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Willard and Rebecca Bean accept a mission call to serve in Palmyra, New York–the first missionaries to return since the saints left. They use all their assets–boxing, service, love and tenacity to accomplish amazing things. (Description from Living Scriptures)

An interesting fact about Willard Bean that is not mentioned in the movie, is that he knew the scriptures so well that President Heber J. Grant once said, “I know of no man in the church who can quote as much scripture as Willard.”

Disclaimer: At times in the movie, the main character is portrayed as somewhat ‘silly’ and less intelligent than his wife.


Runtime: 100 min

Release: 2019

Cast: David McConnell, Charley Boon, Kenna Dawn

Director: T. C. Christensen

Writer: T. C. Christensen

4 thoughts to “The Fighting Preacher (2019)

  • Threesa Cummings

    I was excited to watch this movie, because I have previously read the book written by their grandson, Rand H. Packer, called A Lion and a Lamb. The book is so good, and this couple is so inspiring. They faced so much opposition and hardship on their 25 year mission in Palmyra. They were both very strong in their own ways. They complemented each other so perfectly. Willard Bean was a strong and powerful missionary, and his wife, in her quiet strength was an ideal match.
    I have to admit that I was disappointed, because I felt like they made him seem weak and changed elements of the story unnecessarily. Of course reading a book first nearly always makes a movie disappointing, but I wished that they had shown his strength as well as hers. What they accomplished for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is immeasurable.

  • Sorena Marble

    This is my favorite movie so far!! I really enjoyed watching this movie and I felt the spirit through its messages. I laughed, I cried, I cheered. I was thoroughly into every part of this movie. Willard and Rebecca Bean were the epitome of service. I don’t know of anyone else who spent the majority of their lives out on a mission. They had served several missions before they were called to serve in Palmyra. I was heartbroken that after six years of living in the Joseph Smith home they were still being treated so poorly. The love the Beans were able to show to the people of Palmyra was such a good example to me. Love God, love your neighbor. . I enjoyed this movie so much that we looked up their actual story and discussed the differences between their real life and the changes made for the movie I would recommend this movie to everyone. Everyone should see it and be inspired by this family.

  • Alexis

    “Change my tactic.” This is a great one! The story of middle weight world champion boxer Willard Bean, during his 25 year mission to the Joseph Smith Farm in Palmyra. The town is very hostile at first, and Willard goes in swinging, literally. After several years when they realize the situation is not getting better, they change tactics, they serve instead of fight. The change in the whole community is beautiful to watch!

  • Cochran Family

    The Fighting Preacher is definitely a fun one to watch. I had never heard of Willard Bean before watching this, but his story is easy to fall in love with. Loving people even when it’s miserable to love them is a key principle portrayed in the storyline. The only aspect of the movie I did not like is how silly and weak they make Brother Bean look. Overall it’s a fun one to add to your family collection!


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