The true story of how the Church of Latter Day Saints made its way to the American West in search of a home free from persecution informs this historical drama, based on the novel by Gerald N. Lund. In 1833, Benjamin Steed (Sam Hennings) and his wife, Mary Ann (Brenda Strong), were the leaders of a family of Mormons living in Missouri, but they and their fellow followers of the teachings of Joseph Smith (Jonathan Scarfe) knew little peace, as fierce anti-Mormon factions took violent action against the settlers. When several hundred LDS members were forced from their homes by vigilantes, Smith and his loyal second Brigham Young (Andrew Bowen) set forth to find a new home for their growing flock. Benjamin and Mary Ann join the migration west, but not everyone in their family joins them; their eldest son Joshua (Eric Johnson) has turned his back on the Mormon faith, and has joined forces with the men seeking to put a stop to Smith, Young, and their new church. The Work and the Glory: American Zion was the sequel to the 2004 film The Work and the Glory, also based on a novel by Gerald N. Lund.