Mormon Media Observer: The news says Latter-day Saints are suddenly hip but the church is square

Published: Monday, Oct. 31 2011 5:00 a.m. MDT

The best way to read Colbert's approach is that religious people believe that Moses received revelations, so it isn’t so strange that Joseph Smith did too.

But, really, Colbert seems to be including Latter-day Saints not in a world of believed, fervent religion but including them in a world where religious belief is silly — so Latter-day Saints are silly too, but that's OK because all beliefs are silly.

It's the same argument that Broadway's “Book of Mormon" musical makes. If religion helps you get through this troubled world, that’s great; but religion is as silly as believing in the Force and the return of some Jedi knight.

Here’s the thing. We really do believe that a young boy came out of the woods with a remarkable book — and the book exists with dramatic, profound implications in its truth.

I call on reporters and readers to do what the Christian religion has always done — to come and truly see. See what it is about The Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints that produces the fire within, that provides second chances so evident in this LDS advertising campaign. I call on them to really hear the underlying message at Mormon.org:

If Latter-day Saints are good people, even, somehow, strangely hip for a time, it isn’t in spite of their religious beliefs, it is because of them.

Lane Williams teaches journalism and communication at BYU-Idaho. He is a former journalist whose scholarly interests include Mormon portrayals in the media, media and religion, and religion and politics.

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