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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Cable television network HBO is defending its plans to depict a sacred Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints temple ceremony in an upcoming episode of "Big Love."
The drama about a Utah polygamous family will show an endowment ceremony Sunday.
In a statement issued Tuesday, HBO said it did not intend to be disrespectful of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and apologized. [Click here to read the entire statement]
But the network says the endowment ceremony is a critical part of the "Big Love" story line.
On Monday, Church leaders criticized HBO for its decision to include the ceremony. Only Church members in good standing can enter temples to perform or witness the sacred rites.
HBO says the dramatization of the ceremony was vetted for accuracy by an adviser familiar with temple ceremonies. [Click here to read a statement from the show's creators]
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)