Comments about ‘Mormon PR leader: 'Why I won't be seeing the Book of Mormon musical'’

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Published: Friday, April 15 2011 10:00 a.m. MDT

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Idaho Coug
Meridian, Idaho

I think that was a very good response by the Church. I think the listing of the wonderful humanitarian efforts done in Africa (and in reality all over the world) underscores what it seems the majority of my non-LDS friends and colleagues claim they feel about the Church. Almost to a person they positively acknowlede what we DO while finding very strange what we BELIEVE.

This gap will always exist for some. LDS have long been regarded as solid families, neighbors and community members. But what we BELIEVE will always be mocked or at least not understood by the majority.

Dallas, TX

If we have the truth, and we know that eventually we'll be a great benefit to the world and will eventually prevail in building a totally just and merciful city, then certainly we should have much thicker skin than we usually do.

The Angel Moroni said Joseph's name would be had for good and evil among all men, but he didn't give any indication as to what that process would entail, which, to me, suggest it could entail parody and gentle (even painful, at times) ribbing.

Just think, we've gone from being uttering ignored, to having the phrase "Book of Mormon" on a marquee on Broadway.

I don't think Joseph is at all scandalized by this turn of events. In fact, I think he probably finds it all ironic and quite humorous.

Liberal Ted
Salt Lake City, UT

The assault against mormons and people of religious belief continues.

As long as there is ignorance there will be intolerance towards religion.

The people who manufacture these types of assault, are simply trying to line their pockets at the expense of others.

South Jordan, UT

LDS leaders need to stop trying to convince everyone of their good deeds and just help out to help out... How many times do we need to hear them claim the numbers behind their humanitarian efforts.

Constantly stating how much they've given or done goes against the true principle of it all.

Alex 1
Tucson, AZ

In total, I have probably seen roughly 3 minutes of South Park in my life. It is not as if all of a sudden I am going to be induced to start watching. It does nothing for me. However, I do know that there are going to be those who actually take this seriously. In the interest of those who might misunderstand, I am glad that the church briefly and lightly commented on it. No further comment is necessary.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

I don't like it when people parody faith. Not mine, and not someone else's.

I believe such things speak poorly of the person producing the parody. That they lack the ability to put understand someone else's views.

This is not to say that within the community of faith there are not problems or things which could be improved. But minor foibles need to be looked over (in all settings) and major problems are not typically settled on the field of parody.

And to the inevitable question, do I think this applies to other Christian denominations, or to Moslems, Buddhists, Hindus, etc. Yes.

Idaho Coug
Meridian, Idaho

Timp - the reason I think is because of what I stated in my earlier post. The church struggles both internally and externally with some of our more unusual or hard to accept beliefs/history. It is actually quite smart to highlight the things that can be accepted. The church naturally wants to grow and just like any organization that wants to grow it highlights the things that will help it grow and minimizes the things that will not.

As a member, I personally struggle with that at times but when looking at it objectively it really is the smart way for the church to communicate to the world at large. The church has a very good and sophisticated PR arm and you see it doing it's job well through this article.

Provo, UT

As one who knew about this production years ago from an individual who worked with Lopez; it's all about the almighty $$$ (his wife writes for Disney FYI). LDS was an easy target in their minds. He wrote 'Avenue Q' which is hardly good theater and it won best musical. What, in my opinion, is more tragic is that this production will likely be nominated for a Tony Award. It's a high-priced road show at best, not a production worth the accolades of theater's highest honor.

It goes to show how far American culture has fallen.

Provo, UT

Timp: the Church does "help out just to help out." The huge majority of service and sacrifice in the Church are made without any kind of recognition or fanfare. But sometimes it helps to contrast the reality of what the church does with the caricatures that the critics portray.

Say No to BO
Mapleton, UT

Who makes up the rules?
They wouldn't dare do a Broadway play called "The Koran" and poke fun at Islam.
But somehow Mormons are fair game.
Who makes up the rules?

Rocket Science
Brigham City, UT

Timp - "How many times do we need to hear them claim the numbers behind their humanitarian efforts."

Fact of the matter is the great majority of true charity done by the LDS church is not reported or talked about publicly. Smetimes however when there is ridicule we just need to be reminded of a little of the positive. The church could sue and stop the production as this does constitute copyright infringement but no, they choose to accentuate the positive.

Salt Lake City, UT

'I don't like it when people parody faith. Not mine, and not someone else's.' - Twin Lights | 12:17 p.m.

I do!


Humor has been used through out the centuries. As a peaceful and yet pointed way to bring up the things that many of us would find offensive in common conversation.

Just look at SNL. Much of the time we smile, laugh and then perhaps a 'Oh yyyeaaaahhh!'

My example?

I enjoyed 'Spamalot.'

I'm not sure, but I doubt this makes fun of the humanitarian aid the LDS church gives, rather some of the quirks, or 'inside jokes' might be the only REAL milicious intent.

Also, I would like to point out this is not the FIRST time these producers have made material about the LDS faith.

'And especially learn to laugh at yourself. Because if you don't, everybody else will!'

Idaho Coug
Meridian, Idaho

Good comment Pagan. If we would stop being defensive and sensitive for a minute and step back and really look objectively at some of the unique and quirky things we LDS do (or don't do) and believe - we probably couldn't help but chuckle (or even groan) a bit ourselves.

But I also get that it is much easier to laugh at ourselves than to be laughed at.

A Wise Guy
Spokane, WA

A few years ago the South Park people created an Oscar nominated song called "Blame Canada" that said "Everything's gone wrong since Canada came along." Of course nobody believed that Canada was the cause for all the worlds problems. People in Canada probably didn't like it much, but I think people who watch South Park don't take things very seriously. For that reason, I think the approach of the Church is right on. the Church would probably rather not have it done, just like Canada would rather have not have had the song sung on Oscar night, but the effects are pretty minimal.

Miami, FL

TIMP - I agree with your idea of 'not doing your alms before men.' But I would suggest that pertains to individuals. From the church's perspective and responsibility the requirements on the church are different.

Say No to BO - Why are Mormon's an acceptably persecuted minority? It's because we don't play the 'victim card'. Choosing to be a victim incorrectly justifies anger retention and diverts from the path towards forgiveness. Anger is a sin. To withold forgiveness witholds forgiveness. You can't cling to mercy with one hand and demand the execution of justice with the other.

Since we rightfully refuse to be victims - the self-proclaimed protectors of the defensless don't jump to our assistance. Our self-confidence defers the need.

Henderson, NV

"Constantly stating how much they've given or done goes against the true principle of it all."

First of all, it's not constant. Second, I think the way they do it is appropriate. If they didn't, you would have people accusing them of being secretive, which they already do.

Given the misconceptions about the LDS church that they are a self-serving, money-grubbing, secretive institution, I think they are more than justified in pointing out the good they do. I don't really see it as tooting their own horn so much as disclosing their activities in order to give the public an accurate picture of what they are about.

The LDS Church can't win. If they disclose how much they give, it's perceived as bragging. If they don't disclose how much they give, they're accussed of being secretive.

Somewhere in Time, UT

I think this will probably be a similar situation to what happened when "The Godmakers" was distributed throughout the world. Many who saw it decided to look into the Church and many were converted. I believe many who see "The Book of Mormon" will also investigate the Church and decide to join. The guys who wrote this as a vehicle for ridicule will have to face the Saviour at the judgement seat. But, the play may well lead to a few good things. Let's see how it goes.

Miami, FL

PR for the Church has it's purpose. Seeking publicity for a 'Day of Service' project to give the Church visibility in an area where it isn't well understood or very visible is a good thing.

I would feel quite uncomfortable wearing a yellow helping-hands shirt when I fulfilled a home-teaching assignment however.

It seems contradictory to avoid recognition for personal efforts but support publicity for the Church in a group effort. It's really not.

American Fork, UT

Michael Otterson has threaded a very delicate needle here. He defends the Church's efforts in Africa without condemning the gentlemen who wrote and produced the musical. Impressive.

Moxley Sorrel
Salt Lake City, UT

Believing in things that can't be proven is a considered a sign of foolishness; bad science; poor policy; etc. Unless you call the belief "faith" and put a spiritual twist on it. Then the belief in something that can be proven is considered a great virtue.

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