LDS Church comments on 'Big Love'

Published: Tuesday, March 10 2009 12:00 a.m. MDT

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is speaking out about concerns over an upcoming episode of HBO's "Big Love," which apparently depicts sacred temple ceremonies.

This "Publicity Dilemma" is discussed at length on the "Newsroom" section of www.lds.org.

"Before the first season of the HBO series 'Big Love' aired more than two years ago, the show's creators and HBO executives assured the Church that the series wouldn't be about Mormons," the statement on lds.org says. "However, Internet references to 'Big Love' indicate that more and more Mormon themes are now being woven into the show and that the characters are often unsympathetic figures who come across as narrow and self-righteous. And according to TV Guide, it now seems the show's writers are to depict what they understand to be sacred temple ceremonies.

"Certainly Church members are offended when their most sacred practices are misrepresented or presented without context or understanding."

The statement on lds.org says that the HBO series "once again blurs the distinctions between The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the show's fictional non-Mormon characters and their practices. Such things say much more about the insensitivities of writers, producers and TV executives than they say about Latter-day Saints."

These references are directed toward the upcoming Sunday, March 15, episode of "Big Love," which takes viewers into a Hollywood version of an LDS temple's endowment ceremony and celestial room.

Last week some LDS Church members began e-mail chains calling for cancellation of subscriptions to AOL, which, like HBO, is owned by Time Warner.

The church said individual members have the right to take such actions if they choose. The church as an institution does not call for boycotts and stressed that members in "the public arena should conduct themselves with dignity and thoughtfulness."

— Lynn Arave

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