Meet the Mormons

Meet the Mormons, coming to theaters October 2014

I just received an email from my file leader encouraging me to share this, like this, dig this, and watch this “real” movie which will be playing in a movie theater near you, maybe.

In all fairness I have not yet watched this movie, but here are just a few observations and concerns based on the very little I know so far:

The church has gone into the commercial movie business, which from the little I know, can be quite risky.  Movies cost a lot of money to make, and judging by the quality of the trailer, this movie seems to be no exception.  My best guess is that the production and advertizing will cost the church (tithing payers) as much as $20M, maybe more.  I remember Living Scriptures owner Jared Brown bearing his testimony in a ward I was visiting in Layton where he said he lost or might lose $50M with The Swan Princess, which he said was a flop because of its poorly timed opening coinciding with Disney’s Lion King.  Perhaps I’m wrong on the costs, but if this is a real movie, there should be a real accounting so the members can voice their opinion (common consent) on such proposals in the future.

Elder Holland, in the promotional email I received, takes about 4 and half minutes to introduce us to this very “bold” and “unique” new endeavor.  You can see his pitch here.  I find it a bit awkward.  At the end he repeats what seem to be talking points and provides a rallying cry to coordinate member efforts to promote this film, stating that “we should buy out a theater if we can afford it, and that all who can should attend.”

Elder Holland states very clearly that this movie is “not a proselytizing effort.”  This begs the question: why not?  The church is spending a very large sum of money and yet the purpose isn’t to attract converts?  Maybe the church had to agree that missionaries would not stand in front of movie theaters, which would be understandable I suppose.  But would it be wrong to state clearly that the real purpose for the project, despite some commercial, public, limitations, is to share the gospel?  Is this not what churches do?  Shouldn’t preaching the gospel be the objective?  Especially when the clarion call from leaders today has been to “Hasten the work!”

I also find it really strange that Elder Holland promotes that the church is “not doing this to make money” and that “all proceeds will go to charity.”  The charity of choice for the church apparently is the American Red Cross.  Wait, I thought the church was a charity?  Why would we want to give the money to a different charity, run by people who take large salaries and waste much of the money it is suppose to give to the poor?  According to Snopes.com the CEO of the American Red Cross was paid $652k in salary plus expenses and given a 6 week paid vacation in 2009.  You can read more about this here.  You can also read here about how the Red Cross supports abortion.

The church, I thought, was the best charity in the world.  Part of its now fourfold mission being to provide relief to the poor.  It almost feels like the church is going out of its way to make itself appear more altruistic by not wanting any of the proceeds and by donating them to perhaps a more “approved” non-religious charity, in the world’s eyes.  I think it’s a missed opportunity.

Why didn’t the church decide to use the proceeds, assuming there will be any, to the build a fresh water system in Congo or somewhere else in need of such simple basics we take for granted?  Where the church could assure the money would not be wasted?  After all, senior couple missionaries can do these types of projects and are free to the church.  It’s almost as if the church is sensitive to recent criticisms of spending money on large and expensive controversial projects.  And so to assuage concerns it’s teaming up with the Red Cross.  I think the move could backfire and as I said, wastes an opportunity to do something more concrete with potential proceeds, that the church could put its name on, that could make a difference.

Elder Holland also mentioned that the church was initially only going to show the film in the Legacy Theater.  But, when their professional research department started to report back polling data, they changed their minds.  The church’s frequent polling is a sore spot for many active members.  Some may ask, “If the church is run by revelation and at a minimum inspiration, then why so much emphasis on such worldly and often unreliable tools?”  How much do such studies cost of the widow’s mite?

I also find it a little odd that this movie is rated PG and that it is not suitable for all audiences.  It just feels like the church is trying really hard to put all the right marketing touches on this effort.  Perhaps in this case, trying too hard.  I assume their analysts advised them accordingly.  Maybe it’s the title that makes it PG.  “Meet the Mormons.”  Makes me think of “Meet the Parents” or its less reverently named sequel.

Lastly, the church seems intent, based on those people being highlighted in this film, to make itself not look like Utah.  The movie by its title leads one to believe it will be talking to a few of its own regular, average Utah Mormons.  Apparently not.  We are going to meet a young, African American bishop, a Polynesian college football coach at the Naval Academy, a kick boxing mom, and a few others.  The church seems to want to show a diverse and interesting group of people.  I actually love the diversity, but it does seem a little misleading.  It provokes the question whether or not the church has an image problem.  Either way, is highlighting the interesting 10% (at most) of the church really accurately portraying who we really are?

I think this is an attempt to show the world how normal we are.  Perhaps not peculiar, but “normal.”  Or better said, extremely, interestingly, and successfully normal.  It’s a logical approach from a marketing standpoint.  I’m just not overly comfortable with it.  Time will tell, but I am hopeful that in this process we will be shown the costs and profits or losses from the project.

UPDATE on 12-15-2014

Meet the Mormons to date has grossed $5.8M.  Reviews from movie critics is averaging about a 5-10% like rating vs. a 90-95% dislike rating.  Interestingly, according to Rotten Tomatoes, 91% of all viewers have liked the movie.  This translates as many if not most or all movie goers likely to be LDS.

 

53 thoughts on “Meet the Mormons

    1. Andrew Bradley

      The answer to your questions of so-called hierarchy is simple and it goes back to a group called……..GADIANTON.

      They are famous for robbing and deceiving and blaspheming for power and gain. It’s not a new enemy by infiltration, but an old and predictive one that uses coercion, spiritually, emotionally and mentally to manipulate populations, especially people who have such truth as that of The Book of Mormon.

      I dont know who in particular are the Gadiantons today, but they are usually lawyers and judges and comparable with pharisees.

      This is very close to exactly what I thought as I saw the “prompting” from Brother Holland to see this for-profit charity flick. I havent seen it but I might if I could sneak into the theatre;-) The American Red Cross is one of the most corrupt organizations in Babylon and have been guilty of horrendous deceit and have been promoted constantly by the criminals in Washington D.C. who have torn up the divine constitution.

      BUT of course the fact that you are anonymous begs the question, how would one know that you, “ANONYMOUSBISHOP” are not co-intelpro? (Controlled opposition) You speak of things that so many free-thinking members are pondering on and yet this is exactly what the Gadiantons do. They hijack the dissent and the leadership, always attempting to control both sides and you will be suspect until you reveal your identity, but I imagine the truth is not worth it in this case.

      I am not accusing you but I am not going to just rubber stamp you either as being legitimate by the fact that you are anonymous and this is how counter-intelligence operates in a seemingly genuine manner. I would hope you are genuine, and if so, thank you sir.

      I understand the anonymity but the very fact that you would have to be anonymous in an organization that’s core teaching of the Book of Mormon declares the right to freedom of conscience to be part of God’s Law. Each man shall be allowed to speak of and think about anything they wish, it is why Joseph was able to receive the plates in the latter-day’s, because of the Freedom of Conscience protected by the Constitution which is for ALL MEN.

      THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE. We must pray for the leaders and Church as a whole because of course, as it states in D&C 84:50-60, we as a Church are under condemnation and I do not remember any “Prophet” or “Seer” lift that condemnation.

      Reply
      1. Bishop Anon Post author

        Thanks for your thoughts Andrew. I take no offense whatsoever and don’t blame anyone for questioning my intentions. I think you hit it on the head – the mere fact that I feel the need to be anonymous shows the sad state of where we are as a church. There is a “purging” taking place and everyone for now who feels all is not well, must take care to do and say things as they feel prompted in their own situation. For one, he may want to stay in the church to try to help from within. Another may wish to disassociate because he feels his association erodes his own faith and integrity. One thing is clear – if you open your mouth long enough and have anything negative to say about the decisions of the brethren, you will be excommunicated.

        Reply
      2. Anonymous

        andrew, i echo Bishop Anon’s existing response about your very fair concerns for questioning anonymity. i also want to add my personal thought on why i like anonymity. if we were all anonymous – and just using these forums to explore thoughts – i think we’d find less ego tied to ideas. i think we’d be less entrenched. i love the idea of each of us serving in some way as a conscience for each other. as a challenge to each other. and as support to each other. with no pride of ownership to our ideas. giving up being right to find what is right.

        please know that i am not saying that this idea is perfect. in contrast, i also love the declaration of faith that comes with “signing your name” to your beliefs. i am so grateful to the courage of all those that have stood up publicly. who have laid the way for others to have that courage. and i am grateful to you for “signing your name” to your testimony; as i am to all others who have done similar. genuinely.

        it’s nothing more than a thought that i’m incubating personally. thanks again for your comments.

        Reply
  1. Ian

    Bishop Anon,

    I am in agreement with your assertions concerning the seemingly overt business/political actions taken by the Church leadership with respect to a number of key areas. In a show of my excessive cynicism, though, I’ll go further to debate your claim that the organization would be better suited to manage the profits for charitable use.

    You criticize the overhead and administrative take that the Red Cross takes from proceeds, but where can we find an accounting of the Church’s funding? What is the amount our leaders are receiving as a “modest living stipend” and how is this reconcilable with scriptural mandates that they are to preach abroad without purse or scrip? Why are there disclaimers on donations slips that essentially state the organization will use your money for whatever use it deems necessary regardless of how you designate it?

    I’m not familiar with the charitable division of the LDS Church, which would have IRS mandates to release certain information if organized as 501(c)(3), but the questions I pose above alone give me pause as to the efficacious use the leaders would put the proceeds to. With the undoubtedly staggering amount of incoming funds, why are our buildings so lavish when there are members abroad starving? Should charities like the Liahona’s Children Foundation have to exist?

    I’ll cease ranting now. I thank you for your message that shows that these concerns are certainly not held solely by estranged members who might be accused of hiding undisclosed contentious experiences. Many ‘rank-and-file’ members are taking notice and asking questions.

    Godspeed,

    Ian

    Reply
    1. Bishop Anon Post author

      Ian,

      I could not agree more. The church simply needs to open its books! Perhaps if enough people keep demanding it, they will cave as they have on every other issue. Thanks for your excellent comment.

      Bishop Anon

      Reply
      1. Bishop Anon Post author

        I should also add that Ian’s implication about excessive “modest living stipends” needs to be exposed. I plan a blog post on that topic in the coming weeks. Thanks again Ian. And btw, I’m sorry you feel estranged. Remember that the path back to God is almost always a lonely one, until we meet Him along the way.

        Reply
    2. Andrew Bradley

      OH well put brotha!! WELL PUT.

      I see these lavish buildings, while I know of starving members in other countries who would just need a warm place to sleep and a warm shower. I would suggest taking a look at what Gadiantons do in the Secret Combination and how and where they infiltrate.

      Reply
  2. shyloh

    I find it interesting that this day was prophecied about–I wonder just how close this is to being fulfilled:

    And when the spirit of persecution, the spirit of hatred, of wrath, and malice ceases in the world against this people, it will be the time that this people have apostatized and joined hands with the wicked, and never until then; which I pray may never come. (JD 4:326-327)

    There is nothing that would so soon weaken my hope and discourage me as to see this people in full fellowship with the world, and receive no more persecution from them because they are one with them. In such an event, we might bid farewell to the Holy Priesthood with all its blessings, privileges and aids to exaltations, principalities and powers in the eternities of the Gods. (JD 10:32)

    When we see the time that we can willingly strike hands and have full fellowship with those who despise the Kingdom of God, know ye then that the Priesthood of the Son of God is out of your possession. Let us be careful how we make friends with and fellowship unrighteousness, lest the curse of God descends heavily upon us. (JD 10:273)

    When “Mormonism” finds favor with the wicked in this land, it will have gone into the shade; but until the power of the Priesthood is gone, “Mormonism” will never become popular with the wicked. (JD 4:38)

    Reply
  3. West

    Just bumped into this blog. Pretty good content. Like you I’m bothered by this whole “Meet the Mormons” campaign. I started seeing it pop up in my newsfeed and got the feeling of it being really “fake.” Watching Holland’s promo just confirmed that. I’m tired of it, I don’t care if people thing we are Christian or not. Why waste money trying to convince them otherwise? Give it to aid the poor. Period. Leave it at that! Our job is to preach of Christ, live by His example, love one another, that’s it. The results of that preaching and living shouldn’t matter to us except on a personal level, meaning, “Am I coming closer to God? What else can I do?” as opposed to, “is everyone else coming closer to God through my example?”

    I don’t know, let them choose and love them no matter the choice they make. That’s being Christian. Christ never EVER forces himself on others (the walk on the road to Emmaus is a great example of that.) Maybe we should stop forcing ourselves on others, and stop assuming that we are failures if we can’t turn the opinion of others. If that’s what we think the gospel is about, then we don’t understand the gospel at all. “Do what is right, LET the consequence follow,” not force a consequence. If we are trying to force an outcome, then we probably aren’t doing what is right.

    Reply
    1. Bishop Anon Post author

      Great thoughts West! And timely too for me. The message of the gospel cannot unrighteously compel. I’ve been guilty of this in my life, by loving God’s children conditionally at times or by my self-righteous preaching. All the while believing myself to be right when in fact many times I was not. Or the message “du jour” from the Brethren was not right, yet I stood by faithful to defend them. Now I just want the Lord to be right and I just want His mercy and forgiveness for me and as many as will accept it. Thanks again West!

      Reply
      1. West

        No problem. I’m still in the process of learning this too. While I love the opinions of others on matters regarding actions of the Church, I desperately need the Lord. I express my opinions in open forums from time to time and unfortunately I’m not always compassionate about it. Sometimes they get contentious. Your repost on Mormons and Gays was good. (To be honest, both were good.) In the end, we need to love, politely agree to disagree, and find common ground. Contention over disagreements drives wedges into everyone’s hearts, making unity impossible.

        Reply
  4. Rob

    Great blog. Just found it.

    I can’t agree more with everything you said here. I had the same thoughts, and I’m glad you wrote it up before I had a chance to.

    I just want to highlight one particular response I had. When I heard that they are not only giving the proceeds to charity, but to the red cross, I had a few thoughts:
    1) Why are we advertising what we are doing with the profits? Oh yeah, because everyone knows we are non-transparent at best and fraudulent at worst.
    2) From how this is being pushed, you and I both know that 99% of the people that pay to see this will be members trying to get their friends to come and see it. In fact, in our branch PEC we were told to get groups together and do this ourselves, and pester the local movie houses for a special showing. Why the heck isn’t the church renting theaters to screen it in??
    3) Seriously, the red cross? You know we have over 100k active LDS kids who are malnourished, right?

    Reply
    1. Bishop Anon Post author

      Someone commented to me after watching the Holland video that they felt dirty. For me, it was almost like an MLM presentation gone awry, when at first you’re delighted to be invited to dinner, but then realize the whole event is drenched in ulterior motive. Is this how Peter Jackson does it for his REAL movies? I don’t know enough about the film industry — I know they advertize and do trailers – but this seems so “let’s game the social media system and exploit our base.” Thanks for the great comments Rob and for the additional information. 🙂

      Reply
  5. Jaco Johnson

    Bishop Anon, I think the church should put Testaments in the theatres. What better way to show people that we are indeed Christian and to show them the message of the BOM. I haven’t seen the MTM movie yet so I can’t make any judgements but my initial reaction was negative like yours. I am curious though…
    Jaco Johnson mushi

    Reply
  6. Jacob Longstride

    Great blog! Grateful for your courage and valiancy in the testimony of Jesus Christ.

    I find it incredibly interesting that just 3.5 YEARS AGO, in the April 2011 General Conference, Elder Packer admonished us NOT TO REFER TO OURSELVES AS MORMONS: http://www.ldschurchnewsarchive.com/articles/60724/President-Boyd-K-Packer-Guided-by-the-Holy-Spirit.html

    And I quote:
    “Because of the Book of Mormon, we are frequently called the Mormon Church, a title we do not resent, but it is really not accurate.” In the Book of Mormon, the Lord revisited the Nephites, who asked to know what they should call the Church. The Lord instructed them to call the Church in His sacred name. Obedient to revelation, we call ourselves The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints rather than the Mormon Church. It is one thing for others to refer to the Church as the Mormon Church or to us as Mormons, it is quite another for us to do so,” he said. President Packer added that the First Presidency has stated that the use of the revealed name, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Doctrine and Covenants 115:4), is increasingly important to proclaim the name of the Savior throughout all the world. The First Presidency went on to ask that members refer to the Church by its full name whenever possible. When referring to Church members, it’s suggested that “members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” be used. And as a shortened reference, “Latter-day Saints” is preferred. The world will refer to us as they will, but in our speech always remember that we belong to the Church of Jesus Christ. The Church leader noted that some claim Latter-day Saints are not Christians. “They either do not know us at all or they misunderstand.”

    Yet, here we are, fresh on the heels of the new temple film disasters, with the church churning out another slick movie entitled “Meet the Mormons”. Of course, this follows the legacy of the “I’m a Mormon” campaign, which has all but disappeared. And who can forget that mind-boggling masterpiece “mormonsandgays.org” that you so eloquently fillet in another post? Where’s “mormonsandtaxcheats.org” or “mormonsandpornoaddicts.org” or “mormonsandbeerswillers.org”? Why a special website dedicated to that particular sin? There’s also mormons.org, mormonnewsroom.org, Mormon Messages, etc., etc.

    I have no problem with the term Mormon, but I consider myself a disciple of Jesus Christ first and foremost. I don’t think we should ever use the term “Mormon Church” as it should be called The Church of Jesus Christ, as dictated by the Lord Himself in revelation. I love early Mormonism and seek to understand it better, peeling away the layers of crust and grime that have accumulated after decades of subtle apostasy. But, the church leaders seem to walk a crooked path…telling us in general conference to do one thing, yet they do that thing they tell us not to do…what to believe?

    Keep up the good work.

    Reply
    1. Bishop Anon Post author

      This is a new blog as you know and being a novice, I have yet to add a “like” feature. So considered this “liked”. 🙂

      I remember the talk “Mormon means more good.” Brand chaos. “MIA” “Mutual” “Homecomings” “Stake Houses and Stake Centers” “Books v Book of Mormon(s)” “Farewells” “PPI v PSI” – “Ward teachers v Home teachers” “Home making v whatever the heck the new name is.” Always a new vocabulary hobby revealed as cutting edge or inspired. Missionaries in my mission were chastised for saying D&C. The general authority, for whom we were sitting on the edge of our seats, awaiting a much needed inspired message, began by asking the mission president’s wife to please tell us young and naive 19-21 year olds what a DNC was. I get that no one is perfect, so why not stop pretending the brethren are?

      Another bishop during stake bishopric training one time announced for his spiritual thought, as he held up the church handbook, “These are the mysteries of God!” He invited us to read it as we would the scriptures. And yet, the policies and rules and protocols change as quickly as they are published. How can one keep up?

      Thanks for your great thoughts Jacob!

      Reply
      1. Utahhiker801

        I got that same message from a Seventy while on my mission 25 years ago. “Don’t refer to the Doctrine and Covenants as ‘D&C’ because a woman may think that you’re referring to a medical procedure during which her uterine wall was being scraped”.

        Now that you’ve brought it out, I really don’t know who would think this was something to waste time on in a non-English speaking country. Sure, all the missionaries were American, but this was hardly a misunderstanding that would involve any local members.

        Reply
        1. Bishop Anon Post author

          Yes – strange – must have been well-intentioned training from SLC – in that era. Ours fell on deaf ears as well, as the D&C and DNC did not translate directly in our mission language either. But, this GA felt inspired I guess. If the point is that Mormons have their own language and that we should remember that it’s not always understood by outsiders and that it can be viewed as exclusionary, boastful or insensitive – then I agree. But when it’s the first thing shared, intended to be the attention grabber to set the stage for the whole day, I call it unfortunate. Thanks Utahhiker801

          Reply
    2. Andrew Bradley

      Right on. I had the very same feeling when I saw the title of the movie. The Lord is very clear on what the name of the Church of Jesus Christ is. I think Church of the Lamb of God, Church of Christ would also work, But Mormon Church is somewhat heretical.

      Isaiah 28 and 29 talk of the drunkards of Ephraim, but not drunk on wine but blinded, deceived. I am grafted into the house of Ephraim so this does indite myself as well but I am also a gentile. The Book of Mormon discusses the Gentiles (us) teaching the “Remnant” the gospel and they will lead us out of Babylon. The Remnant include many tribes but specifically, this is the Native Americans.

      Anyway, just saying that there is hope and of course I pray that I can be lead by the Holy Spirit to do His will.

      Reply
  7. Josh

    So like, no.

    You make a great case, but without proof, you’re just another hack making exaggerated claims which is becoming all the rage these days in your cult.

    I’m so glad you’re not my Bishop.

    Reply
  8. Seeker

    My reaction to the Elder Holland video:
    “Oh, yes, marketing and commercial promotions, one of the duties of apostles listed by Christ.”

    Reply
  9. Becca

    I feel the whole thing is a poorly done cover up of a documentary the bbc released last summer by the same name “meet the Mormons”. Not sure why suddenly after it’s released they announce their own movie of the same name set to release the same year. Watching the bbc one, it stayed true to just providing a glimpse into the life of a missionary. They even had a media representative that was there any time they were filming. Maybe they didn’t want an outsiders film to come up in search results before their own?

    Reply
  10. Roger Baughman

    I have similar sympathies with the views of those on this discussion board and with the author of this blog. I do not, however, think this is a negative project nor does it detract from the church’s core mission. If it increases faith in the Savior, and leads others to investigate the church it will be a great tool for the Church. Because its intended audience is non-Mormon, it also makes sense that they would choose the Red Cross as a generally accepted charity to use to help non-members understand that there is not a profit-motive in the production and commercialization of the Church’s message. I think this will be a good thing. I hope it is effective.

    Reply
  11. Bishop Anon Post author

    I’ve had a few people suggest my numbers are high on the 20M I think this movie may have cost. I welcome other estimates. Unfortunately the church does not disclose any of its financials and so we may never know, unless someone leaks it. I did work on a church film in a 90’s and a few of my friends have directed and or acted for the church. In 1990, my director friend told me that the new temple film (with all the changes) cost $100,000 per day, which at the time (24 years ago) was standard for the industry for this type of film. I assume Meet the Mormons took many days to film and that prices have gone up considerably since then. But, even using this standard, if MTM required 100 days to shoot, we’re at 10M. If anyone has a better feel for this, please chime in.

    Reply
    1. Mike

      As someone who works in that industry, I can verify 20M is a very fair estimate, likely even conservative.

      For one, the movie has a very high “production value,” meaning it looks super slick. That costs more money than most realize. It takes expensive equipment, expensive production crews who know how to work with it to capture the best footage, and expensive post – production crews who know how to maximize the quality of what was captured. Even if the 6 subjects weren’t paid (I don’t know but I bet they were), the production costs are undoubtedly high.

      Secondly, while one could hope and dream that LDS filmmakers would contribute their talents and services free of charge or very inexpensive, as a service to the church, in reality there is plenty of evidence that the church not only pays for all business services through members but they in fact pay top dollar for it, above competitive rates, because its seen as helping their own.

      There are indeed a whole world of factors that affect the cost of a film, but if we’re just making a ballpark estimate then 20M is certainly fair, if not conservative.

      Reply
      1. Bishop Anon Post author

        Mike, thanks for your much more expert analysis of the potential costs. Hopefully that information will be disclosed since this is a commercial endeavor using tithing funds, albeit indirectly.

        Reply
  12. Nathaniel

    I’m a little bit with Roger, a little bit.

    I do think the open focus on marketing and image is…. Telling. Image control is kind of a big deal in Utah Culture. I would not personally want that fruit fed to the whole world some more.

    It’s probably a mostly good-ish thing. It doesn’t portray much confidence in me of what the church is ‘supposed’ to be, it raises some flags. I think people will feel that.

    Reply
  13. Jenne

    I was able to see the movie yesterday and found it very moving, encouraging and inspiring. From what I heard, the title comes from a 1970’s missionary film strip by the same name but this is the 2014 version of it (filming was done two years ago according to the families featured in it). I kind of wish it had a different name but can’t come up with anything better. I love that test audiences requested the church to go bigger and wider than it originally intended. It was supposed to be the film played at Legacy Theater on temple square as part of the missionary effort at church HQ until audiences said that they were looking for encouraging and positive stories. I like to think that this movie is like the March of the Penguins. People are fascinated by rare, exotic creatures and are awe-inspiring, so why not make a moving theatrical production about them?

    Reply
    1. Bishop Anon Post author

      Thanks for your feedback Jenne. I will watch it in two weeks and will try to be very objective. I plan a follow up post. I’m sure it’s well done. The church has become very good at such productions. The Testaments and the Joseph Smith movies are very “moving.” I actually enjoy those films. I love to “feel good” when I watch movies. I think emotion is a great thing. But, I am concerned that we often assume anytime we feel anything, it’s the Spirit. Here are a couple of thoughts on that worth reading.

      Reply
  14. Bishop Anon Post author

    The Holy Ghost does not thrill you, it informs you. It gives you understanding. If I want to be thrilled, I can get that from Braveheart….thrilling music can rouse you. A great TV show can get you thrilled and feeling goose bumps. That is not the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost enlightens your mind, it enlivens your senses, it brings light into your life, and you understand something anew….Understanding, comprehension, light and truth—these are the Holy Ghost, not emotion, thrills and goose bumps. Denver Snuffer — Mesa, AZ Sep. 9, 2014

    Reply
  15. Rebecca C

    Today my mind was blown when i learned that the main stated reason in scripture that sodom and gomorrah was destroyed was because of how they treated the poor among them. And so then i think with this real movie and city creek and that freaking hunting preserve for rich guys off utah lake, we are worse. We are worse than sodom and gomorrah as a church and we had better freaking repent! Gah, my blood pressure! But seriousy we have some problems here.

    Reply
  16. sfort

    D&C 104:18 Therefore, if any man shall take of the abundance which I have made, and impart not his portion, according to the law of my gospel, unto the poor and the needy, he shall, with the wicked, lift up his eyes in hell, being in torment.

    62 And there shall be a seal upon the treasury, and all the sacred things shall be delivered into the treasury; and no man among you shall call it his own, or any part of it, for it shall belong to you all with one accord.

    64 And the avails of the sacred things shall be had in the treasury, and a seal shall be upon it; and it shall not be used or taken out of the treasury by any one, neither shall the seal be loosed which shall be placed upon it, only by the voice of the order, or by commandment. 70 And let not any among you say that it is his own; for it shall not be called his, nor any part of it.

    71 And there shall not any part of it be used, or taken out of the treasury, only by the voice and common consent of the order.

    Oh I’m sorry, this is for the law of consecration. Oh, my bad! I guess it’s OK!

    Reply
  17. Rebecca C

    Just got an email from my bank deseret first that i can get free tickets through them. I gyess they want a huge turnout.

    Reply
  18. EG

    All who oppose this movie and the money going to Red Cross need to band together, get word out about it, and write a nice but firm letter to the church about why this movie is wrong, and giving money to the Red Cross is worse.
    The Red Cross has huge overhead with very little money going to those in need. The Red Cross charges for coffee and water for cripes sake! It is a shady organization!

    Reply
  19. noir2012

    Bishop Anon,

    I agree with most everything in your post, but I have to disagree with your opposition to donating funds to the Red Cross.

    I will agree that 600+k is an excessive salary for an NGO executive. However, the American Red Cross is a reputable charitable organization and is a member of a critically important humanitarian movement: the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (“IFRC”). See http://www.ifrc.org/en/who-we-are/. Unfortunately, the IFRC and the International Committee of the Red Cross (“ICRC”) have a very complicated history and role in our society, and I don’t have the space to describe it here. See https://www.icrc.org/. But, to explain them in a sentence, these are the organizations that create, regulate, and promote international humanitarian law (the laws of war that protect soldiers, the wounded/sick, and civilians) and attempt to relieve suffering during serious natural and man-made disasters. I encourage everyone to read about the ICRC and IFRC: it’s a fascinating and inspiring movement. I can’t think of a better charitable organization to volunteer with or donate to. They do it far better than the Church does, and they can get into far worse situations than the Church can now reach.

    In short, while the American Red Cross has its flaws, it also does a lot of good.

    Reply
  20. rbc

    The Tongan guy in the movie is not a Notre Dame coach; he’s the Head Coach at the Naval Academy. Navy and Notre Dame occasionally have the same helmets and color scheme-except when Navy is wearing it’s way cool Midshipmen unis, so I can see the confusion. A lot of BYU Mormons like to think BYU is in the same league as Notre Dame-academically and athletically-and perhaps you are part of that group of dreamers. If so, I can see mistaking the Navy coach for a ND coach. Rest assured he coaches Navy and even coached Navy in upsets of Notre Dame in the last couple of years.

    I enjoyed reading your comments. The movie isn’t playing in my area but I do like the Navy football program so despite my similar misgivings about the movie and its marketing if it pops up here locally, I will see it.

    Nice blog, by the way. Best of luck on your faith journey.

    Reply
    1. Bishop Anon Post author

      Thanks for the clarification rbc! I will correct it when I get a chance! And thanks for your words of encouragement. I will see the movie this weekend. It should be interesting!

      Reply
  21. Robert

    Thanks for not forcing me to login to Google or Facebook just to leave a comment. I really appreciate it.

    You have done an excellent job on exposing how insane things have become in the church office building. What keeps me going is the knowledge that the LDS church will one day be cleansed by the resurrected Joseph Smith. This event, along with many others, has been prophesied by Bishop John Koyle, who was given charge of the ancient Nephite gold mine located in Salem, UT. (more info at ReliefMine.com) So hold onto your hats, we’re in for an exciting ride!

    Reply
  22. AM

    I agree that there are questions about the movie. However, I saw somewhere that the PG rating is because of “implied proselytization.” I do not think the Church tried to adjust the rating to make it more marketable.

    Reply
  23. Sarah Fuller

    Thank you thank you thank you. One day, way way back, I started taking note of the way the church spends its gazillions and a quiet unrest began to stir in my burgeoning socialist twenty something soul. These days the questionable spending is far more obvious, and thanks to the Internet the details about it are now more accessible to those who live far away from the centre of it all. Thank you for writing this post and showing me that there are those who remain in the church who still have the courage to challenge it’s self serving efforts and painfully obvious lack of charity that is in no way commensurate with it’s massive wealth.

    Reply

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