Resurrection of the Epic Tom Trails Filmstrip

John Dehlin Mormon Stories

Tom TrailsFor those who haven’t seen this yet–what a goldmine (thanks to Paula for the reference).

As the site says, “Tom Trails is a filmstrip series originally released in 1968 by the Church Educational System of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It was intended as a comprehensive tool to teach gospel principles in seminary and Institute of Religion classes. Constructed as a 17-chapter series to be shown one at a time in connection with a particular lesson topic, the filmstrip as a whole told one continuous and quite elaborate story. With a total running time of 3 hours and 34 minutes, the Tom Trails series was filled with just about every kind of challenge that could confront a young person–from heartache to attempted murder–and offered a chance for redemption. Much of this message was probably missed, however, because the earnest narration, simple musical score, and marvelously bad acting stole the show. But that was and is the charm of Tom Trails.

It seems that most people who saw Tom Trails when it was an active part of the CES program have left its charm to history, since few young or newer members of the church know the film strip series today. But I believe that not only would the original seminary and institute audience of Tom Trails appreciate a look back, but younger generations would appreciate the glimpse into the church’s perspective on coming of age in the late 1960s–the era of Viet Nam, free love, and really bad eyewear.”

It even includes the “beeps” to advance the filmstrip!!! How I miss those beeps.

Please check out, and support the Tom Trails project. 🙂