mormon-temple-garments.thumbnail.jpgBig Love, HBO’s series about a polygamous Mormon family has some LDS-ers tripping out over the episode airing on Sunday which depicts "temple endowment" one of the most sacred and top seekrit ceremonies in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints–the one where you learn that Adam, Eve and Lucifer are siblings, and that if Adam and Eve didn’t eat from the tree of knowledge, then they wouldn’t have been fruitful and multiplied.

Also during the endowment, men and women are given signs and tokens, with special names so they can get ahead in the afterlife:

Your Endowment is, to receive all those ordinances in the House of the Lord, which are necessary for you, to enable you to walk back to the presence of the Father, passing the angels who stand as sentinels, being enabled to give them the key words, the signs and the tokens, pertaining to the Holy Priesthood, and gain your eternal exaltation. 

 Big Love creators Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer told TV Guide that during the episode:

We go into the endowment room and the celestial room, and we present what happens in those ceremonies.That’s never been shown on television before.

Or seen by some Mormons, since you have ot be recommended for temple endowment. But you can read about the ceremony–and the different worlds and how God is Jehovah and Elohim (but not Jesus) and has a sidekick Michael–on the Interwebs!

So the upset Church members–no doubt worried that LGBT-friendly shills knowing the top seekrit signals could like, pass as Mormons, gain eternal exaltation and drink coffee–started e-mail chains calling for cancellations of subscriptions to AOL, which, like HBO, is part of Time Warner. States Newsroom.lds.org, the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ official organ:

Certainly such a boycott by hundreds of thousands of computer-savvy Latter-day Saints could have an economic impact on the company. Individual Latter-day Saints have the right to take such actions if they choose. 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as an institution does not call for boycotts. Such a step would simply generate the kind of controversy that the media loves and in the end would increase audiences for the series.

And after listing examples of media which has questioned, parodied or protested the LDS, Newsroom points out in a very neener-neener way:

Such things say much more about the insensitivities of writers, producers and TV executives than they say about Latter-day Saints. 

But at least the writers, producers and TV executives didn’t orchestrate a a multi-million dollar campaign to strip others of their rights, something far more insensitive than a few jokes.

Lisa Derrick

Lisa Derrick

Los Angeles native, attended UC Berkeley and Loyola Marymount University before punk rock and logophilia overtook her life. Worked as nightclub columnist, pop culture journalist and was a Hollywood housewife before writing for and editing Sacred History Magazine. Then she discovered the thrill of politics. She also appears frequently on the Dave Fanning Show, one of Ireland's most popular radio broadcasts.

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