LDS Church builds movie set for ambitious film project


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  • Blaine Cedar City, UT
    Aug. 2, 2011 9:12 p.m.

    It looks like the architects and builders have a created a very nice movie set with an ancient appearance. I wonder: Did Jerusalem look 2,000 years old 2,000 years ago?

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Jan. 4, 2011 6:07 p.m.

    I just feel a need to specifically mention that the LDS Church helped re-build entire villages destroyed by the Tsunami in Sumatra where the entire population was uslim.

    The Church provided not only tents in the immediate after-math of the earth-quake in Haiti, but it also provided the materials to build houses later on. The LDS Church aid was not only immediately after the earth-quake, as Truth-seekers dismissive comment implies, but continues to the present, having involved a large shipment to help in the wake of the cholera epidemic in the country.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Jan. 4, 2011 6:01 p.m.

    The LDS Church is in a no-win situation. It takes the hard decision and cuts staff at the Deseret News to keep it close to a profitable operation, and there is no end to denouncing it for not stepping in to save jobs.

    It then goes and creates a film lot for the production of films that act to advance its central mission and purpose inthe context of modern communication methods, and people act as if this is some sort of scheme to make Thomas S. Monson a rich man.

    The very idea is ludicrous. It really seems some people read "movie set" an assumed this was some for-profit venture. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is a for curriculum venture.

    Beyond this, as Elder Robbins pointed out building this set in Utah is much, much cheaper than filming on-site in Israel. So considering that fact, this is actually a less expensive project in the long-run than other projects have been in the past.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Jan. 4, 2011 5:55 p.m.

    CHS 85,
    Considering that tithing is to build up the Church, and one of the key ways to do this is through missionary work, and this is about providing for creating ways to better do missionary work in this multi-media age, I would say yes.

    What next, are people going to attack the Church for printing the Book of Mormon with tithing funds?

    However, these materials will also provide for better enhancements and aids to instructions both in classes and in the home.

    The way some of the comments on here are phrased one would think this is a Holywood-type movie lot that the Church will be renting out to MGM and Fox to make movies. Nothing is further from what is actually going on, and so like so many of the attacks on the activities that the Church is involved in, is totally unjustified.

    The LDS Church is one of the bigger tax payers in Utah, due to its many activities that do not involve tithing funds, but it only seems to get hated for that.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Jan. 4, 2011 5:50 p.m.

    The claim "the people in Haiti have no homes" needs to be qualified. The Church has donated towards various relief efforts in Haiti.

    Beyond this, this is creating jobs. Jobs grow the economy.

    Lastly, your claim to be well aware of the donations of the Church to humanitarian causes is under-minded by your attempt to imply that the only major mobilization of the Church membership towards any cause was in 2008.

    The amount of on-going work towards various humanitarian causes extended by members of the Church probably could be more, but it is clearly not given proper recognition by your sneering comments.

    Lastly, considering the amount of things the Church provides fee, such as the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Concerts, your sneering and rude remarks totally miss the truth.

  • hbeckett Colfax, CA
    Jan. 3, 2011 6:38 p.m.

    I enjoy all the video presentations of the church. This is my request, because all the viewing resources in the ward library are TV's. All the video formats that we currently have are 4:3 or full screen. The latest presentations produced seem to be 16:9 and even letter box which makes it very hard to see the presentation on a TV screen. Can the current programs and new presentations be given an option between full screen 4:3 and wide screen 16:9 or letter box. It would be really helpful thank you.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Jan. 3, 2011 12:17 p.m.

    To Makemud Ahnadumjihad: What you call historical fiction is based on real life testaments to the LDS Belief. Not historical fiction but real life moments into the history of the Church. Your is based on your opinion and opinion only not on any real facts.

  • ciaobello Concord, CA
    Jan. 3, 2011 11:26 a.m.

    I love it. And our former home teacher has been an actor in Church movies. Very fun to see him unexpectedly.

  • Makemud Ahnadumjihad Orem, UT
    Jan. 3, 2011 10:12 a.m.

    I suppose the film segments produced will be useful. As long as the Church isn't delving into historical fiction again, a la Legacy, Testaments, and Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration, I have no major beef with this project.

  • donn layton, Ut
    Jan. 3, 2011 9:29 a.m.

    The land of Goshen already exists in Indiana. The Mennonites think of themselves as a "peculiar people" separate from the world, a people avoiding worldly pleasures and worldly sins. It is a part of primitive Christianity that has never wholly disappeared.
    This project is really about Mormonism imitating Christianity.

  • BobP Port Alice, B.C.
    Jan. 3, 2011 9:14 a.m.

    I have mixed emotions about this. I have been there three times in my life, but my ancestors settled it about 1857, a goodly part of them after surviving the Martin Handcart treck.

    I remember a pretty fair graveyard full of relatives I didn't know I had, and a dusty little village on the edge of the desert.

    I think this is an interesting project. I may even get to visit it should I live so long.

  • Chachi Charlottesville, VA
    Jan. 3, 2011 12:46 a.m.

    So I type out a comment, and when I go to submit, I am informed that it is rejected for including a "non-wrapping long line." Couldn't you please allow me to edit the problem and resubmit, rather than just swallowing the comment up into the void of cyperspace to be lost forever?

    The gist of my comment was that the LDS Church assists with emergency relief but prefers to focus on long-term improvement in conditions, and to do so by 1) spreading the gospel (which teaches people how to become independent from addiction, from debt, etc, and become self-reliant), and 2) then looking after the temporal and spiritual needs of its members.

    And that the project is cost-efficient, since they're using this set for not one video but for a myriad of videos--an entire video library.

    Also, sets are built to be temporary. They're just for looks. "Stone" walls are often made of foam; the only parts of buildings that are constructed are those that the camera will see. It could not be converted into a theme park.

  • chromedome27 Orem, UT
    Jan. 2, 2011 8:14 p.m.

    John Uibel is a creative phenom. This is a great project, and it will be a wonderful setting.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Jan. 2, 2011 7:11 p.m.

    @Bill in Nebraska
    The luxury housing and high-end shopping i was referring to is Citi Park.
    I understand Prop 8 was a "moral" issue. So is poverty, but we had a massive mobilization for Prop 8.
    I read MormonTimes.
    I read the Ensign.
    I know the Church provided some temporary housing/material in Haiti and publicizes their humanitarian efforts. I know the Church has tremendous assets.
    Money is fungible.
    All Churches in the UK have to publish their financial statements.

  • Kevin Surrey, BC
    Jan. 2, 2011 7:07 p.m.

    The church has strict rules about how funds are used, tithing or otherwise. I never question the use of money because it is the Lord's money and He can do with it as he pleases. The Church alone cannot feed the poor of the Earth. That is also not the mandate of the church. There is good reason for this film project and I thank the Lord for the technology available to bless our lives through film. There will always be critics of the church no matter what the issue is. They come and go all the time but the caravan moves on. Excellent endeavor!!

  • JRJ Pocatello, ID
    Jan. 2, 2011 6:57 p.m.

    Truthseeker - better keep seeking. it doesn't sound like you are anywhere close to that gem. Even if the church could sell everything it owned and feed the world ONE meal before being depleted, it would do no good until mankind learns to dive in and take care of self, no more depending on governments that are dishonest (Haiti). I'd give my house to Haiti if I thought it would do any good. But I realize that between my hand and their need is a whole flock of politicians and crooks taking everything.
    And....I looked and looked in the article for the announcement of the major mall and living center. What are you thinking? The church owns the land. There are computer geeks who can take those pictures and re-create just about anything, and Voila' films are created that help us "revisit" the land of the Savior. I'm excited. If it can become a Holy Land Martin's Cove, so much the better.

  • KurtFK Littleton, CO
    Jan. 2, 2011 6:19 p.m.

    If the Church is looking for an analog of the Sea of Galilee, then Bear Lake is a near-perfect duplicate. I've seen both, and the resemblance is uncanny.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Jan. 2, 2011 6:06 p.m.

    To Truthseeker: How do you know that the Church is not already building homes in Haiti and elsewhere around the world? No where in the article does it mention high-end shopping or luxury housing about the movie set. The problem is you don't understand that the high-end shopping that is being done as Citi Park is a business venture and not using the tithing money from members to finance. The same with your so called luxury housing. The political purpose was a moral issue and thus significant to the Church but again no tithing or other money used for the finances of such.

    You say you give to humanitarian organizations but it is evident you are not a member of the LDS Church. You can stand by your statement but it is wrong to judge something you have actually no knowledge of except what you read in the newspapers. Until you know for yourself why it stands your judgement is that of man not of God.

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    Jan. 2, 2011 5:32 p.m.

    Is this the most judicious use of the tithing funds given to the church by members rich and poor?

  • bilbo Mayer, AZ
    Jan. 2, 2011 5:31 p.m.

    i'll give Haitians my movie lot if you give them your home.

  • GACougar Atlanta, GA
    Jan. 2, 2011 5:04 p.m.

    Truthseeker, are you suggesting that the church should do nothing else but pour all of their resources into solving the housing problem in Haiti?

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Jan. 2, 2011 4:46 p.m.

    re: Bryan
    "Donate to the Humanitarian Fund like the rest of us."

    I donate to various humanitarian organizations. I'm also well aware of the Church's charitable material and financial endeavors (as reported by the Church) as well as the commercial endeavors. I'm also well aware of the significant manpower and monetary resources Church members brought together in 2008 for a politcal purpose.
    The people in Haiti have no homes. They have no/limited potable water. There are many countries around the world with similar issues and where LDS missionaries serve.
    A movie set, high-end shopping and luxury housing doesn't do it for me. I stand by my statement.

  • myjazz Ogden, UT
    Jan. 2, 2011 4:11 p.m.

    Should be interesting filming as they are looking for people that look like middle easterners.Like the idea of making it a place to visit on a family vacation

  • Bryan1010 Draper, Utah
    Jan. 2, 2011 3:39 p.m.


    Donate to the Humanitarian Fund like the rest of us.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Jan. 2, 2011 2:58 p.m.

    Hate to rain on everybody's parade here but, this just doesn't give me warm fuzzy feelings when I keep reading about all the commercial endeavors of the church and the people in Haiti don't have homes, people are going hungry here and abroad etc.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Jan. 2, 2011 2:40 p.m.

    I'll be curious to see if the role players in the films, and ultimately whatever sort of religious disneyland this becomes, actually look like authentic people of the Eastern Meditteranean would have looked 2000 years ago. Or will they look like church paintings?

  • donn layton, Ut
    Jan. 2, 2011 1:19 p.m.

    "a square-mile area into a parcel of the ancient Holy Land that includes replicas of parts of old Jerusalem, Bethlehem and other New Testament-period places."
    Why aren't they doing the same thing for the BofM history and geography?

  • CougarClassic Orem, UT
    Jan. 2, 2011 12:48 p.m.

    I agree with JanSan, make the grounds as much a replica of the Holy Land as is possible.

  • JanSan Pocatello, ID
    Jan. 2, 2011 10:15 a.m.

    This is soooooooooooo cool!
    Think of all the jobs !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I hope that they have it open for tours when they are not filming. I have often dreamed of going to the Holy Lands but am afraid to because of all the violence that is going on over there. This would not be the same but a close second and much safer.

  • Timothy Benton City, WA
    Jan. 2, 2011 9:53 a.m.

    A square mile,known as a section to rural folk,consists of 640 acres..830 acres would be a little more than a third larger than a section..Not trying to nit-pick but there are people who would read this article and try to pass off a square mile as 830 acres,swearing it was the truth because it was written in the Deseret News..Otherwise a very good and wholesome article about a worthy endeavor...

  • HCB63 Orem, UT
    Jan. 2, 2011 9:38 a.m.

    Ummm...someone needs to tell the reporter that a square mile is 640 acres--NOT 830 acres.

  • Mom of 8 Hyrum, UT
    Jan. 2, 2011 9:30 a.m.

    When they're not using it for filming, it would be a great place to take the family camping!

  • BrentBot Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 2, 2011 7:49 a.m.

    Any value in the future as a Western replica of Orlando's "Holy Land Experience"? Would tourists be drawn to Goshen? Could the success of the Polynesian Cultural Center be duplicated in the Utah desert?

  • BrentBot Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 2, 2011 7:44 a.m.

    "No rocks larger than a marble"? How will the Temple on the "Dome of the Rock" be re-created?

  • pat1 Taylorsville, UT
    Jan. 2, 2011 6:34 a.m.

    Where is Goshen?

  • Wild Blue Abilene, TX
    Jan. 2, 2011 2:23 a.m.

    I am Mormon; and you're right.

  • Rosebyanyothername Home Town USA, UT
    Jan. 2, 2011 2:00 a.m.

    Great project and timing for jobs in the area. Way to go. Right on. Praises to John Uibel, to be involved and bring this project to fruition.

    Also outstanding work foresight to the First Presidency for carrying out this kind of project. Amazing to bring the Holy Land to Utah and for the educational, and inspirational benefit.

    No one has to go to the real place to film the stories and the expense is well spent in the long term. Many jobs areto be created with the demand for the portrayals a real bonus. Halleujah!! Amen.

  • Chris B. Midvale, UT
    Jan. 2, 2011 1:02 a.m.

    I'm no Mormon, but those Mormons don't mess around.