I recently went to see the movie The Cokeville Miracle, directed by TC Christensen.  I was in the mood for an uplifting movie, but I had no idea what the story line looked like.   For those who don’t know, this movie is about actual events that happened on May 16, 1986.

The former town marshal of Cokeville, David Young (44), was obviously losing his mind.  And he and his wife Doris took the school hostage with a bomb big enough to kill everyone in the building.  There were 136 children and 18 adults at their mercy.

cokeville3For those who remember those days, the word spread quickly, even though there was no internet yet. But even though the bomb went off, not a single child or faculty member died.  And only 79 were injured (according to Wikipedia).  The only ones to lose their lives were David and Doris Young.

This movie focuses on the events of that day, the miraculous survival of those children, and the miracles that made it possible.  I hadn’t realized before seeing the movie that it was based on a real event.  It gave me fresh eyes, and raw horror, as I watched the show.  But it also blessed me with such a feeling of peace and of God’s involvement, as I watched the subsequent miracles unfold onscreen.

cokeville 5This movie is very well done.  The actors and director did a fantastic job painting a picture for us. Those who were the targets of that madman were spared.  And as TC says at the end of the film, I don’t know why others aren’t spared the same way.  But I was truly moved as the film ended and they showed the children then and now.

All of the children have grown up into smiling adults with families of their own.  One woman commented in the credits that she felt her family was her miracle that came from that horrible day. And I started looking more closely.

Every one of the survivors has children.  Some have many!  With my quick math deduction skills I realized that the Lord spared 136 children that day.  And those children have become the parents to hundreds more.  The movie depicts ancestors protecting and guiding the children out of the devastation after the bomb went off.

What a beautiful thing to realize that our family units aren’t just for this life.  They are eternal units and we are going to be working together for a very long time to come.

cokevilleThis movie gave me pause.  It churned up thoughts of the Divine.  And it made me want to be a better person, so I can be there for my family and for those others who may need me.  It’s not every day that you get an experience like that in the theater.

The Cokeville Miracle is a truly inspiring and heartwarming story.  I encourage everyone to go see it.  I wouldn’t bring anyone under the age of 12 along, however.  The guy who plays David Young is scary.  And as a mom with a very young elementary aged child I had a hard time with the beginning of the movie.  It stirred emotions I didn’t know I had.

By the end, however, I wanted to hold my loved ones and cry, because I was reminded how much Heavenly Father loves children.  And the many miracles of that day only served to strengthen my faith in a loving God who has it all under control.  I give this movie three thumbs up — two because it is well done and truly moving, and a third for the spiritual aspect I didn’t see coming.

To read more articles by Patty, please click here.

To read more articles by Patty, please click here.

Stay tuned.  I got to talk to one of the survivors of that day — one of the little girls who were in the room.  And I got to talk to some of the cast from the movie.  I’ll be releasing follow-up stories shortly.

Patty Sampson About Patty Sampson
Patty thrives on all things creative. You’ll often find her in the garden pretending she is a suburban farmer. She loves meeting new people, and is devoted to her friends and family. In her heart she is a Midwesterner even though life has moved her all over the country. She believes in “blooming where you’re planted” and has found purpose in every place she has been. She has a deep and abiding love for the Savior and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And she loves editing LDS Blogs because it is a constant spiritual uplift. Not many people can say their job builds their witness of the Savior.

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