“Why the ‘Witnesses’ Project?”

“Why the ‘Witnesses’ Project?” August 28, 2022


England's first temple
The London England Temple. (LDS Media Library)


Obviously feeling increasingly desperate, with this one the Interpreter Foundation has reached a new low:


“Witnesses of the Book of Mormon — Insights Episode 19: Why the Witnesses Project?”

What is the purpose of the Interpreter Foundation’s Witnesses Project, and all the related media: the Witnesses feature film, the Undaunted companion docudrama, and the Insights videos?

This is the nineteenth in a series compiled from the many interviews conducted during the course of the Witnesses film project. This series of mini-films is being released each Saturday at 7pm MDT. These additional resources are hosted by Camrey Bagley Fox, who played Emma Smith in Witnesses, as she introduces and visits with a variety of experts. These individuals answer questions or address accusations against the witnesses, also helping viewers understand the context of the times in which the witnesses lived. This week we feature Daniel C. Peterson, President of the Interpreter Foundation and Executive Producer of Witnesses. For more information, go to https://witnessesofthebookofmormon.org/ or watch the documentary movie Undaunted.

Short clips from this episode are also available on TikTok and Instagram.

Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/c/theinterpreterfoundation and our other social media channels on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and TikTok.


“BYU bans fan for use of racial slur at volleyball match: The fan was not a BYU student, although he was sitting in the student section, according to a BYU statement”

I first saw this story on CNN, but I want to add my own hearty “Good riddance” to the jerk who was misbehaving.


Bolton image of De Graffenried statue
This 2001 bronze statue by Mark De Graffenried, titled “The Emigrants,” stands on the Albert Dock in Liverpool. Given to the people of the city by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 2007, it commemorates migration from Liverpool to the New World. It pays tribute to the many families from all over Europe who embarked from Liverpool for a new life in America.  Not visible from this angle because he’s behind the father is a little boy who, unaware of the significance of what is happening, is playing with a crab.

(Wikimedia Commons photograph by Humphrey Bolton)


We won’t be visiting London on this trip, alas.  But we’re not terribly far from it at the moment, and I’m reminded of an experience that my wife and I had there many, many years ago.  I can’t recall whether I’ve told the story here or not.  (Perhaps you can’t, either.)


We decided, one evening in London, that we wanted to take in a play.  (That wasn’t and isn’t a very unusual thing, since I married a theater major.)  We checked around and managed to find a performance by the Royal Shakespeare Company of Macbeth, at the Old Vic Theatre.  I think that we got the last two tickets.  Anyway, they were front row center.  At certain points in the play, we were looking up almost vertically at the actors.  Not ideal, but the best we could do.


Somewhat into the play, there was a set change, but it wasn’t yet time for an intermission.  So, while things were being shifted around behind a curtain, out emerged an actor portraying the court jester, the fool.  He came to the center of the stage, almost out to the very front of it.  Right, in other words, in front of us.  He sat down cross-legged, looking directly at me.


“Knock, knock,” said.


Now, in order to understand what happened next, you should know about me that I absolutely loathe being called up onto the stage during shows and things of the sort.  I illustrate with a parenthetical anecdote:  A long time ago, when our kids were still quite young, we took them with us on a trip to Hawaii.  One evening, we attended a musical show in our hotel.  I was enjoying it, until they arrived at a section of their show devoted to the songs of Elvis Presley.  I lack the Elvis Presley gene.  I’ve never particularly enjoyed his music, although my brother was a big fan (perhaps because he was ten years older than I), and I know very few of his songs.  They began looking in the audience for someone to play the onstage role of an Elvis impersonator, and they were quickly advancing toward me.  (Men with my particular hair style sometimes seem to hold a magnetic attraction for certain kinds of stage performers and stage assistants.)  In terror, I shrank back behind my eldest son, trying to hide.  And they took him.  Soon, he was standing onstage in a ridiculous white sequined cape, wearing an even more absurd Elvis wig and sunglasses.  And they wanted him to sing along.  But he makes me look like an Elvis fanatic, by comparison.  He just stood there, not knowing a word of the lyrics, and not swaying even slightly with the rhythms.  He simply looked stunned.  Caught in the headlights.  (I’ll probably be damned for setting him up like that.)  Finally, he was mercifully released to return to his seat.  And then, after the show was over, a bunch of tipsy older women from the audience came up to give him hugs and, in one or two cases, even to plant kisses on his cheeks.  I think that he was traumatized for life.


But back to Macbeth at the Old Vic:


“Knock, knock,” the jester said, looking straight at me.  And, of course, I answered not at all.  I wasn’t going to speak up during a Royal Shakespeare Company performance.  Not me.


“I said ‘Knock, knock!’” he repeated, much more loudly and insistently, and staring very intently at me.


“Who’s there?” I responded.


He jumped up and began bounding around the stage.  “A Yank!” he cried.  “A Yank!”  I really can’t remember what happened immediately after that.


Occasionally, though, since then, when I’ve been asked to tell about myself or to submit a curriculum vitae, I’ve included something along the following lines:  “Had a speaking role in Macbeth with the Royal Shakespeare Company in London.”  I mean, after all, it’s true.  Sort of.


Hyde Park Chapel, London
The Hyde Park Chapel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, on Exhibition Road in South Kensington, London

(Wikimedia Commons public domain image)


Finally, I close with a disorienting and very frightening item from the Christopher Hitchens Memorial “How Religion Poisons Everything” File©:


“JustServe volunteers help build gardens with former inmates: Clients at two sober-living homes in Utah are learning and benefitting from backyard gardens”


Posted from the English Channel



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