Jerusalem West: Ancient Israel comes to Goshen

LDS Church film set brings Jerusalem to Utah desert

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  • grandmagreat Lake Havasu City, AZ
    Nov. 28, 2012 10:28 a.m.

    I am amazed at how people interpret what they see and read. Pastor Willy Mack, you say you were from Utah. I pray that you have not left the church to be a leader in another faith. I have seen the start of the set in Goshen, I have a daughter that lives in Goshen. I think it is great that this creation is being finished to benefit those who want to know more about the Lord's Church. I bear my Testimony that the Church of Jesus Christ was restored to the earth by Joseph Smith Jr. I am grateful that my ancestors joined the church, and many of them made the trek west so that the gospel could be spread to all the world. If anyone wants to know more, they should contact the Missionaries or active members of the church in your area. yes I am proud to say I am a Mormon.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Aug. 26, 2011 11:54 p.m.

    It would also really help if people paid attention to the article. It mentions bringing in sheep and goats. They are going for in the city shots and are not going to go for wide broad shots. Basically we have two people who gripe too much money is spent, and than Mac who wants the Church to spend way more money. That is because any sight that is anything like what he describes would cost a whole lot to build.

    It is bad enough to have people who get hung up on minor details in films instead of hearing the message. For people to attack film sets because they do not understand the whole function of a film set is to provide a controlled backdrop but it is only the part you capture in camera that matters is just plain frustrating.

    This is a film set, not a theme park. It is meant to be taken in small chucnks for the film. If people understood this than some of their complaints would not occur.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Aug. 26, 2011 11:49 p.m.

    This is not a theme park, so it would be nice if people paid attention to distinctions.

    The charge of the Church is to bring all unto Christ, and this certainly does that.

    Art is a good thing. Without art life would not be worth living.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Aug. 26, 2011 11:44 p.m.

    One way to ask the question about the "use of money" is what are the other options? Well, film is a powerful media and used well can present the gospel in a way that other media can not quite do. There is a need for multiple appraoches, but film has a place.

    Making the film needs to be done. So the question is, is the oportunity cost of this project worth it. First off, there is something do be said for well done sets. Some people get distracted if your set is not realistic.

    So at some level you have the choice of building a set or shooting in Jerusalem. Not only is there a cost of going to Jerusalem, but the fact that Israel does not believe in religious freedom and is extremely suspicious of Chrstiainity makes it much easier to do such filming in the US than there. Plus there is not as much a threat of violence. So the gains from this set are great, even in non-monetary respects. In the case of money this is probably if anything cheaper than filming in Jerusalem.

  • Pastor Willy Mac BENICIA, CA
    Aug. 22, 2011 2:41 a.m.

    First off, the three wooden crosses look nothing like the Roman crucifixes, which were top bars placed on a wooden post, more in the shape of a T, or a Tau, as the ancient Romans called it. The Roman cardos (market streets) were much wider with porticos for merchants. However, the ancient Israeli streets (now buried below 3-6 feet of remains) were very narrow. The climate was that of the eastern Levant, a Mediterranean climate with olive trees, grape vines, almonds, sheep, and goats. While there are parts of the Judean hills that resemble the desert of the Western U.S., there is nowhere the level of rockiness and what the indigenous people call white gold - the special white limestone that was able to be polished to look like marble in the construction of the second temple. Neither the back drops, nor the landscapes of Utah resemble much of the Levant. To pretend otherwise is to import the pretended geographical nomenclature of one area onto it's original.

  • Pastor Willy Mac BENICIA, CA
    Aug. 22, 2011 2:39 a.m.

    As a biblical scholar and Presbyterian Minister - and a son of the Utah Pioneers, I wasn't so concerned with this story's attempt to bless LDS understanding of the Bible/Book of Mormon or any other scriptures. As one who has been to Palestine/Israel twice, and one who as studied biblical archeology, I was most concerned that the representation of this new theme park/theatrical back drop looks more like a 20th century expression of conceptions of the Holy Land than the real thing.

  • utahpac12 South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 4, 2011 10:15 a.m.

    It just to me like the church tries too hard to say "Look at us - we are Christians! - We are spending all this money and using all these resources to make movies about Christ! - This proves we are Christians!"

    In my eyes if they would stop all the silly PR business trying to draw attention to themselves and just greatly increase their level of unconditional acts of charity and service they would improve their image and show they are Christians as a by-product. They obviously have the resources to do this.

  • Nana Sid Saint George, UT
    Aug. 3, 2011 9:30 p.m.

    utahpac12--Perhaps this project by the church WILL help the poor. The poor in spirit.
    Oh, and the project is employing many people. Employment--also a good way to help the poor.

  • utahpac12 South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 3, 2011 4:01 p.m.

    If the church used every penny spent on this set and the films they will make on feeding and clothing the poor instead, they would have done a far greater service and brought more people to Christ.

    Can you see Christ directing His church to make movies about him rather than help people? "Should I use this money to make movies about me or help the poor? Let's make movies about me!"

    Yeah - I know - the LDS church does help the poor. They must have money to burn, then.

  • BobP Port Alice, B.C.
    Aug. 2, 2011 10:43 p.m.

    Darn, and after settling in Goshen in the 1850s my family left it to go to Canada in 1901. I was there in 1997 and it was a guiet little place and I was related to most of the folks in the cemetary.

    I hope to get to see this project at some point.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Aug. 2, 2011 9:17 p.m.

    Bill in Nebraska said, Actually there is archeological evidence that supports the Bible, True.

    Biblical Archeology review Magazine has many articles like Ancient Artifacts, from skeletal remains to long-lost cities buried under desert sands, archaeological finds continue to prove Bible history.

    Top Ten Archaeological Discoveries of the Twentieth Century Relating to the Biblical World Keith N. Schoville Professor Emeritus of Hebrew events to life and affirms God's infallible Word with tangible proofs.

    As the Apostles creed says, He suffered under Pontius Pilate. Pilate was a real person in history, Jesus was in true history.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Aug. 2, 2011 8:50 p.m.

    To JSB: I apologize as I misunderstood what you were saying. Thank you for the clarification and I agree with what you are saying completely. It is true that NAHOM is not proof but it is proof of plausibility and that Joseph Smith didn't just make it up. There are those who frequent these boards that completely and totally disagree with us and that is their right. However, when they ask for proof and it is given to them they basically ignore it or try to rationalize it away. As stated earlier, proof is in the eye of the beholder.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Aug. 2, 2011 7:02 p.m.

    Bill, My point was that "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence." If people discredit the Book of Mormon because of absence of evidence, then the same faulty logic can be used to discredit the Bible. I accept both as being true. However, the discovery of "Nahom" is a hard one for sceptics to get around. Not "proof" perhaps. But, I've yet to hear or read a logical explanation by the sceptics.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Aug. 2, 2011 5:56 p.m.

    Actually there is archeological evidence that supports the Bible in many ways and the Book of Mormon. The problem is that it is really depending on what one is looking for to say there isn't any proof. The proof is there, just maybe not in the manner someone is looking.

    There is a place in Central America that dates back over 2000 years to the time of the Book of Mormon. Scientist have stated "We don't know who these people were, where they came from or the proper names of the place. Only that they lived here." Now answer this does this prove the Book of Mormon. No, and it isn't meant to be but science can only go so far.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Aug. 2, 2011 1:43 p.m.

    It's interesting that in the real Goshen in Egypt there have been no archelolgical discoveries that indicate that Israelites were every there. We know right where Goshen was and according to the Bible, they were there for hundreds of years and had a population into the hundreds of thousands. Why no archeological evidence? Does lack of archeological evidence in Goshen disprove the Bible? Does the lack of archeological evidence disprove the Book of Mormon?

  • Lake Effect Springville, UT
    Aug. 2, 2011 1:07 p.m.

    (Finally!) Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ left out all of His teachings. What a disappointment that was. I can't wait to see these vignettes. People are hungry for that which resonates in the soul. So many young people are growing up with no guiding star to point to the better way. No one gives them the Scriptures. The teachings of the Master in these vignettes will help fill the empty meaninglessness that life otherwise offers.

  • Weston Jurney West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 2, 2011 12:38 p.m.

    I kind of wonder if they've gone a little bit overboard with the making everything look old. In the time of Christ, Jerusalem was 2000 years less old than it is now. The Roman buildings in particular, were relatively new when Pilate ruled.

    Did they remember that?

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Aug. 2, 2011 11:52 a.m.

    Re: Utter Nonsense | 9:24 a.m. Aug. 2, 2011
    "How tacky. Tacky, tacky, tacky."

    Ebenezer Scrooge probably would have agreed with you. Only he'd have said 'humbug'. It is a movie set for crying out loud.

  • Oh, please! Saint George, UT
    Aug. 2, 2011 9:57 a.m.

    @Utter Nonsense | 9:24 a.m. Aug. 2, 2011
    How tacky. Tacky, tacky, tacky. Reminds me of the Bible theme park built by Jim and Tammy Faye Baker.
    YOU are tacky. This is not a theme park or anything of the kind. It's a movie set, for heaven's sake (pun intended!).

  • ute alumni Tengoku, UT
    Aug. 2, 2011 9:52 a.m.

    if you have those questions and donate to the church, stop donating. otherwise, let those of us that do not worry what the church does with tithes. i have NO concerns where the church uses the Lord's money.
    udder no sense:
    you obviously have not been to SC's Heritage USA. No connection whatsoever. it was an amusement park.

  • steelrat CITRUS HEIGHTS, CA
    Aug. 2, 2011 9:22 a.m.

    As someone who has been asked to be a part of this unique opportunity to portry a person during these biblical times, I find this a wonderful opportunity to bring the spirit of Christ to all. Thru recreation of old Jersusalem and actors being asked to grow their hair, once actor and set is put together, I feel the spirit of what is being portrayed will come to life in such a way that will touch many lives. I for one am excited and honored to be a part of such a wonderful project. If this film touches one soul to turn to God it will have been worth all the effort.

  • MAYHEM MIKE Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 2, 2011 8:54 a.m.

    Dear Esquire: If it helps convert even one soul to better follow the Savior, it will be worth it.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Aug. 2, 2011 8:10 a.m.

    Dear Esquire: The Church is ALWAYS wise with the Lord's money. The brethren always do what's best with resources. If they have built this set, there's a good reason for it. It's a lot less expensive than transporting whole film crews to the Middle East for productions. Over the years, it will be a great asset to the Church

    I'm dying to see this place. I heard they are going to allow tours. I sure hope so.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Aug. 2, 2011 6:39 a.m.

    I have to wonder about the investment here on a set that will last 20 years. Is it a wise use of money?

    By the way, I've seen pictures and I think Utah looks a lot like Afghanistan.