Friday, October 6, 2006

Latter-day Elvis?

Posted on Fri, Oct 6, 2006 at 4:00 AM

At the time of his death, was Elvis Presley contemplating becoming a Mormon? Had he set a baptism date? And is a copy of the Book of Mormon now housed in the archives of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City the very Book of Mormon reputed to have been in Presley's bedroom the night he died?

Yes on all three counts, according Rob Diamond, director, screenwriter, and co-producer of Tears of a King, a film now in production in Utah and set to be released on the 30th anniversary of Presley's death next August.

And yes, if you can believe a story that recently appeared in the Deseret Morning News. Consider yourself warned: The complicated story involves Alan Osmond (of the Osmond Family); a Mormon missionary (Cricket Butler); Presley's father (Vernon); and Presley's karate coach and bodyguard (Ed Parker).

According to Alan Osmond, "I did give the book to the LDS Church ... . This was for safety's sake, to protect Elvis' privacy and to preserve the sacredness of this book! Several people that knew I had it were too anxious to see it and touch it. So I put it in a very safe place — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints [archives]."

Diamond, for his part, says Tears of a King will be "entertaining and enlightening for all."

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