It is common knowledge that the LDS Church requires its employees, whether they work at the Church Office Building as a professional accountant, as an engineer in the former LDS-owned “Deseret Gym,” or as a custodian* in a temple or LDS chapel, to be temple recommend holding members of the Church. But how attenuated is that requirement in terms of people supplying things to the LDS Church?
Consider as a case in point the email (below the fold) I just got soliciting extras for an LDS Church film about prisoners of war during WWII (and, if you are interested and meet the requirements, by all means apply! :) ):
PROJECT: Family History Matters
CASTING for Estonian (Baltic/former Soviet Union) and German Soldiers and a German Shepherd from the World War II era.
Dear Talent File Participant,
We are in need of EXTRAS to help portray a story played-out in flashbacks during the World War II era. The project is Family History Matters for the Family History Department of the LDS Church.
SCENE: Prisoners slog through the mud at a German Prisoner of War Camp.
NEEDED: Estonian Soldiers. German Soldiers (who actually speak GERMAN). A well-mannered German Shepherd dog.
Applicants should be Male, between 18-28 years old. German Guards may be slightly older. All applicants should be fit and lean as the exercises of war would have made them.
SHOOT DATE: Tuesday, March 16, 2010 (May be a NIGHT shoot. Subject to change.)
LOCATION: Provo, Utah
ALL APPLICANTS must be temple-worthy members of the LDS Church. (If applicant doesnt have a temple recommend, we will need bishops information to clear them. And, the German Shepherds owner should be temple-worthy.)
Please REPLY to this e-mail (AVDcasting@LDSchurch.org) by midnight, Tuesday, March 9th — Subject line: Estonia, with the following information:
(1) Applicants Full Name and AGE;
(2) Current Phone Number(s) where you may be reached;
(3) Are you with a talent agency? If so, which one?
For the DOG, please list here the owners information and tell us a little about your dog.
(4) A Current Photo of applicant taken within the last 3 months. .jpg or .bmp formats are preferred. Please save your file with applicants NAME.
Submissions will be presented to the project directors and we will notify you by Friday, March 12th, if you have been chosen. Thank you, very much, for your support of LDS Audiovisual productions! We look forward to your submission!
Perhaps it was overkill to include the entire solicitation since I am only focusing on one small portion of it, but thought someone in the bloggernacle might be interested.
Now, focus on the emphasized text – “ALL APPLICANTS must be temple-worthy members of the LDS Church. (If applicant doesnt have a temple recommend, we will need bishops information to clear them. And, the German Shepherds owner should be temple-worthy.)
So, not only do the extras need to be temple-worthy members, which kind of makes sense, I guess, but the OWNER OF THE GERMAN SHEPHERD should be as well. Interesting! I guess that the temple-worthiness of the German Shepherd’s owner might be somehow absorbed by the dog’s presence in the film, making the film that much more spiritual? I wonder if the props may only be rented from temple-worthy members? If the properties where such films are shot must be owned by temple-worthy members? How about the manufacturers of the video cameras? How far removed from an actual person or thing appearing in an LDS-produced film must a person be before there is no longer a temple-worthiness requirement?
I am poking a little fun at this because it seems like overkill – no real disrespect is intended. That said, is there some good justification (other than “the Brethren say so”), in the opinions of the readers, for requiring that even the owner of the a German Shepherd that appears as an “extra” in an LDS-made film be temple-worthy? Why require that for such an attenuated connection – the owner won’t even be in the film?
*As an interesting aside, since the LDS church requires that even custodians in its building be temple-worthy members, I wonder if or how the church gets around that requirement for the weekly building cleaning “assignments” so prevalent these days. I know personally that some of the people assigned are not temple recommend holders because we have purposely assigned people to do that who are working towards coming back into activity… Thoughts?