I would guess the two "South Park" authors who wrote this misguided play
never saw that one coming. Congratulations to this young lady for following the
Spirit and not the crude slant of this production. The Lord will find the pure
This is a great story of how the spirit can overcome all kinds of challenges.
It reminds me of those anti-mormon films, materials etc. that try to keep people
from joining the Church and instead they bring people to the Church. God's
work will not be stopped by Book of Mormon Musical or any other distortions or
lies. I think we will see an explosion in new members as never before.
When someone asked Matt and Trey if they thought members of the church would be
offended by the musical, they said, "Nah, they'll be cool." And
the questioner reiterated his concern that the musical would cause offense, and
they reiterated, "No, really, they'll be cool." And see?
That's exactly how it's worked out. :-D
My parents lived in Eastern Russia in 1992. A mainstream TV preacher type came
and insulted the Russian Orthodox Church. The Minister of Religion decided to
aggressively take steps against proselytizing American based churches. He
picked the Mormons first. At the time, there was maybe 5 members in the entire
city where they lived (of several million people). Tons of anti-LDS literature
flooded the area. Nothing could have helped the missionaries more. They
literally just showed up at church on each day and taught the people that came,
all day long. There is no such thing as bad publicity is the old saying. Not
sure if it's always really true, but seems to apply in both situations.
Great story. I hope she has a great experience at the U. They have some awesome
student wards there!!
"This fall, Morong, who is currently a sophomore, will begin classes at the
University of Utah. She will declare a double major in musical theater and
communication."That will be tough. Hope she can stay strong as
both those departments share a lot of antipathy toward the Church.God bless you, Liza.
I'm curious to know why she has chosen to move to Utah and complete college
there. I'm not faulting the author for not addressing it in greater depth,
but I'm left wondering why she's decided that leaving Boston and her
current university is the right thing for her.
Calling the musical edgy and irreverent is like calling Katrina a squall.
Liza-if you are reading this, take a note from eastcoastcoug and Observenator.
There will be both sides. Anyone who assumes that
because it is in Utah, the U will be an easy place to find or maintain a
testimony is going to be sorely disappointed. But if you know that
going in, you will be able to see things for what they are....Good luck.
What a great article! It just made my whole day! You are a bright light, Liza,
you will far outshine Broadway! Thanks for sharing your story and testimony!
There are probably a lot of Christians of other denominations out there who are
greatly offended (as we are) by the irreverent portrayal of Christianity in
Monty Python's "The Life of Brian".They realize how
utterly false that movie is to basic Christian beliefs, yet they somehow think
that the "Book of Mormon" play must somehow be an accurate portrayal of
our church and its beliefs. If they went into that play with the same level of
skepticism as they do to false representations about their own beliefs, then
they might have a more open mind.In any case, the play itself might
spark some curiosity as it did with this young woman, so it can in fact, be a
missionary tool in spite of itself.
Great story, still would never go see the play.
Don Bugg,I can't speak for her, nor would I. But I imagine it
may likely be the reason a lot of people do. Imagine being the only
person to like drawing. You love it. You more than love it! You've never
met anyone who likes it. Then you suddenly discover a drawing academy in Eagle
Mountain, Utah (random of course... lol)You would probably have a
lot of energy and enthusiasm in discovering this. You may even plan to move the
very next day. Her career may be in communications or theater, but there is
nothing more enthusiastic about our lives as there is in being in the church. I
wouldn't compare Utah to some kind of Mecca, though the Temple probably
could be on some level. But being surrounded by people who want the same things
as you can be very motivating. I've only met a handful of people who want
to go into the field I do. Only a small fraction of them have even been very
proficient and dedicated to the field. Just as collaboration and teamwork can be
enthusiastic, so can moving to Utah for plenty of members.
I would encourage the South Park guys to create a satire on Muslims and their
God.Though not Mormon myself, I find it hypocritical of liberals to
find this play funny and perfectly acceptable, whereas without a doubt if a
similar production was done on Islam, the liberals would scream bigotry, and
there likely would be death threats from the offended religion.Mormons, thank you for overall being decent and non-violent people
RE: I felt this peace that I have never felt before. I thought to myself,
‘That just came from God.’”Isaiah 26:3 You will keep in
perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust
in the LORD(YHWH).Faith is only as good as the object of that faith
or As Jesus says in John 8;24 …. for unless you believe that I Am who I
claim to be(God), you will die in your sins.” Ex 14 God said to Moses,
“I am who I am… .
I know it. I Live it. I Love it: I appreciate your attempt to figure out why
she's leaving Massachusetts for Utah, but I don't think your analogy
holds up very well, just because the Church is very well established in Boston,
including many wards and stakes full of faithful Latter-day Saints, and of
course, a large and beautiful temple. I'm not saying her choice is bad,
but I don't know what advantages it offers her.
What a great story. Welcome to the LDS Church, Liza! You must be incredibly
open minded to have taken the journey that you did to join the church.
Congratulations as well for enrolling at the University of Utah. I believe it
is the best LDS campus in the country. I had many great experiences on campus
and at the LDS Institute. Enjoy your studies and your newfound membership in
Wow Chris B. that's sure pleasant to hear from you.Thank you from all
the decent and non-violent posters on these pages.Why don't you have
a great and peaceful day from us.(Avoid sports articles, it will help.)
Great story! Loved hearing about her conversion! My husband and I took our
family to New York and surrounding sites the summer of 2011. We did not go to
The Book of Mormon on Broadway, although I have watched it from a broadcast
version. We took our family to The Hill Cumorah Pageant which is the REAL
story! It was amazing! There were hundreds..if not thousands of people there
who were non-members. I spoke to many of them who were there out of curiosity
because of seeing the broadway play. I thought it was great that the play had
piqued their curiosity enough to get them to the "real" story. We have
friends (a family) of another faith who are now reading the Book of Mormon and
taking the discussions because they were so intrigued with the play! It gave us
the opportunity to have a dialogue with them about the truths and untruths
included in the play. If we look at the play or any other attention
the LDS church gets as negative, then so will others. If we extract the
positive from it, then so will others. It gives us the opportunity to clarify
In Russia we had one Vladimir who saw a translated episode of South Park
irreverent to the Mormons and became curious. So he searched and found the
Church on the internet and spent four months trying to get someone to visit him.
The mission finally got the internet request and contacted him. He joined the
Church and has since served a mission. A wonderful young man!
Chris B,Thanks for your gracious comments about Mormons. I hope we
continue to live up to a higher standard. You know by now living in SLC that
there are all kinds of Mormons and that the rivalry between the U and the Y is
mostly among family and friends who love their own schools. Enough
niceties. GO COUGS!!!
@Don Bugg, yes, the Boston student ward is especially strong. (Or at least it
was a few years ago when some friends attended.)
Hope she has a good experience at the U and it's student wards. A lot of
good LDS folks at the U too.
@Don Bugg - having lived in the Boston Temple district the Boston Temple is not
being used to its fullest. I have been there numerous times and they do have a
history of canceling sessions because no one shows up to attend. They will have
a session if only one man and one woman show up for the endowment session.
Baptisms are easy to get done there but the rest of the ordinance work - make
sure you bring a few friends to help out. The endowment sessions there start on
Chris BSalt Lake City, UTI would encourage the South
Park guys to create a satire on Muslims and their God.Though not
Mormon myself, I find it hypocritical of liberals to find this play funny and
perfectly acceptable, whereas without a doubt if a similar production was done
on Islam, the liberals would scream bigotry, and there likely would be death
threats from the offended religion.Mormons, thank you for overall
being decent and non-violent peopleI am an active Mormon and a
liberal. I find this play not funny and perfectly unacceptable. I would find
any play that makes light of anyones religion unacceptable. It is wrong to
throw titles like Lideral & conservative around when this is not a political
discusstion. Like myself there a members of the LDS Church that are
conservative on some issues and liberal on others and yes, we all do try to be
decent and non-violent people.
Good thing she didn't see 'Victor, Victoria', eh?
Perhaps the thing to keep in mind is that Matt Stone and Trey Parker, literally
nothing is sacred. As a group of people, you can either choose to be offended by
it, or take it as a slight compliment that the creators of South Park found your
religion of enough notoriety that it gets its own Broadway play. They certainly
didn't write a play about Congregationalists...The tough thing
to do in this case is to remind yourself that your sacred thing--beliefs or
otherwise--is not necessarily sacred to someone else. We could try to require
everyone to respect others' sacred things, but there are an awful lot of
things held sacred out there. A better approach, in my opinion, is what we have
in America--you don't have to respect anyone else's sacred thing, but
you do have to respect their right to hold it sacred. There are too many
competing sacred ideals to tiptoe around them all.
See, it's true--the book is always better than the show.
I loved this article...Liza will love the U, I could not have choosen a more
enlightened campus in the world...Liza: If you read this - Welcome to the
Kingdom of God and to the U...you will love both!
@SLCWatch"I would guess the two "South Park" authors who wrote
this misguided play never saw that one coming."I don't
think they mind. The lesson in their Mormon episode of South Park was about
being a good person being what really matters, regardless of what leads to that
belief.@Chris B"whereas without a doubt if a similar
production was done on Islam, the liberals would scream "Oh...
don't worry... I don't need a musical to be done about Islam to see
there is very obvious bigotry against muslims (besides the South Park guys did
an episode that Comedy Central censored due to portraying Muhammad). Like say
when someone brings Islam into unrelated topics just to attack that particular
I have seen on more than one occasion Chris B. be gracious and complimentary to
Mormons, but when he (I am guessing Chris is male) comments on BYU
articles--which he clearly reads more than I, a die-hard Cougar fan, do--his
commentary is. . . how can I say it and make sure it gets past the censors. . .
about as lacking in thoughtfulness as any I might imagine, and that is saying
something considering the abysmal level of some who are preoccupied with
anti-BYU sentiment. So, Chris, since I am guessing you will continue with this
pattern, very sincerely, what gives? I am a BYU fan very much because of my
religion, not in spite of it or unrelated to it. OK, they are not *quite* one
and the same, but they are far more so than could possibly be the case for LDS
who support schools not affiliated--and in many ways at odds with--the LDS
It was quite wonderful to read about Liza's conversion. I found myself
grinning through the whole article! It's also exciting to hear of her plans
for school. (Also, her mom sounds like a terrific lady!) It looks to me like
she's enjoying a wonderful journey of discovery. Many kudos to Liza for
listening to spiritual promptings and heading west to the University of Utah.
Sometimes it's hard to tell in the middle of an adventure why you feel such
strong impressions to do something, especially if you have naysayers who are
also puzzled at your actions. But, given time and a change in perspective, you
can usually look back and say "Aha! That's why I was supposed to move
to Utah (or, fill in the blank)." May God bless you, Liza.
Remember this folks: there is no such thing as bad publicity, especially when it
is paid for by others.
Hello! This is Liza Morong!!! (as in the girl in the article!)Thank
you all for the comments. There is a link to my email on my blog (which is in
this article) please email me if you have further questions.I truly
cannot thank you all enough for the beautifully uplifting words! Also: I am going to the U because of a prompting I received from Heavenly
Father. Believe me when I say leaving Boston is not exactly ideal for me but I
know it's where The Lord needs me right now. See you all in August!!
Wow - Chris B, we might make a BYU fan out of you yet. :)
@Yorkshire"Anyone who assumes that because it is in Utah, the U will
be an easy place to find or maintain a testimony is going to be sorely
disappointed. "There is a large LDS population on campus and a
strong student ward/institute system. Having half of the U's student
population be non-member really is not harmful to a testimony.@LmorongWelcome to the U!
Awesome! This is NOT the ending the South Park folks were hoping for.....
Just goes to show that there is no such thing as bad publicity for the church.
It always results in baptisms. Happened to me personally in Colorado when the
Denver Temple was built. The Denver Post ran (anti-Mormonism) stories starting
on the front page for six days. One of my co-workers was curious and I ended up
baptizing him. He's still a strong member today.
"Chris B" I only know you through your posts on BYU sports stories. I
am afraid I had the wrong impression of you. Thank you for your observations
posted above. I will read you with much more interest in the future. Sorry so
many hammer you for your satirical, yet thoughtful comments.
Awesome! Even cooler that the online missionary (which is funny to say) was able
to baptizer her. What an awesome story!
Don Bugg, the writer only has so much space and ultimately her motivation for
going to the U. is irrelevant to the story. It's a story about her
conversion, not a detailed biography.
Sweet story, maybe the philosophers are right any publicity whether negative or
positive is good publicity. I won't see the musical as my tastes run
differently towards mystery and drama, but I don't sence that it was cruel
rather mocking and farsical. Too many bigots think they are being humorous when
their intentions shine though. Such words are designed to denigrate and hurt not
to exhaugerate something identified with one faith. Life seems to be more
enjoyable when we value and respect others beliefs even if they seem insane to
you. What happens between God and a single person reaching out to him, is
private, we don't know or understand a spiritual witness unless we are the
one asking. Regardless, respect first and always.
Chris B, this has nothing to do with liberals, or conservatives. Nor with Islam.
Please don't politicize everything, nor drag other religions in.
So, how many people do you think are out there, at some place in their journey
toward conversion, who have been motivated (prompted) onward because of this
play? Could we stretch a little and ask if perhaps the authors were guided in
their own right?There are many things in our lives that we would
deem to be bad, that God can turn for our good, if we will let Him. Thanks for
What a wonderful great story. And I enjoyed reading through most of the
comments. Lisa I wish you the best. Remember that our testimony and conversion
are highly personal things that each person must work on each day to maintain.
There are many worldly factors that can attack anyone to destroy our faith.
Each individual must work each day to maintain our own faith. As the scripture
says we have to work out our own salvation. This is true. It is a challenge
that I have to work on for myself each day. Blessings on you in your life.
@LmorongWelcome to the LDS Church and the University of Utah!
@Lmorong, welcome to the church! Keep following those promptings and
inspirations, they'll lead you to eternal life. I've shared your
conversion story, very inspirational!
Congratulations to Elder Parker and Elder Stone on their latest convert
baptism!!! Your finding methods are definitely unorthodox, but strangely
As Parly P. Pratt used to say, "Truth will prevail!"
I know her story and understand completely. I used to dislike cats. But seeing
Cats on Broadway made me want to sing and dance like the Rum Tum Tugger. I
bought a furry costume and have been entertaining myself ever since.
If there is no such thing as bad publicity, why does everyone always give me
grief for my comments?
scientist,You must not understand the world "publicity" if
you think every comment on every article in every newspaper in the world is
I do believe that God has a sense of humor (been to the zoo lately?) so
it's not incredulous that Liza found the Church through a night at a play
that spoofed the Book of Mormon. No doubt the actual people from the original
book on the other side of the veil truly rejoiced in her story, even more so
than she did. Rock on, my sister, you will inspire many more simply with your
story, and by your very life.
Liza,At the University of Utah, you may encounter more opposition to
your Mormonism than in Boston. Stay strong. Stay true.Your story
is the same story as many of us, and made my day.
Well, this story and the comments here have changed my mind about the play
mentioned. I was appalled when I first read about it and saw some excerpts. I am
happy that Liza saw it and looked further. Being a convert myself I can say the
Church has been the greatest influence on my life that I have had. It has been
53 years since my baptism and I still love being LDS.
After listening to the song 'All American Prophet' from the play on
internet, I was amazed that the play producers and writers would put themselves
in the untenable position of just making things up about Joseph. After all, the facts about eleven men signing their names as witnesses to both
seeing and handling the gold plates has been in the preface to the book of
Mormon for 183 years. Three of the eleven men also signed their names as to
being in the presence of the Angel that presented the gold plates to them for
their inspection and handling.
What about the other side of the coin, the play seems to have made one convert,
but how many has it turned away from being attracted to the church. It is hard
to see how the play would make anyone want to be a Mormon. It is good to be
happy for Liz and wish her a happy life; perhaps the same should be said for
those that the play drove to Catholicism and are now attending ND.
South Park, Book of Mormon (play), Mitt Romney. I guess its true that there is
no such thing as bad publicity. Not sure I've heard of anyone converting
because of Romney, though (joke).
Many of you have never watched South Park, as it can be crude, but it is
extremely funny, with biting satire and deep points buried within. Yes, they
goof on Mormons, but so do they on Catholics, Jews, Muslims. They rip atheists,
gays, liberals and liberal causes. They make fun of permissive parents and
overbearing parents. They make Osama Bin Laden into a caricature like Elmer Fudd
and one of the South Park kids like Bugs Bunny, bashing Bin Laden with hammers,
etc. They make fun of Satan, and put him in a gay relationship with Sadam
Hussein, where Satan is ruled by Sadam. In that episode, they show life in Hell,
and they show heaven and only Mormons are there (besides God of course.) And
Catholics and Jews and Mormons and atheists and gays and almost every group out
there takes it in stride... except Muslims (google "south park muslim death
threats". So just saying that y'all are in good (and bad) company, and
that LDS are not a particularly hard hit group compared to many targeted on this
hilarious show. And seriously, I highly suggest you watch a few episodes to
Stories like this are yet another reason we as LDS/Mormons should take such
satirical musicals such as this as an opportunity to separate fact from
entertainment. Just because we do not agree with it does not mean we should
never talk to those who have viewed it. We should be a friend to all.
Well said JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt. I was really kind of upset when I heard
about the musical, but the church's response was one of dignity and
restraint, so I tried to follow the example. Find good where you can and add to
First off let me say that I am an avid true blue BYU fan and wish she had chosen
the Y! But some of the comments like "That will be tough. Hope she can stay
strong as both those departments share a lot of antipathy toward the
Church." Talking about her chosen majors and University of Utah from
'Observenator'. Or "Anyone who assumes that because it is in Utah,
the U will be an easy place to find or maintain a testimony is going to be
sorely disappointedm" from 'Yorkshire,' may have forgotten That U
of U can be referred to as "THE SCHOOL OF THE PROPHETS." Why you ask?
Look at where most of the general authorities went to school. :)
Daveverano and skeptic make excellent points.The Mormon Musical most
likely converts more Mormons to South Park than Musical-goers to Mormonism.
Thank you, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, for helping to bring more people into the
faith that you love to so relentlessly ridicule. We couldn't appreciate it
more. You're great missionaries, in your unorthodox sort of way. ;P
I watched South Park for 3 or 4 minutes...that was enough for me forever. Our
society is falling apart. It is good to hear something posiive. I hope she
remains happy. She now has a roadmap to happiness, all she has to do is keep
following the road.
"Edge and irreverent" are what the so-called anti-Muslim video was
called by Hillary Clinton as she condemned it. Yet, she said she enjoyed BofM
a perfect example of God outsmarting satan. my natural instinct would be to shun
this play and tell everyone it's pure evil. the church however, knew there
was a better way.
I wonder what BH Roberts would have thought about the play. I'll be he
would have liked it.
Chris B -You should take a look at South Park. They've gone to
great length's to parody Mohamed. They've also taken stabs at
First off let me say that I am an avid true blue BYU fan and wish she had chosen
the Y! How do you know she didn't?
For what it's worth "Boston Student Ward" is largely a misnomer.
There are about 4 YSA type wards in greater Boston. The Church is well
established there. Actually, I am surprised that people have not commented on
the relative strengths of the Univeristy of Utah and Suffolk Univeristy drama
programs. That may be the reason for the transfer. Or there may be other
reasons. People often have very personal and specific reason for moving, and I
will not fault them for it. The Lord will direct us to where we are most needed
if we seek his gudiance. What is right for one person, will not be right for
another. I am glad for the experiences I have had at Eastern Michgian
Univeristy, Wayne State Univeristy and BYU, and I as much liked my small
institute class at EMU as any religion class at BYU in their own way. Both of
them offered chances to grow and help, although we had more direct chances to
share the gospel with people who knew little of it at the EMU institute class.
The discussion "why is she moving to Utah" brings up Elder Ellis'
talk. some may say "yah, he said don't move to Utah." Actually,
Elder Ellis said you need to go where the Lord wants you to go, and he will give
you that direction. I am confident that if Sister Morong feels that the Lord is
directing her to move to Utah she is making the right decision.The
revelations on these matters come from the Lord to each individual, and I will
stand behind them in figuring out how to process these decisions. I definately
will not claim to better understand the reasons than the person making them when
I literally know nothing about the possible outcomes. In fact, this is why we
need to follow the guidance of the Lord, he knows about outcomes we have no hint
of, although he also allows us to work out our own course.
Considering the play is anti-religion in tone, I would say that becoming a
Catholic would also be a reaction that is reverse of what those who intend the
play to be a teaching method would want. I also wonder if some of
the commentors that mock this reaction read the article. The play seems to
actually in this case work as intended, as a viehcle to encorage mockery and
derision. The failure is that when you cause people to attack a strawman if
they encounter a real person on the other side they may no longer keep up the
A Scientist, perhaps you're right that more LDS might be tempted to watch
South Park, than non-believers will become Mormons. But that is really not the
point. I doubt any Mormons will leave their faith because they watch a cartoon
that pokes fun at them. Yet already at least one person has become LDS because
of South Park, or the play at least. And I can honestly tell you that I actually
have a better view of Mormons after the South Park episode than I did before.
Why? Even though they made fun of the story of the church, lets face it, every
religions story has elements to it that can be laughed at by people who
don't share that faith. However, they did portray the strong happy,
healthy, family bonds and values of the LDS church. Judge for yourself,
you can find links to the episode if you search for it. Remember it has some
cursing and poking fun of the story, but overall positive on the Mormon family.