Joseph Smith actor Nathan Mitchell reminisces of his mission in Hawaii

Written by: 
Jordan Cortez

Nathan Mitchell, known for playing the titular role in “Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration,” was impressed with BYU-Hawaii students after visiting the campus to promote his company Anasazi. Having served his mission in Hawaii, he expressed gratitude for the opportunity to visit the campus and to reminisce on his past experiences.


“I have been so impressed with the student body here at BYU-Hawaii,” he said. “I’ve been so impressed with their ambition, in the best sense of that word. They aspire to the greatness inside of them with humility to glorifying God.


“I did not know much about students, the mission statement, or what made BYUH so different and unique, but it has been so impressive finding out. When we visited the PCC we found ourselves spending all of our time with the students and people. We loved hearing their stories.”


Honolulu Hawaii MIssion

This was Nathan’s first time back in Hawaii since serving in the Hawaii Honolulu Mission from 1994-1996. Since being back, he and his wife, Amy Mitchell, who lived here as a child, have been “gushing” over all of the things they love about Hawaii.


Amy noted that Nathan spent a long time at the rental car company on the first day just talking to an employee because he loved the employee’s accent so much.


Nathan also said, “Of course the food is very nostalgic. Our first stop was L&L Express. I got that loco moco that I had been craving for 20 years.”


Although he served in Hawaii, Nate said he only came to Laie twice. One time for a temple visit and the other at the end of his mission when all the missionaries finishing their missions were treated to a day at the PCC.


Serving in Hawaii also brought Nathan and his wife together. Nathan said, “She was the sister of my mission buddy, so obviously that is kind of a no-no.” Amy added, “As soon as I met him, I was in love. I knew he was the one.” Nate finished by saying, “At first I was clueless. It took me 3 years to finally cue in, but I did it.”


Starring in a church film

When asked about what she would like BYUH students to know, Amy referred to church movies. “There are no credits in church films. Not much recognition.”


Trey Workman, a sophomore studying psychology from Arizona, said, “Nate was so kind when I met him. Usually well-known people will be rude about getting pictures taken, but Nate was so incredibly kind and gracious about taking one with me. He carries an amazing spirit with him.”


Amy said that does not mean the actors are not important. The same principle applies to everyone: although credit might not be given, every role and individual is very important. “Their stories matter.”


Nate commented on how his role in church films mirrors how God uses people to expand His Kingdom. “I know I am not the world's greatest actor or that it’s the world’s greatest film, but the reason that it works is because there's a power greater than me. If God wanted the world’s greatest actor, he would have him. He uses imperfect people to accomplish big things. It is the spirit that speaks to people. We only have to be a conduit for his light.”

Date Published: 
Friday, November 3, 2017
Last Edited: 
Friday, November 3, 2017