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Readers' forum: The Book of Mormon musical

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  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    June 13, 2011 8:21 p.m.

    Janice, you probably shouldn't go see it.

  • Techraan HERRIMAN, UT
    June 13, 2011 9:12 p.m.

    Ok, there's no way I could recommend this musical to any practicing Latter-Day Saint after listening to the music in it. However, I would like to submit the following, and I do not believe I'm in apostasy for saying it.
    Non LDS people who see The Book of Mormon Musical will probably leave asking the right questions about the LDS church. Let me explain why.
    The musical teaches that LDS Missionaries unsympathetically going about preaching the gospel with no regard for whether people in their area have food, shelter, or clean water. Questions of the LDS church such as these create an amazing missionary opportunity! Obviously most people have no idea how much in the way of humanitarian aid the LDS church renders to the World every year. The LDS church feeds, clothes, shelters, and provides medical care to countless people.
    Tray Parker and Matt Stone who created this musical have also made it known that they don't hate Mormons. Obviously they enjoy making fun of Mormons, and they do so with very foul language. Let's all remember the old adage, "There's no such thing as bad Press".

  • TiffinyKaye Washington Terrace, Utah
    June 13, 2011 9:14 p.m.

    There really isn't anything out there written that says, "You shouldn't say the f-word" in Christian theology. It's really all about taking the Lord's name in vain. Is it written anywhere that Joseph Smith never said the f-word? I have't hard...so I'm not sure on that one.

    If you haven't you ever laughed at Achmed the Dead Terrorist (a creation of ventriloquist/comedian Jeff Dunham)...then I think you have a case. If you have...then oh well. There are just some funny things about Mormons that can be made fun of in a light-hearted way...even though it can be offensive to poke fun at one's earnestly-held beliefs. I mean...I grew up Mormon (no longer am one)...and even I can admit it's kind of funny to the outside world to believe that God and Jesus each have their own planets... Even if you believe it, to an outsider, you have to admit that would sound pretty weird!

  • cymrul West Valley City, UT
    June 13, 2011 11:03 p.m.

    Guess we know what topic will be beaten to death in the "Voices" section of the DN. Second story in 2 days, all you'll get is a rehashing of comments. I'm already sick of this story. Let's find something new.

  • Jeffrey Wilbur Eagle Mountain, UT
    June 14, 2011 1:57 a.m.

    If you can't laugh at yourself, don't worry; others will be more than happy to do it for you.

  • JustGordon Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 14, 2011 4:45 a.m.

    Obviously we need to clean up the Great White Way! What has American become? Entertaining? Next I suppose we will propose banning the f-word and all others that anyone objects to in all places public and private!!

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    June 14, 2011 6:25 a.m.

    Lighten up for crying out loud, or at the least, grow a thicker skin.

  • Arm of Orion Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 14, 2011 7:16 a.m.

    Tiff a couple of corrections the f-word did not show up until around the time of WWII so no Joseph never said the f-word. As far as the planets thing you are wrong again. There is no reason to believe that God merely rules over a single planet. I would believe the entire universe is more accurate.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    June 14, 2011 7:19 a.m.

    Time for a song!

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    June 14, 2011 8:04 a.m.

    And when Star Wars becomes a Broadway musical it will also offend Star Wars fans.

    The world is an infinitely bigger place than the sphere of Mormon influence. Please get used to that simple fact of life.

  • Grover Salt Lake City, UT
    June 14, 2011 8:29 a.m.

    If there is a religion in the world that doesn't have beliefs that considered in the light of day are not at least slightly weird, I haven't heard of it. Catholics and Virgin Birth, Jews and dietary laws, Mormons and Kolob, Hindus and cows and on and on and on. How predictable that Mormons react to the attention brought by this musical. Every religion "condemns" such shows and succeeds in increasing the buzz and the profits for the people who produced it. Keep your heads down and as always "this too shall pass".

  • Easton Ellsworth DENVER, CO
    June 14, 2011 8:40 a.m.

    We should show Janice more respect than what she is getting in many of these comments. She has written some of the most influential songs in the Church, songs many of us grew up singing. This woman has been a conduit for millions to feel the power of God and choose better paths.

    There is a line we each must draw - a line beyond which lie all sources of entertainment and information that we will oppose. Janice has clearly drawn that line for herself.

    For some, this musical may fall on the other side of their line, where they place the things they accept as virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy enough to seek after - see Article of Faith 13. We should take great care when evaluating the line-placing of others.

    There is a complex mixture of truth and error in this wildly popular show. All things work together for good to them that love God - see Romans 8:28. As the years pass, thousands of personal conversion stories will develop that begin like, so I went to see that Book of Mormon musical, and it got me wondering.

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    June 14, 2011 9:11 a.m.

    @ Arm of Orion: Actually, the f-word first showed up in a Scottish poem from 1503.

  • Brother Chuck Schroeder A Tropical Paradise USA, FL
    June 14, 2011 9:19 a.m.

    Jusr because the word's "The Book of Mormon" were used, some DN Moderators start a feeding frenzy to block most all posts, but, not this time. I agree with Janice K. Perry. Here's "MY REVIEW". By now you've all heard of the The Book of Mormon Broadway Musical, created by the makers of the vulgar comedy show South Park in collaboration with one of the people behind the obscene Puppet Broadway show Avenue Q. I'm here to tell you that these plaudits are a load of tripe. The Book of Mormon Broadway Musical is pure garbage. The fact that so many people, including members of the church, have given it such glowing reviews simply manifests how desensitized these people are to vulgarity and blasphemy, and how far their hearts are from God. It's not just the extremely offensive language. Even disregarding the vulgarity, the only way I can think to describe the message of the music is Anti-Christ. There is absolutely nothing uplifting, edifying, or virtuous to be gleaned. And while some of the music is catchy and happy-sounding, it is merely a colorful envelope with which the spiritual anthrax is delivered to it's victims, the audience.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    June 14, 2011 9:21 a.m.

    Anything that brings attention to a religion is probably actually a good thing. It generates curiosity and helps to plant seeds.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    June 14, 2011 9:41 a.m.

    Actually, the unfortunately ubiquitous word that begins with "f" is one of the oldest words in the English language, basic to the ancient Anglo-Saxon vocabulary and derived from an Indo-European root even more ancient than English. I do not use it myself and discourage others from using it, but it's certain not a modern invention.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    June 14, 2011 10:38 a.m.

    CI: "But I am curous if it would still be funny if a religous group made a satire about secular quirks (as if a big bang does not sound as far fetched as a messiah)"

    Testable, frequently verified evidence for the Big Bang is abundant and constantly increasing. Plus, you don't need "faith" to understand that the evidence offers strong proofs of the accuracy of the Big Bang as a model explaining the origin of the universe.

    I'd love to see religious beliefs undergo similar objective evaluation.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    June 14, 2011 11:01 a.m.

    Being offened so easily reminds me of Muslim extremeists taking offense about cartoons of Mohammed.

    Besides - I see no differnece between a couple Non-Mormons making a fictional musical play about the "Book of Mormon" and Mormon Chris Heimerdinger making up his fictional "Tennis Shoes Among the Nephites" series.

    One must use the same gauge in order to rule.

    It's call exploitation -- and the bottom line is all about making $$$

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    June 14, 2011 12:19 p.m.

    @LDS Liberal 11:01

    You said - "Being offened so easily reminds me of Muslim extremeists taking offense about cartoons of Mohammed."

    With all due respect, this comparison is totally without merit for the simple fact no devout Mormon I'm aware of has perpetuated any violence against the musical creators or producers, nor against anyone who has seen the show. In fact, I wonder, was there a single picket sign at the Tony Awards on Sunday?

    Saying you're offended is much, much different than using violence to prove your point.

    ---

    What I find amusing is, critics of the LDS Church often talk about how Mormonism is becoming irrelevant. They claim Mormon leaders and members are living in some odd dimension while the rest of the world progressing onward and upward.

    My question to the critics is, if Mormonism is so irrelevant, why do people continue to talk about us, ridicule us and make musical satires about us?

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    June 14, 2011 12:30 p.m.

    ClarkHippo | 12:19 p.m. June 14, 2011
    Tooele, UT

    My question to Mormons who are offend is, Why?

    If it is true [as I believe it to be] who cares?

    It's like wearing a shirt on backwards. If it doesn't bother you, and you are more comfortable wearing that way - why should you care what other people say or think? It perfectly legal to wear your shirt on backwards.
    Are you going to change your opinion about how you "feel" simple because of the what other people say or think about you?

    If so - then you are "cultural" Mormon and wouldn't survive a day outside of the Utah bubble.

    It like being a Mormon for all the wrong reasons.

  • mormonmama West Jordan, UT
    June 14, 2011 12:44 p.m.

    Well said, Janice. Thank you!

  • DSB Cedar Hills, UT
    June 14, 2011 1:22 p.m.

    To LDS Lib - I find it rather ironic that you, of all people, would call out others for being offended, when your posts clearly show that you are offended on a daily basis by your LDS brothers and sisters for just being normal people with imperfections, idiosyncrasies, and interpretations of scripture that are very similar to others outside of the "Utah bubble," as you call it in order to disparage our culture and show the offense you've taken.

    I guess as long as it's you who's defining the acceptable offenses, you can be secure in your own bubble of enlightenment.

    As for me, I am offended by that which I believe makes a mockery of sacred things. I can draw my own conclusion as to whether the BOMM fits that description for me. I don't worry too much if that draws your ridicule, or if in your enlightened state you deem me to be equal to a violent Talibanist for merely holding an opinion.

  • no fit in SG St.George, Utah
    June 14, 2011 2:25 p.m.

    Whew, a vacation from all of this Mormon stuff for the weekend. Pretty darn refreshing!

  • RAB Bountiful, UT
    June 14, 2011 2:43 p.m.

    People who use profanity in the public arena could not care less about other human beings. People should be encouraged to speak out against them. These people giddily shun and look down on those who dare to be sensitive to their vulgarity as if the offended are the inferior element of society. The creators of the play are no different than the jerks who play loud music all night in residential neighborhoods, cut you off in traffic, drive slow in the fast lane, tailgate in the slow lane, smoke in public places, butt ahead of you in line, chatter during movies, or let one go in a crowded elevator.

    Such behavior used to be confined to the mentally disabled or the socially inept, but the unthinking masses now swarm over these people as they would sideshows at a circus. They are enamored by their ability to thrive in society in spite of their total disregard for the sensitivities of others. The creators of the play choose to publicly belittle an entire country, disparage a major world religion. How do we react to this? We rain awards down on them. Amazing.

  • DSB Cedar Hills, UT
    June 14, 2011 3:50 p.m.

    To RAB - I only regret that I have but one Recommend to give for your comment at 2:43.

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    June 14, 2011 4:28 p.m.

    @LDS Liberal 12:30

    I forgot, only the left has a constitutional right not be offended.

    When the South Park guys did a show about the Church of Scientology, it was briefly pulled by Comedy Central, and the late Issac Hayes, a Scientologist, who did the voice of Chef, quit the show. Apparetly, South Park wasn't offensive until he was offended.

    When the movie "Team America" came out, actor Sean Penn demanded the film be pulled for making fun of him and other liberal activist celebrities.

    After actor Isiah Washington made some tongue-and-cheek comments to a gay co-star on the show Grey's Anatomy, he was fired and had to issue public apology after public apology.

    And the list goes on and on.

  • cymrul West Valley City, UT
    June 14, 2011 4:30 p.m.

    RAB I find many thing that are said and done in the name of Christ and or righteousness to be more offensive than the words people use. It has been said that actions speak louder than words. And in the past, many who have claimed to speak for and or to God were locked up in asylums, tortured and killed. How do we react to these same type of claims today? We award them with riches, fancy houses and worship them the way we ought to do the Savior. We put them on pedistals and say that they can do no wrong because they claim authority form God. To me, these people are far more offensive and dangerous to society than a musical.

  • Heidi71 Kearns, UT
    June 14, 2011 4:43 p.m.

    Bro. Chuck, I totally agree with you for once. Well said.

    Mormons do laugh at themselves. They are quite aware that some of our lifestyle and catchphrases, etc. are amusing. Halestorm Entertainment is a prime example.

    But like the letter writer penned, this musical is the most obscene and vulgar play to be on Broadway. And people spend upwards of over $1000 to see it.

    The South Park guys may have a fondness for Mormons--or maybe an obsession. They also gave us "OrgazMo."

    The recent issue of Newsweek about Mormons has its cover featuring a geeky guy with white socks caught in a happy jump is part of the poster for this particular broadway musical. Mitt Romney's face is pasted on the happy geeky guy's body. Thanks to the musical, that may be the icon for Mormons for a while.

    Techraan made an excellent point that there's no such thing as bad press. It's interesting that the show is so popular. It could spark some good discussions.

  • HappyLDSUte PROVO, UT
    June 14, 2011 5:29 p.m.

    @ Grover
    I'm almost positive that if you asked a Jew what he believed, he or she would not state that his theology was about diet. I'm almost positive if you asked a Hindu, he or she would not start off with cows. The problem with this musical is that they portray things like Kolob as main core theology for the LDS church, which is not the case. Look at the LDS 13 articles of Faith, and Kolob isn't even mentioned, directly or indirectly. As for being not being offended, go serve in the military for two years and I will make a musical with biased, ill-portrayed, insensitive, inaccurate, off-color representations of what you did and why, and I guarantee that you will be offended. Now go ahead and tell me how I'm completely wrong and what I actually believe, because I apparently don't know.

  • Brother Chuck Schroeder A Tropical Paradise USA, FL
    June 14, 2011 8:05 p.m.

    Re: Heidi71 - 4:43 p.m. June 14, 2011
    Kearns, UT
    Bro. Chuck, I totally agree with you for once. Well said.

    Mormons do laugh at themselves. They are quite aware that some of our lifestyle and catchphrases, etc. are amusing. Halestorm Entertainment is a prime example.

    Reply: Why thank you very much, I'll now take my bow, just for you.

    Seeing all the other's in here missed it, my post went right over their heads, and proves once again, where they heads really at.

    I tell it like it is, because, no one in Utah will.

    Thanks again.

    I'm glad YOU liked "my truthful views."

  • greg6996 STONE MOUNTAIN, GA
    June 14, 2011 9:18 p.m.

    I know my faith is strong enough to take some humor, even if the language is a little spicy.

    Being LDS in the south you grow a thick skin. I'll bet Joseph Smith is grateful for the new investigators this may bring. Y'all be cool now.

  • WestGranger West Valley City, Utah
    June 14, 2011 11:32 p.m.

    This musical is over the top. Not everybody likes South Park because of its foul language, crudeness and sacrilege even though you could say it is funny. It appeals to the baser instincts. Not everyone will like the Book of Mormon musical because in the same way, it is foul, and though funny and lacks respect for what is sacred to others. These people are clever and will do anything for laugh. At least there is from the authors an underlying begrudgingly acknowledged recognition of the goodness of Mormonism, despite the absolute silliness of it's actual beliefs.

  • Bountiful Boy ALEXANDRIA, VA
    June 15, 2011 4:29 a.m.

    What is the whole point of the musical, "The Book of Mormon" ?? Despite the vulgarity, the show is about how Mormon missionaries bring hope to people who live painful, desperate lives. The missionaries learn to love these people with all their hearts, and because of this, the people begin to lead better lives than they would have without having met the missionaries. For people with heart, "The Book of Mormon" is a heartwarming experience. We can all feel thankful that this show will have a long, successful, influential run.

  • Gr8Dane Tremonton, UT
    June 15, 2011 9:32 a.m.

    The reason this offensive musical received so many "Tony" awards was political payback to the LDS Church for its stance on Proposition 8 and opposing Gay Marriage. Anyone who can't see that is a fool. I'd dare say 60-70% of the cast and crew are gay; several disaffected mormons in the cast. Like most Broadway and professioanl theatre community. I enjoy a good LDS joke about our subculture and have good sense of humor. But this crosses the line in unprecedented and offensive ways. I wonder if Parker and Stone read any of the Book of Mormon themselves, particularly the part about Lehi's Dream and the "Grand and Spacious Building" where people pointed and mocked at those trying to follow the straight and narrow way? They're fulfilling prophecy whether they realize it or not. I don't hate them, and am not angry with them. Just feel sorry for them for being so deluded and misinformed about LDS doctrine.

  • eagle651 Chino Valley, AZ
    June 15, 2011 11:32 a.m.

    There will always be the Parks an Stone people in this world

    Sadly there is no god going to tell the entertainment {secular] industry what they can say. That would interfere with their vane show business awards.

    There is another award in the future for them and us, called the 'Book of Life' maybe they can win that one also.

    Their musical is actually directed at Jesus, maybe they did not see it that way.

    My Prayer's go out to them

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    June 15, 2011 3:08 p.m.

    Of course the play is offensive. It was intended to be offensive. Not just to Mormons, but to religious people, in general. The authors just picked us as the subjects of their parody because it's less dangerous and more politically correct than picking on other religious groups. They've admitted as much in interviews hawking their tickets.

    I refuse to be offended, however. I'm content to let the proponents of this pornography take the matter up with their Lord and Savior, when the time comes.

    I simply refuse to look this gift horse in the mouth.

    Every conversation that starts with, "Is what I saw in the play true?" will end with an opportunity to explain the Gospel of Peace to another brother or sister.

  • coltakashi Richland, WA
    June 15, 2011 8:51 p.m.

    The people in New York who LIKE the Book of Mormon Musical talk about how not just the dial;ogue but the story it tells include obscene depictions of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. It also does a hatchet job on Ugandans, depicting them in the most depraved possible light. It would be like depicting all Americans as bikers with tattoos.

    The BOMM falls into an old american entertainment tradition, the minstrel show, in which white folks (and some black people) painted themselves to look black, and performed songs and comedy sketches to entertain white audiences with a depiction of blacks as simple, unintelligent but spiritual folks. It did not make white people mad at blacks, but invited them to be condescending. And that is exactly what the BOMM invites New York audiences to do: To see the Mormons as people they can condescend to. Not as people who are just as intelligent and educated and achieving as they are, who deserve respect for their intelligent choice of religious beliefs and their good lives. Minstrel shows were compatible with racial segregation, and the BOMM is not going to persuade its audience to open doors to Mormons.

  • coltakashi Richland, WA
    June 15, 2011 9:04 p.m.

    Distortions about Mormons have been made in entertainment media for over a century, from Zane Gray's "Riders of the Purple Sage" to the first Sherlock Holmes story, "A Study in Scarlet", to the earlier Broadway Musical, "Paint Your Wagon", in which a Mormon sells one of his extra wives to a couple of miners, who both marry her. Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood were the miners in the movie version. When it was being shown in Japan, a couple of missionaries I knew went to it with an investigator, who observed "Yahari, chigaimasu, ne!" (This sure isn't true, is it!) People who don't know the difference between reality TV and REALITY are beyond help, but anyone who is grounded in reality may be able to recognize the difference between fictional and real Mormons--including real Ugandan Mormons. Would it be too much to ask the New York Times to have a correspondent actually visit with Mormon Ugandans and contrast the reality with the scatological depiction?

  • Mike W Syracuse, UT
    June 16, 2011 11:29 a.m.

    We're worried about "distortions about Mormons" from this Broadway production when the church themselves have distorted or buried all sorts of skeletons in their closet???

  • Spencer L. Jensen American Fork, Utah
    June 17, 2011 10:40 a.m.

    Exactly. We are the one and only most relevant church on the face of the earth. The makers of this play have the whole "tell the whole world about us" part down pat. If only they they had made a more accurate depiction of our beliefs.