Friday, January 4, 2013

the book is always better

I'm sure many of you have heard of "The Book of Mormon."  No, not this one (although it is awesome)...

This is the one I'm speaking of:

Yes, The Book of Mormon: The Musical.  It has caused mixed feeling among members of my faith.  I know of people who are completely offended by this new show.  They think it is completely desecrating the LDS faith.  They believe this show is ripping apart the very book they love so dearly. 

Being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and a lover of musical theatre, I've researched this musical extensively.  This musical is quite humorous, however I would not consider it a work of art.  It's a fun, lighthearted, satire piece.  Nothing really to "write home about" in my humble opinion.  However, it is apparent the writers of the musical know there is something special about us "Mormons."  They extensively read the Book of Mormon, went to church historical sites and did lots of history research into our church.  There are even little jokes in the musical referring to "quit being such a Lemuel" and things only members of the church would understand.  However, this musical does present some false doctrine.  For example, the young elder who is constantly making up and misusing scriptures.  The statement that God's plan involves everyone getting their own planet.  The statement that Mormons just believe.  These can be seen as horrific and terrible mockery and blasphemy.  I disagree.

We live in a culture where nearly all publicity is good publicity.  While this musical does put Mormonism in a skewed and satirical light, it also peaks peoples interest.  I flew back east to New York City about two years ago to perform with the National Honors Choir at Carnegie Hall.  It was an amazing experience, not only because I got to sing at Carnegie Hall, but because of all of the people I met.  There were 80 chosen from the 10,000 that auditioned for the program.  And, shocker, there was only one other LDS singer selected.  Between the 12 hours a day of rehearsals, there was little sight-seeing accomplished.  I was able to go to the "Top of the Rock," shop on 5th Avenue, eat over in the Hell's Kitchen district and see two amazing Broadway musicals.  Not to mention, our rehearsal space was in Times Square, so we were constantly walking around there each day.  A few performers, in their spare time, saw The Book of Mormon as at that time it was still in previews and had not yet premiered.  I had so many of those singers asking me about the gospel and what Mormonism was all about after they had seen the musical.  While there were some misrepresentations in the show, it got people intrigued to explore the church and learn more about the gospel.

I know some of you members of the  church are reading this thinking, "What a heathen!  Any bad things said about the LDS church are obviously horrible and need to be stopped!!!"  I say you're entitled to your opinion.  However, do you want to know who agrees with me?  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Once the Book of Mormon Musical began it's tour this year and continued on Broadway, the church took the opportunity to make some great publicity by doing this....

I love that the church did this!  I think it shows that the Church is evolving with the times.  Church leaders understand that while this is a satire piece poking fun at many different religions, including the LDS church, there is always a way to turn anything potential harmful into a positive tool to promote the church.

*In no way am I promoting that you run out and go see this musical.  Quite honestly, I really do not enjoy it.  However, I think it is amazing that the LDS church has decided rather than be upset about this musical and it's inappropriate at times content, it is celebrating the fact that this musical gets people interested in our religion.  In my humble opinion, only good can come from others discovering how awesome the church is.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for coming to my little corner of the blog world. I love you already!