Thursday, May 18, 2006

Watching the Joseph Smith Movie

For months I’ve wanted to go view the multi million dollar Joseph Smith movie produced for the Legacy Theater in the JS Memorial Building. . An enlightened friend who is also a member of my wife’s ward accompanied me. We met for lunch at a local watering hole, knowing that neither of us could view the movie without a toast to Old Joe... so after receiving some appropriate lubrication (I went for the 6 brew sampler); we drove over to the famed theater for our afternoon entertainment.

Upon arrival we went to secure tickets but were told that the entire theater had been booked way in advance and that we would need to get reservations in order to see the movie. Knowing that the movie was full of lies I decided that I would also tell alittle lie of my own... I veined disappointment and told the old missionary lady that the concierge at the Hotel had told us that we wouldn’t have any problem getting tickets.... upon hearing this the old lady perked up and asked... Oh are you from out of town? Why Yes we are, I said (we are, just not out of state and we weren’t staying at a hotel either) Well thats different she said, we reserve a few special tickets for out of state guests.

When the 1:30 show began I fully expected the theater to be bursting at the seams... needless to say... it was barley a third of the way full... what was all the fuss about telling us it was a sold out showing in the first place I wondered? As we entered the theater we were offered a kleenex...I wondered if this was to wipe my ass with?I had been warned in advance that the movie was a propaganda marvel...but I don’t think I was prepared by the amount of literal whitewashing (yeah there's even a metaphorical whitewashing scene in the movie) and depth of emotional manipulations the church would employ to create their fictional embellishment of Joseph’s amazing life. If I didn’t know his history, I would have been overwhelmed... but by the end of the movie I just needed a bag to throw up in.

Through out the movie the church used manipulative emotional triggers in the hope of felicitating some sensation... and in this they were successful... the movie put a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach...but the main thing it did, through out the movie, was cause me to ask the question WHY?? Why was Joseph in Harmony PA? (treasure seeking) Why did his father in law hate him so? (Cuz he didn’t stop glass looking as promised and he eloped with his daughter) Why was Joseph tarred and feathered? (hitting on the Johnson girl) Why did Joseph leave Kirkland? (running from law due to bank fiasco) Why did the Missourians hate the Mormon's so? (complicated but both parties share some blame...Mormon’s weren’t innocently persecuted due to their religion as portrayed in the movie) Why the problems of choosing a successor after Joseph’s death if BY WAS set apart as such as portrayed in the movie? (he wasn’t) Why no gun in Joseph’s hand in Carthage Jail? (whitewash) Why did Joseph go to Carthage? (absolutely no mention that he was being charged with issues related to his polygamy activity).

I give the Morg credit... Their effort would make even Lenin proud... Propaganda is alive and well in America Today... But I was surprised that they left out the scene where Joseph walks on water...

The movie presupposes that Mormon history or more specifically the history of Joseph Smith took place in a vacuum. The movie shows various scenes from the life of JS based on the very scrubbed up version of events generally taught in Mormon Sunday School and Seminary classes etc.

But these things, did no take place in a vacuum... events don’t just take place all by themselves.... they are generally a reaction based on some other event. Much like a queue ball hitting a grouping of pool balls.... human events are generally a reaction to other events....This in my humble opinion is one of the major flaws of this movie.... it is a white washed, scrubbed, distortion of events...and it fails to tell the whole story...the story behind the story... and left me asking.... yeah BUT WHAT caused that to happen...But what can you expect from an organization led by men that publicly dismiss the value of truth in its own history...

Now where is that Bag!