Monthly Archives: August 2013

Some brief thoughts on the new temple video

Last night my wife and I went to the Toronto Ontario Temple and saw the new temple video. Overall we were very impressed. Here are a few random thoughts/observations:

  • The creation scenes are beautiful
  • Most of the additional length is in the video presentation, so it doesn’t really feel like the session is 15 minutes longer
  • One of the actors/characters sounded like (and even kind of looked like) Elder Hales
  • There is a lot more emotion shown in the Garden of Eden scenes. I have no problem with this, but it is different from the way it used to be. I need to ponder about what this means
  • There are a couple of scenes where it is obvious that a character is in front of a “green screen”. If I thought it was that noticeable now, what will we think in 5-10 years when the video is still being used…
  • I thought the way Satan was portrayed was very effective. He seems particularly manipulative
  • As others have commented, it doesn’t seem like there are any wording changes

I’ve read all sorts of comments online on other sites… some are complaining about the acting, some are complaining about the music, and some are complaining about the cinematography. I have to admit that I probably didn’t get as much out of the session last night as I would have normally, as I was absorbing all of the new changes. But overall I quite liked it and I’m looking forward to going back again so I can focus on the spiritual side of things.

“Are you a good person?”

I work in Niagara Falls, Ontario, and each day I go for a walk along the Niagara Parkway. It is a fascinating place to be as there are A LOT of tourists around in the summer. It’s nice to see families together enjoying themselves. Since there are a lot of people around, it also attracts others who are looking to speak with a lot of people. Occasionally I come across some tracts that people have left on benches or car windshields.

I recently came across one of the best tracts I’ve ever seen. The ones I normally see are usually just messages about how evil we all are and how we need to repent. This one has that same message, but it does it in the form of a cartoon. Since it is a cartoon, it doesn’t feel quite as harsh. I’ve scanned it to a PDF if you want to download it. I’ve also included it below.

I think my two favourite panels are on page 3 and page 5. The guy with his tongue sticking out as he lusts after a woman is pretty comical. And I love the panel where the guy compares himself to Hitler, a KKK clansmen, Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein and says at least he isn’t as bad as some people 🙂

I wonder how effective these sorts of tracts are. Considering how ineffective door-to-door tracting can be, I would assume that handing out paper tracts or leaving them for others to pick up isn’t going to be any more effective. But I guess if they reach even one person it is worth it.

The tract ends by telling the reader to find a good church. Well, I feel that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a good church. I’m glad it’s a part of my life and that I have the truth of the gospel. I may sin more than 127,000 times in my life, but I know that the Savior died for me and that I can be forgiven. I hope others can find this out as well.

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LEGO Jesus on the cross

On Saturday we went to the Erie County Fair and had a great time. We saw lots of animals, had some good food, and enjoyed several show.

There was a building that was part antique barn, part flea market. There was a cabinet full of LEGO, and on display they had a LEGO Jesus on the cross! I assume this was something that was custom built, but it looks great.

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Pamphlets and leaflets from around Palmyra

Note: This should be my last Palmyra relate post for a while.

As mentioned before, my family went to see the Hill Cumorah Pageant in Palmyra, New York back in the middle of July. I have previously posted about the protestors as well as some pictures of the sites we visited. I’ve also scanned five of the pamphlets we picked up at the various sites, and I’ve posted them below.

Book of Mormon Historic Publication Site Grandin Building

Book of Mormon Historic Publication Site Grandin Building

The Sacred Grove and Joseph Smith Sr Family Historic Farm


The Sacred Grove and Joseph Smith Sr Family Historic Farm

Hill Cumorah Pageant


Hill Cumorah Pageant

The Hill Cumorah Historic Sites


The Hill Cumorah Historic Sites

The Museums of Historic Palmyra


The Museums of Historic Palmyra

Peter Whitmer Home and Visitors Center


Peter Whitmer Home and Visitors Center

Photos from Palmyra New York historical sites and pageant

As I’ve mentioned this week, back in July we went to see the Hill Cumorah Pageant. Here are some pictures. I took a lot more than this, but have selected a variety. We are hoping to go back in the Fall when things aren’t so busy and we can have the regular tours.

The Smith Log Home

The Smith Log Home

The kitchen in the Smith Log Home

The kitchen in the Smith Log Home

Inside the Smith Frame Home

Inside the Smith Frame Home

The kitchen in the Smith Frame Home

The kitchen in the Smith Frame Home

The view of the Palmyra Temple from the Smith Home

The view of the Palmyra Temple from the Smith Home

The Sacred Grove

The Sacred Grove

The Grandin Press Shop where the Book of Mormon was published

The Grandin Press Shop where the Book of Mormon was published

First Edition of the Book of Mormon

First Edition of the Book of Mormon

Angels at the beginning of the pageant

Angels at the beginning of the pageant

All the cast on stage

All the cast on stage

Nephi and the Tree of Life

Nephi and the Tree of Life

Jesus appearing to the Nephites

Jesus appearing to the Nephites

The remaining Nephites see the Savior

The remaining Nephites see the Savior

Voice of Lehi anonymous no more, after 26 years

One more Palmyra Pageant relate item before I post the pictures this afternoon…

This interesting item was in the Deseret News:

Until this year, Michael Bennett had never been to the Hill Cumorah Pageant in New York.

Which is odd.

He has performed in the pageant for the past 26 years.

Bennett is the voice of Lehi — four different Lehis, actually.

My report from the Palmyra Pageant

As mentioned yesterday, this year we went to the Palmyra Pageant as a family. It had been several years since I had last been. Previously, the main parking lot was across the street, so you would have to walk right past the protestors. Some of them were quiet, but others were loud and obnoxious. Since the last time we were there the parking arrangements have changed. Now you park on the same side of the street as the Hill Cumorah, so you never have to walk directly by the protestors. I was there on Wednesday, July 17, and it was probably the hottest day of the year. It could have been because it was mid-week, or because of the heat, but there were very few protestors out that night. They were making some noise until the opening prayer, and then I never heard them again.

I live about a two-hour drive from Palmyra, so we got there at around 5 pm. The pageant doesn’t start until after 9 pm, so we had a few hours to go and view the sites. Since there are so many people who visit the area during pageant time, there are no official tours offered at the various historical sites. There are, however, lots of missionaries and volunteers around to explain some things and answer questions.

Other than the heat, it was a beautiful day. The kids particularly enjoyed walking through the Sacred Grove. There was some steam/fog among the trees, so you could see the light coming through in visible beams. it looked just like something you’d see in a movie.

The pageant itself hasn’t changed much in several years. That is both a good and bad thing. I like it because it is comfortable. You know exactly how long it will be, and it is easy to tell the kids to pay attention to a specific part that is coming up. On the other hand, since it hasn’t changed it just didn’t feel as exciting to watch it this time.

Ultimately, we had a great day. My three kids thought it was awesome, and I guess that is what matters most.

I took a bunch of pictures and will post them tomorrow…

Hill Cumorah Draws Business and Protests To Streets of Palmyra

I’m a little late on posting this, but I still wanted to post it. A few weeks ago we went to see the annual Palmyra Pageant. It is always a fun day, and is pretty much the only time where I get to see any protestors against the Church. This article from YNN in Rochester shares a bit about this:

Jim Deferio has traveled from Syracuse and occupied the same street corner outside the bookstore for eight years.

Deferio spends the day preaching the Christian Gospel while holding a banner that says the Book of Mormon is full of lies.

“I don’t hate the Mormons, I hate their lies. I love the Mormon people because I was lost once too, so I just give them truth and I show them the contradictions in their own books,” he said.

Well, at least he doesn’t hate us 🙂

I’ll share more about my trip tomorrow…