This week saw the beginning of the new HBO series Big Love, a
soap opera serial drama portraying the lives of a Mormon polygamist family.
The message of the show is pretty simple: if you think marriage is tedious, well, being married to 3 people is three times as tedious. Whether this is truly transgressive TV we'll leave for others to decide. Personally, we're sticking with Passions.
But that isn't to say that Big Love is completely without interest. Whatever its success in crossing the line, for a program ostensibly about a Christian faith the show has a distinct lack of actual crosses used as decorations in worship, the home or personal adornment.
This is not an oversight. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints actively discourages using the cross as a spiritual symbol. According to LDS leaders, the Church focuses on the resurrection of Jesus, not the means of his excruciating death. As one popular explanation goes, we don't honor JFK by wearing rifle jewelry.
So what kind of symbols do we find on LDS bling? Take a close look on the watch on the left & you'll see one that is well nigh ubiquitious: the Angel Moroni, the divine messenger who revealed the long-hidden Book of Mormon to the Prophet Joseph Smith.
The makers of this watch tout it as the ideal gift for young LDS men, though chances are the recipient won't be using it to keep track of dates with multiple wives. Under pressure from the U.S. government, the Church officially stopped the practice of plural marriage way back in 1890.
Which is probably a good thing. After all, if Big Love is to be believed, the demands of plural marriage make it pretty much impossible for anyone but Moroni to stand tall and blow his horn.