Nine months have passed since a Newsweek cover story proclaimed that America was indeed immersed in a "Mormon Moment."
Largely driven by the presidential candidacy of life-long Latter-day Saint Mitt Romney, this extended moment has pushed The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints into the foreground of American culture throughconflict and controversy, through dialogue and debate, with a healthy dose ofBroadway glitz and glamour thrown in for good measure.
Individual faith groups are rarely afforded such extensive time in the spotlight, and the LDS Church is taking the opportunity to share its message. The church's official response to "The Book of Mormon" musical — "The production may attempt to entertain audiences for an evening, but the Book of Mormon as a volume of scripture will change people's lives forever by bringing them closer to Christ" — was widely circulated and applauded. And the church's "I'm a Mormon" advertising campaign is introducing millions of Americans in nearly two dozen cities — and inspiring a similar campaign by a Palestinian group in Seattle.
The latest outreach effort by the LDS Church to seize the moment is Mormonism 101: FAQ, an online introduction to the basic beliefs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It focuses on Jesus Christ as the central figure of LDS belief, and stresses three "core beliefs":
Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world and the Son of our loving Heavenly Father
Christ's Atonement allows mankind to be saved from their sins and return to live with God and their families forever
Christ's original church as described in the New Testament has been restored in modern times
The website also answers 19 FAQs, or "frequently asked questions," about the LDS Church, ranging from "Are Mormons Christian?" to "What is a Mormon temple?" to "Why don't Mormons smoke or drink alcohol?" There's a question about the LDS practice of proxy baptism for the dead, one about polygamy, one about temple garments and one about race relations. And there a couple — "Do Latter-day Saints believe that they will 'get their own planet?'" and "Do Mormons believe that the Garden of Eden is in Missouri?" — that almost seem targeted as a response to the tongue-in-cheek song "I Believe" from "The Book of Mormon" Broadway musical.
The web package also features a Mormonism 101 Infographic that creatively outlines key LDS beliefs, practices and doctrines in a clear, interesting, visual way.
Located on the church's Newsroom website, "Mormonism 101: FAQ" is intended as a tool for media representatives as background information for stories involving the LDS church and its members.