OREM, Utah — "Walking through a mine field."

That was the best description author Matthew B. Brown could come up

with as he explained the challenges of writing his 2009 book,

"Exploring the Connection Between Mormons and Masons."

As part of the Mormons and Masons project, Brown also held a prominent role

in creating a 39-minute documentary on the topic, which was shown at the ninth annual LDS Film Festival on Thursday.

In the documentary, which was produced in three weeks, Brown,

former Mason grandmaster Glen A. Cook, and

other historians detail the connections of Joseph Smith and other

church members to Freemasonry. They also explore a possible

relationship between the Masonic lodge rites and Mormon temple

ordinances.Following the special screening, Brown and 28-year-old director Brandon Smith fielded a variety of questions from the audience.

__IMAGE2__"It's a difficult situation to deal with because of issues of privacy

and issues of sacredness," Brown said. "So you have to tip toe through

the mine field when you go public with these things. Fortunately we

found a way we can do that."

Smith said the project was partially sparked by the release of Dan

Brown's latest novel, "The Lost Symbol." He hopes the film will

motivate people to read Matthew B. Brown's book."The film is really just an introductory piece. There is nothing scary

about the Masons and nothing scary about what the Mormons do. Neither

are crazy societies," Smith said. "One promotes brotherhood and the

other promotes eternal life and families."

The 2009 film "Exploring the Connection Between Mormons and

Masons" was informative, interesting and thought-provoking. It caters

well to a curious audience.

Sacred Walls

Smith also directed and produced a 38-minute documentary in 2009

titled "Sacred Walls," which examines and takes a deeper look into the

symbols on the walls of Latter-day Saint temples.

__IMAGE1__Although the bulk of the temple experience occurs inside the

hallowed walls, in the film church scholars share insights regarding

how the temple exteriors can also teach profound doctrines on various

levels when they are recognized and understood.

"There is no one set of explanations (for the symbols on the temple

walls), they can trigger eternal truths," said Paul T. Smith, who taught

in church education system for 37 years. "The temple is a house of

inspiration and those symbols can help trigger inspiration."

Born to Ride: Cody Wright and the Quest for a World Title

For any rodeo fans who live and die at the arena with the broncs

and the blood, the dust and the mud, this true tale of a southern Utah

cowboy and his desire to be a world champion bronc rider is a must see.The 60-minute film was produced in 2009 and directed by Lyman Hafen and Jon M. Smith. It has already sold more than 1,000 copies.

The film is narrated by the legendary voice of Wilford Brimley, who Jon Smith said is a big rodeo fan.

For one year these filmmakers followed and chronicled the journey of

Milford native Cody Wright, a 31-year-old father of four, to the

Wrangler National Finals in Las Vegas. Wright had been to the finals

on five previous occasions, but had always came up short.

In order to claim the title, the money and the shiny buckle,

Wright must also out ride his boyhood idol, 45-year-old Billy Etbauer,

the Brett Favre of professional rodeo.

The story promotes all the aspects of rodeo that are good, including

hard work, the importance of family and getting back on the horse after

you have been bucked off.See whether Smith and his crew picked a good subject in Wright and a good year to follow him.


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