Prepare to Be Offended -- The Book of Mormon Musical   


As an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I think I have a pretty darn good sense of humor when it comes to being poked at for my "peculiar" beliefs. That being said, I think there are times when people actually mean to cross the line and offend. I think the producers of The Book of Mormon Musical are specifically of this type.

Over the last few months I've been hearing quite a bit of buzz about The Book of Mormon Musical. Perhaps it's because I happen to be "friends" on Facebook with an interesting member of the LDS Church who tends to like to promote the more controversial side of Mormonism. A few weeks ago he was trying to find, in particular, members who were willing to share their feelings about the play. He was also trying to find some pre-launch reviews. I believe he's even planning on flying to New York so he can actually see the play for himself. This with a group of other curious Mormons. Let me just say, that these are members who are basically on the fringe and enjoy being what I consider critical of the Church, but not so much as to get themselves booted out.

The play is expected to debut on Broadway, March 24, 2011. As far as reviews go, there's not much. What we do have is more than enough to let conservative LDS members, as well as all good people of faith, know that they don't want to be spending $150.00 for tickets to a show that they would no doubt get up and walk out on!


"Vogue Magazine called the show "the filthiest, most offensive, and—surprise—sweetest thing you’ll see on Broadway this year, and quite possibly the funniest musical ever. "The New York Post reported that audience members were "sore from laughing so hard" during rehearsals. It praised the score, calling it "tuneful and very funny," and added that "the show has heart. It makes fun of organized religion, but the two Mormons are real people, not caricatures." Wikipedia


After reading the few current reviews for The Book of Mormon Musical, I personally have no desire to see or support those who would purposefully offend to make profit at the expense of my "peculiar" beliefs.

Now, about being "offended"... I'm perfectly aware that to be so, is a choice. So, this Well Behaved Mormon Woman is making a conscience choice to be offended by this play. I invite you to join me whether you are Mormon or not. Some are calling this our "Fiddler on the Roof" moment. Seriously?

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has made an official statement regarding The Book of Mormon Musical:

"The production may attempt to entertain audiences for an evening, but the Book of Mormon as a volume of scripture will change people's lives forever by bringing them closer to Christ.”


I find the statement interesting. The Church has only one concern about this play and that is how The Book of Mormon (the actual volume of scripture) is portrayed and how it could potentially alienate people from reading it. That's huge. Certainly much more important than me being offended, or making our missionaries look stupid, or slandering Joseph Smith, etc... With that understanding I can clearly see why the Church has taken the time to make this brief "official" statement.

Church Statement Regarding The Book of Mormon Musical


To learn more about the Book of Mormon, please watch this brief introduction:




tDMg
Kathryn

The Book of Mormon Musical: Practical Religion for Modern Times?
Africa and Mormon Musical Bandwagon
The Book of Mormon - The Most Correct Book Of Any On Earth

10 comments:

  1. If the musical makes fun of organized religion as well as Mormons, then all religious people should be offended by it. They may have chosen Mormons as the vehicle because it's more politically correct to go after us than it is most other religions, but the truth is, we are just serving as the vehicle to attack everyone who obeys the commandment to gather together as believers.

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  2. I hope that people everywhere will take this opportunity to actually read the Book of Mormon and see the truths contained therein. The purpose of the book is clearly stated in the title page of said book as, "to show unto the remnant of the house of Israel what great things the Lord hath done for their fathers; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off forever—And also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations."

    With such an important purpose, it is no wonder that the statement made by the Church concentrates solely on the reputation of that publication.

    As a people we are used to being offended, and those who choose to will take offense.

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  3. Any member in good standing who would pay money to put themselves in a situation where filthy language is used in connection with the Church, its missionaries, and especially, The Book of Mormon, needs to take a second look at who they really are, and what they really believe. THAT is what offends me the most.

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  4. Thanks for your blog. I know I'll offend some by saying this, but I saw a HS production of Les Mis this last weekend. I'd never seen it so well done so it had never been quite so offensive. Now that I've actually understood the lyrics (good sound system and much talent), I realize I shouldn't have gone. I got on a fb battle over it, too. Not what I meant to have happen, but when it happens, it makes it hard to stand up for what we believe to be right. Thanks for taking a stand.

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  5. Glad to see the Church is giving the show about as much attention as it deserves.

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  6. Anything for a dollar and an offensive poke at religion.... Mainstream Christianity won't decry the musical because it uses Mormons as the local whipping post. Born Again Atheists will praise such dreck as "art" merely because it offends.

    I predict it will make enough of a splash to gain a few Tony nominations, and then will disappear forever. Most reasonable people can tell the difference between entertainment and mockery.

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  7. As Edmund Burke has often been quoted to say, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

    I will do something, even if it's a small and simple thing. I'm not really sure what I can do, however. The Church, in a previous statement called "The Publicity Dilemma" correctly pointed out that by calling for boycotts, etc., it gives the thing boycotted publicity.

    One thing I am sure of, however. With you, I choose to be offended and I choose to not support this hypocrisy of "entertainment" in any way. I choose not to give the story more "legs" or publicity - positive or negative.

    Great post, my friend.

    James Hofheins
    A Hopeful Mormon

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  8. Dear Kathryn,

    Speaking of being offensive to Mormons, consider the following.

    I'm a Latter Day Saint and avid reader of short stories who has come across a recent item that I believe all Mormons should be aware of.

    A short story titled "Blind Faith Thwarted" has appeared on the internet (http://www.booksie.com/other/short_story/lpratt948/blind-faith-thwarted/chapter/1) and, on his blog (http://miroerarts.blogspot.com/), the author states that it was "inspired" by an incident in Rexburg during November 2008, when school children were documented chanting "assassinate Obama".

    I find this story to be a direct affront to the righteous citizens of Rexburg as well as all LDS members. Despite a thinly-veiled attempt not to be prejudiced, given the names, phrases, and terms use in the text, it seems to be a deliberately anti-Mormon work.

    This said, I believe that the author and his opportunistic exploitation of an unfortunate and very isolated incident should be rebuked/censured by all Mormons.

    I am an occasional visitor to a variety of LDS blogs and find myself compelled to “get the word out” regarding this abomination.

    Not sure if this will get any traction but I just had to vent.

    Thanks for listening.

    A. Lewinski
    bayarealds@gmail.com

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  9. Nana, Glad to read your thoughts on "the musical" fiasco. It's definitely going to be interesting to watch what happens. Literally millions of dollars have been invested to create this musical play. Why? What is the point of this show? What message they feel is worth being "sold", and, most importantly...who do they think will be “buying" it? Do THAT many people really want to spend hundreds of dollars to come to New York and then pay $150 per ticket for 3 hours of "filthy-offensive-surprisingly-sweet" bigotry thinly veiled as entertainment? It sounds more like the Vegas Strip than New York’s Broadway. The true irony of a full length musical vilifying Mormonism is that Broadway has a long and honorable tradition of staging shows that strive to tear down stereotypes, promote tolerance, and root for the little guy. So, how does a show actively promoting stereotypes, encouraging bigotry and grossly mocking a minority religious group belong? It doesn’t. Will the theater world not only tolerate, but financially support this kind of entertainment? That’s the hundred million dollar question. Personally, I have a lot more faith in humanity than these producers are banking on.

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