Big Love to Depict LDS Endowment Ceremony

Lots of discussion lately on the Mormon blogs about the upcoming episode of Big Love scheduled to portray portions of the LDS endowment ceremony as well as an excommunication proceeding.  The show, scheduled to air March 15th on HBO, is said to contain accurate depictions of the endowment ceremony.  Check out this photo of the character Barb leaving the temple from TVGuide Magazine.  

Details about the endowment ceremony becoming public isn’t new – anyone can find the entire temple ceremony transcripts online with 5 minutes of googling.  Full bootleg videos & audio recordings aren’t terribly hard to find on the internet either.  But this is said to be the first time it will be shown on TV, so that’s significant.
The official LDS newsroom has responded with one of their unauthored blog-post-like responses that I find so intriguing.
I don’t have HBO, so I’ll have to wait for the pirated version to hit the interwebs to see it.  I suspect we’ve seen the worst of the controversy already.  Anyone who will be offended probably already is and simply won’t watch it.
Do you plan to watch the episode?  Why or why not?

12 comments to Big Love to Depict LDS Endowment Ceremony

  • Nope, won't watch it. First of all, I don't have HBO. Second of all, although I've never been to the temple, I think it's ridiculous and blasphemous to depict something so sacred (available only to "temple worthy" members) on TV. I actually really like the churches stand that is calm and dignified. It allows members of the church to make up their own minds and take what actions they feel is necessary, if at all.

  • Sorry, I'll try that again! HA!

    I'm not surprised that HBO is doing something like this … I'm not surprised that someone was willing to cater to them… Information is EVERYWHERE about the temple ceremony. I'm terribly saddened that they're actually going to go through with it. To take something so special and to make a light-hearted show about it makes me so sad! I know there are people who were creeped out by the initiatories before they were changed … and i know MANY people who thought the endowment ceremony was just plain weird … but I love everything about it and it hurts me so see something so special to me be tossed around like it's no big deal.

  • Sarah, I like the church's stand as well. Allowing each member to react as they please is definitely the best course of action.

    Sarah & Casey, so are either of you doing anything in protest (i.e. boycotts, writing letters, etc.)?

  • I won't be watching it, mostly because I'd rather spend my free time watching Lost on

    But anyway, I also liked the church's response. Some refreshing pragmatic sound-mindedness.

  • Anonymous

    Reading responses from LDS members is very interesting but let me ask any non mormons reading these comments a question that might help LDS members think a bit…
    How many non-mormons feel a member of the LDS church ever disrespected something that was important or religeously sacred to them?
    Let me ask this question to LDS members?
    How does the gospel of Jesus Christ tell you to respond to
    the imperfections of others? And, if you are true Christians…What does Christ say concerning the way you respond unto the least of his servants?

  • I have not yet decided Reuben. I'm not the protesting kind of girl but this one really pulls at something in me … heck, it's all I dreamed about last night… I need a day or two more to think about it.

  • I don't have televsion, and though I'm a media maven at heart, I'm often grateful to be completely ignorant that any of these things are going on. I don't want to sound paranoid or start a weird rumor, but it strikes me that Tom Hanks is the producer of this show and was one of the Hollywood Big Wigs calling foul during the Prop 8 brouhaha. I certainly hope this isn't just some vengeful agenda. But whatever. Let the people cast stones and ridicule what other people feel is sacred. At the end of the day, it reflects badly on them. Imagine the outcry if there was a television show speculating on what's under a siek's turban or espousing the opinion that Islamic women are oppressed or whatever other nonsense is out there. I'm still betting that the majority of Catholic priests are good, God-fearing men who have no designs on children, but that didn't stop "Doubt" from being a big hit (and an interesting film). It seems reasonable that southern protestants aren't all secret members of the KKK. That wouldn't make it on tv, but it probably has in the past– I think there was an episode of "Qunatum Leap" to that effect. Let the media and extremist individuals yell and curse and make fun and deride, but as for me, I'll be spending a quiet evening in my community doing something productive. Or maybe I'll celebrate the fact that I can go to the temple for real and not see some cheap copy. I have no plans to embrace or justify the consistent prejudice and ridicule members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are up against, but I'd rather spend my time doing good in the world than calling even more attention to the show. Why generate the buzz?

  • Thanks, all, for responses. I asked one active LDS woman I know if she would be watching. She replied, "ugh.. no. It's boring enough in person." HA! that cracked me up.

    Rachel, I also wonder if there's some sort of revenge motive behind the episode – by Tom Hanks, Dustin Lance Black, or others. If so, they're doing a good job & really ruffling some feathers.

    Also, Quantum Leap was awesome….

  • Anonymous

    You might find more sympathy by not using odd buzzwords like "disempowering" when referring to clothing or irrationally implying that the doors would be locked and that you couldn't leave at any time.
    That you would take the time to write out these things shows that you care, but I suggest a more tactful and less biased approach, if you are to win followers.

  • Readers, I deleted a comment left by Diane Pearce, Life Coach and feel I ought to explain myself because censorship is not generally my thing. Diane's comment was deleted for several reasons:

    1. It smacked of trollery. It appeared to be a boiler plate comment that has probably been left on every blog she can find that refers to temples. Such spam is not welcome here.

    2. The comment used a disrespectful and accusatory tone, which was both unwarranted and unappreciated.

    2. It was off-topic. The purpose of this post was not to debate the merits or flaws of temple ceremonies, but to discuss the portrayal of these ceremonies in popular media.

    That being said, I want to stress that I think Diane voiced some valid concerns regarding temple ceremonies. I have long agreed with several of her points and believe it warrants further discussion. However, this post is not the place for that discussion. Perhaps a future post. I welcome Diane to continue reading and commenting.

  • Anonymous

    I am the anonymous that signed my response to Diane as "Screwtape."

    I have since learned that Diane's contribution was an outright "copy-paste" job that has been plastered all over the internet in various places. It was probably not written by her. My response, as sincere as it was, was meant meant for the readers more than for Diane- and now I know that it was a copy-paste job.

  • Anonymous

    More from Anonymous (Screwtape)

    I noticed on the Mormon Messages channel of youtube that the comment to views ratio is… wrong.
    Any video with as many views as the one on Mormon Temples should have WAY more comments.

    Further, a cursory glance of the comments that exist are ALL positive or welcoming of the video's content.

    I know it is possible to remove comments. The only conclusion I can make is that this is PR manipulation.