I realize Big Love is “entertainment” and not real. After watching tonight’s episode, I also realize that HBO and the Big Love crew have no hesitation in casting others’ pearls before swine. A few points of clarification are in order from tonight’s episode.
1. Barb wanting Temple endowments? It’s singular not plural. One could not possibly take out their own endowment on someone else’s recommend, even assuming someone would agree to lend out the recommend. Anyone who has a Temple recommend already has been endowed–you can’t do it twice.
2. We weren’t promising, just a few years ago, to disembowel people for “monkeying around” with the Temple ceremonies. This is pure hype not reality.
3. An inactive member not paying tithing, not believing in Church, living a polygamous relationship would have no desire or inclination to go through the Temple. They don’t believe the mainstream LDS (Mormon) Church has authority or the saving ordinances. The entire story line on Barb wanting to attend the Temple Ceremony is utter nonsense.
It is unclear just how she got into the Temple–since both her “mother” and “sister” were there with her, meaning she couldn’t possibly have used either of their recommends to gain entrance. By Barb’s own admission–at that ridiculous portrayal of the ex-communication court, she believes the Church and its leaders are in grave error on polygamy.
4. The Endowment and Temple ceremony and celestial room depictions were in extremely poor taste. They serve absolutely no purpose in the “Big Love” story. Particularly since Big Love is not supposed to be about depicting the LDS Church, but a polygamous sub-culture.
5. There is no “Woodruff” letter as depicted in the Big Love story line. More hype–little to no truth or fact. I’m no Church history buff, and so I’d love to hear from Ardis or any others steeped in Church history on this point; but, from my limited knowledge, it does not exist. Pure Hollywood fantasy.
6. How could Barb live up to Temple covenants if she had never had made them in the first place.?
These are only some of the inconsistencies or outright lies from tonight’s episode. The entire series has been full of others. I just found the portrayal of portions of the Temple Ceremony to be in extremely poor taste, particularly given the fact that HBO and the Big Love producers have gone out of their way time and time again to distance their fictional, and yes, entertaining series from the LDS Church. The reality is that over and over again throughout the entire series (from the beginning of every single episode) they have gone out of their way to incorporate the LDS Church, and their interpretation of its doctrines and practices into every story line. One has to wonder whether HBO and the Big Love folks are in truth trying to take weekly swipes at the Church under the guise of producing a program about offshoots of the LDS Church, its doctrines and beliefs.
For other ‘Nacle posts see:
The Controversial Big Love Episode at Mormon Mentality
Julie Smith’s post over at Times and Seasons
Media Grapples with Big Love Story over at Mormon Inquiry
Live Blogging Big Love at BCC with Kevin Barney
Exposing Sacred Temple Practice at Mormon Insights
SL Tribune Big Love Update at Adventures in Mormonism
Big Love Fallout over at Nine Moons
Big Love Res Publica at BCC
Blah, Blah, Big Love, Mormons and Temples at The Rains Came Down
Temple Phobe is not Pleased with Big Love at ClobberBlog
Other good media coverage:
Big Love in Big Trouble with Mormons–Chicago Tribune
Mormons upset at HBO filming of rite–Arizona Republic
Big Love photo draws big criticism–Salt Lake Tribune
Religious Leaders say HBO Overstepped Bounds–Deseret News
Big Love the heart of darkness–Los Angeles Times