I usually don’t post about popular media, or even current events or other things that might be related. I feel strongly that the purpose of this blog is to focus on learning doctrines, not keeping abreast of all the scholarship, events, attacks, etc that goes on in the world around us (partly because I don’t have time to post that often or keep on top of all of it). I model it on the pattern the temple teaches: it’s only when we get away from all the noise that we can internalize simple principles and doctrines that will make the real difference in our lives and then allow us to make a real difference in the lives of others.

This post goes contrary to that and addresses the recent news that the HBO show “Big Love” will show parts of the endowment ceremony on an upcoming episode. I think it’s an important thing to address, because we need to know how to properly handle these kinds of situations (they’ll only get more common).

I’d like to quote Moroni 9:25–26, with one slight modification (italicized):

25 My son, be faithful in Christ; and may not the things which HBO & the world does grieve thee, to weigh thee down unto death; but may Christ lift thee up, and may his sufferings and death, and the showing his body unto our fathers, and his mercy and long-suffering, and the hope of his glory and of eternal life, rest in your mind forever.
26 And may the grace of God the Father, whose throne is high in the heavens, and our Lord Jesus Christ, who sitteth on the right hand of his power, until all things shall become subject unto him, be, and abide with you forever. Amen.

One of my mentors put it so well, I’ll just quote him:

The adversary is always coming up with new fiery darts.  Withstanding them is best done by focusing on our sacred duties, rather than on the darts.  For example, we can all channel our passionate feelings about the temple into more temple attendance.  The adversary doesn’t want to attack the temple; he knows he can’t succeed in that.  But if his attack on the temple distracts temple attenders into worry and letter-writing campaigns that take time away from temple attendance, that’s victory for him.  Having only so much time, we do best to focus on our sacred responsibilities.

Anyone who plays sports knows the best way to avoid an incoming ball is to know where it is so you can catch it–or at least dodge it. In the gospel the opposite is true. The best protection against fiery darts is to ignore the darts and make sure we are strengthening our armor by focusing on doctrines, duties, and other people: the things that will make a difference.

I add my voice to that of Bryce Hammond, Terrance Olson, Orson Scott Card and others in saying that the bigger of a deal we make of this, the more attention it will get. That’s the last thing we want to happen. And to all those people who are threatening to cancel their HBO subscriptions: why do you have HBO in the first place?