Observations on the correlation between Battlestar Galactica and the LDS Church.

Note: Glen A. Larson was a member of the Mormon Church and certainly was 
more than aware that he was creating a parallel between the show and the church.

 

1. Organization: 
BSG: The colonies were based on a president and a council or quorum of twelve. The two words "council" and "quorum" are used synonymously. 

LDS: The LDS church is headed by a president and a council or quorum of twelve. The two words "council" and "quorum" are used synonymously.

2. Origin:
BSG: The colonies originated on the planet Kobol, were all life began. The "Lords" lived there. It was called "The Lost Planet of Ancient Gods". 

LDS: The LDS church believes that the Lord lives on the planet Kolob (see The Book of Abraham, Ch. 3, found in The Pearl of Great Price.)


3. Tribes:  
BSG
: The colonies were started by the 13 tribes which left Kobol and formed the 12 colonies. The thirteenth tribe was lost and is believed to have gone to the Earth. In "Saga of a Star World," Commander Adama delivered the following speech about their origins: "Our recorded history tells us we descended from a mother colony, a race that went out into space to establish colonies. Those of us assembled here now represent the only known surviving Colonists, save one. A sister world, far out in the universe, remembered to us only through ancient writings..." He goes on to assert that the "lost thirteenth tribe" colonized Earth. Something called The Book of The Word described the journey of the tribes of man away from Kobol.

LDS: The LDS church believes that the 13 tribes of Isreal were scattered and colonized the Earth. The 13th tribe was lost, but is believed to be in an undiscovered part of the Earth. Some have concluded that the Book of Mormon describes the 13th tribe and its journey to the Western Hemisphere. This is incorrect. The l3th tribe is still considered lost.


4. Egyptians: 
BSG
: The ancient records and the culture of the colonies is based on hieroglyphics and pyramids. The fighter helmet worn in a viper strongly resembles an Egyptian Sphinx. 

LDS: The LDS information about Kolob and similar topics is supported by a document called the Pearl of Great Price which contains hieroglyphics written in ancient Egypt, and translated by a modern day president.


5. Marriage: 
BSG
: The colonists use the word "seal" in preference to marriage, and a couple is sealed "not only for now but for all the eternities." (Adama in Lost Planet of Ancient Gods.)

LDS: In the LDS church, marriage refers to a secular joining and "sealing" referes to a bond sanctified by God and "not only for time, but for all eternity."


6. Younger Wives:  
BSG
: In "Living Legend", Apollo tells Starbuck to re-read the Book of the Word, some of the ancient leaders of the tribes "were married to some very young wives." 

LDS: In the LDS church, older leaders of the church frequently have young wives.


7. Nature of God: 
BSG
: The colonists believe that gods are progressed and more perfect and knowledgeable humans. At the end of War of the Gods, Part 2, the superior life form ("angel") uses the words "As you are now, we once were; as we are now, you may become" to explain the relationship between them and man.

LDS: The LDS church believes identically. Lorenzo Snow, an early Mormon President and Prophet, said, "As man is now, God once was; as God now is, man may become." 


8. Free Agency:  
BSG
In "War of the Gods," when the powerful being Count Iblis (Satan) tried to take over the fleet, it was discovered that just as the colonists believed, the Count could not force people to follow him and only had power over those who chose to follow of their own free will. 

LDSAmong members of the LDS church, freedom of choice between good and evil is a cornerstone to their philosophy of life. According to the Mormon account of creation (The Book of Moses, Ch. 4, found in The Pearl Of Great Price), one of the reasons God cast Satan out of heaven was because he "sought to destroy the agency of man."

9. Tribunal:  
BSG
: When Starbuck was suspected of murder, he was tried by a tribunal.

 LDS: The LDS church tries its members for transgressions in a tribunal.


10. Sayings:  
BSG
: Colonial saying "The glory of the universe is intelligence," as spoken by Dillon in Galactica 1980 ("The Super Scouts".) 

LDS:  "The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth." (Doctrine and Covenants #93)


11. Genealogy:  
BSG
Starbuck's father was a genetic tracer. This was viewed as "a sacred work." 

LDS: The LDS church is obsessed with genealogy. Members are expected to find their ancestors’ names so that their ancestors can be baptized vicariously.


12. Original Sin:  
BSG
: The episode "The Lost Warrior" explores the concept of original sin as Starbuck is imprisoned with a large number of nth generational sinners. "You mean you are imprisoned here for sins committed by your ancestors," asks Starbuck. "Well, at least we're not original sinners like you," comes the reply. Clearly, original sin is a ridiculous idea to the Colonies.

LDS: The LDS Church in The Articles of Faith makes it clear that it believes that individuals are accountable for their own sins and not for the sins of Adam or any of the individual's ancestors.


13. Nature of Man and Angels: 
BSG
: In "Experiment in Terra", aboard the Ship of Lights, the "angel" John says to Apollo "I have no physical body, as you know it."  What do we see when we look at him? It looks like a body, but it is "A reflection of intelligence. My spirit, if you will."  

LDS:  The LDS Church teaches that humans have physical bodies of flesh and blood.  The spirit looks just like the body but can only be seen with spiritual eyes.  At resurrection, the body and spirit are re-joined. The two together are called the "soul." The immortal soul has a body of flesh and bones. It is taught that the blood is the part of the body that makes it mortal.  Blood is replaced with a spiritual fluid at resurrection. The Battlestar Galactican "angel" John is apparently a spirit, not a soul.

 

14. Biblical and Book of Mormon Names:

BSG:  The Cylon “outer capital” Gamoray

Cain, Commander, father of Sheeba
Adama, Commander
Lucifer, Cylon aide to Baltar

LDS:  the city of Gomorrah that God destroyed in the Book of Genesis

Cain, son of Adam, brother of Abel and Seth
Adam, first man
Lucifer, angle cast from heaven, in other words, Satan

 

15. Soviets and Battlestar Galactica

OK This has nothing to do with Mormons, but it is interesting that  BSG managed to annoy and disturb the Soviets.

MOSCOW, Jul. 8, 1979 (AP) -- The Soviet newspaper Izvestia says foes of the SALT II arms limitation treaty are taking their fight to American moviegoers through thinly veiled anti-Soviet innuendo in the science-fiction spectacular Battlestar Galactica.

The government newspaper charged over the weekend that the outer-space epic -- as well as other U.S. films and TV shows -- was rife with hidden ideological messages amounting to "propaganda of mass anti-Soviet psychosis."

"Their spirit is the spirit of the Cold War," wrote Melor Sturua, a veteran U.S.-based correspondent for Izvestia who often reports on American lifestyles and popular culture.

Sturua said Hollywood movie companies were enmeshed in a tight web of interests with big Wall Street banks and the U.S. military-industrial complex.

His vitriolic 2,400-word dispatch reflected the increasingly strident tone the government-controlled Soviet press has been taking in recent weeks toward American opponents of the SALT pact, signed last month in Vienna.

Debate on the strategic arms limitation accord is set to begin this week in the Senate, where the treaty must win a two-thirds majority for ratification.

Sturua said that after a local movie review had piqued his curiosity about Battlestar Galactica, he went to see it.

While the film's cosmic struggle unfolds "everything around you rattles and shakes," Sturua told Soviet readers.

He said the matinee audience, mostly children, "withstood it very well. I noticed only a couple of cases of hysteria, which ended in tears and removal of the children from the hall."

The movie's plot pits a united space civilization of humans against a society of robot beings called the Cylon.

"The galactical negotiations between the people and the Cylon really resembled the U.S.-Soviet SALT talks -- not in their actual form, but in the perverted interpretation of the enemies of the treaty from the family of Washington hawks," Sturua wrote.

"The crafty Cylons, similar to the 'crafty Soviets,' propose to the president of the galactical union something like space detente," he wrote.

The galactical union's armed forces commander tries to warn that the Cylon "don't want peace but only a pause to prepare a knockout blow that they'll deliver as a first strike."

Nonetheless, "the president categorically refused to believe his commander and in spite of his warnings signs a pact with the Cylons," who subsequently launch a devastating surprise attack on the United States of Galactica.

Sturua conceded it was "just plain naive" to search for any direct parallels with reality.

But, "far more important," the Soviet correspondent wrote, "is the spirit, the inspiration of films of the 'Battlestar Galactica' type. Their inspiration is the pumping-up of military anti-Soviet hysteria, which in this case is disguised in the modern costume of socio-scientific fantasy."

"The fact that modern American cinematography prefers Cold War is not just a coincidence -- and the film 'Battlestar Galactica' isn't the only example of (Hollywood's connection with Wall Street and the military-industrial complex)," he wrote.

Last updated 07/31/04