Very few dry eyes while viewing the new temple film

My wife and I were finally able to see the new temple endowment film Friday night. I was really floored by it. I cried through most of the film and as I looked around the endowment room it appeared most other people were wiping away some tears.

The introduction of the Savior was done in a way that really touched me. But the key moment was when Eve meets Adam. The look of joy on her face was so radiant that it made me see them as real human beings rather than actors just reading lines. It really brought home for me the marvelous plan of man and woman joining together in eternal marriage and how we can be part of this plan.

I really enjoyed Eve’s process of arriving at the conclusion that she must eat the fruit. There is no other way for her to have children. The tears she sheds are real, and you can see that she — and eventually Adam — must also sacrifice and go through sorrow.

The film has many meaningful pauses that help drive home doctrinal points in new ways. I will not get into all of those things now, but I will say that this temple film is like a whole new story filled with new meanings and layers of information to help us understand our purpose on Earth.

I found myself wondering how the film was made. The usual process would be for a GA or group of GAs to be involved with the filming. I am sure this film had to be approved by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve. Did the Brethren weep also as they viewed this film?

Another thought: Lucifer is a weasel, and this movie showed this best of all. But there were also significant moments when the other actors clearly viewed him with pity and compassion. And this seems right to me.

Last note: the temple experience is sacred, and talking about it in general terms is appropriate, but there are some things that should not be discussed in a public forum. Please show some discretion.

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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.

13 thoughts on “Very few dry eyes while viewing the new temple film

  1. Our faith is sometimes called the Restoration because of what the Savior told Joseph Smith in the First Vision. Mormonism is a restoration of true, ancient Christianity rather than apostate Christianity which includes Catholic and Protestant denominations. I was deeply moved by the new temple film because to me it seemed like it restored some of what was lost in the 1990 change in the Endowment. Specifically, it changed the dress of the Adversary to more nearly represent apostate Christianity, or so it seemed to me. He looked more Protestant because of his dress. To my mind, the term “weasel” just scratches the surface of the reality of the Adversary. He is not only a tempter, but a master of deception. Some of us tend to forget that. As a result, he is pure evil. I think that came across better in this film than ever before. This film is a great improvement over the films of the past, at least according to my taste. Of course, the truth remains the same.

  2. Thanks for posting this. Truth be told, I don’t get much out of the endowment. I think different people have qualitatively different spiritual experiences from different forms of worship. The temple, music, and even the scriptures don’t do much for me, but I get lots of out prayer and pondering. Either way, I’m a little more motivated to do a session having read this post.

    By the way, I’m told that the pauses were added to help the translations keep up with the film.

  3. DavidF, there is a HUGE qualitative difference between the old films and this one. I probably saw the old films 150 times or so, and I never really felt the Spirit very strongly during those films (although I did spend a lot of time pondering their meaning). This was a completely different experience: a strong feeling of the presence of the Holy Ghost and the Savior and a deeper understanding of our purpose on Earth. I literally did not want the film to end (and I never felt that way during the older films).

  4. When I saw the film for the first time, there were audible sobs from the male side of the aisle. I’ve never experienced that before.

    My allergies started acting up halfway through, but that didn’t seem to detract from the experience. Though it’s hard on the photoreceptors.

  5. Thanks Geoff. I look forward to returning to the temple later this month. I found the new Temple movie to be superior to to the past temple movies. The acting and the cinematography was much improved. The new introduction was less StarTrekkie. I love Star Trek and the former movies would prompt my brain into reminiscing on my favorite episodes. Big distraction.

    I do miss one of the old Satans. One of them was a particularly good looking. I am going to miss that guy. For the record, all my temple-going old lady friends agree with me.

    One bit of criticism I have about this movie and the former movies; is the lack of realism in both Adam and Eve after they left the garden. IMHO Adam-in-the-cold-cruel-world would have looked less like a clean shaved short hair returned missionary, and more like John the Baptist. Eve should be shown toward the end as a new mother or pregnant. A honeymoon baby definitely. A little animal skinned wearing Cain clonking a little Abel in the background would have also added foreshadowed dimension to the realism. For both, Adam and Eve post-garden; neatly coifed hair, being clean shaved, and squeaky clean, might not have been a big priority.

  6. One of the unfortunate compromises with a film presentation is also one of the valuable features – it is the same, every time. Any film loses a dimension of reality, with repetition. I found the presentation at the Manti Temple was often interesting because of slight differences in personal expression.

    In point of fact, after having seen the new film several times, it is my impression that the dialogue is word-for-word the same as the old film presentation. What is dramatically changed is the background scenery, and the acting. All of the acting roles are more strongly defined.

    Also to my entertainment, many of the film scenes are recognizably places I have personally visited, obviously staged somewhere in Utah. Big shady cottonwwods are prominent in several scenes. Several familiar vistas overlooking river cayons in familiar redrock sandstone country. None of these elements anything much related to the presentation, but fun to see.

    My Mom fondly relates the story about the little old lady who purposfully tripped the actor playing the part of Satan as he passed by, back in the days of live actors.

  7. I love the way Eve weeps when she realizes “there is no other way.” That really got the waterworks going for me. She KNEW! I find myself feeling her same pain as I bear children and watch them go through the pains and strife of mortality.

    Corbin Allred, who played Lucifer, was pure perfection. When he was talking to Eve, I was drawn in. I found myself listening so intently, thinking, “Wow, he cares!” He sounded like your Bishop, father or a concerned friend. Corbin really conveyed the master deceiver that Satan is, because as soon as Eve took the fruit he turned purely evil and frightening. He carelessly abandoned her. That is just what Satan does. He tries to console our feelings with half-truths and false sympathy. And then when we allow him in, he turns on us and abandons us.

    I love the new film and I feel like it really gives the endowment ceremony more meaning.

  8. So it is word-for-word the same, but the emotional/empathy level of the acting is much improved? (I don’t want want any examples here. I’m just asking if there are any text changes.)

  9. John, it is word for word the same, but the pictures are very, very different, and the acting is very different (and better). There is also a LOT more emphasis on certain phrases. If you say the same phrase with emphasis on different words it can change the meaning.

  10. When I first saw the new film, I was in conflict with it. I really like it and I agree with the touching moments in the film. But, while I was living in SLC, I attended the SLC temple and one of the temple workers lived in my ward. He stated that one of the reasons the live sessions were changed to film was that the actors acted instead of just saying the lines. With acting, a course of interpretation is imparted to the viewer that may or may not be intended. I feel that although I loved the new film, I feel like some of the personal interpretation has been removed from me. So instead of it being a truly personal experience, it has been watered down to the expression of the actors. I want that interpretation to be spiritual and mine.


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