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.
About this blog
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.
thats because for all extensive purposes science has been able to detach itself from bs metaphysics.
My mother is Mormon and was getting married. I wasn't allowed in the Mormon Temple because I wasn't Mormon and was deemed "unclean" by the Mormons.
So, the Mormons didn't allow me to witness my mother's wedding because they, the Mormons, deemed me unclean.
Can someone please explain why I can enter all other churches with open arms while the Mormons deeemed me unclean and would not allow me to go inside their church to see my mothers wedding?
Just wondering...can't wait to see the way they explain this one off!
Not even all Mormons are allowed into Temples, only those who are living in righteous ways that mirror the Savior's example and meet the requirements to enter the Temple. As the Temple is viewed as being 'The House of the Lord' here on earth it's completely necessary to reverence and respect that Holy House.
All comers are welcome to attend Sunday worship services in Chapels around the world.
@Johnny Truimph- This is the kind of ABSURD DOGMATIC CR*P that makes me want to scream. I grew up in a lovely Episcopal Church that taught that all of God's children were welcome in His house. Unclean???? Who decides that? Do you have a Cleanometer at the door of all your temples???
Sorry Vince! It's hard to be excluded in any sense... been there. The only explanation I can offer is that nobody is supposed to enter the Temple unless they can show a "Temple Recommend" card. You get one of these after you are interviewed by a Mormon minister. In that interview he asks questions like... "are you doing the things that are required to enter a Temple... such as "being honest", "being chaste", "being a nice person... helping others... helping your family etc.. and "do you currently donate at least 10% of what you earn to charity?"
To get to that point... to be able to attend such an interview... you would have previously joined the Mormon Church... by doing pretty much the same things... honest, chaste...etc... and you would have been an active member of the Church... again by simply doing those things... for at least a year. Once you've been a member for a year and can honestly say to the person conducting your interview that you are living "worthily"... you would get a Temple Recommend. As long as you continue to live worthily the recommend would be renewed by interviewing every two years. Pretty simple... certainly not judgemental in anyway... no one would ever say to you... "you are not worthy"... rather they ask you... "are you worthy". If you lied and told them you were doing everything required when in fact you were not... you would still get the Recommend. I've seen instances where someone is attending the temple when I knew they were not lives were not in order... that is between them and the Lord... all the Church does is give you the opportunity to "tell the truth"... it's up to you to do the rest. No one in the world has the right to "deem you unclean" except you and your God. Hope this helps somewhat... I know one thing... if I were the person interviewiing you... I would want you to feel nothing but love and acceptance regardless of how you answered the questions.... nobody is "there"... we are all "in transit".
In my experience, explaining this off won't get rid of the hurt feelings you have experienced. In the end, it's really a complication caused by the Mormon doctrine that marriages are eternal and therefore sacred. Hopefully, if you attend the LDS Sunday workship services that are open to all, you will experience the sort of friendship and fellowship that can make up for this.
Vince, another members only, good ole' boy club. I mean if you don't exclude some people you're not elite right? Have to make sure that the other plebeians have something to aspire to.
No one told you that you were "unclean." that's a lie. It damages your credibility to start your story with a lie.
As an ex-mormon and anti-mormon, you aren't being truthful. You were never considered "unclean" and have no idea where you would get such a notion. Mormons exclude some of their own members from the temple as well. All are welcome at their churches which are known and Wards or branches. While I sound like an apologist, I simply prefer that truth is bashed over lies. Within the temple, mormons covenant that "all knee shall bow and tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ." Why do they hold the Temple sacred and not want just anyone inside? After reading some of these posts, I now understand.
I can't believe some of the strange things people actually think Mormons belief or do that has been posted here. One person stated that gay youth go to re-education camp. What a load of crap.
@Reality Check – Gay youth do go to re-education camp. This is not to say that every person who comes out to his/her family as gay is sent away, but it is not uncommon for this to happen.
You aren't allowed in a lot of places. You aren't even allowed in the CITY of Mecca, because you're "unclean" or however you put it.
Vince, you could very well be just as worthy (or more so) as any Mormon carrying a temple recommend who's allowed to enter one of their holy buildings. The reason you were excluded from your mother's sealing ceremony is rather simple. The ceremony involves wearing the temple attire; all white, a robe, a hat, and a green apron symbolic of the fig leaves worn by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. You would have been rather put off by the whole thing. Without the indoctrination beforehand, you would have been aghast at the process. It's a very unorthodox and strange ceremony from start to finish.
dont say bad things about any church,cos none is perfect
I am a Mormon= I am an Idiot.
At least you got the second part of the equation right
@Joseph Smith: Impostor. The real Joseph Smith would never say that.
All you ever hear about is the negative behind any religion. You also have the former members of a church talking trash because they didn't agree with one of the churchs beliefs which they tell everyone else and give that religion a bad name. Why is it so hard for people in society to stop aand think about what they really know about a religion before they start running there mouth about things they don't fully understand. Mormonism is not a bad religion. I didn't fully agree with some of there beliefs which is the reason I stopped attending but you don't hear me talking trash about them. Think about.
Joseph Smith and tablets of gold on a hillside in New York State (which, conveniently, have never been found), an angel called Moroni (of all moronic names), and weird religious underwear, whimsically referred to as "garmies" by the faithful - and people actually believe in this stuff? Still more excellent reasons why I am an atheist.
My friends in Utah call the Mormon undergarments, "Jesus Jammies". At least they are not as crazy as the Scientologists. Just barely.
I am not a Mormon, because I believe in the Holy Bible. The core beliefs of Mormonism is NOT Biblical. Yes, there are some very nice folks in the Mormon Church, but that does not mean that Mormonism is more than a cult, period.
Let's be honest here: you're an atheist because you're a self-absorbed Tool. Other people's religions have nothing to do with it.
Mavent, so, not believing in supernatural, never dying sky-gods who will make humans live happily ever after they die makes one self-absorbed?
I am not religious because I believe in fact. There are some very nice people who believe in the holy bible, but that does not mean that christianity is anything more than a cult, period.
One would think believing that the entire universe was created just for us is self-absorbed.
Mormons who are actively and purposely practicing would never call sacred undergarments 'garmies'. Sacred things should be treated sacredly.
Basing Atheism on incomplete knowledge of other religions is dangerously ignorant.
@Johnny Triumph- Dangerously ignorant? For whom? Is that some kind of Mormon threat?
So because you have never seen the plates means they are not real? Hum... so you must be one of those see to believe people? This is what we strive so strongly to teach others. Not everything has to be seen with the eye. You must have faith and that is what will help you to believe in something.
Ex-LDS and ex-temple attending and usually considered anti-mormon, but what a lot of garbage is being posted. Mormons don't call garments, "jesus jammies." First off, how ridiculous that you are discussing someone's underwear. Really you want to talk about underwear? Priests and various pastors wear collars and many Christians wear crucifixes and/or crosses to remind them of Jesus. Since you all are freaks and started this discussion I will state so facts so you can get out of the Mormon underwear drawer. Mormon garments have markings on them to remind them of the covenants they made inside the temple. Would any Christian have a problem covenanting to this: "every knee shall bow and tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ?" Well, neither would Mormons. Also, the cut of the garment inhibits immodest dress, so it's a two fold purpose. Now please quit being so creepy and stop playing with other peoples underwear already!!! Gross!!!
@Reality Check – I know they are supposed to prevent wearers from dressing immodestly, however, everytime I see someone sitting down or bending over with their garments hanging out, I cringe. I can't go anywhere in Utah without seeing someone's garments. Difficult to not think about it when it is in my face every single day.
Lavamama, I now live in Georgia. But, with summer here all I see are bra straps and tank tops. Do I "cringe" as you do? Nope, I just ignore it like pretty much everyone else. Boys and young men also have their half their underwear fully exposed. I laugh at the stupidity of the look. You might just learn to lighten up and ignore seeing little pieces of white fabric.
I am not a Mormon, but I have lived out west and met many of them. They are some of the nicest people you'd ever want to meet and are very devoted to their families and their communities. And certainly it cannot be denied that Brigham Young was onto something when he stopped at the Great Salt Lake and said "here it is". The city has flourished and they made something out of a barren desert. Do I agree with all of their beliefs? No, but what is so different about a man finding golden tablets from another man who spoke to a burning bush and got stone tablets from God?
I think the difference would be that at least we have concrete evidence that Joseph Smith existed.
"I am a Mormon"- might want to rethink that after reading the following:
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:
"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. "
So, what's your point? Have you gone to momon.org yet?
Thanks for at least admitting that our Choir is awesome. 🙂
There is no reason to visit that website. The Holy Bible contains a God-breathed letter written by Paul to the Galatians, which gives a very clear warning about groups like the Mormons in chapter 1:8-9. God felt it to be so important, that he had Paul repeat it twice.
@s2kMATTers Very nice scripture. What makes you think we preach a different gospel as taught by Christ and the apostles? Maybe a visit to the website will help you to understand what it is that we believe. I bet you'll learn a lot.
So repeating yourself makes something true?
Religion is fiction.
Religion is fiction.
Once more for the fans.
Religion is fiction.
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.
"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.
If you want to know about Catholics, talk to a Catholic. If you want to know about Jews, talk to a Jew. If you want to know about Mormons, talk to a Mormon – checking out http://www.mormon.org is a good starting point. I can recommend it because I am a Mormon and the information there is solid.
Actually it leaves out the lives the Mormon Church seeks to destroy, the control they wish to exert, and the hate they pander.
The Catholic Church is bad, but at least they try and hide their discrimination, Mormons parade it.
Stop picking on Christian sects, all organized religion is bad. Just because there aren't people left alive to complain about it doesn't mean it's better than Catholicism or Mormonism.
Will are you really that ignorant? That's crazy that they destroy lives yet have their own social services that are there to help its members. The church does not promote hate but instead they promote understanding of others and their choices. Get your facts straight before you start running your mouth. Don't take what you hear on the street to heart. How about you attend the church once and base your statements on that. Visitors welcome!
Actually I wouldn't talk to a Catholic to find out about Catholicism since most people don't know their own faith. I would read. Wanna read D & C 132 and tell me how that doesn't sound like a threat to you? Will polygamy take place in the Celestial Kingdom/Heaven? Can a man be "sealed/married" to more than one wife, in the temple but women cannot? For clarity, let's say a man marries a woman and then she passes away and he remairries. Assuming he was sealed to both, how many wives will he have in the next life assuming all were active and worthy members? Can a wife be sealed to more than one man in the temple? Why not? Why is the Adam/God theory taught as revelation by Brigham Young ignored as if not divine? Why does your Church want to define Marriage considering its own history and governmental interference with their unique definition of marriage which included polygamy and polyandry (many of Joseph Smith's wives were already married to other men?) If Official Declaration 1 was a revelation, why does it begin with To Whom it may concern and why did the church continue to sanction polygamy in secret until 1906? If Polygamy is restored, will the Official Declaration 1 be torn up? Why does the revelation that allowed black men to receive full priesthood begin with "to whom it may concern?" And why did it take until 1978? Why if black men were excluded from the priesthood, were black women not allowed into the temple, remembering that women don't get the priesthood? Why did Joseph Smith give Elijah Abel the priesthood but Brigham Young changed that action banning people with one drop of black blood? Oh wait, Brigham Young was caught "marrying" a woman in Massachusetts that was already married so he deflected against blacks. Oh the list go on.....
I wonder if they have a guy in the Ad wearing the "Mormon Underroos"?
Are you going to make fun of the jewish kippah or a pastor's clerical collar next? Most religions have some sort of religious attire with symbolic meaning. Even many ethnic cultures have special clothes. Do you get on jewish news articles and poke fun at their funny hats, or do you just single out mormons with your hate?
James, why is it a cult? because you don't agree with it? by that definition all religion are cults, which they are, but being a cult is not a bad thing.
A cult for me is a group that doesn't allow anyone into their churches or places of worship. You must first be indoctrinated before attending. Catholics don't do this, Mormons do. That's the difference. Oh and they believe that there is a higher book after the New Testament called the Book of Mormons. It means the other Christians aren't as enlightened as the LDS because they haven't accepted Joseph Smith as a prophet. The more the rest of the Christians find out how different Mormons are, the less they're going to like.
Jaki, anyone can attend regular LDS church meetings. The sign right on the front of the meetinghouses says 'Visitors Welcome.' And no, the Book of Mormon is not more important than the Bible. That is common misunderstanding.
Prop 8 Opponents should put billboards up next to their "I'm a Mormon" ads.
I'm not a Mormon, but many members of my family are. I wish that I could be one of those people who pan the church and some of the crazy things they teach, but I can't. Why, you ask? Because it has helped members of my family who were drug addicts clean up. Because it is giving a member of my family who is dying a slow, painful death a reason to have hope. I think the musical sounds wonderful, because the point they make is that religion is not about all the crazy details of the belief system in place, but whether or not it helps people. I can state unequivocally that the Mormon church, although a little nutty and certainly full of flaws, DOES help people.
Sari, yes the LDS church does do some good to people, but we have to call it what it is, a CULT.
Is that really your logic? Since an organization helped some people you know that its wonderful? Do you think that because some people were helped that means we should just overlook the basic tenets of the Mormon belief? Well, I hate to break the news to you, but a Scientologist can make the same claims you just did and they'd be true – it has helped some people. No one would idiotic enough to claim that any church or synagogue, for that matter, hasn't helped someone. Most probably have, but we have to be OBJECTIVE when we assess an organization ane especially a religion. I know Luciferian Satanists who have been healed from their illnesses and helped with their drug addiction. I know Wiccans whose families have been helped by their coven. Using your logic, both of those organizations would be great because both of them, the Satanists and the Wiccans, helped some people. I hope not everyone is as naive as you!
@James Any faith that one personally disagrees with, especially if they have chosen a faith or denomination for themselves, is usually labeled a "cult". What exactly is it that makes another church/religion a cult by your definition? Is it that they have beliefs other than yours? Then can't they just turn around and put that label back on you since you have beliefs other than theirs?
The Mormons in general are decent people. Some of their beliefs cause problems... I know one woman who was married and her husband was abusive. Since she was "married for eternity" she was expected to just deal with it, and / or change to make him happier to keep their marriage going. She wasn't supported at all, and once she chose to divorce she was pretty much excommunicated.
I would say, however, that most denominations have beliefs that cause negative situations like that to happen.
The Wiccans I've known are more open minded, accepting, caring for the environment and others than a lot of "christians". It amuses me to no end when people declare a group an evil cult just because they don't believe exactly as they do.
I never said it was wonderful. I just said that the VALUE of religion is why I can't condemn it. Even though I think the beliefs are a bit, well, insane.
@MikeyNYC- EXCELLENT way to put it.
Sure the Mormons help people. Let's see, didn't they spend a great deal of money to help gays and lesbians NOT have the right to get married in California?
Pass the Kool Aid! I like me some Joseph Smith orange flavor!
That would be green jell-o salad...duh!
Why can't you delete accidental multiple posts here?
Because you don't have to login to post, so the site doesn't know that you are the person who actually wrote the post after you posted it... as such you can't delete.
for those that get it – no explanation needed
for those that don't – no explanation is possible
I agree. The Mormon Church is full of hate and telling other people how to live their lives. The Mormon Church activily challenges their own gay and lesbian youth and have their own re-education camps to try and make them straight. This so called church spent millions of dollars in California to pass Prop 8 and they will do anything, spend any amount of money to control everything and everyone they can......evil does not even come close to what they are and what they are doing.
for those who get it– medication needed.
for those who don't– medication not needed.
That's a really cute-sie way of glossing over the MONUMENTAL snow job that LDS is doing on the world. This social/"religious" club is spewing out total ABSURDITIES and reasonable people believe it! It is a MACHINE driven by power-hungry men (backed up by power-hungry women) who are essentially making it up as they go along! They meet in secret, decide what new stories they are going to call factual and then proceed to oppress those who aren't strong enough to see what is happening.
"hey meet in secret, decide what new stories they are going to call factual and then proceed to oppress those who aren't strong enough to see what is happening."
That would pretty much describe what happened at the council of Nicea (deciding which stories were factual, and which didn't make the cut) as well as the early Catholic church once it became the state religion of the Roman Empire.
@Stevie7- To compare the Council of Nicea with Joseph Smith's BS is the reason that regular people fear the LDS.
So, just so we're clear – burning bushes = perfectly logical, golden tablets from angels = absurd.
And the council of Nicea selected which books made it into the bible. Please explain how that is ANY different than "decide what new stories they are going to call factual"
The Mormons (LDS) DON'T have reeducation camps for gay youth....that would be fundamentalist Christians. Please stop lying. I am ex-mormon and usually anti-mormon but such a lie is even too much for me.