Love's Abiding Joy

Love's Abiding Joy is a 2006 made-for-television Christian drama film based on a series of books by Janette Oke. It was directed by Michael Landon Jr. and stars Erin Cottrell and Logan Bartholomew. It is the fourth movie in the Love Saga, which includes Love Comes Softly (2003), Love's Enduring Promise (2004), Love's Long Journey (2005), Love's Abiding Joy (2006), Love's Unending Legacy (2007), Love's Unfolding Dream (2007), Love Takes Wing (2009), and Love Finds a Home (2009),[1][2] as well as the 2011 prequels, Love Begins and Love's Everlasting Courage.

Love's Abiding Joy
Written byMichael Landon Jr.
Douglas Lloyd McIntosh
Bridget Terry
Janette Oke
Directed byMichael Landon Jr.
StarringErin Cottrell
Logan Bartholomew
Frank McRae
Drew Tyler Bell
Mae Whitman
W. Morgan Sheppard
Theme music composerKevin Kiner
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
Producer(s)Brian Gordon
Erik Oslon
Editor(s)Colleen Halsey
Running time87 min
DistributorFox Faith
20th Television
Original networkHallmark Channel
Original releaseOctober 6, 2006
Preceded byLove's Long Journey
Followed byLove's Unending Legacy


Clark goes out West to visit his daughter and son-in-law; during his visit, Willie and Missie's infant daughter Kathy dies. “She stopped breathing,” Missie cried in her grief-filled explanation to her best friend, Belinda. “I put her to bed just like always and in the morning, she wasn't breathing...” Land baron and mayor Doros hires Willie as town sheriff, since grief-stricken Missie has quit her job as schoolteacher, and the LaHayes need the money. Doros uses Willie as sheriff to try to evict ranchers who have fallen behind on payments. Missie assists one family - a formerly-widowed, now remarried, preacher-turned-rancher and her best friend Belinda - by selling most of her most prized possessions, including the gold locket Missie’s mother gave her. Othherwise, the Klines would have been forced out of their land, home, and livestock. This happened to another rancher, Joe Paxon, the sheriff admits to his wife, Missie; Paxon lost everything for a loan from the mayor, and was forced to send his wife and daughter away because he could no longer provide for them.

During this time, Doros' daughter Colette, home on break from her boarding school back East, develops a crush on Willie and Missie's adopted son Jeff. Contrasting Colette’s formal education, Jeff is a well-read young man who must take over for Willie on the ranch and obey Old Scottie, an experienced cow buck, and the elder ranch cook, Cookie. Colette Doros invites him inside her father's Big Sky Ranch to show him the library of her dead mother, who "lived to read books". She wants to give him Romeo and Juliet, but Mayor Doros butts in and insensibly declares that the book is "too fragile to be let out." Colette visits the ranch frequently and helps Jeff with his chores. Jeff also visits her at Doros' ranch. Doros secretly discovers this, but does not let on.

As Colette prepares to leave for school, Jeff and she kiss. Her father lays a trap for Jeff using the unwitting Colette. Upon her departure, Doros charges Jeff with horse theft and demands that Willie arrest his own son. Doros swears that Jeff stole the horse, but Willie produces Colette, whom Doros thought left for school on the stagecoach. She testifies to his innocence. Doros makes amends for Kline, Paxon, and Willie.

In the end, Clark realizes that his daughter Missie is in great hands with her husband Willie and returns home.


Erin CottrellMissie LaHaye
Logan BartholomewWillie LaHaye
Frank McRaeCookie
Drew Tyler BellJeff LaHaye
Mae WhitmanColette Doros
W. Morgan SheppardScottie
James TupperHenry Kline
John LaughlinSamuel Doros
Kevin GageJohn Abel
Brett CokerMattie LaHaye
Stephen BridgewaterMr. Taylorsen
Brianna BrownMelinda Kline
Blake GibbonsJoe Paxson
Dale MidkiffClark Davis

Differences From the novel

  • Marty and Clark both visited Missie in the novel, where Clark came alone in the film.
  • Missie and Willie have another son, Josiah, in the novel, who is not in the film. They later have two daughters, Melissa and Julia, mentioned in later novels. Missie is pregnant with Melissa at the close of this novel. Melissa comes east to stay with Clark and Marty in Love's Unfolding Dream. They do not have and lose an infant daughter named Kathy.
  • Clark is seriously injured while attempting to rescue two boys from a cave-in. He is near death, but his life is saved by a neighbor doctor, who amputates his leg.
  • Willie does not become the town sheriff in the novel.
  • The characters Jeff, Colette, and Doros do not exist in the novel.


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