From learning about the prophet to playing the prophet, Elder Harding reflects on his biggest role

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    By Heather Bowser

    Missionary Dustin Harding of Orem plays the role of the 17-year-old Joseph Smith in the new church film, “Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration.”

    After a summer of filming, “Dustin” became “Elder,” and he entered the Missionary Training Center on Oct 20.

    “There”s no better way for me to prepare for my mission than having opportunities like this,” he said. “I had a testimony of the prophet before, but with [the film], I have grown to love the prophet with all my heart.”

    Elder Harding acted the role of Joseph Smith in three previous films, including “The Restoration,” a DVD included in October”s Ensign.

    “They showed ”The Restoration” at the MTC the other day, and all the elders started to recognize me,” he said. “I”ve kind of looked at this as an opportunity to bear my testimony and say how much I love this man.”

    In keeping with mission rules, Elder Harding”s companion, Elder Kal Lines of Glendale, Ariz., was an extra on the set. Elder Lines, who was decorated with a black floppy hat and fuzzy sideburns, said a day on a movie set while training in the MTC came as a surprise.

    Monday was Elder Harding”s last day of filming. He and his companion will soon fly out to their mission in New Hampshire.

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