In this installment of When Calls the Heart, the idea of community and family coming together to support one another continues to be an ongoing theme. We see how fearful Elizabeth is in the opening scene where she sees the Mounties riding home and looks for her beloved Jack whom she cannot find. She is constantly concerned but trusting God for Jack’s well-being. He ultimately returns, they begin to plan their wedding, and it is here that we see all the people who love them gathering together to support the couple in their success as soon-to-be newlyweds.
The children are upset at the notion that when Elizabeth gets married, she may no longer be their teacher, and one student in particular struggles with this potential loss in an endearing and poignant way—which is handled beautifully by the adults. When the betrothed couple tries to place boundaries on their friends who want a big hand in orchestrating the wedding, the community’s servant hearts and their love for Elizabeth and Jack ultimately shine through, and the couple allow them to add to their day in a sacrificial and magnanimous manner.
The sub-plots are powerful additions to the story when we see Henry, who has now been released from prison, back in the community and working with Mayor Abigail (Loughlin) to secure finances for infrastructure and the salvation of businesses. It is encouraging to see how Abigail continually puts her faith in Henry when no one else will. She firmly believes that people deserve a second chance and that Henry, in the deepest parts of his character, is a good man. This of course inspires him to live out her prediction. The rest of the film is light and romantic as Elizabeth and Jack take steps to the very day of their wedding, and it is a joyful and peaceful thing to watch as well as instructional, for there is much advice being given to both parties about the value of marriage and how to succeed.
The Dove Take
It does not escape me that young viewers will especially appreciate history coming to life as pioneers forge bonds and make daily choices that are in some ways unique to that time and place. Moral messages abound regarding how to use good judgment and wisdom when trusting others, and how to be persistent and forceful about what one believes without being aggressive.
Dove awards When Calls the Heart: Home Is Where the Heart Is the Dove-Approved Seal for All Ages.