New temple endowment film

Several Church members are reporting that they have seen a new temple endowment film at several temples in the U.S. The film is reportedly 15 minutes longer and includes more details of the creation periods. Members are calling the film very touching and well-done.

M* welcomes respectful comments from people who may have seen this film.

There are unconfirmed reports that one of the older films may be phased out. For lack of an exact description, there are two films that were recently shown, one with a blonde Eve and he other with a brunette Eve. We are told that the film with a blonde Eve may be phased out.

Any comments from temple workers and others with additional information?

(As an aside, I went to the Denver temple last week and did NOT see the new film, so this information is second-hand. I welcome corrections).

NOTE: The endowment is a sacred ceremony, so please tread carefully when discussing this issue. It is well known, however, that films are shown during the endowment at most temples. Discussing the fact of a new temple film is of interest to members and does not betray sacred events at temples.

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About Geoff B.

Geoff B graduated from Stanford University (class of 1985) and worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. He has held many callings in the Church, but his favorite calling is father and husband. Geoff is active in martial arts and loves hiking and skiing. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

36 thoughts on “New temple endowment film

  1. I saw it Wednesday morning at the 6 am session, didn’t even know they had made one. They had just started showing it Tuesday at the Temple in my district. It is breathtaking. I believe it replaced the older films ( one of them had been phased out a couple of years ago; the reason why is only hearsay so I won’t repeat it).

  2. Haven’t seen it, but attending the temple in a week. I’ll let you know if it’s here in Chicago.

  3. My response may not qualify as respectful, if so please feel free to delete.

    Longer?! 🙁

    It will be interesting to see what is altered. I went last month in Draper, UT and saw one of the older films. We have a trip scheduled next week so maybe I will see it then.

  4. I don’t mind a longer film, especially if it has better production quality. There are some interesting scheduling concerns with a longer film, however. Endowment session schedules will have to be adjusted.

  5. I saw it Tuesday at 7 a.m. It is beautiful. Sometimes a little over-dramatic for my tastes (sorry!), but still very beautiful and thought-provoking. There were no wording changes. Just a lot of pauses, presumably to allow for translation of wordier languages. That’s what makes it 12 minutes longer. As mentioned above, the blonde Eve movie was discontinued a couple of years ago. There is a second new movie expected in a couple of months.

  6. I look forward to this. The Adam from the blonde Eve movie was in one of my religion classes at BYU (this was 1991/1992) and the instructor had him come up and talk about the experience. I wasn’t endowed yet and some of what he talked about seemed like things I wasn’t supposed to hear – at one point (I was in the front row) I held a corner of my shirt open in hopes that he would see that. (Maybe I should have just raised my hand.)

    He did say that they weren’t married when they made the film, but were dating and eventually married. And that it wasn’t their voices in the film – they were dubbed over, even in English.

  7. Glad we’re getting another film (and maybe a second?) to replace the old ones. They knocked out one of the old ones about 2 years ago (after editing over a character in one of them), so we’ve been watching one film only. It’s hard to discern what we can and can not say about temple things. Have a book by a BYU religion professor (published by Deseret Book) that goes into a fair amount of detail. (Not that Deseret Book is the end all of appropriateness, but I figure if a tenured BYU professor is comfortable saying certain things and having it published, it’s probably okay.) Now, when we’re preparing people to go through the temple the first time, we let them read portions of the book along with the temple preparation material so they have a pretty good feel for what their day will entail. Hopefully the newest film will be distributed quickly.

  8. We got an announcement that the Timpanogos Temple (American Fork, Utah) reduced the number of daily sessions this week, the same day I heard the new film was playing.

    Per what has been said, yes, blonde Eve film was first edited to replace a character, then removed. Brunette Eve was still running last week.

    I hadn’t heard they were producing two versions again, like last time. Cool.

    My daughter is going today — said there was a two-hour wait a couple of days ago, when word got out. 🙂 I might wait for the crowds to dissipate a bit!

  9. I saw the new film Wednesday. It is beautifully done and I learned and understood some nuances I hadn’t noticed before in nearly 30 years of temple attendance.

  10. I was informed last night that the new film will replace all others asap in our district; and that the only reason any other film would be shown will be for translation purposes only and that should be resolved very soon, meaning the new film and only the new film is on board permanently. Our temple schedule was also altered…to include all day schedules/sessions, no breaks throughout the day/evening, something not offered prior.
    I saw the film and feel it was more reverent, Spirit enhancing, and clarified some doctrine we’ve been taught, but not necessarily clearly expressed within the temple prior…all without changing a single word. It is done via direction, expressions, emotion, pauses, inflection of certain words or phrases, gestures, graphics, etc. I personally feel persons who experience this film will perceive a more human and a more Divine nature to the persons depicted. There is a reality in this version I didn’t get in the others.
    For me, it is easier to personally apply (especially to those new to the temple), a better feel, and personally I think certain groups within the church will prefer the way some of the doctrine is portrayed and or taught.

  11. Bryce Haymond – “Principles and Practices of the Restored Gospel” by Victor L. Ludlow,” 1992 – Published by Shadow Mountain (not Deseret Book) but he was a BYU religion professor.

  12. I saw the film today. It was okay but I feel sad that the Church chose to make the film longer than the last one. I was hoping they would shorten it. Sometimes it seemed to drag along very, very slowly.

  13. The additional length is partly to accommodate translations. No other language versions will be available until early next year. Sessions requiring translations will use the older films.

  14. Glad that a new film (films?) are rolling out for the endowment ceremony. Funny how voice inflections, pauses, to whom comments are made, and other non-verbal changes can make the ceremony much more enlightening. I think it would be fantastic if multiple films were produced, each with its unique use of these non-verbal ques. I, for one, remember how the “blond Eve” film changed the way I understood the ceremony (had only seen the brunette several times prior to) for these exact reasons

  15. So its a problem the film is longer why? Worshiping the God who gave us everything for 15 more minutes is too much of a hassle?

  16. It’s a problem because the temples will have fewer endowment sessions per day and less temple work will be completed. My husband is a temple worker and the temple presidency told him today that the Jordan River Temple may have to eliminate 10 sessions per day and right now they cannot accomodate more than 100 per session with the increased time.

  17. Live sessions are about the same time, maybe 15min longer. About 2hrs. I much prefer live sessions for a variety of reasons.

  18. Yeah I remember when they started on this project a few years back. I’d forgotten about it. Glad it’s getting done. I’m curious to see it. There was a joke that the original films looked kind of like the original Star Trek series and the “current” ones (from the 90’s) looked like Next Generation. Still dated, but in a different way. I suspect the new ones will have much better production values. I’m hoping the music in the new ones is a little less intense. I thought the old ones went a tad overboard in that regard.

  19. I had no idea that a new film came out this week. I usually attend the temple Tues at 6:00 am but I was attending a genealogy conference T-F so I couldn’t get there until Sat morning. I had to wait 1.5 hrs at the Mt. Timpanogos Temple to get into a session. We were standing in the hall waiting to get in the chapel to even be in a session. This is when I learned of the new film and why so many were there. I also found out that the Provo and Draper Temples were closed for cleaning. So our temple was just being over-whelmed.

    I usually sit in the front row during the endowments and this time I was in the back. So I got to see a lot of people going through the session that looked like they hadn’t been there since the last film was brand new. If it takes the Church putting out a new temple film to get members to go to the temple then lets put out a new film every 5 years instead of 20.

    I really appreciated this new version. I looked at several things in a different light just because of the presentation, acting, music and emphasis on it. I can’t say I agree that the film is longer to help with possible translation. I just think it was longer due to good acting and the taking of time to set up the visuals. The dialog appears exactly the same.

    What struck me is how the emphasis of teaching in their new presentation really fits with the issues and needs of members today. The loving, peaceful and beautiful way things are presented will really speak to the media savvy adults now receiving their endowments for the first time. It’s just exciting to me to see how inspired our leaders are. The Church continues to grow and adapt to fit the needs of the saints, even though the message doesn’t change.

    The Church has done an excellent job. I have a feeling after the initial curiosity fact wears off we will still have a greater number of members going to the temple to do endowments. There is just so much peace and love in this new version and who wouldn’t want to come out of the world and be enveloped in that. I’m going to have to get used to long waiting lines.

  20. What I very much appreciated were the emotions displayed by Adam & Eve as they experienced life. They had an obvious delight in their new garden world and in each other when introduced, and a palpable sadness but resolution when required to leave. Eve displayed such maturity and emotion and wisdom leading up to her partaking of the forbidden fruit and in no way is portrayed as the weaker partner: she was the visionary. Adam, when confronted with the fallen Eve, was at first the blindingly resolute Adam we expect…but was so obviously in love with his wife and so persuaded by her that he could not help but be convinced to remain with her above all else. He had a real tenderness for her. It was at this point that I really (again) wished my wife and I could be sitting side by side during the endowment ceremony. After their fall, Adam and Eve together showed the genuine joy one would expect when they learned of their future redemption by their Savior. This first happened amazingly while yet still in the Garden with Jehovah standing before them. They knew it was going to be Him. It also occurs later and more gradually as they come to realize they have not been left alone…that angels had been sent from the divine presence to deliver what more was promised to aid their return to Father and His son they had known personally in the Garden.

    Satan was a different character, to be sure, but his performance was absolutely brilliant. In persuading Eve to partake he was affectatious and pleading to the point of wonder, but wow, could his emotions turn on a dime.

    The production value of this new endowment film was tremendous, and if one cannot tell by now, I was so moved by it. As I have visualized, in my mind’s eye, the experience of Adam & Eve in the Temple or while reading scripture and commentaries and in thinking about it, their emotions as depicted here are exactly what I have imagined. The Temple endowment has always been a good work to do. It has increasingly become, over the years, a sublime experience. Now, in my estimation, it has become THE best way to spend a Valentine’s Day evening after dinner and roses for any couple that has been sealed in the Temple.

  21. I went to the Mt. Timpanogos Temple at 5:30 am this morning so I could get into my regular 6:00 am session. I was lucky to get into the 6:30 am session. Once again long lines to even get into the chapel before a session. Granted the Provo and Draper temples are closed but we never saw anything like this before. It’s the new film causing the long lines.

    When I left at 8:30 am I was told by a worker that this was the busiest day the Mt. Timpanogos Temple has EVER had. And it was only 8:30 in the morning. I can’t imagine how long the wait grew for others arriving after me.

    While in line I found several people that had already seen the new film so I don’t know if they were regular temple goers or newly dedicated to going.

    Stephen’s comment “Now, in my estimation, it has become THE best way to spend a Valentine’s Day evening after dinner and roses for any couple that has been sealed in the Temple.”

    I think you could be right. I just don’t see a decrease in temple attendance happening any time soon. People that did not regularly attend the temple before will have such changed hearts after seeing this new film that if anything we might get longer lines in the future. What a nice problem to have. My gut tells me the new temples coming in Provo City and Payson are not going to be enough for Utah County. Now about another one in Saratoga Springs.

  22. I’m excited to see this. Here’s a thought, though. Sacrament meeting has a very low production value. We sit and ponder the Savior while 12 year olds clumsily distribute bread a water to fidgety families with crying babies. There’s nothing spectacular, emotionalizing, or at times even moving about the experience. There’s no dramatic music, flair, or computer graphics. It’s just an ordinance, plain and simple, administered clumsily by imperfect people to imperfect people. Anything you get out of the Sacrament is due to our own spiritual and personal preparation for it — nothing in the ordinance itself forces itself upon our consciences and captures our attention. If it’s got our attention, it’s because we gave it our attention.

    And that’s when the Spirit often speaks the loudest.

    I’m looking forward to the new film. But I sincerely hope that people will see the ordinance of the temple through the production value — the same kind of ordinance we experience every Sunday. More sacred, of course, being in the temple and all — but it can be just as efficacious, just as enlightening, just as spiritually nourishing if it is administered clumsily by imperfect people with no production value at all. Of course, to be so, we have to put more thought and preparation into it, but that may be a benefit, not a detriment. So I hope that people will seek out the opportunity for live sessions to remind themselves of that.

  23. Great comments here; I loved reading them all. My wife and I live near the Vancouver temple, and I hear that we’ll have the new video sometime next week. We’re excited to see it.

    @ldsphilosopher: You make a very good point. I think this is a natural progression, in the same way that the Church is producing newer Bible videos (which are great). I would say that *because* they look modern, are well produced, have more realistic ‘effects’, and so on, that it’s easier to relate to (and perhaps for some, easier to feel the spirit). The presentation is just a means to an end, helping us understand the ordinances, covenants, and their context.

    Anyway, maybe that probably sounded better in my head. Hope it makes sense.

  24. @Stephen Wight:

    I also appreciated the greater emphasis on Adam’s and Eve’s emotions, facial expressions, etc., although I felt at times like there was as much over-acting as the old videos had under-acting. But that’s obviously just a matter of personal taste.

    What I’m curious to discuss is whether and to what extent the dramatic pauses and other changes in the acting communicate doctrines differently. For example, you say “Eve displayed such maturity and emotion and wisdom leading up to her partaking of the forbidden fruit and in no way is portrayed as the weaker partner: she was the visionary.”

    I believe there are some doctrinal errors in this statement. First, at the time Eve partook of the fruit she still lacked the insight she would later gain – as a result of eating the fruit – that experiencing sorrow was necessary for an eventual fulness of joy. (Moses 5:11). In making the choice to partake of the fruit, she was in fact – as she later confessed – “beguiled” by Satan. That doesn’t make her a weaker partner, nor does it imply anything negative about women in general or Eve in particular. Clearly God intended for Adam and Eve to leave the Garden in this way, but that does not mean that Eve’s choice to partake of the fruit was “visionary.” I wonder whether the way the decision is portrayed in the new video – her pause and plaintive look toward heaven – will confuse members on this point.

    You also say that “Adam, when confronted with the fallen Eve, was at first the blindingly resolute Adam we expect…but was so obviously in love with his wife and so persuaded by her that he could not help but be convinced to remain with her above all else.”

    Do you really believe that the moral of the story is that it’s GOOD to disobey God out of love for a spouse? Our doctrine could not be more clear that a husband’s duty of loyalty to his wife (as with a wife’s duty of loyalty to her husband) is secondary to the duty of loyalty and obedience to God. Neither the text of the endowment nor the scriptures support your view here. Both are clear that Adam made his choice “that men might be.” (2 Nephi 2:25). Adam recognized (with the benefit of the newly-enlightened Eve’s guidance) that staying in the Garden of Eden and thus becoming separated from Eve would frustrate God’s plan for His children to obtain physical bodies and experience a mortal existence. Of course Adam loved Eve, but he partook of the fruit so that the Plan of Happiness would be extended to all God’s children.

    @ldsphilosopher: I couldn’t agree more. When I told my wife about parts of the new video I disliked (relative to the older videos), she said she was sorry I didn’t get much out of the endowment. I assured her that my spiritual experience in the temple had nothing to do with the quality of the acting or the special effects.

  25. I want to discuss what it means. Yes, this is a great thing the Church has done and I think it should be done more often. The articulation is wonderful. But the meaning is most important. My wife learned many things she never knew before.

    Question: with today’s technology and special effects, if this represents the creation of our present earth then why is the Savior and Michael shown with obviously perfected and physical bodies? Hence, this is not a representation of what had happened but that which will happen if we are true and faithful. The endowment is about our eternal progression, is it not?

  26. I don’t think we should discuss this part of the temple film. Your getting to specific about the meaning of things. This should really come by pondering and studying and personal revelation.

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