TAG: feature

Not a cool name, but at least a cool blog.

Digitizing the Lost Mormon Cinema, Part 2

There isn't as much to say with this update, but regular updates are better than no news.

The film is now in the queue to be scanned by a professional company and the resulting files will be mailed back to me on a USB hard drive within a week or two. At that point I will have a final bill for the process and can update how the funds have been spent. I will also send in some of the other films at that point.

I have also decided to spend my own funds to hire an analyst at the US Copyright Office of the Library of Congress to determine for certain if the film currently being digitized, "Windows of

Digitizing the Lost Mormon Cinema, Part 1

I've been involved with the "Hard-to-Find Mormon Videos" YouTube channel for a few months now. It's been a lot of fun. From what originally grew out of an attempt to put together get a group of easily-mocked videos á la Mystery Science Theater 3000 has grown a collection of hundreds of films over nearly an entire century of time. The channel get dozens of messages a week from current members, former members, and people who have never been officially associated with Mormonism who thank the channel for finding some old gem they'd nearly forgotten.

So far the videos have all come from a small handful of sources. The largest source is old VHS videocassettes.

Even most of the oldest videos

The Creation of the World

When Yahweh set out to create the world, the land was covered with water and with swirling clouds of darkness. In this primordial sea dwelt monsters, but no other things lived or could live in the chaos of the wind-swept water and darkness. The world was empty of life and order.

Then the great Yahweh approached. He ordered light to appear, and it obeyed. Yahweh was pleased with the light as it was useful, so he spread it throughout everything. Where light was placed Yahweh called it "Day" and where there was no light he called it "Night". The light pushed against the clouds of darkness, and the monsters of the deep were angry.

Yahweh descended to the violent seas

They Need to Look to History and the Future

I have spent the past week or so watching old LDS videos at this YouTube Channel. The breadth of what they have is impressive. Usually people like to focus on the story-based films that the Church and BYU have produced, but there have also been many historical videos produced. The YouTube Channel has a playlist devoted entirely to these documentaries, interviews, and other videos of historical interest. I find them to be a fascinating glimpse into the past of Mormonism.

They also make me more than a little sad. When watching these films you get a real sense of the grandeur of the mid-century Church.

Here's an example. The following video is called "For the Strength of the Hills" and

Evaluating the Blueprint: Change Orders and Apostles

The Mormon Church has claims since its earliest days to be a restoration of an "original" Christian religion. The 9th Article of Faith states, "We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth."

However, the era of modern biblical studies arose a few decades before the Mormon Church began, and it's rapid pace of study and learning has continue ever since. The ability to read the Christian New Testament as a unified work has grown extremely tenuous. The formation of Christian orthodoxy and its various hierarchies is now seen as a very organic process that took decades and centuries.

As such, past arguments to "prove" Mormonism as "primitive"

Evaluating the Blueprint: The Review

I've just finished a very quick read-through of Tad Callister's "The Blueprint of Christ's Church" and figured it might be nice to do a sort of mini-review of my impressions of the book as a whole before beginning to discuss pieces of the book. The verdict? About what would be expected, though with some unexpected highlights.

I was surprised to find that I was not nearly as aggravated by errors and smugness as I thought I would be (damning by faint praise, I suppose, right?). Let's be honest: everything I was expecting to find was there. The book presents a false picture of the unassailable strength of Callister's position (I'd say the position of the LDS Church, but he was