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June 17th, 2011
09:20 AM ET

As ‘Book of Mormon’ takes New York, city gets Mormon church ad campaign

By Julia Talanova, CNN

New York (CNN) - First came the popular Broadway musical “The Book of Mormon,” which won nine Tony Awards on Sunday.

Now, the actual Mormon church is hitting the Great White Way, with a big electronic billboard just around the corner from where "The Book of Mormon" is playing.

The new billboard is part of a broader “I’m a Mormon” ad campaign the church launched Thursday in New York, which also includes signs on taxicab tops and subway ads.

The ads show people from diverse ethnic backgrounds doing things like smiling, mountain climbing, riding a motorcycle and surfing, all with the tagline “I’m a Mormon.”

The Times Square Billboard is around the corner from the Eugene O’Neill Theater, where “The Book of Mormon” opened earlier this year. The irreverent play is by “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

"Our Church is known for our efforts to share our message,” said Richard G. Hinckley, Executive Director of the Missionary Department for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the official name of the Mormon church. “This is one way to get to know us — through the lives of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

New York joins nine other cities in an ongoing campaign launched last year. The LDS church says New York State has seen a rise in its membership over the past decade, growing to 78,000 members, a 75 percent increase since 2000.

The ads will be on display for the summer, with the church launching additional U.S. cities this fall.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Mormonism • New York

soundoff (825 Responses)
  1. CK Stratford

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQ97JYiDg48&w=560&h=349]

    June 17, 2011 at 11:16 am |
  2. CK Stratford

    May I open my DISCUSSION (not argument) with a beautiful song? I hope you have the patience for a 4 1/2 minute song.

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQ97JYiDg48&w=560&h=349]

    June 17, 2011 at 11:15 am |
  3. Mark

    How many wives can I have? I heard Joesph Smith had 30, can I have 30 wives? I'll sign up today

    June 17, 2011 at 11:07 am |
    • The Church of the Latter Day Brainwashed

      No, only the guy who makes up the religion can have that many.

      June 17, 2011 at 11:28 am |
    • Ralph T

      As a mormon I only have one. I don't think I could handle anymore than that!

      June 17, 2011 at 11:46 am |
    • Jesus

      Joe had 57 wives, some already married, and a few under 16 years of age. He married BOTH mothers and daughters too. Read "no Man Knows My History" a bio of Joseph Smith by Fawn Brodie, a UCLA Professor. Mormonism is indefensible. It contains dogma that is scientifically incorrect (i.e. the emigration of tribes from the middle east to America - our indians!) and stories that boggle the mind (e.g. those mysteriously disappearing "golden tablets").

      June 17, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • Stevie7

      Joseph was small-time. King Solomon had seven hundred wives. (1 Kings 11). The early Mormons can't compete with the patriarchs of the OT.

      June 17, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • JoeS

      You can have many wives as you want, but the problem is if a Mormon will like you. I bet you cannot even have one.

      June 17, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • Xenu of the Lollipop Kingdom

      In the Lollipop Kingdom you are only supposed to suck on one Lollipop at a time. If you're one of those old school lollipop types though who like to suck on a whole bunch at one time, we'll just keep it on the down low, and maybe make an HBO series out of it.

      June 17, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  4. zip

    Ah. Good to see the Mormon PR machine swing into action. If you want to learn about the Mormon church, read the book, THE MORMON MURDERS. You will not believe it.

    June 17, 2011 at 11:00 am |
    • Bryce

      If you want to learn about the Mormon faith, go to mormon.org where normal, everday Mormons from around the world talk about what being a mormon is. Seriously. Don't go read literature from people who hate mormons, they are going to give you a biased answer and paint a negative picture for you. As a Mormon, I know exactly what it means to be a Mormon.

      June 17, 2011 at 11:04 am |
    • Leigh

      I'll believe it. I've seen them envelope and brainwash my formerly balanced and normal friends. They provide a brilliant service with their genealogy library, but they are a scary group.

      June 17, 2011 at 11:05 am |
    • James

      Bryce as a 3rd generation mormon that got out of the CULT I know what a CULT is, and that is MORMONS!

      June 17, 2011 at 11:08 am |
    • Leigh

      @ Bryce...If you are happy being Mormon, that's great. You've found something to believe in. The problem is, LDS is a frightening thing to people who are taught to stay away from cults and extremism.

      June 17, 2011 at 11:09 am |
    • Ralph T

      I agree with Bryce. I'm a mormon and darn proud of it. Walk a mile in our shoes before being critical. Among other things the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches faith in Christ, service to others, unconditional love, the importance of family, social responsibility, care for the environment, good health practices, developing one's talents, and charitable giving. If those are bad things, then brand me evil!

      June 17, 2011 at 11:12 am |
    • Bryce

      That's fine and dandy, but Mormons aren't cultists or extremists. We are people who have a faith and we like to stick to it.

      June 17, 2011 at 11:13 am |
    • James

      Ralph T –
      No one is disputing how nice LDS people can be in their judgmental ways. You belong to a CULT. You are not free to think as you want just as you HAVE to think to belong. CTR = do as we say.

      LDS is brainwashing towards very vulnerable people when they start to search for what ever path they are on. "Come here we know what truth is for your lonely world". "Feel that, that is the holy ghost speaking to you" LDS is brainwashing at its best.

      If it was as simple as service to others, no thats not a crazy thing, but when you add all the hokus-pokus to the pot, that becomes the CULT of what MORMON's are!

      June 17, 2011 at 11:21 am |
    • The Church of the Latter Day Brainwashed

      @Bryce: In the same way, people who *are* Mormons are biased. Not allowing people to enjoy Caffeine or see R-rated movies is an affront to God.

      June 17, 2011 at 11:24 am |
    • Ralph T

      I hate to break it to you, James, but by definition every religion is a cult. Look it up if you don't believe me. I grew up in the eastern U.S. as a mormon in a non-mormon home. I had every opportunity to leave the church. I've spent over 30 years investigating negative claims against the church. As a member of the media, I am skeptical by nature. All of my objective efforts have done nothing but confirm and strengthen my faith. Of course, you will hang on the "brainwashed" angle because anything else weakens your position. Well, you know what they say about leading a horse to water. I not only believe the LDS church is true and that Jesus is the Christ, I know those things. And this gives me great peace and purpose.

      June 17, 2011 at 11:26 am |
    • Leigh

      @Ralph T...I am not being CRITICAL!!! My point is that the LDS is secretive and shadowy. Do not tell me they aren't! I am not critical, I am SCARED!!!

      June 17, 2011 at 11:37 am |
    • Jake

      @Leigh, can you explain why you think the church is shadowy?

      June 17, 2011 at 11:44 am |
    • Ralph T

      I'm sorry, Leigh, I don't think I've addressed you yet. In what way is it secretive and shadowy? Perhaps I could help ease your concerns.

      June 17, 2011 at 11:45 am |
    • here's the problem

      If you believe in any religion you can't really attack the Mormon religion without be hypocritical. All religions believe in something that sounds ludicrous to those who don't believe in their religion. The stuff in the Old Testament is way more unbelievable than the things you would attack the Mormon religion for. 95% of what main stream Christians and what Mormons believe are the same. The 95% that is the same is just as ludicrous to a non-believer as the 5% that is different. What you believe in is not more rational than what the Mormon's believe in. It seems more rational to you because that is what you are used to. It seems just as rational to a Mormon because that is what you are used it.

      Frankly the Mormon church does a lot of things way better than most other religions. It is the only religion I know of where the leaders don't get rich off of donations from other people. (Well not directly – a lot of the leaders do write books and stuff and make a lot of money form that.) But the contributions that the members make do not go to their bishops etc – people serve voluntarily. No one can decide they want to make their living by being a leader in the Mormon church. This lay ministry approach is far superior to religions where the pastor/bishop etc is really there for your money. (Also the real reason for so much anti-Mormon sentiment is that they are aggressive and successful at proselyting and the other religions don't want to loose their sheep and thus their income.)

      The Mormon church as a religion does a lot of good things and the people as members do a lot of good things. So if you are going to judge them by their fruits you have to admit they are a pretty good social club even if some of the things they believe are different than what you believe.

      You may have a problem with their stance on gays – but hey the Bible which any Christian believes in says that the penalty for someone being gay is to throws rocks at them until they die – so any religion that purports to believe in the Bible has a huge problem here. And if they don't consider being gay a sin then they aren't being consistent with what they claim to believe. So if you are going to do the rational thing and decide all religion is false, then sure religion discriminating against gays is a huge problem – but if you are going to believe in any religion you can't attack the Mormon's for thinking being gay is a sin. (Technically according to Mormons being gay is not a sin – acting on it is a sin.)

      June 17, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
    • Ralph T

      @here's the problem – very well thought out. Thanks!

      June 17, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
    • Jesus

      Try this scholarly treatise,,,"No Man Knows My History" a bio of Joseph Smith by Fawn Brodie (a UCLA Professor). Mormonism is indefensible, both intellectually and factually. Joseph Smith was a 19th century version of some of the religious businessmen that crowd our television stations today.

      June 17, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • Stevie7

      " Mormonism is indefensible, both intellectually and factually."

      How does this differ from other religions?

      June 17, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > If you believe in any religion you can't really attack the Mormon religion without be hypocritical. All religions believe in something that sounds ludicrous to those who don't believe in their religion.

      Agreed, however they don't become less ludicrous because someone believes it.

      > The stuff in the Old Testament is way more unbelievable than the things you would attack the Mormon religion for.

      The old testament was written by dirt farming peasants who had little to no knowledge of the natural world. That's why it's unbelievable. The book of mormon is unbelievable because it's stupid and makes claims that are easily disproven.

      > 95% of what main stream Christians and what Mormons believe are the same.

      Yeah, but that extra 5% takes silly beliefs to a whole new level.

      > The 95% that is the same is just as ludicrous to a non-believer as the 5% that is different. What you believe in is not more rational than what the Mormon's believe in.

      Yes, they're both completely irrational. I agree.

      > It seems more rational to you because that is what you are used to. It seems just as rational to a Mormon because that is what you are used it.

      No, it seems more rational because the individual has tricked themselves into believing it's normal. They also defend their beliefs because they have emotional ties. I don't think any religious person really can see what their faith looks like on the outside. They personalize it and make it a part of them.

      > Frankly the Mormon church does a lot of things way better than most other religions.

      And it does some things that are way worse, like putting on ridiculous and stupid requirements on their members.

      > It is the only religion I know of where the leaders don't get rich off of donations from other people. (Well not directly – a lot of the leaders do write books and stuff and make a lot of money form that.)

      How do they manage to fund major political goals if the leaders don't have any cash? Oh that's right, I had forgotten, the church has the money. Not the leaders.

      > But the contributions that the members make do not go to their bishops etc – people serve voluntarily.

      I forget, does church pressure to do something make it voluntary?

      > No one can decide they want to make their living by being a leader in the Mormon church. This lay ministry approach is far superior to religions where the pastor/bishop etc is really there for your money. (Also the real reason for so much anti-Mormon sentiment is that they are aggressive and successful at proselyting and the other religions don't want to loose their sheep and thus their income.)

      So the LDS doesn't pay it's ministers while the catholic church does. That doesn't make them ore virteous. It makes the LDS cheap.

      > The Mormon church as a religion does a lot of good things and the people as members do a lot of good things. So if you are going to judge them by their fruits you have to admit they are a pretty good social club even if some of the things they believe are different than what you believe.

      Doing good acts does not speak of the religion itself, on the fact that people do good things. Just like how atheists do good things too. Without any expectation of a reward down the line either.

      > You may have a problem with their stance on gays – but hey the Bible which any Christian believes in says that the penalty for someone being gay is to throws rocks at them until they die – so any religion that purports to believe in the Bible has a huge problem here.

      Yes, and the problem is that religion twists your morality into something evil. You don't have a right to dictate how people should live, and I'd even go so far as to say that God, if it exists, doesn't have that right either.

      > And if they don't consider being gay a sin then they aren't being consistent with what they claim to believe. So if you are going to do the rational thing and decide all religion is false, then sure religion discriminating against gays is a huge problem – but if you are going to believe in any religion you can't attack the Mormon's for thinking being gay is a sin. (Technically according to Mormons being gay is not a sin – acting on it is a sin.)

      I agree. If you buy into religious nonsense, then you can't criticize other people for their nonsense.

      June 17, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • SCMorrell

      Or if you want to read something a little less sensational, try reading the Book of Mormon. It will give you a better understanding of the Mormon mindset and may even change your life.

      June 17, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • JoeS

      Bryce is right, don't just believe in those ignorant people about Mormons. I am a convert myself and been a member for 17 years. Tons of blessing may pour upon you if you do.

      June 17, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • Xenu of the Lollipop Kingdom

      Don't worry, it's great here in the Lollipop Kingdom. As long as you're a member you can all pay me 10% of your salary and I can guarantee that you shall receive your weekly Lolly. We have a policy of 3 licks to get to the center, if you don't follow it, that's it you're out. The only allowable flavors are cherry, everything else is against the word of Xenu. The great thing is if you marry, have children, and they all suck on their lollies throughout their existence, you get to become gods of your own Lollipop Kingdoms and enjoy a life of comfortable dominance over the lesser masses of beings who shall worship you in servitude.

      Don't fear though, our Lollipop was founded on the belief that people who like Chocolate Lollipops are bad, and that we were the chosen suckers. These evil Chocolate Lollipop lovers inhabit South Lollipopland and did lots of evil things, which explains their dark complexion.

      Our Lollipops are sugar free because sugar is bad. We'd deny you oxygen since that too alters your mental state like sugar, but we can't have you dying on us or how else would the upper elites fund their elite lifestyles? I must say though, if you wish to suck on more than one lollipop at a time, feel free, we'll keep that on the down low since we deem that the old school lollipopping.

      Lastly, the only other thing we ask if you join our Lollipop Kingdom is that at 18 harass the world while wearing magic lollipop head and wrist bands. They keep the sweat off you and ward against evil, plus you can use them as a place to stash your extra lollipops.

      June 17, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • Erik

      Sorry, James, you are ignorant as to what a cult is. I am fully capable of thinking for myself. We are no more a cult than any other religion. We believe that Jesus is our Savior and that we are children of God. The rest are details in His plan. It would be nice if you explained your stance so I could show how you are most certainly wrong.

      June 17, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  5. thes33k3r

    Religion strikes again.

    June 17, 2011 at 10:57 am |
  6. trigtwit...America's favorite tard baby

    Are vegetables allowed to become Mormons ?

    June 17, 2011 at 10:54 am |
    • Xenu of the Lollipop Kingdom

      No, but neither are lollys. Whew!

      June 17, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  7. Liz

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (The Mormons) is not a cult. Anyone who says that it is a cult does not know what he is talking about no matter how loud or how vindictively he says it. It is Christ's church as He established it through His prophet Joseph Smith. The Book of Mormon is the word of God. To find reputable information about the church, one should ask practicing members who understand what they are talking about. The nay-sayers are plentiful and they seek to destroy that which is good. Mormon.org is a good, reputable reference and will give accurate information.

    June 17, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • James

      Sadly Liz you are a member of the CULT. Those of us that broke free from your CULT know what one is. 3rd generation LDS here, grandparents were polygamist's. I know what LDS is, and what it is, a true CULT.

      June 17, 2011 at 10:54 am |
    • Leigh

      Your dedication to LDS is palpable and admirable. However, LDS should open up A LOT about their practices and policies before any of the "nay-sayers" are going to BEGIN to understand why legions of people follow the words of a Pioneer man who got caught with his pants down. I have never know a Mormon person to be lax or unfriendly; Mormons are for the most part VERY productive and responsible members of society...which further deepens the mystery of why these bright and beautiful people choose to adhere to such phoney baloney.

      June 17, 2011 at 10:57 am |
    • Bryce

      Leigh, the reason that any person is good and happy is because they adhere to good beliefs that are happiness inducing. It's that simple. If you know someone who is genuinely happy, what they believe and do is probably not phony or baloney.

      June 17, 2011 at 11:07 am |
    • Colin

      Bryce, to paraphrase GB Shaw, the fact that a believer might be happeir than a non-believer is no more to the point (of whether a particular belief is true) that the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober man.

      June 17, 2011 at 11:13 am |
    • Leigh

      Bryce- you make a valid point. However following the beliefs of one ordinary man who made up a story to get himself out of hot water is nuts. But at the end of the day, people are going to worship at whatever altar makes them feel the way they want to feel. The fringe elements of your fellow LDSers are doing damage to your cause. Polygamy? Child weddings to nasty, dirty old men? The suppression of women? How is this REMOTELY Christian?

      June 17, 2011 at 11:16 am |
    • Ralph T

      @Leigh – you make all of these allegations yet provide nothing to back them up. If you brand all polygamy as wrong why do you consider the writings of a polygamist (David) to be scripture? Child weddings to nasty, dirty old men? To whom are you referring? Fundamentalists are not a part of the mormon church to which I belong. If you consider them to be on the fringes of my faith, then Protestants and Catholics must accept Jim Jones and David Koresh as fringe members of their own. The suppression of women? How are women suppressed in the LDS church?

      June 17, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
    • here's the problem

      @Leigh

      The problem is that the Old Testament is just fine with polygamy & child weddings to dirty old men. YOUR Christian belief is also OK with this just as much as Mormons are if you believe in the Bible. (Mormon's don't currently practice any of these things either – they are in the past of their religion just like your.)

      Maybe it is your own religious belief and not the Mormon religion that you should be reconsidering. Because based on your logic yous can't be true either. Hint: If you look at it rationally both your religion and the Mormon religion are made up. They are both used by some to gain power and money over others.

      June 17, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
    • Xenu of the Lollipop Kingdom

      You've obviously had too many Chocolate lollipops to even make sense. The Kingdom of Lollipop is also not a cult, but if you don't join us and suck on your lolly every day, I can't guarantee that you won't suffer some horrible fate at the hand of those atrocious Chocolate lollipop lovers.

      June 17, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • Estevan

      "Your dedication to LDS is palpable and admirable. "

      Why? Why do people equate faith in a religion with something admirable? How is faith in myths and fairy tales which are not only ridiculous but in many cases demonstrably false in any way admirable?

      What you are saying is in essence: "I admire the fact you believe in something despite proven evidence to the contrary". I won't go into the false beliefs of the Mormons or any other religion but just look up the Mormon claims on the history of the natives in America. Totally ridiculous and proven false by biology and anthropology.

      Saying you admire someone's dedication to their religious beliefs is like you admiring my belief that the sky is in fact a dome supporting an ocean of water despite all of the evidence to the contrary.

      Belief without evidence and belief in the irrational is not a virtue and it should not be admired.

      June 17, 2011 at 8:42 pm |
    • Odds

      @Bryce – I agree that a person may find happiness because they adhere to "good beliefs" that make them happy. However, this strikes me as a somewhat myopic view. First, because there are as many paths to happiness as there are individuals to walk them. But also because happiness for ourselves is only part of the picture.

      If, for instance, your beliefs make you happy, but also influence you to persecute others or to support the persecution of others, then your happiness comes at a cost to those around you. That is to say that, our beliefs may only be considered "good" if they make those around us happy as well, and attempt to avoid detracting from the happiness of others. Making ourselves happy is not enough.

      That's the trouble I have with most religions. Many of my dearest friends and family are Christians, but even though I consider them good people with all the heart in the world, still their beliefs allow them to justify hatred in certain instances. Perhaps it is their faith that lends them the qualities that make them good people overall, but it clearly comes at a cost to others. And I have to wonder if they were atheists like myself, who held that logic rather than faith is the key to living morally, would they not be just as happy and caring as they are now, minus the faith-based bigotry? Or is that simply wishful thinking? We'll never know.

      I recently had a Christian friend tell me that he had a good friend who confessed that he was gay. The response from this Christian friend was to break contact. He never spoke to this "good friend" again. I really have a lot of trouble wrapping my head around this. How do you reconcile the friend with the evil that they display toward another human being? I've known this guy for years and although politically and religiously we're polar opposites, otherwise we're good friends. But I wonder how can a person who I can see so much good in, turn around and do something so obviously evil and wrong to another person – let alone one of their best friends?

      If he could do that to one of his best friends, that means he could someday do the same to me provided I fail to meet whatever requirements his faith has placed on friendship! Is this an acceptable price for individual happiness?

      That's the trouble, Bryce. How do we define "good" beliefs? The LDS Church defines them based on their book. Other churches do the same. But most organized religions have bigotry baked into them in some form. By lending power to these organizations, we are complicit in stealing happiness away from others. To my reasoning mind, that seems too high a price to pay for my own happiness.

      June 18, 2011 at 9:55 am |
  8. Colin

    Which of the following is a silly story only a naïve child would believe?

    Harry Potter stared into the big black hat. Inside were magic "seer stones" – which nobody else would ever see – which told Harry the secrets of the Universe, of life, death and the afterlife. They explained to him how, if he wore certain magic underwear, he would be protected from evil spirits in this life and in the end times.

    Joseph Smith stared into the big black hat. Inside were sacred "seer stones" – which nobody else would ever see – which told Joseph the secrets of the Universe, of life, death and the afterlife. They explained to him how, if he wore certain sacred underwear, he would be protected from evil spirits in this life and in the end times.

    June 17, 2011 at 10:36 am |
    • Bryce

      What? You need to learn about Mormons before you start trying to tear them to shreds. Yes, Joseph Smith probably wore a hat sometimes. Big deal. Yes, he did use a hat to shade his eyes when looking through a seeing stone (according to his history). No, mormons don't have magic underwear. They do wear undergarment. Just as catholic priests wear special clothing to remind themselves of their covenants, so do Mormons. So do buddhist monks. So do most serious Muslims. Why target Mormons? They're not that different. As far as the seeing stone goes, the Bible mentions stones with extraordinary properties. Since Judeo-Christian beliefs are a huge part of the foundation of modern Western culture, it seems strange that if you would attack seeings stones, you don't attack angels or miracles or anything else in the Bible. But of course, we know you're attacking seeing stones because Mormons believe there have been occurances dealing with them.

      June 17, 2011 at 10:49 am |
    • PeterVN

      Bryce: way to miss the point. And the idiocies of those other religions don't make mormonism's idiocies go away. Better take those undergarments off your head.

      June 17, 2011 at 10:57 am |
    • sandalista

      I am amazed every time I read about this cult (or any other cult for that matter). That someone could actually buy into this scam is so incredible it boggles one's mind! The fiction that came from Joseph Smith, a con artist and scammer, is not only unbelievable but it is also dumb and plagiarized from various other religious cults. To think that we could have a President who believes this nonsense is frightening and dangerous!

      June 17, 2011 at 10:59 am |
    • Colin

      Bryce

      I agree that other religions have silly beliefs, too, but that makes yours no less silly.

      I mentioned Mormons because the article is about Mormons.

      However you want to paint the beliefs, they are silly, childish and predicated upon a jaw-dropping credulity and preparedness to believe the most transparent of nonsense.

      June 17, 2011 at 11:10 am |
    • Bryce

      Do you know what the word cult means? You don't. A cult is a group of people who meet together for a common purpose. What I believe you're trying to say is that Mormons conspire to cause evil to happen? They don't. Our meetings consist of talking about how we can be better people and serve the people around us. We consider ourselves to be genuinely happy people, and so we feel that it is our responsibility to share that with other people. And if people aren't interested, that's fine. We just want to give the chance to people to hear about it. Throwing ad hominem epithets around at people just shows that you are too uneducated about the people you are accusing. If people are actually doing something terrible, you'd logically be able to explain what they are doing wrong. As you are just name-calling, we can assume you are merely a parrot and don't know what you are talking about.

      June 17, 2011 at 11:11 am |
    • The Church of the Latter Day Brainwashed

      Bryce, get out before it's too late! ...Ooops. Too late.

      June 17, 2011 at 11:26 am |
    • here's the problem

      Bryce, here's the problem.

      When in the temple you promise to sacrifice everything you have even your own life if necessary in defending the church. When in the temple you promise to consecrate everything you possess and everything you will possess to the church. When less than 30 years ago the temple included a motion of slitting your own throat if you divulged the secret handshakes... That's where the church goes beyond mainstream religion and into the freaky cult realm. You can try to defend it but promising to die for the church and that everything you own belongs to the church is pretty freaky if you really think about it. (Of course in practice non of this stuff really happens anymore, but the leftovers from the cult days are still there.)

      June 17, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
    • Ralph T

      @here's the problem – I'll share with you the weakness in your argument. Let's assume for a moment that the LDS church really is Christ's true church. Why wouldn't one make covenants for Christ such as the ones you cite? It all comes down to faith. Bryce and I (and millions of others) have faith that this is indeed the very church that Christ established. That is our belief. The covenants and promises we make are with God and no one else. We do not covenant to hurt anyone or take anything away from anyone. I love the temple and everything it represents! I love my garments! They are a constant reminder to me that I should always do as Christ did. Is that a terrible thing? I agree these things would be strange if for a church made by a man. But I have received a personal witness from God that the LDS church was established by Christ. And the fruits of this gospel back that up.

      June 17, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
    • Stevie7

      Well, isn't that pretty much what Jesus asked people to do in the NT? Seems like Mormons are only trying to walk the walk.

      I mean, I think it's freaky and I think its all man-made, I just find it amusing that other Christians attempt to put down Mormons without taking an objective look at their own faith.

      June 17, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
    • Ralph T

      @stevie7 – you make a very good point. I have a geologist friend who told me about the "scorched earth syndrome". Basically, when Russia nukes the U.S. they end up destroying their own world in the process. When some Christians apply the same standards of judgment to their own faith that they use in attacking my faith, the result is huge holes in their own. And that's one of the big problems: critics of the LDS church are uneven in their analysis and conclusions about the faith.

      June 17, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
    • here's the problem

      @Ralph

      Here's the problem with your argument. All cults believe they are following God. All cults start with a charismatic leader who tells them they are following God's will.

      The problem is when you try to convince others that don't believe the same as you do that you aren't a cult. The fact that you have promised your life and everything you own to the "kingdom of God" is what is going to make you a cult in some people's eyes.

      That's fine that you believe you belong to the only true church on earth. Your problem is that you can't really defend that to someone that doesn't believe the same way you do without sounding crazy. About the only argument you can make is that you have your set of irrational set of beliefs that you "know because you have felt a burning in your bosom telling you so" and they have their set of irrational beliefs so there is really no reason that they should attack your irrational beliefs when they also have them.

      June 17, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
    • TheyNotHim

      Bryce...your church is evil. Your prophets are filled with hate and greed and disdain for many groups of people. Just like the other god-cults, you come together for common brainwashing on a regular basis and attempt to spread your diseased ideas around the globe through advertising.

      Want an example?

      The LDS church was behind Proposition 8 here in California, defining marriage as ONLY between a man and a woman, when any human being with one ounce of compassion and two of brains would realize that two loving consenting adults should be allowed to marry despite their gender. You and your church are just plain wrong on this issue and the fact that you spent millions of dollars to make this happen sickens most Americans. Please return to footnote status soonest...the world is a better place without your hate.

      Evidence enough for ya?

      June 17, 2011 at 9:11 pm |
    • @TheyNotHim

      TheyNotHim
      Bryce...your church is evil. Your prophets are filled with hate and greed and disdain for many groups of people. Just like the other god-cults, you come together for common brainwashing on a regular basis and attempt to spread your diseased ideas around the globe through advertising.

      Want an example?

      You Said: ....any human being with one ounce of compassion and two of brains would realize that two loving consenting adults should be allowed to marry despite their gender. You and your church are just plain wrong on this issue and the fact that you spent millions of dollars to make this happen sickens most Americans...

      Compassion is a funny thing to envoke here – doesn't seem to have any bearing on the rule of law. However, I really just wanted to point out that fact that gay marriage is what sickens most Americans, not opposition to gay marriage. Check your California state code and results of your voting referendum..... even most Californians (the 2nd most liberal place in America) voted against recognizing gay marriage.

      I'm a Mormon, and I'm not actually opposed to gay marriage – but you can't argue that "most of America" is or else gay marriage would be legal in "most" places. For the record, government involvement in or promotion of ANY kind of marriage seems silly.

      June 18, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
  9. Pete

    "The ads show people from diverse ethnic backgrounds doing things like smiling, mountain climbing, riding a motorcycle and surfing, all with the tagline 'I’m a Mormon.'"

    Seems like they're copying the "I'm a PC" ad campaign from Microsoft.

    June 17, 2011 at 10:36 am |
    • murpis

      Actually, the "I am a Mormon" ad has been out longer than the "I'm a PC" ad. No copying. Just letting you know.

      June 17, 2011 at 11:16 am |
    • Earnest Lee Saddened

      Are there any new ideas in this world? The pencil was amazing, so was the eraser. Someone put them together and cornered the market. We all do what we can.

      June 17, 2011 at 11:28 am |
    • Jesus

      Joseph Smith hated blacks. It was in 1978 when the President of the Mormon Church had a sit down with Gawd who told him that after all these years filled with hate, black are now OK. That said, Smith wrote that if blacks were really good and righteous people, they'd turn WHITE!!! Mormonism as applied to the black or people of color is one step removed from the KKK.

      June 17, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
    • Actually that's a lie

      That's not true. Joseph Smith actually liked black people... see:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elijah_Abel

      Who was the first black man ordained to the priesthood by the Mormon church. By Joseph Smith himself. More of the anti-black stuff came in around Brigham Young.

      June 17, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • Xenu of the Lollipop Kingdom

      Chocolate Lollipops are evil. It is written. We came over the Lollipop seas on a boat and ended up trapped with these evil bunch of Chocolate Lollipop lovers. They had the audacity to like Chocolate, so God turned them the color of the flavor they loved so much. It is written. After that true cherry Lollipop lovers were destroyed as the caffeine addiction from the Chocolate Lollipops drove them to frenzy.

      June 17, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
  10. James

    I was raised LDS. IT IS A CULT! I have been through the temple, It is a CULT. Mormons think they will be gods of their own worlds. Mormons think that the only way to live with god is to have "tokens" which are special hand motions and shakes. Cutting your neck if you give the "token" to someone not worthy will kill you. Having your bowels cut out will happen if you give out the "tokens" This is all apart of the temple ceremony that goes on.

    They are not free to make their own decisions with out being kicked out. They call it "free agency" but if you use your free agency you are an outcast and literally thrown out.

    If you don't pay 10% of your income to the church, you will NOT live in heaven (Or as they call it Celestial kingdom). If you don't have children you will not have eternal full life.

    MORMONS are members of a CULT....they prey on the week using old-term Mind games. It is total mind games and that is a cult! They may be "good people" they are LOST people in a deep dark CULT!

    June 17, 2011 at 10:33 am |
    • kdf

      um... i think you must have been part of a dream world considering every word of your comment is made up and so far from the truth. It sounds more like you grew up with the Fundamentalists.

      June 17, 2011 at 10:35 am |
    • TL

      I'm pretty sure I've been through the temple hundreds of times, and there is absolutely nothing about cutting my neck or my bowels out........

      June 17, 2011 at 10:39 am |
    • James

      No KDF – this is all truth and what goes on! Have you been through the temple? If you have not then you would not know...if you have then you are covering it up!

      Sure sign of the nail?? Sound familiar

      Mormon Wording Concerning The Grip
      Peter – "What is that?"
      Adam – "The second token of the Melchizedek Priesthood."
      Peter – "Has it a name?"
      Adam – "It has."
      Peter – "Will you give it to me?"
      Adam – "I can not, I have not yet received it.

      "This is the sign. The Execution of the Penalty is represented by drawing the thumb quickly across the body and dropping the hands to the side."

      I will go on! Mormons are a cult period! The temple ceremony proves that! Cutting your necks, bowels if you give the tokens away! DO your homework, this is the truth of daily LDS!

      June 17, 2011 at 10:40 am |
    • James

      TL,
      That is what you are doing every-time your thumb is going across your neck! That is what is going on every-time you take your thumb across your stomach!

      June 17, 2011 at 10:41 am |
    • Leigh

      Yes, you are right! Thanks for posting more details. Again, adults in the the free world can "worship" however they like- it's no skin of my nose, but LDS is up there with Scientology and Branch Davidians...it's just older, so apparently the tarnish of age makes it more legitimate. Stay away from Mormons unless you like being controlled and drained of all your financial resources.

      June 17, 2011 at 10:44 am |
    • TL

      ummmm, again, you prove you have no idea what you're talking about. It sounds like you tried to watch a fake video or transcript online where someone just BS'd stuff. It's obvious you've never been to the temple, because there is no wording about penalties anywhere.

      June 17, 2011 at 10:45 am |
    • TL

      Wow, like I said, a fake video! Before you even posted it!! Don't try to claim that you've been to the temple or know stuff.

      June 17, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • Scott Gerlach

      James,

      There is no penalty in the endowment. You're reading very old information

      June 17, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • James

      TL you are totally lost and wrong. That video is EXACTLY what goes on in the temple! I would go every Wednesday after work to the LA Temple and do this. I did it for 4 years. I would meet family members once a month and that would be our family night.

      June 17, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • Bryce

      The temple ceremonies do not deal out threats and judgement. These people are wrong. I go to the temple regularly. Ignore them. If you want to find out what mormons believe, talk to mormons. I don't say this because I'm biased, but because people don't understand other people. Asking a Born Again Christian what Mormons believe is like asking an extreme right-wing conservative what extreme left-wing liberals believe. You're not going to get a useful answer, only an answer that serves the conservative's views.

      June 17, 2011 at 10:56 am |
    • James

      Bryce, this is what goes on....you are trying to hide the fact. Sugar coat it all you want...Mormon's are members of a very rich cult.

      June 17, 2011 at 10:57 am |
    • Heather

      James is right. What many current LDS people don't know is the temple ceremony has changed over the years...many times. A part of the old ceremony required members to oath to kill themselves as James described. This portion has been taken out of the temple ceremony and is no longer used. What I think is interesting from reading the posts is that active Mormons don't seem to know a thing about the history of their church. Such as JS did translate the BOM by putting his head in a hat and reading from seer stones. If you are Mormon you should recognize that in no picture, video or lesson manuel is this depicted as it truely happend. Same goes for the temple ceremony, just because what you "practice" today is not what James described does not mean it is untrue. Ask your parents or any person that has gone to the temple for the last 20+ years and they can tell you how the ceremony has changed....or maybe they won't tell you since they have promised not to...

      June 17, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
    • here's the problem

      @Heather

      You are correct the neck slicing thing was taken out of the temple ceremony about 25 years ago I think. About 5 years ago the wearing a "shield" – a gown that is open and rubbing water and oil in various places on the body including about 3 inches from the genitals was removed. About 2 years ago all of the standing up and sitting down was removed because the old people were having a hard time doing it.

      June 17, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • SCMorrell

      Makes you wonder what the rock climber in the ad did...

      June 17, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • Xenu of the Lollipop Kingdom

      James, join the Kingdom of Lollipops, I will grant you two universes to subjugate.

      June 17, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
    • Artist

      I find it interesting that the founder copied apsrcts of Masons to create his "tokens" "Oaths" and the design of the temple itself. Quite funny.

      June 17, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  11. batchoftruth

    More religious lunacy!

    June 17, 2011 at 10:21 am |
    • Bryce

      Since when is believing in something more than your own self lunacy? Trying to be a good person is not crazy.

      June 17, 2011 at 10:43 am |
  12. Matt

    Is anyone else creeped out when religions advertise?

    June 17, 2011 at 10:21 am |
    • kdf

      I am Mormon and yes, I am a bit put back at churches, ANY churches advertising. I think a churches advertisement should be their memebers.

      June 17, 2011 at 10:33 am |
    • Matt

      KDF, I agree, let the members of whatever religion be the examples, not billboards. I am originally from Ohio where every day I would drive down one of the major highways and see a series of billboards informing me that there is indeed a Hell and I am indeed going there unless, of course, I go to their church and after a while, I'm sure, give them a good sum of my money, (gotta pay for those billboards somehow!) The whole thing just left me disgusted.

      June 17, 2011 at 11:34 am |
  13. Chase

    So much hate against the Mormon religion. Amazing.

    June 17, 2011 at 10:18 am |
    • blah9999

      hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate

      June 17, 2011 at 10:20 am |
    • Xenu of the Lollipop Kingdom

      I hate all those who don't believe in the Lollipop Kingdom, they just are a bunch of suckers and don't get it.

      June 17, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • TheyNotHim

      If you spew hate and advertise dogma that is filled with hate speech and incite your followers to practice that hate, then it should not be a surprise that people hate your chruch, ya?

      June 17, 2011 at 9:21 pm |
    • Chase

      Not surprised you're blinded by your ignorance to see that the Mormon church doesn't hate anybody.

      June 17, 2011 at 10:16 pm |
  14. JJ in CT

    This is probably not just in response to the musical. With Mitt Romney running for President, this is Mormon promotion that tries to put a "regular" face on their belief system.

    Look up "Mormon seer stones" to see just what they believe in the founding of Mormonism. Very interesting....

    June 17, 2011 at 10:17 am |
    • blah9999

      South Park: "Dum dum dum dum dummmm"

      June 17, 2011 at 10:19 am |
    • Stevie7

      Mormonism really isn't any weirder than the majority of religions when one steps back to think about it. It's just newer and thus easier to criticize. The fact that god talked to J Smith should make more sense than god talking pretty regularly to any number of prophets for hundreds of years but then deciding two millenia ago that he was done with all that and was going to give us the silent treatment. I never understood why someone just decide to arbitrarily declare that the biblical canon was closed.

      June 17, 2011 at 10:23 am |
    • CN

      stevie7–there are many people who regard mormonism, christianity, and islam as equally untrue.

      June 17, 2011 at 10:32 am |
    • kdf

      This has nothing to do with Mitt Romney running for prez. (and he is only 1 or 2 mormons now). These advertisements have been on TV and around the country for a bit more than a year now. It is only just now in NY.

      June 17, 2011 at 10:38 am |
    • JJ in CT

      Agree Stevie and CN.

      It's definitely good to ask questions about the details of the beliefs, and keep the dialogue going....

      June 17, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • Stevie7

      @CN – you can definitely count me as one of those. I just find it interesting why people criticize other people's beliefs as silly and strange without examining their own.

      June 17, 2011 at 11:37 am |
  15. colin

    One of my favorite lines from Douglas Adams (as quoted in Dawkins) concerns the sale of robots. One can outsource their religious beliefs to these robots. The most expensive model is said to be "capable of believing things they wouldn't believe in Salt Lake City".

    Ya gotta love the Mormons – whenever anybody argues that Christian beliefs are more sophisticated than silly, childish fairytales, one can always point to these guys for immediate refutation.

    June 17, 2011 at 10:16 am |
  16. CN

    translation: join us so we can use your money to force many of the people working in these shows to live as second class citizens.

    June 17, 2011 at 10:08 am |
    • Scott Gerlach

      Mormons use their money to turn their members into second class citizens? Of all the laughable things I've heard haters say about the church, you've just made the top 3!

      June 17, 2011 at 10:32 am |
    • Xenu of the Lollipop Kingdom

      In the Lollipop Kingdom our stores where you get your daily lolly are made of solid gold. Because all those other precious metals are too cheap, and what else would we spend money on?

      June 17, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  17. Leigh

    I'm glad for the high standards and results for the show, however I have watched many friends become snared by the cult-like methodologies of this social club known as LDS. Just try to walk into one of their "temples" and sit down to listen to one of their "Elders" lecture. They won't let you. This is a free country and we are all able to "worship" as we like, but do not ever tell me this is any kind real World Religion. CULT CULT CULT.

    June 17, 2011 at 10:06 am |
    • susan

      you have got to be kidding me. My husband is Catholic and I am Mormon. I cannot participate in his rites and he cannot participate in mine – just like any other church. And to those of you out there who do not think Mormon's are Christian. Christ is in the name of our church. Before you criticize, you need to investigate your facts.

      June 17, 2011 at 10:22 am |
    • Catherine

      Actually, in response to @Susan, Catholics allow others to participate (as in receiving a blessing) and observe their rites. We have nothing to hide, so we allow others to watch. Mormonism relies on some heavily stretched truth and therefore feels the need to hide things. I

      June 17, 2011 at 10:42 am |
    • Leigh

      Ok, Susan, having grown up in a region of the country where Mormons proliferate, I can tell you clearly that I KNOW what goes on in this cult. DO NOT tell me that Mormons allow anyone in their temple unless that person has been cleared. DO NOT tell me that Catholicism is ANYTHING REMOTELY close to the BS that Joseph Smith spewed out when he got caught by his wife in bed with another woman. YOU do YOUR research, unless you are fully brainwashed, which you might be.

      June 17, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • Stevie7

      @Leigh – Catholics believe that, weekly, they consume actual flesh and blood. A think a lot of non-Christians, at least those that aren't cannibals, would consider that just as weird as anything Joseph Smith said.

      June 17, 2011 at 11:47 am |
    • Truth Sayer

      Wow,
      Clearly you hold a grudge for a reason. It is impossible to convince someone that has closed their mind. I wish you luck adapting to new environs....
      No one knows the day of His coming.

      June 17, 2011 at 11:55 am |
    • Leigh

      @Truth Sayer- You BET I have a grudge. I have a grudge with the Power Machine that is the LDS. They prey on the weak and vulnerable and nothing makes me more angry.

      June 17, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
    • SCMorrell

      However, the worship services held every Sunday are open to anyone who wishes to attend. These are held in LDS chapels, which are different than the temples mentioned here. The temple ceremonies have a lot of things that I don't fully understand yet, but you can get a much better feel for the church doctorine by what is taught in the Sunday services.

      June 17, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • TheyNotHim

      MY fairy tales are better than YOUR fairy tales, so unless you have the secret password, you can't listen...nya nya nya...

      It's very amusing to hear xtian cultists judging other cultists' cults...you people are really something to behold...

      June 17, 2011 at 9:26 pm |
  18. bachmanntwit

    " I'm hot for Jesus "

    – Michelle Bachmann –

    June 17, 2011 at 9:59 am |
  19. Luke

    I wonder if they realize that the musical is a satirization of the religion? In other news, this is apparently the greatest show on Broadway. Just bought tickets yesterday for a show in October – earliest available.

    June 17, 2011 at 9:47 am |
    • Richard Mavers

      Uh, yeah, obviously they know that, that's the point. They're putting up the billboards to counter the message of the play.

      June 17, 2011 at 10:22 am |
    • Stevie7

      I've heard a lot of Mormons who've liked the play. I give credit to anyone, religious or otherwise, who's able to laugh at themselves. It at least shows security and conviction in their beliefs and not the tired old "everyone is disrespecting us, we're under attack" mantra one often hears from many Christians.

      June 17, 2011 at 10:26 am |
    • kdf

      Stevie7... you are so right! I am Mormon and I have a friend who wants to see the show and asked if I would go with her. I am all for it. I think think that anyone who can not laugh at a joke is someone who is trying to make up for a bad decision they made. Relax people! Learn to take a joke and laugh considering the fact that I have heard some of the puns are like "inside" jokes and really only members will get them.

      June 17, 2011 at 10:43 am |
    • Luke

      yeah....isn't satarization blasphemy? Do you not take that seriously? I laugh at myself often. I am just wondering if you are cherry picking religion again?

      June 17, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
    • SCMorrell

      No, Mormons don't beleive in satire, even when it comes from the producers of South Park. I personally am deeply troubled that Kenny dies every week. Or not.

      June 17, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
  20. Reality

    "I am a Mormon" Why?

    The reality of belonging to the Mormon Church:

    "Old time" Mormonism as well as "old time" Catholicism, Islam and Judaism relied and rely on prophets and prophecies for profit/greed.

    Taking the modern view that includes reality and common sense, Mormonism as well as Catholicism, Islam, and Judaism relied and rely on fortune ($$$$$) telling for profit and greed.

    Theologically speaking, these religious fortune tellers require that God (if one even exists) knows the future i.e. if God does not know the future (is not omniscient) then no human knew or knows the future.

    As per the famous contemporary theologian, Edward Schillebeeckx, God (if one exists) is not omniscient. Please read, pause and contemplate the following by Schillebeeckx:

    Church: The Human Story of God,

    Crossroad, 1993, p.91 (softcover)

    "Christians (et al) must give up a perverse, unhealthy and inhuman doctrine of predestination without in so doing making God the great scapegoat of history."

    "Nothing is determined in advance: in nature there is chance and determinism; in the world of human activity there is possibility of free choices.

    Therefore the historical future is not known even to God, otherwise we and our history would be merely a puppet show in which God holds the strings.

    For God, too, history is an adventure, an open history for and of men and women."

    June 17, 2011 at 9:30 am |
    • Jake

      Maybe you should check out mormon.org to see the reality of what being a mormon is.

      June 17, 2011 at 10:28 am |
    • Reality

      Mormonism – A business/religious cult based on Joseph Smith's hallucinations which has bought respectability with a $30 billion business empire, the BYU "mission matured" football team and a great choir.

      To wit with respect to the business empire:

      From: lds-mormon.com/time.shtml

      "The first divergence between Mormon economics and that of other denominations is the t-ithe. Most churches take in the greater part of their income through donations. Very few, however, impose a compulsory 10% income tax on their members. Ti-thes are collected locally, with much of the money pas-sed on informally to local lay leaders at Sunday services. "By Monday," says Elbert Peck, editor of Sunstone, an independent Mormon magazine, the church authorities in Salt Lake City "know every cent that's been collected and have made sure the money is deposited in banks." There is a lot to deposit. Last year $5.2 billion in t-ithes flowed into Salt Lake City, $4.9 billion of which came from American Mormons."

      "The Mormons are stewards of a different str-ipe. Their charitable spending and temple building are prodi-gious. But where other churches spend most of what they receive in a given year, the Latter-day Saints employ vast amounts of money in investments that TIME estimates to be at least $6 billion strong. Even more unusual, most of this money is not in bonds or stock in other peoples' companies but is invested directly in church-owned, for-profit concerns, the largest of which are in agribusiness, media, insurance, travel and real estate. Deseret Management Corp., the company through which the church holds almost all its commercial as-sets, is one of the largest owners of farm and ranchland in the country, including 49 for-profit parcels in addition to the Deseret Ranch. Besides the Bonneville International chain and Beneficial Life, the church owns a 52% holding in ZCMI, Utah's largest department-store chain.

      All told, TIME estimates that the Latter-day Saints farmland and financial investments total some $11 billion, and that the church's nont-ithe income from its investments exceeds $600 million. "

      "Members of the church celebrate the Lord's Supper with water rather than wine or gra-pe juice. They believe their President is a prophet who receives new revelations from God. These can supplant older revelations, as in the case of the church's historically most controversial doctrine: Smith himself received God's sanctioning of pol-ygamy in 1831, but 49 years later, the church's President announced its recision. Similarly, an explicit policy barring black men from holding even the lowest church offices was overturned by a new revelation in 1978, opening the way to huge missionary activity in Africa and Brazil. "

      June 17, 2011 at 11:52 am |
    • SCMorrell

      I don't know Schillebeekx from Aristotle, but I noticed an amaizing parallel between your assertions and those of a character in the Book of Mormon. This can't be terribly contemporary then, because Joseph Smith wrote about it hundreds of hears ago. Admittedly, this character died an ignominious death...

      As for pre-destination, Mormons don't beleive in it the same way that Schillebeekx states it. I would have to consider that, assuming the existence of God, that he has more ability to plan and prepare for events than me or you. And if the end is known from the beginning, there's still a big a difference between knowing history and living it. (Of course, I can't say this is contrary to his views off of just a sound bite)

      It would

      June 17, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
    • Reality

      It is called the Great Angelic Con:

      Joe Smith had his Moroni.

      Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;

      Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around).

      Jesus and his family had Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day dem-on of the de-mented.

      The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

      Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.
      Some added references to "tink-erbells".

      "Latter-day Saints also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."

      Apparently hallu-cinations did not stop with Joe Smith.

      newadvent.org/cathen/07049c.htm
      "The belief in guardian angels can be traced throughout all antiquity; pagans, like Menander and Plutarch (cf. Euseb., "Praep. Evang.", xii), and Neo-Platonists, like Plotinus, held it. It was also the belief of the Babylonians and As-syrians, as their monuments testify, for a figure of a guardian angel now in the British Museum once decorated an As-syrian palace, and might well serve for a modern representation; while Nabopolassar, father of Nebuchadnezzar the Great, says: "He (Marduk) sent a tutelary deity (cherub) of grace to go at my side; in everything that I did, he made my work to succeed."

      Catholic monks and Dark Age theologians also did their share of hallu-cinating:

      "TUBUAS-A member of the group of angels who were removed from the ranks of officially recognized celestial hierarchy in 745 by a council in Rome under Pope Zachary. He was joined by Uriel, Adimus, Sabaoth, Simiel, and Raguel."

      And tin-ker- bells go way, way back:
      "In Zoroastrianism there are different angel like creatures. For example each person has a guardian angel called Fravashi. They patronize human being and other creatures and also manifest god’s energy. Also, the Amesha Spentas have often been regarded as angels, but they don't convey messages, but are rather emanations of Ahura Mazda ("Wise Lord", God); they appear in an abstract fashion in the religious thought of Zarathustra and then later (during the Achaemenid period of Zoroastrianism) became personalized, associated with an aspect of the divine creation (fire, plants, water...)."

      "The beginnings of the biblical belief in angels must be sought in very early folklore. The gods of the Hitti-tes and Canaanites had their supernatural messengers, and parallels to the Old Testament stories of angels are found in Near Eastern literature. "

      "The 'Magic Papyri' contain many spells to secure just such help and protection of angels. From magic traditions arose the concept of the guardian angel.

      June 17, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.