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|The Temple Ceremony: Coming to a Theater Near You|
Jul. 24th, 2007 at 10:57 am
Have you seen the trailer for the upcoming movie September Dawn, which purports to be “inspired by actual events” surrounding the Mountain Meadows Massacre? You can see it here in Quicktime on Apple’s web site.
Watch the trailer closely. It portrays elements of the temple ceremony:
At exactly 45 seconds, a very quick scene appears to be an old-fashioned washing and anointing.
At exactly 1:13, men are standing robed in full temple garb, with the robe over the left shoulder.
The fact that the movie itself contains scenes from the temple ceremony has already been discussed on this blog. On John F’s thread on this movie, Ann made a comment that mentions John Hamer’s reaction to the movie, including his indication that it depicts portions of the 19th century temple ceremony. Ann doesn’t link to John’s review, but here it is. John is very intelligent and thoughtful restoration studies scholar. He is the co-executive secretary of the John Whitmer Historical Society, with a very strong grasp on history, development, and interactions of the major restorationist churches.
It’s doubtful that September Dawn represents Mormonism any more artfully than Martha Beck’s openly scornful depiction in her self-congratulatory Leaving the Saints. This is a movie which sensationally sells itself as finally telling the scandalous truth about the Mountain Meadows Massacre, breaking the “cloak of secrecy and conspiracy” that has preserved and protected “the reputation of one of this nation’s mightiest religious figure” (presumably Brigham Young, who in real life was a Yankee woodworker, but who in the preview speaks in an English accent). The gratuitous portrayal of a secret ceremony in this context will serve only to belittle it by using it as an additional element of tabloid-level intrigue.
But why would they put these temple-based scenes in the trailer for the movie? And why haven’t more people noticed?