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.
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.