Sunday, January 29, 2012

Review of "Redemption" - a movie about the story of John Baptiste

Me and "John Baptiste" after watching the film
Last night I took Cathi, Jacob and Jonas along with my good friend Josh, and his wife Sabrina out on a group date.  We went to the LDS Film Festival where we saw Redemption.  

I took it upon myself to study the different accounts online of the story before hand.  The movie not only met my hopes and expectations, but surpassed them!  I was also a little worried that the film might stretch the story out too long to make a full feature film, but there were no parts in the movie where I looked at my watch wondering how much longer.  The actors were ALL very good and portrayed the characters in a very convincing way.

The panoramic views and angles of many of the shots were very well chosen and really did a great job portraying the beauty and lonely expanse of Antelope Island.  There were many scenes that made the story come alive for me.  I would have to say that this is one of the best films I've seen in the past year.

White Rock Bay
I was surprised that there was no mention of Brigham Young's role in this story.   After spending three months in jail, Brigham Young piped up:

"What I would do with him came to me quickly, after I heard of the circumstances... If it were left to me, I would make him a fugitive and a vagabond upon the earth.  This would be my sentence." - Brigham Young's Office Journal, January 27, 1862,  LDS Church Archives, 341-42.
 Really Brother Brigham?  Even though he couldn't legally be the one to pass judgement, certainly his recommendation made it to the ears of the executors of the law.

Ever been thirsty or hungry?  Try living on a desert island
surrounded by super salty water.  
That doesn't sound like justice, but rather vengeance. What would the dead say?  Especially when they're facing their own judges with the following doctrine ringing in their ears:

“For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” 

The character, John Baptiste, in the movie made a statement that I agree with completely.  When our loved ones die and are placed in the ground, "The soul is not in the ground".  When Jesus was in the tomb his body was not there, what happened to his body at that time did not have any influence on the fact that he was busy doing His Father's work.

Brigham Young could have taken this situation and shown great leadership and at the same time taught a great lesson about the basic doctrine about the separation of the spirit and body after death, as well as reminded the "saints" about forgiveness.  One of the biggest messages I got from the film is that those we might deem as being wicked and bad, might not be as much as we can expect or wish.  Nor are the "Saints" as righteous and good as we can expect or wish.  Good and evil is NOT black and white.  Before we pass judgement, perhaps we should defer to the only one who can properly do so.  

I would highly recommend this movie to help get your own thoughts churning in your own head.  It'll change you.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Redemption - film about the story of John Baptiste

So a while back when I was studying Fremont Island, I came across this story about a grave robber who was sent to Fremont Island as a prison.  Here's another version of the story with more details (and sources). And this version which is the most detailed I've found so far, which includes alot of background on Baptiste.

When I spent the night on Fremont Island, I thought about this man.  I don't have the full story, but based on the only information available which may be more fiction that fact, it seems the punishment was far more harsh than the crime.

Don't get me wrong.  I love Fremont Island.  At first the environment seemed so harsh, and so unnatural to this world.  I mean the fact that I didn't see a single tree on the island and that it was literally covered in huge orb-weaver spiders gave me the willies.  However, if I had enough money to buy the island from the owners, I'd do it in a heartbeat.  There is a fantastic mystery and romance about the island that interests me greatly.

Today I just found out that an LDS filmmaker has actually put this story to film and it is going to be shown at a film festival this week!  I just bought four tickets to see it this Saturday evening.  I am so excited!  Having swam to Fremont Island and spending the night there for one night, I feel an indescribable bond that makes me fanatical about the island.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

GSL Tech Team Meeting

This morning I met at the Utah State Building on North Temple for a GSL Tech team meeting.  Here's my notes:

Overheard conversation about the results of the red dye study. Researcher was explaining that it was observed that the affects of the selenium contaminated water was concentrated near and about one mile away from shore there was enough vertical turbulence that it was disseminating and not an issue.  But that the red dye was mostly staying right around the shoreline.

This is interesting given that swimming along the shoreline rather than heading perpendicular, may result in greater risk of swimming in contaminated water.

Laura Ault led the discussion.


*  Laura Vernon - update of GSL Comprehensive Management plan draft given to attorneys to review and some modifications.  Draft available very soon, after which a 45 day comment period.  Will email out notification ice it's available online. Near the end of that 45 day period about 5 meetings will be scheduled for folks to come in person to talk about.

*  Wally Gwynn - dikes and causeways on the GSL
Uses: transportation or restricting water flow.  There are 9 dikes or causeways in the GSL.  90 miles worth.

In 1969 the north antelope causeway was built.  Flooded on 1984-1989.

Willard bay dike is 15.6 miles long and is there to create freshwater recreation area.  The dike there is about 4220  so it's high enough to reduce risk of overflowing should the lake rise.

US magnesium started in 1972.
Behrens trench 21 mile underwater trench transports the concentrated brine through gravity.  Takes about seven to ten days to get from the west to the east side by the Promontory mountains.  It was designed that way so it wouldn't mix much.  Its an engineering marvel.

The first 11 miles is the greatest elevation drop.  Loses about 20% through mixing.  It dissolves just a little with the water.

The pumps on the west at the south end of the Hogup mountains takes water from the north arm.  GSLM has permits to use the land right around the pumps and in the contract has agreed to provide the lake water to reach  the pumps should it get high enough to run the pumps again.

Morrison Knudsen won contract in 1954 to build the causeway for the railroad at 53 million dollars.

Salinity between south and north between 18 - 28% on the north and 7 - 22% on south.

In 80s Utah breached the causeway to reduce lake levels and it cost $3.5 million.  It really caused the south and north water levels to level out. 


I left at this point as I was already beyond the point where I needed to be to work, but Wally's historical slide show and discussion was VERY interesting!