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Mormon Missionaries Target Audience Members from "The Book of Mormon" Musical

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My wife went with a group of work collegues to see the musical "The Book of Mormon" on Friday night. It was their Ladies Night out and the musical had them in laughter for the whole show. To anyone who hasn't seen the musical, it is about a missionary in Africa who, when confronted with difficult questions and issues from contacts, just makes stuff up. His advice for men with aids is hilarious but disturbing. His partners attempts to convert a local war lard and the ensuing x-ray had the audience in stitches. Trey Parker and Matt Stone of "South Park" fame are the writers of the musical, which explains some of the raw moments.

The part that neither my wife nor I understand is that, following the play, positioned outside all the exit doors, were groups of missionaries, each wearing the identifying name tags, handing out Books of Mormon to any and all who would accept them. A sort of "now that you've seen the musical, why not read the real book?". To understand the ludicrous in the missionary's actions is to understand the juxtaposition the musical has to the Mormon beliefs. The musical offers entertainment value of having a good belly laugh, but the not so hidden message is that this missionary, the one who just makes stuff up, is no different from Joseph Smith, who was exceedingly creative to make up all the Mormon "stuff". My wife observed a young couple travelling home on the same bus, late on this Friday night, regailing themselves in laughter by flipping open to pages in their free copy of the BofM and reading a passage. They would read a lline or two and then laugh out loud.

So I repeat my question. Just what does the church hope to gain from spending time and effort in handing out the Book of Mormon at a theater play that has absolutely no connection to anything Mormon? Quite the contrary, the musical laughs repeatedly at the church.

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Posted (edited)

From reports when it first came out, they had a lot of interest raised by the play.  In part because a church ad was published in the program. Apparently it has made some people curious about actual beliefs, etc.

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865667313/How-the-LDS-Churchs-response-to-The-Book-of-Mormon-musical-is-actually-working.html

Edited by Calm

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37 minutes ago, bcuzbcuz said:

So I repeat my question. Just what does the church hope to gain from spending time and effort in handing out the Book of Mormon at a theater play that has absolutely no connection to anything Mormon? Quite the contrary, the musical laughs repeatedly at the church.

Not all people will mock and laugh while flipping through the BoM after seeing it. Even some of the mockers will look at it seriously at a later time. And some will mock us forever, whether the missionaries handed them a BoM or not. 

I see much upside and very little downside to using the BoM musical to expose people to the Church. Worst case scenario, people who would never have interest and make fun of us ---- will continue to do so. I certainly wouldn't want to not try because some people think we're worthy of ridicule. 

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42 minutes ago, rongo said:

Not all people will mock and laugh while flipping through the BoM after seeing it. Even some of the mockers will look at it seriously at a later time. And some will mock us forever, whether the missionaries handed them a BoM or not. 

I see much upside and very little downside to using the BoM musical to expose people to the Church. Worst case scenario, people who would never have interest and make fun of us ---- will continue to do so. I certainly wouldn't want to not try because some people think we're worthy of ridicule. 

I think a lot of people would enjoy the church whether true or not. If the church would allow those that don't believe it to be literally true, but a faith like all the others out there, something to help them live a Christlike life. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, bcuzbcuz said:

My wife went with a group of work collegues to see the musical "The Book of Mormon" on Friday night. It was their Ladies Night out and the musical had them in laughter for the whole show. To anyone who hasn't seen the musical, it is about a missionary in Africa who, when confronted with difficult questions and issues from contacts, just makes stuff up. His advice for men with aids is hilarious but disturbing. His partners attempts to convert a local war lard and the ensuing x-ray had the audience in stitches. Trey Parker and Matt Stone of "South Park" fame are the writers of the musical, which explains some of the raw moments.

The part that neither my wife nor I understand is that, following the play, positioned outside all the exit doors, were groups of missionaries, each wearing the identifying name tags, handing out Books of Mormon to any and all who would accept them. A sort of "now that you've seen the musical, why not read the real book?". To understand the ludicrous in the missionary's actions is to understand the juxtaposition the musical has to the Mormon beliefs. The musical offers entertainment value of having a good belly laugh, but the not so hidden message is that this missionary, the one who just makes stuff up, is no different from Joseph Smith, who was exceedingly creative to make up all the Mormon "stuff". My wife observed a young couple travelling home on the same bus, late on this Friday night, regailing themselves in laughter by flipping open to pages in their free copy of the BofM and reading a passage. They would read a lline or two and then laugh out loud.

So I repeat my question. Just what does the church hope to gain from spending time and effort in handing out the Book of Mormon at a theater play that has absolutely no connection to anything Mormon? Quite the contrary, the musical laughs repeatedly at the church.

So snide and disrespectful critics of the Church get to mock, misrepresent and caricature LDS beliefs at the expense of the Church, for 2 1/2 hours, but we're supposed to just sit back like feckless cowards and allow the willfully-ignorant propagandists who created the "play" to poison the minds of the unwary attendees, without REAL LDS Missionaries (not paid buffoons) taking the initiative to provide them with the Church's point of view and setting matters staight? And I would expect many of the fair-minded attendees would be interested to know what the members of the Church really believe after being exposed to a long chain of vicious half-truths, deliberate distortions and blatant unfairness. Congratulations to your wife for fulfilling prophecy as she sat at the windows of the great and spacious building and having a good laugh while the people and things of God were laughed to scorn.

Edited by Bobbieaware

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3 hours ago, bcuzbcuz said:

My wife went with a group of work collegues to see the musical "The Book of Mormon" on Friday night. It was their Ladies Night out and the musical had them in laughter for the whole show. To anyone who hasn't seen the musical, it is about a missionary in Africa who, when confronted with difficult questions and issues from contacts, just makes stuff up. His advice for men with aids is hilarious but disturbing. His partners attempts to convert a local war lard and the ensuing x-ray had the audience in stitches. Trey Parker and Matt Stone of "South Park" fame are the writers of the musical, which explains some of the raw moments.

The part that neither my wife nor I understand is that, following the play, positioned outside all the exit doors, were groups of missionaries, each wearing the identifying name tags, handing out Books of Mormon to any and all who would accept them. A sort of "now that you've seen the musical, why not read the real book?". To understand the ludicrous in the missionary's actions is to understand the juxtaposition the musical has to the Mormon beliefs. The musical offers entertainment value of having a good belly laugh, but the not so hidden message is that this missionary, the one who just makes stuff up, is no different from Joseph Smith, who was exceedingly creative to make up all the Mormon "stuff". My wife observed a young couple travelling home on the same bus, late on this Friday night, regailing themselves in laughter by flipping open to pages in their free copy of the BofM and reading a passage. They would read a lline or two and then laugh out loud.

So I repeat my question. Just what does the church hope to gain from spending time and effort in handing out the Book of Mormon at a theater play that has absolutely no connection to anything Mormon? Quite the contrary, the musical laughs repeatedly at the church.

You miss the point, bcuz.  This has been the official LDS response since the musical opened.  Of course it is a comedy and an anti-Mormon comedy at that.  No one doubts that.  I am amazed that you don't understand the old adage that no one need be concerned with what is said about you, as long as they spell your name right.  It's all about marketing, and always has been.

Years ago in the Phoenix, Arizona, area, for example, evangelical anti-Mormons did a mass door-to-door give-away of Ed Decker's anti-Mormon video "The Godmakers."  The idea was to scandalize and embarrass local Mormons and to prevent successful Mormon missionary work.  Exactly the opposite happened.  Those who saw the video had their interest piqued, and did not just shut the missionaries out when they came knocking.  Baptisms increased.

As with early Christianity, the greater the persecution, the more quickly the Church grew.  Watch closely, bcuz, and you will see the results over time.

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2 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

As with early Christianity, the greater the persecution, the more quickly the Church grew.  

There were many forms of early Christianity, most of them didn't survive. 

2 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Years ago in the Phoenix, Arizona, area, for example, evangelical anti-Mormons did a mass door-to-door give-away of Ed Decker's anti-Mormon video "The Godmakers."  

the Godmakers is ridiculous, of course it backfired.  

2 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

 Watch closely, bcuz, and you will see the results over time.

but that is not what is currently happening, at least not in the US, Europe, and Australia. 

http://www.pewforum.org/2015/05/12/americas-changing-religious-landscape/pr_15-05-12_rls-00/

PR_15.05.12_RLS-00.png

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4 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

You miss the point, bcuz.  This has been the official LDS response since the musical opened.  Of course it is a comedy and an anti-Mormon comedy at that.  No one doubts that.  I am amazed that you don't understand the old adage that no one need be concerned with what is said about you, as long as they spell your name right.  It's all about marketing, and always has been.

Years ago in the Phoenix, Arizona, area, for example, evangelical anti-Mormons did a mass door-to-door give-away of Ed Decker's anti-Mormon video "The Godmakers."  The idea was to scandalize and embarrass local Mormons and to prevent successful Mormon missionary work.  Exactly the opposite happened.  Those who saw the video had their interest piqued, and did not just shut the missionaries out when they came knocking.  Baptisms increased.

As with early Christianity, the greater the persecution, the more quickly the Church grew.  Watch closely, bcuz, and you will see the results over time.

Even bad news is better than no news at all?? Seriously? Results over time? I won't hold my breath.

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6 hours ago, Bobbieaware said:

So snide and disrespectful critics of the Church get to mock, misrepresent and caricature LDS beliefs at the expense of the Church, for 2 1/2 hours, but we're supposed to just sit back like feckless cowards and allow the willfully-ignorant propagandists who created the "play" to poison the minds of the unwary attendees, without REAL LDS Missionaries (not paid buffoons) taking the initiative to provide them with the Church's point of view and setting matters staight? And I would expect many of the fair-minded attendees would be interested to know what the members of the Church really believe after being exposed to a long chain of vicious half-truths, deliberate distortions and blatant unfairness. Congratulations to your wife for fulfilling prophecy as she sat at the windows of the great and spacious building and having a good laugh while the people and things of God were laughed to scorn.

My wife fulfilling prophesy? Your comment gave my wife a good chuckle.

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I see the usual Trolls are here again. 

 

Its like the old Hollywood adage:  There is no bad publicity. Wouldn't surprise me at all if their was fair success with this handout program. 

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15 hours ago, Bobbieaware said:

So snide and disrespectful critics of the Church get to mock, misrepresent and caricature LDS beliefs at the expense of the Church, for 2 1/2 hours, but we're supposed to just sit back like feckless cowards and allow the willfully-ignorant propagandists who created the "play" to poison the minds of the unwary attendees, without REAL LDS Missionaries (not paid buffoons) taking the initiative to provide them with the Church's point of view and setting matters staight? And I would expect many of the fair-minded attendees would be interested to know what the members of the Church really believe after being exposed to a long chain of vicious half-truths, deliberate distortions and blatant unfairness. Congratulations to your wife for fulfilling prophecy as she sat at the windows of the great and spacious building and having a good laugh while the people and things of God were laughed to scorn.

Or, the situation is this:

Human beings create a musical that generates both sympathy and humour over the ridiculousness of Mormonism.

Then people like bcuzbcuz's wife, or people like me who have been devastated by the dishonesty of the religion, find major catharsis in the show. It can be therapeutic,  maybe even have some valuable truth in it.

Then the LDS missionaries are waiting outside to perpetuate the spiel--that never includes the full story of the religion's founding--before inviting them to judge based on feelings,  judge the veracity of a book and the various events of the founding of the entire religion up until now.  Then within a fewwweeks or less they invite them to commit their entire lives and honor to the cause, again, without proper familiarity with the facts of the past.

There's something incredibly ironic with this picture, even without your decree against iniquity. 

Edited by Meadowchik

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If mormons can't laugh a little about themselves..they are in serious green jello!

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13 hours ago, Tacenda said:

I think a lot of people would enjoy the church whether true or not. If the church would allow those that don't believe it to be literally true, but a faith like all the others out there, something to help them live a Christlike life. 

That is an Oxymoronic statement if their ever was one.

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41 minutes ago, Jeanne said:

If mormons can't laugh a little about themselves..they are in serious green jello!

You've seen the play; Now read the book.

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5 minutes ago, thesometimesaint said:

That is an Oxymoronic statement if their ever was one.

I'm glad I provided you one! Could you elaborate why you think my statement was, IOW, so stupid?

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1 hour ago, Tacenda said:

I'm glad I provided you one! Could you elaborate why you think my statement was, IOW, so stupid?

You're welcome. While the Truth Claim of the Church is that all other religions are false, their members are good people. Never said you were stupid. Just that your claim contradicts itself. What is the first Principle of the Gospel? Answer: Faith in the Lord Jesus the Christ. What is the point in joining any organization you don't believe in, particularly one that makes as many demands as the Church? Why not join the Rotary Club instead(I don't have anything against the Rotary Club, or its members).

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1 hour ago, thesometimesaint said:

You've seen the play; Now read the book.

 

1 hour ago, thesometimesaint said:

You've seen the play; Now read the book.

Sorry about the double quote...my computer is NOT funny.

Read the book many times and still pull it out..it is where my family pics are tucked away

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I keep my family pictures in the family photo album. The pictures don't stick to the paper as much. ;)

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These are just pics of my last Christmas with Shane..it was a special place..so I kept them there...

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17 hours ago, bcuzbcuz said:

My wife went with a group of work collegues to see the musical "The Book of Mormon" on Friday night. It was their Ladies Night out and the musical had them in laughter for the whole show. To anyone who hasn't seen the musical, it is about a missionary in Africa who, when confronted with difficult questions and issues from contacts, just makes stuff up. His advice for men with aids is hilarious but disturbing. His partners attempts to convert a local war lard and the ensuing x-ray had the audience in stitches. Trey Parker and Matt Stone of "South Park" fame are the writers of the musical, which explains some of the raw moments.

The part that neither my wife nor I understand is that, following the play, positioned outside all the exit doors, were groups of missionaries, each wearing the identifying name tags, handing out Books of Mormon to any and all who would accept them. A sort of "now that you've seen the musical, why not read the real book?". To understand the ludicrous in the missionary's actions is to understand the juxtaposition the musical has to the Mormon beliefs. The musical offers entertainment value of having a good belly laugh, but the not so hidden message is that this missionary, the one who just makes stuff up, is no different from Joseph Smith, who was exceedingly creative to make up all the Mormon "stuff". My wife observed a young couple travelling home on the same bus, late on this Friday night, regailing themselves in laughter by flipping open to pages in their free copy of the BofM and reading a passage. They would read a lline or two and then laugh out loud.

So I repeat my question. Just what does the church hope to gain from spending time and effort in handing out the Book of Mormon at a theater play that has absolutely no connection to anything Mormon? Quite the contrary, the musical laughs repeatedly at the church.

The Church also ran ads in the playbill. To not understand that light shines in darkness is, well, not to understand that light shines in darkness. The Church hopes to reach out to the honest in heart, and I understand coverts have come into the fold after this being their initial exposure to the Church, the following just two examples:

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865579364/From-Book-of-Mormon-musical-to-Mormon-convert.html

http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/religion/2016/11/15/how-irreverent-book-mormon-led-one-nashville-mans-conversion/93447544/

Do you really think everyone who sees this musical take it to be an accurate expose of the faith? Has your view of the Catholic faith been influenced over the years by humorous portrayals? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humor_about_Catholicism

guido-sarducci.jpg

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I've heard more than one person say they joined the church as a result of the musical.  

 

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Posted (edited)

Unfortunately at least one reported joining has since left last I heard.  Still she and anyone else who joined, even if they then left, took it seriously enough to see if the faith worked for them.  Hopefully in the future they will feel it might once more and give it another chance and this time it will be a more enduring and beneficial match.

Edited by Calm

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, bcuzbcuz said:

Even bad news is better than no news at all?? Seriously? Results over time? I won't hold my breath.

Horrible things were said of the early Christians, and they were persecuted mercilessly.  Over time they prevailed.  Do you understand why, bcuz?

Edited by Robert F. Smith

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7 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

Or, the situation is this:

Human beings create a musical that generates both sympathy and humour over the ridiculousness of Mormonism.

Then people like bcuzbcuz's wife, or people like me who have been devastated by the dishonesty of the religion, find major catharsis in the show. It can be therapeutic,  maybe even have some valuable truth in it.

Then the LDS missionaries are waiting outside to perpetuate the spiel--that never includes the full story of the religion's founding--before inviting them to judge based on feelings,  judge the veracity of a book and the various events of the founding of the entire religion up until now.  Then within a fewwweeks or less they invite them to commit their entire lives and honor to the cause, again, without proper familiarity with the facts of the past.

There's something incredibly ironic with this picture, even without your decree against iniquity. 

You are allowing your personal feelings to color your judgment.  This really isn't a question about how this or that person feels about those ridiculous or horrible Mormons, but rather a practical question about marketing.

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