An Eve I Like: The New Temple Movie

On Thursday while visiting family in Utah, my wife and I went to the Mount Timpanogos Temple in American Fork and saw the recently released new movie that is used in portions of the LDS temple ceremony (the “Endowment” ceremony). The new movie follows the same script as before, as far as I know, but goes a bit slower. I understand this was done to make it easier for foreign language translations to keep up since more words are sometimes required to properly translate all the terms.

The new movie has real acting, and I thought fairly good acting. What I liked best about the movie is Eve. She is much more of a real woman and, in fact, a thinker and a leader. She and Adam are a real couple. This was an Eve that I really like.

Yes, I know people will still complain about all sorts of things, but I found this version of the Endowment a significant step forward. And the music was terrific. Plus the creation scenes were more beautiful (Hubble photographs?) and the film seemed to be high definition, which I really liked. Loved the rich textures in some of the garden scenes. Great photography, great music, and pretty good acting. Nice.

(Update: Paragraph deleted with some further comments on the excellent acting. Perhaps not appropriate.)

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Author: Jeff Lindsay

25 thoughts on “An Eve I Like: The New Temple Movie

  1. Gotta love the spammers. (If Jeff deletes the comment in question, everyone else can ignore this.)

    I have not seen the new movie yet, Jeff, but I have heard similar comments from people who have. I look forward to seeing it soon.

  2. "I am seriously tempted now to make a donation to at least one of his political parties."

    Go for it! He runs them all. 😉

  3. Love the shot at partisanship at the close. Haven't seen the new video. I always like the Adam and Eve from the Ballam video and everyone else from the newer one, especially the guy who played Satan (Peter in the Lamb of God). I didn't even know there was a new one until I read your blog.

  4. I haven't seen the new temple film yet either. I have never been a fan of either of the older temple films both in terms of acting and in terms of cinematography.

    I am glad that they have updated the film in terms of actors and the film. It was about time.

    I just wish that they would revise the script. That's the thing I dislike the most about the temple film.

  5. It's easy to be down on the script, but there is a lot of depth and symbolism in it that might merit a second chance and further attention. But I agree it's quite out of place in the 21st century. Remember you are stepping back into an ancient world in the temple, and I'm not talking nineteenth century ancient. Understanding ancient covenants, rituals, symbols, etc., can be helpful. Read Nibley, Read Jon Levenson's Sinai and Zion. Read Eliade. Read a lot, and then look at the temple again. It's a pretty amazing place.

  6. I saw it in Houston on the 31st and reacted in much the same way. The simple changes made a big difference.

  7. As for acting, I thought Adam was the weak link. I'm guessing since the actors must be a married couple, it was hard to get stellar performances from both.

  8. Jeff, The spam comment that appeared to be anti-baptism merely started out _sarcastically_ anti-baptism. I skimmed the whole thing in sort of a train-wreck style curiosity. The 2nd half was pro-baptism.

    It was still worthy of deletion, so thank-you for deleting it. But, I just wanted to point out that the spammer was not _actually_ anti-baptism, he was actually pro-baptism, and went about his spamishness in a rather goofy way.

    I don't think he was LDS. And I don't know if he was anti-LDS, either. I gave him the benefit of the doubt, and concluded he was just a well-intentioned but eccentric (to put it nicely) member of another Christian church.

    And….. he seems to have struck again. As they say in the South "well….. BLESS his heart."

  9. Jeff, Jeff, Jeff—- each Jeff is with a different tonal inflection. If a non-member would read your post you have reduced the sacred endowment ceremony to a discussion of a movie. There is no reason to discuss in public which characters are portrayed in the sacred endowment ceremony.

    Mormanity, I call on you to take down this post.

  10. I think that the new endowment film raises more questions than it answers. For instance, Adam and Eve both seem to have "inspiration" as they make their choice. The acting goes out of its way to make this obvious (they both look to the heavens and then cry as they make their decision). However, if this source of inspiration is the Holy Ghost, then can I anticipate that the Holy Ghost will ever inspire me to break God's command (for whatever reason)? Which also begs the question – was the Holy Ghost operable in Eden? And here's another question, if they are able to experience sorrow in the garden (evidenced by their crying), why come to earth to "pass through sorrow"? In the film they manifest emotion they shouldn't experientially possess, i.e. sorrow before the fact indicates a foreknowledge of the pain which one's actions are about to cause Isn't this specialized knowledge they are supposed to have AFTER they transgress?

    And, as I consider the portrayal of Adam and Eve's heart-felt decision, I ponder, isn't reversing the effects of the fall primarily a matter of transforming the heart – change the heart and change behavior. Indeed, overcoming the natural man begins as we yield our hearts and minds to the Spirit's enticings. If anything, I find it easier to believe that the fall was caused by Adam and Eve's failure to do that – quite the opposite of what the new acting seems to portray.

    For us anyway, when the Spirit whispers and we don't obey, we are transgressing against what God would have us do. Look to the heavens, the answer invariably returns – obey. For us there is no other way, obedience is the only way. We fall when we do otherwise.

    Also, I just wonder how much of this new acting will generate new doctrine, or at least new theories.

  11. I also recently saw the new version and I can say that I was impressed. Let me offer a few comments:

    First, the acting. The difference in the acting definitely changes the sense and interpretation of certain crucial things, such as the concept and necessity of the fall. I think that this change is adequately backed up by scripture, and is something that many members may not even be aware of. The old style acting was very flat, which meant that the people who watched it could project their own interpretation onto it very easily. From my own observation (and from comments commonly heard in Sunday School and elsewhere) this resulted in a very Protestant interpretation of the fall. There was always a hint of the utter depravity found in Protestantism. I think this version moves us away from that, and this is a very welcomed change.

    Second, the creation. As an astrophysicist I could definitely tell that they consulted with some REAL astronomers and planetary scientists before making the creation sequence. What is depicted represents the best understanding of solar system and planet formation that we currently know. It is perhaps more accurate than any depiction you might find in popular media. You would have to go straight to NASA or some other academic source to find anything as accurate. There was A LOT of thought and work that went into it, and I think that it will stand for years to come.

    Third, I know Eve! (I don't know her well, but she and I grew up in the same stake.)

    Fourth, apparently the Telestial kingdom is located in Paria Canyon just north of Lonely Dell Ranch. For a few of the shots it brought back memories since I have been hiking in that area and have personally stood in some of those locations.

    1. Yes I was wondering (and since you know eve personally you should know) if eve is the actress known as Courtney Ford? Thanks

  12. Hi Jeff! Great post. I recently visited the San Antonio temple and was really looking forward to the new movie. But I was slightly dissapointed (is there a way you can leave the temple feeling dissapointed?) when the old movie started playing again. But well this just means I have to visit the temple again to see if they are showing it. Thanks to your comments, I am really looking forward to it! 🙂

  13. I agree with another Anonymous comment above. I actually think the flat acting style of the old films was a positive thing in many ways. After seeing the new temple film, I realize the older versions allowed for multiple interpretations and different understandings. Now, it feels that there is only one interpretation and it is being forced on us. And personally, I disagree with it. I don't think Eve knew exactly what she was doing. Satan tricked her. And to present it so oppositely seems contrary to what we actually learn in the temple and in the scriptures.

    And then, the over-the-top camera angles, etc. were incredibly distracting to me.

    I really hope they'll consider still showing the old films. Any chance of that??

  14. I tend to agree with Anonymous's comment 10:41 Sep. 22. Eve was beguiled; she didn't make a conscious and heroic decision to move the work forward. At least, that's what the scriptures teach us.

  15. "The serpent beguiled me" Moses 4:19

    "the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty" 2 Corinthians 11:3

    "even that same liar who beguiled our first parents" Ether 8:25

    "that being who beguiled our first parents" 2 Nephi 9:9

    "that old serpent that did beguile our first parents" Mosiah 16:3

    "And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression" 1 Timothy 2:14

    "BEGUI'LE, v. t. begi'le. [be and guile. ] To delude; to deceive; to impose on by artifice or craft." 1828 Dictionary

  16. @ Anonymous You show the word beguile as if Eve was not beguiled in the new movie. But she was. She was sold the idea that "it must be" "it is the only way" To mix truth with lies is being beguiled if you buy into it. She bought into his sales pitch. She was then.. Beguiled.

    Do you think that Satan was pleased with her decision to follow his promptings? Do you believe that Satan was believing that he was helping.. or hindering God's plan by telling EVE what he did? By all means he thought he was thwarting it in some way. The fact that he Lied to her.. and she believed his lie.. is being beguiled. The movie depicts her "believing" what he says.. and it does it very well!

  17. I just saw the longer version for the first time. I'm suprised that they didn't make an attempt to shorten the ceremony rather than add the 14 minutes or so. I wish there was a shorter version for people who've been more than 100 times. Maybe a punch card could be involved. 100 punches gets you into the 20 minute endowment plus a large diet coke at 7 11. 🙂

  18. @Anonymous,

    No Courtney Ford is not LDS (unless there actually is someone named Courtney Ford who is LDS, but the only Courtney Ford I could find, who is an actress is not LDS and thus would not be in the temple video).

    This post is almost a year old, and since then there are two more videos that have come out. I have not seen the second one but I did see the third (on the second day since they started using it!).

    The Eve in the first new video is Lori Whiting (former Miss Arizona in 1999).

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