"Big Love" Outer Darkness (TV Episode 2009) Poster

(TV Series)



The endowment ceremony portrayed in this episode sparked an official statement from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who would rather not have the temple ceremonies portrayed on camera or anywhere else outside of the temples. Depending on the individual viewpoint, the ceremonies are meant to be kept out of public view and discussion either because they are too sacred, or because they are commanded by God to be kept secret. The church's official statement says in part: "Certainly Church members are offended when their most sacred practices are misrepresented or presented without context or understanding." While context and understanding are subjective and debatable, there is no doubt that the ceremony is portrayed with proper costuming and atmosphere, almost exactly as it happens in modern temples (post-1990 changes in the ceremony), and virtually word-for-word.
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In the scene where Barb is excommunicated, one of the two church leaders in the meeting tells her, "Some things that are true are not very useful." This is a quote from an actual leader in the Mormon church named Boyd K. Packer. It is an exact quote from a talk that he delivered to church educational instructors in 1981. He went on to say that "The writer or the teacher who has an exaggerated loyalty to the theory that everything must be told is laying a foundation for his own judgment." It is part of the idea among some Latter-Day Saints that some of the church's history and deeper doctrines can be too easily taken out of context, causing some to lose their faith in the church before they are able to appropriately digest more troubling issues.
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