the trail...
Rub it around your lips.
Sounds like an odd cure.
It won't cure 'em...
It'll sure keep you
from lickin' 'em.
Brothers! We're heading back!
Ain't no way there's a
company out in this.
Either they's stopped somewhere in
Nebraska, or they's dead of the cold.
Did you get word to go back?
Get word? How could we get word?
You gonna go, Eph?
Those of you with strength at all
cross back and help the others!
If you have any strength left at all,
please, go back and help the others!
If you can, please cross
back and help the others!
Just get yourself over, me boy.
Others have boots.
Just get yourself over.
Remember? The Lord
helped us last time?
Remember? We can do this.
I just need you to be
my big man, please?
Sister Bradshaw?
I was hoping your son would
assist me across the river.
What do you think of that?
Thank you.
Brother Dobson, would you assist these
Saints up and out of the marshes?
Yes, Captain!
But first, I must see
the others across.
He is coming to help us.
He is helping others.
Strange how lively
your thoughts become
after making a poor decision.
Did you get word to go back?
How could we get word?
You only think of
your precious self!
The Lord prepares each of us.
Keep your head, Eph!
Headed the wrong way, boys!
Goin' home. They's
either camped or dead.
How do you know that?
I'll make you a proposition.
There's a decent place to
camp just back a piece.
You wait there. We'll
go on and find them.
What makes you think you could
find them when we couldn't?
Brother Brigham sent me
to find these Saints,
and I'll find them or
I'll give my life trying.
We'll wait for ya, Arza.
Ephraim! Will you help them?
I seek to do what's right.
Keep the fire goin', boys!
Arza! Dan!
Sometimes it's not which side of
the fork in the road to take,
it's which direction on the
road you ought to be headed.
Despite our prayers, Mother,
they are not getting better.
They are getting worse.
So it this the blessing of the
righteous which you speak of?
Please, Lord, we need Thy
help, and we need it now.
Or there will not be a
live one amongst us.
It wasn't long before our
wagon was snowbound.
We determined they would wait
for help, and I would move on.
Even on horse it'll be a tough go.
You can't move mountains while
you're sitting on your backside!
I saw what you did, helping
others across the river.
It was a really lovely thing to do.
Thomas, did you leave
a girl in England?
Was she pretty?
Yes, she was...
Did you leave a boy in England?
Was he... handsome?
No, he was quite plain, actually.
So I just tried not to
look at him too much.
Look at me.
Rally up! Move along now!
I'd best be off.
I will keep an eye on you.
No, Thomas, I'll be fine.
You help the others.
Eph, we found them!
It wasn't much later Joseph
A. Young and Abel Garr showed.
They had found the Martin
company at Red Buttes
and left several rescuers
there to aid them.
They were riding day and
night to get back and report
to Brother Brigham.
They hurried off, exhorting me to
find them and do what I could.
Their account of the deprivation
they saw startled me.
I knew those Saints
had no food left...
so I asked for a desire that
had been planted in my heart.
Dear Father...
You've told us to ask for
what we stand in need of.
I ask you now...
that a buffalo be put before me.
Mercy, Lord!
What took you so long?
It was a rare thing
to find buffalo around that
place at this late season.
I knew the hand of
the Lord was in it
for that animal had stayed behind
when the rest of its kind left
for their winter quarters.
I skinned and dressed it,
then loaded up my horses with it.
The sun was about an
hour high in the west
when I spied something
in the distance.
I perceived it moved.
I was then satisfied this
was the Handcart company
led by Captain Edward
Martin and Daniel Tyler.
The sight that met my gaze as
I entered into their midst
can never be erased
from my memory...
And any concerns I had regarding
my own well-being departed.
I must tell you, dear brother, a
prophecy was made by one of the brethren
that the company would feast on buffalo
meat when our provisions run short.
Thank you.
You and God have rescued us.
For this, you will be
known for generations.
What's your name, sister?
Alice Dobson... Preston,
Lancashire, England.
Me son is not faring well, and
this is surely a grand prize.
We've been through much.
Perhaps it would be best
if we rested here a day?
Though exhausted and starved
as they may be, Captain,
we must keep them moving
or we all perish together.
Pardon me, brothers.
Yes, sister?
It's me husband!
Please, Brother Tyler.
He is a good man.
He was president of
the London branch.
He has been giving us his
rations for many weeks.
I am sorry, sister, but I cannot
administer to a dead man.
Brother Hanks, would you please
stay and prepare him for burial?
Brother Martin, there is much
sorrow in the Blair tent tonight,
but the Lord will use us as his
hands if we are willing and worthy.
Why do you do that?
None of us are truly clean...
but we must do our best to be so
as we petition the Lord
for his blessings.
What's his name, sister?
David Blair...
me husband!
David Blair, we anoint you
with this consecrated oil
and command you in the name of
Jesus Christ, breathe and live.
The effect of the
blessing was immediate.
Brother Blair sat up and
began to sing a hymn.
Word spread quickly after this
and the greater portion of my time was
then devoted to waiting on the sick.
I administered to several hundred.
It would be a number of days before
we would meet the supply wagons.
There was much to be done.
Though more valley boys
arrived almost daily,
it was only as a drop to a
bucket to what was needed.
You are doing so well, me boy.
Just a bit of broth to make you
stronger and warm your toes.
I want you to know...
that I am sorry...
for the bother and
heartache I have caused.
Forgive me.
None for the wear.
I've been my own enemy
on this journey...
and I have laid many Saints
to rest as we've gone on...
but soon...
others will bury me.
Here, here, none such talk.
Tomorrow will be a warmer day.
First father...
and now me.
I'll soon be back.
Brother Hanks?
Yes, sister?
It's me son, Thomas.
He is having a go of it.
All in the company say
that you have the gift.
Would you bless him?
It's not only that.
His feet have the black.
They'll have to come off.
Please, Brother Hanks.
Please ask God for help.
He is a grand dancer
of the hornpipe jig.
Other than the gospel,
it's all he has.
In the past day, I have removed
limbs not near this black.
Do you have faith in the
Savior, that He has all power?
I do.
But I am not worthy.
I have been poor and
weak in my actions.
As have we all.
Brother? You are a holy man.
I have so many faults,
I could not count them all.
Well, how is it, then,
you do so much good?
I try.
Thomas Dobson.
The time for you to leave
this world has not come.
You have a work yet to do.
I promise you...
though they be blackened,
your feet shall be saved.
Through your faith,
you will glorify God
and others will hear of and speak
of this day for many years to come.
They will learn of you in ways
we do not now even understand.
Thomas Dobson, in the
name of our Savior,
I say unto you,
take up thy bed and walk!
Oh, me boy, oh!
Thomas, spirits in
the camp are low.
Do you feel the strength to now
lift as you have been lifted?
Steady on, me boy.
You are a good man,
Brother Hanks...
And I am certain, wherever your
mother is, she is very proud of you!
Many stood in need of a rescue
that winter, and I was one.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is
another name for opportunity.
It offers us the privilege
and responsibility
to give something back by
becoming better than we were.
I notice the Lord always counts
on human folks to help Him out...
Thomas fostered his talents
and lifted the spirits
of many to carry on.
I tried to choose the right paths
and be worthy when called.
I like to think the three
of us made a difference.
For a little while
Have I forsaken thee
But with great mercies
Will I gather thee
In a little wrath
I hid my face from thee
For a moment
But with everlasting kindness
Will I gather thee
And with mercy will I take thee
'Neath my wings
For the mountains shall depart
And the hills shall be removed
And the valley shall be
lost beneath the sea
But know, my child
My kindness shall not depart
From thee
Though thy affliction seem
at times too great to bear
I know thine every
thought and every care
And though the very jaws
of hell keep after thee
I am with thee
And with everlasting mercy
Will I succor thee
And with feeling will I
take thee 'neath my wings
For the mountains shall depart
And the hills shall be removed
And the valley shall be
lost beneath the sea
Know, my child
My kindness shall not depart
From thee
How long can rolling waters
Remain impure?
What power shall stay
the hand of God?
The son of man hath
descended below all things
Art thou greater
Than he?
So hold on thy way
For I shall be with you
And my angels shall encircle thee
Doubt not what thou know'st
Fear not man, for he
Cannot hurt thee
And with everlasting kindness
Will I succor thee
And with mercy will I
take thee 'neath my wings
For the mountains shall depart
And the hills shall be removed
And the valley shall be
lost beneath the sea
But know, my child
My kindness shall not depart
From thee
My kindness
Shall not depart
From thee