Mormons steal a page from ‘Book of Mormon’ popularity

TORONTO — Liked the show? You should try reading the book. That’s the message the Church of Jesus Christ of … Continued

TORONTO — Liked the show? You should try reading the book.

That’s the message the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is sending in three full-page advertisements in the playbill of the stage musical “The Book of Mormon.”

The hit show, already sold out for its run at Toronto’s Princess of Wales Theatre from April 30 through June 9, was co-written by “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, along with Robert Lopez, who also helped write the similarly irreverent “Avenue Q.”

The occasionally blasphemous musical, which won the Tony Award for best musical in 2011, follows two hapless Mormon missionaries who are dropped into a remote village in Uganda to evangelize the locals.

The Mormon church, which had no involvement in the show’s creation, bought ads in the upcoming Toronto production’s program. The ads include a link to the church’s website, thebookofmormon.org, and a QR code that connects smartphone users to more online information.

“The book is always better,” reads one of the ads.

“You’ve seen the play . . . now read the book,” says another.

Sandra Pallin, a spokeswoman for the church in Canada, told the Toronto Star that most people who see the musical understand they are not seeing an accurate portrayal of Mormon belief, much less a realistic depiction of the Mormons’ sacred text.

“The playbill advertisements are really just a way of inviting people that want to know more, showing them where they can get that information … that there is accurate information available at these different resources, and those are provided in the playbill,” said Pallin.

While the church bought billboards in Time Square to capitalize on the show’s popularity, the church has taken a mostly passive approach to the satirical musical.

“The production may attempt to entertain audiences for an evening,” a church statement said in February 2011, “but the Book of Mormon as a volume of scripture will change people’s lives forever by bringing them closer to Christ.”

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Religion News Service LLC.

More on:
  • getreal30

    Accept the initation o read The Book of Mormon. Whether you believe it is from God or to, you’ll be better for it.

  • mdlong09

    I DID read the Book of Mormon, and it DID change my life as well as my family’s life forever. I continually go to the book for solace as well as the Bible. I am grateful God loves us so much to give us light and knowledge in this troubled world. Thanks God!

  • dhrogers1

    The headlline is interesting: “Mormons steal a page from ‘Book of Mormon’ popularity.

    It seems to me that the play stole from the Book of Mormons and satirized it. I would say that the Mormons are taking back what is already theirs by inviting people to find out what the real Book of Mormon is all about.

Read More Articles

shutterstock_53190298
Fundamentalist Arguments Against Fundamentalism

The all-or-nothing approach to the Bible used by skeptics and fundamentalists alike is flawed.

shutterstock_186795503
The Three Most Surprising Things Jesus Said

Think you know Jesus? Some of his sayings may surprise you.

shutterstock_185995553
How to Debate Christians: Five Ways to Behave and Ten Questions to Answer

Advice for atheists taking on Christian critics.

HIFR
Heaven Hits the Big Screen

How “Heaven is for Real” went from being an unsellable idea to a bestselling book and the inspiration for a Hollywood movie.

shutterstock_186364295
This God’s For You: Jesus and the Good News of Beer

How Jesus partied with a purpose.

emptytomb
God’s Not Dead? Why the Good News Is Better than That

The resurrection of Jesus is not a matter of private faith — it’s a proclamation for the whole world.

noplaceonearth
An Untold Story of Bondage to Freedom: Passover 1943

How a foxhole that led to a 77-mile cave system saved the lives of 38 Ukrainian Jews during the Holocaust.

shutterstock_148333673
Friend or Foe? Learning from Judas About Friendship with Jesus

We call Judas a betrayer. Jesus called him “friend.”

egg.jpg
Jesus, Bunnies, and Colored Eggs: An Explanation of Holy Week and Easter

So, Easter is a one-day celebration of Jesus rising from the dead and turning into a bunny, right? Not exactly.

SONY DSC
Dear Evangelicals, Please Reconsider Your Fight Against Gay Rights

A journalist and longtime observer of American religious culture offers some advice to his evangelical friends.