Jane and Emma, a film by Excel Entertainment, releases in October 2018.

Many LDS do not know the story of Jane.

Read the short description below, and then watch the short video to learn more about this early Saint who was very faithful.


This autobiographical account of Jane Manning James, which she dictated to Elizabeth J.D. Roundy to be read at her funeral, has been edited. The words are all Jane’s, though she left out some important parts of her own story such as her divorce from Isaac James, whom she later housed during his final illness, and her unrequited yearning to do more in the LDS temples than proxy baptisms.

Jane Manning James was born into a free black family in Connecticut in 1822. She joined the Church in 1841 and was active in the faith until her death in 1908. During her nearly seven decades of Church membership, Jane lived in the homes of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, survived the 1850 cricket crisis, and was baptized for ancestors in the Salt Lake temple after its dedication. She also raised ten children, helped her neighbors through difficult times, and shared her testimony of the gospel.

As mentioned above, around 1900, Jane dictated her life story to Elizabeth J. D. Roundy, a pioneer in family history efforts.  The short autobiography represented Jane’s life as she wanted it to be remembered: she told Sister Roundy that she wanted it “read at her funeral.” Over a century after that funeral, the example of Jane Manning James continues to inspire Latter-day Saints, and her brief life sketch remains a precious link connecting us with the first generation of those who embraced the restored gospel.


Want to read more about the film Jane and Emma? Read this article from THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE.