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Emily W. Jensen: Bloggernacle Back Bench: Introducing the Mormons

Published: Tuesday, June 21 2011 5:00 a.m. MDT

“Look, Mommy!” said Neylan McBaine’s 7-year-old daughter, pointing to the top of the New York taxi at the Mormon.org advertisement. “Your work!”

Maybe you’ve heard about how the Mormons are arriving in New York City in a Mormon.org advertising blitz in wake of the interest in the new “Book of Mormon” musical. Neylan McBaine, creative director at Bonneville International, works on the profiles featured and is in New York City this month. In the post "I'm A Mormon and I'm Here," she describes the almost surreal experience of seeing so many references to the religion she embraces in the city she calls home:

“I’ve seen dozens of the 'I’m A Mormon' taxi toppers since I arrived in New York a week ago, and my heart leaps every time. To describe my reaction, I find strangely that Dr. Seuss the parablist comes to mind. My leaping heart feels like the joyful clatter of Dr. Seuss’ Whos from 'Horton Hears A Who' when Horton finally figures out how to get the other animals to hear them on their seemingly invisible, insignificant speck. Desperate not just to save their homes but simply to define that their existence is as every bit as real and vital as the animals who loom over them, the Whos unite in a chorus of 'We are here! We are here!' They are not content to let others decide that their speck is too little to have a voice. My own voice might be small, but I’m telling my hometown once again that I’m a Mormon, and I am here.”

Beautiful.

Others are taking notice of Mormon.org. Both the Belief Blog at CNN, who writes “As ‘Book of Mormon’ takes New York, city gets Mormon church ad campaign,” and The Boston Globe, who writes about the “Mormons’ image campaign.”

CNN quotes Elder Richard G. Hinckley, executive director of the Missionary Department: "Our church is known for our efforts to share our message. ... This is one way to get to know us — through the lives of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” They also include a video depicting the video billboard at Times Square.

The Globe quotes Stephen B. Allen, managing director of the missionary program: “I’ll never forget this one woman, (about when participants were asked how they would feel about doing community service with Mormons) she said, … 'If you are serving alongside them, you can ask them the questions you always wanted to ask.'”

Wow, even more positive coverage about Mormons. I wonder who will notice the Mormons next?

And speaking of the Book of Mormon musical, I just have to feature these two made-you-look links. First, Seth Adam Smith makes a video of the “The Book of Mormon Musical By Mormons” that tells quite a different story then the Broadway play.

And then check out this LDS Church News article, with a title that proclaims “Book of Mormon musical results in five baptisms.” As a hint, look at the dateline.

Now let’s check out other popular posts from this last week in the Bloggernacle:

Power pick: Speaking of Mormon.org, they were just awarded one of the top 10 prizes for 2010 by the Interactive Media Awards. How exciting is that? This is out of 4,000 entries! Ron Wilson, Mormon.org product director, describes their reaction: "Everyone on the Mormon.org team was pleased with the recognition from Interactive Media Awards. It's very rewarding to have a website that you put your heart into get recognized as the best in its category and be recognized as on of the 10 best for the year by IMA. A main reason Mormon.org is such a great site is because of the dedication and amazing talent of its team members comprised of (LDS) Church employees and Bonneville Communications staff. With that being said, Mormon.org would not be much of a website without participation from church members. Every time a church member creates a profile and shares their thoughts and testimonies it makes the site better. We encourage all church members to create their profile at mormon.org/create." I echo that last bit. And to everyone at Mormon.org, congratulations!

Techie tip: This is a delightful feature of the new Create.lds.org: downloadable desktop or laptop wallpaper! Here’s how it works. LDS members upload photos, and so far there are beautiful nature scenes, sweet children pictures, as well as gorgeous temple vistas, and then you go and pick your favorite, as well as your preferred size, right click it and choose “Set as Desktop Background.” Easy. Or click to "Get Involved" and upload your own photos to share with church members all over the world. Wow, I just love the power of online collaboration!

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Emily W. Jensen updates “Today in the Bloggernacle” on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, presenting the best of what we've seen from the world of LDS-oriented blog sites. Her extended “Bloggernacle Back Bench” appears on MormonTimes.com on Tuesdays.

Email: ejensen@desnews.com

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