Hey. If you haven’t seen it yet….a new Mormon.org PR campaign is upon us…and all I can say is…”Wow.”
An “independently minded wom[a]n”. A priesthood-holding black man in an interracial marriage. Working moms (too many to link to here in one sentence). An apparently non-garment-wearing skateboarding photographer of partially naked women who claims that God wants us all to be individualistic and not robots or chess pieces.
Seriously. So……awesome. This is a brand of Mormonism I can stand squarely behind.
Don’t get me wrong. I THRILL at this campaign. I’m just trying to figure out why it feels a bit odd to me…as a lifelong, active Mormon. It very well could be my bad attitude. I’m open to that.
Or maybe…just maybe….it’s because of the messages I received growing up in sunday school, seminary, general conference, etc…..about women “maintaining their place“, and staying home and not working….about blacks being less valiant….about interracial marriage being dangerous…. of faith in the Lord requiring “exact obedience“, etc., etc., etc.
I guess I took the whole “prophet, seer and revelator” thing a bit too seriously/literally….and I guess I’m feeling a little bit like a “bait and switch” is happening under my nose. A wonderful bait and switch…I might add….but a bait and switch nonetheless.
So active LDS readers…what think ye? Let’s say that a young, hip, progressive, yuppy, affluent, intellectual, artistic, and most likely pro-gay couple decides to join the church in an average LDS ward. Will their experience in the church, today, reflect the open, progressive, liberal, almost artsy sentiments and values reflected in this marketing campaign? Will they stay? Or will they feel that a bit of a “bait and switch” has happened to them as well?
Here’s my hope…that the members and leaders of the LDS church will see and internalize the values and sentiments reflected in these videos.…not just the investigators. When that happens….I will once again reconsider my covenants of full obedience and consecration. Seriously. Right now, partial consecration is the best I can muster…but THIS is a church (i.e. the one depicted in the PR campaign) that I would literally bleed and die for.
Consequently, I will rejoice at this marketing campaign. I choose to see it as aspirational on the part of top church leadership — regarding their vision for what our culture and curriculum someday might become.
May it be so. Dear God…may it be so.
P.S. I couldn’t find a gay person or heretic yet in these ads. My guess is that those didn’t test very well in the market research. But here’s to the Mormon.org 2020 campaign!!!!!