Why Mormons Build Temples

March 13, 2009 | 16 comments
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The church has a channel on YouTube called Mormon Messages. Yesterday they posted a new video titled, “Why Mormons Build Temples.” (Comments and ratings are not open on this video.)

How do you think this will work as a response to the upcoming airing of recreated temple ceremonies (accurate or not)?

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16 Responses to Why Mormons Build Temples

  1. Gina on March 13, 2009 at 8:07 am

    I think the video is very nice. Having non-LDS scholars explain how the idea and holiness of temples reflects a Biblical experience is a good way to mitigate what some will see as the wierdness of whatever might be aired.

  2. Adam Greenwood on March 13, 2009 at 9:28 am

    The airing is obviously meant to goose ratings by exciting controversy, so the Church’s firm but patient and educational approach is probably the best we can do.

  3. Dave on March 13, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    I don’t think calm and reasoned explanations do much to counter sensationalized reports or depictions. And, of course, if 1000 Mormons were to show up outside the HBO building (I’m assuming they have one somewhere) and shake the gates, we’d be branded as religious fanatics rather than as justifiably upset people exercising a right to assemble and protest. So patience may be the best course, however frustrating that is in the short term.

  4. Catania on March 13, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    I’m hoping that there will be people who do see the HBO show, yet know Mormons and will feel that there may be a disconnect between reality and what they saw on TV.

    For example, a few years ago, PBS ran a show about Mormons. After the airing, more than one person I knew came to me afterward asking me more questions about the church. Because they had some exposure to an actual Mormon, they were able to make some distinctions between what was being said on the show and what they knew about me. Additionally, I was grateful that they were not afraid to ask me directly about some of their concerns.

    Even though the media does not always put Mormons (or often anyone) in a good light, I think that we can remember our actions will speak for us, and that if people want to know truth, they will find a better source than HBO.

  5. Marshall McLuhan on March 13, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    I’m hoping that there will be Mormons who ignore the HBO show, yet understand that many non-Mormons already feel (and comprehend) the obvious disconnect between reality and what they see on TV.

  6. Rudyard King on March 13, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    The official church statement regarding our position in response to the “big love” HBO event is in error, in my opinion. The examples given of what would be classified as anti-mormon events and how they didn’t produce any real negative effects was not accurate in my opinion.

    Those actions pushes Mormonism into the realm of superstitious silliness even more. A boycott of Time-warner would have more positive results than negatives and the manner of our boycott need not be akin to a “crazy abotion protest”…

    I view this as a bad PR strategy and a miscalculation by the Church’s PR department.

  7. jv on March 13, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    Actually, before I came to this page, I had just watched the video. I wasn’t expecting this, but as I was watching the video I became filled with the Spirit. That’s a good sign to me.

  8. Hunter on March 13, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    I thought the most effective parts of the video are the non-members’ parts. The fact that they never once use the word “strange” or “peculiar” goes a long way, IMO.

    President Monson’s part sounded too scripted. The producers should have had him speak extemporaneously.

    All in all, a good tool.

  9. Keith on March 13, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    I think this will help some people. It won’t help others, and probably nothing one could do would help.

    Because of the possibility that this could help some–particularly some who could go away knowing something more–I think it’s a good idea.

    The clips, by the way, are taken from the larger video/dvd the Church developed a few years ago “Between Heaven and Earth” available at your distribution center. There are 10, 24, and 48 minute (or close) versions on the DVD. Worth watching.

  10. Alison Moore Smith on March 13, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    If I’m not mistaken, clips from the video Keith referenced were used in the presentation made just before visitors got on the bus to go to the Draper Temple open house, too.

  11. Keith on March 13, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    “If I’m not mistaken, clips from the video Keith referenced were used in the presentation made just before visitors got on the bus to go to the Draper Temple open house, too.”

    This is likely because much of the video is oriented to help people know what temples mean for Mormons, what we do there, etc. It’s been used with open houses and the like. Some parts near the end of the video, for example, are designed to help folks in surrounding communities know what traffic would be like, how the temple would affect the neighborhood and similar concerns.

  12. Alex Valencic on March 13, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    Now, now folks… if we want to get *really* picky about where the video originated, I know that most of the footage was shown during the Nauvoo Temple Open House, which was *before* Between Heaven & Earth was released.

    Regardless of all that, I think that the video is quite lovely. I didn’t even think of it as a pre-emptive response to “Big Love” but I guess it does make some sense.

    And in regards to #6, I actually think that the Church’s PR strategy is fabulous! They are pretty much saying that we, as a Church, cannot really be bothered to worry about such a pathetic attempt at sensationalising our beliefs. So we choose to ignore them, and allow individual members to decide how best to respond.

  13. Alison Moore Smith on March 14, 2009 at 12:03 am

    I tend to agree, Alex. Still, that’s an awful lot of stuff going on in the name of ignoring.

  14. Bookslinger on March 14, 2009 at 12:36 am

    The fact that the video is embedded on the front page at http://www.lds.org, top of the center column, in the same paragraph that talks about the Big Love episode, kind of makes it obvious it is the church’s resposne.

  15. James on March 14, 2009 at 2:00 am

    #3: You are right. 1000 members protesting outside of HBO’s corporate offices in NY wouldn’t do much good. But, just fantasize a moment about the impact of 1000 affluent members short selling Time Warner stock.

  16. Clovis on March 17, 2009 at 2:42 am

    Remember when the world was outraged- and rightly so- when in the beautiful valleys and mountains of northwestern Afghanistan there stood an ancient icon of the Buddha carved into a mountainside, thousands of years old and the Taliban destroyed it? I thought it was horrifying and revealed the complete depravity some people can descend into.

    To me the temple is THE major icon of our faith and what goes on in there is sacred and when the ceremony is taken out of context the exquisite beauty and the supreme mystical power that is to be found there cannot be comprehended by caveat! This is THE HOUSE OF THE LORD. Simply because there is no ark to steady does not mean we have the power or right to reach up with our weak presentations and fashionings to aggrandize ourselves with the holy grail of greed and attempt to portray these holy temple ordinances as if we really understood what we were doing anyway!