I think it was Gordon B. Hinckley that said -- there is no such thing as bad publicity for the Church, or something like that. Anyway, if you weren't a believer of such a philosophy before -- you will be now!
Literally on the heels of the pre-opening to The Mormon Musical, the LDS Church is taking full advantage of the publicity that such a production will undoubtedly elicit. Coincidence? I think not!
Last week the LDS Newsroom published this wonderful report about what The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is doing in Africa:
“Africa has been held in reserve by the Lord,” Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said in an October 2010 visit to Burundi. “Africa will someday be seen as a bright land full of gospel hope and happiness.”
Africa is one of the fastest growing areas of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with some 320,000 members, the majority of whom have joined the Church over the past 30 years. They have found that hope and happiness spoken of by Elder Holland by embracing the teachings of Jesus Christ.
You might also enjoy reading this beautiful LDS Newsroom report about Elizabeth Njeri Kang’ethe, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who happens to be a journalist.
I love Mormon Helping Hands! I have the blessing of being actively involved in the organization of this project in my own Stake. It's great to find that these large scale community service projects are active throughout Africa...The Church’s worldwide humanitarian efforts have helped in many parts of Africa, from trying to stop hunger in children to building community clean water systems. African governments have readily acknowledged the Church’s work through Mormon Helping Hands. Often people of other faiths join in volunteering as well to complete these community service projects. Elizabeth recounts the positive experience with the Mormon Helping Hands day of service in her community.
LDS Church Growth in Africa -- Mormon Helping Hands
Since the first branch was organized in Africa in 1853, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has spread over the continent. Now with more than 260,000 members, 46 stakes, and three temples, the Church reaches from the southern tip of South Africa north to Morocco and east to Madagascar. On Saturday October 27th 2007, members of the church across Africa joined together for a continent-wide single day service.
Wearing the familiar Mormon Helping Hands vests, members served in ways ranging from cleaning streets to painting schools. Their efforts were appreciated by community leaders. The benefits of the many projects were felt by those in the communities across Africa, but the greatest rewards were for those who served.
This is clear evidence how the Lord can take a seemingly negative event, that most would consider bad publicity for the Church, and turn it to something positive; an opportunity to teach. I've been pretty impressed how the LDS Church has been taking more and more of these kinds of "situations" over the last few years -- and turning them around, with the help of Social Media.
Interesting also, is being able to see this same pattern in our personal lives. Things that can initially seem devastating -- when looked back upon, we find much reason to be thankful for the experience. Not that we would necessarily chose it again, but what we have learned then becomes priceless!
Won't you join me by helping to share some of these great links with others...
Prepare to Be Offended -- The Book of Mormon Musical
Links to Everything Mormon in Africa!