“We’re Glorious”

Archuleta

“Enter your email, Share it on Social with hashtag…, Download your free single….”

I just came across this little promotion on the Meet the Mormons Facebook page.   Great marketing pitch.  Who doesn’t like David Archuleta?  And what better way to spread the word than to take the message viral using all the social media tools of the day?

I don’t love the idea that the church wants my email, wants me to tweet, pinterest, facebook, follow and/or hashtag, all so I can get a “free” single of David’s song.  Obviously a joint marketing venture between him and the church, promoting Archuleta as well as the new movie.

You can actually watch the song and a movie montage below on YouTube without all the hassle:

Arch youtube

Click Above to watch video and film clips

It’s a good song I think.  Nice lyrics and message – although a little fluffy and maybe off doctrinally (see 2 Corinthians 3):

Here are the Lyrics to the Meet the Mormons theme song:

There are times when you might feel aimless and can’t see the places where you belong.
But you will find that there is a purpose, it’s been there within you all along.
And when you’re near it…you can almost hear it.
It’s like a symphony…just keep listening, and pretty soon you’ll start to figure out your part.
Everyone plays a piece in their own melodies… in each one of us… It’s glorious.
And you will know how to let it ring out as you discover who you are.
And those around you will start to wake up to the sounds that are in their hearts.
It’s all amazing what we’re all creating.
It’s like a symphony…just keep listening and pretty soon you’ll start to figure out your part.
Everyone plays a piece in their own melodies… in each one of us…ohhh… is glorious.
As you feel the notes build… you will see.
It’s like a symphony…just keep listening, and pretty soon you’ll start to figure out your part.
Everyone plays a piece in their own melodies… and each one of us…ohhh… is glorious.

It all kind of reminds me of the feel good movie “August Rush.”  A movie about finding your purpose in life, where you belong.  Interesting that the lyrics don’t mention God or even allude to a Creator.  It mentions “we’re all creating” and speaks of symphonies, but feels very self-focused rather than God-focused.  (Maybe this really isn’t a proselytizing effort!).

I am very curious if and how much speakers in General Conference will plug the movie.  I say they plug it hard.  I don’t think the timing of the release, the weekend after Conference (and the BYU-USU football game) is a coincidence.  If nothing else, I predict endless ads between sessions.  I hope I’m wrong.  But then, why wouldn’t they?  It’s a very important church business investment.

Bednar Internet

Elder Bednar. “Things As They Really Are” June 2010 Ensign

A comment from last week’s Meet the Mormon’s post pointed to the above talk from Elder Bednar and remarked what a difference 4 years makes.  I could not agree more.  In his talk, Elder Bednar speaks about the importance of not getting caught up in “cyberspace” and not becoming obsessed with virtual identities that are not real.  (eh hem, Facebook, Twitter, etc.)

I’ve never liked that Facebook and other social identities encourage such illusionary self-promotions.  We all know people who sit at home all day, interacting in this fake world, taking endless selfies, always trying to portray how “blissful” their life is.

I fear this movie will be nothing more than a really expensive, glorified Facebook promotion of 6 otherwise very nice people.   Will this movie promote and encourage more Facebook idolatry?  Will it make me jealous that I’m not the Candy Bomber or not as successful and exciting as other “Great” Mormons?  Will I feel as “glorious” as these 6 (7 if you include David Archuleta) individuals?

Isn’t this part of our problem in the world / church?  We feel we can’t keep up with the Joneses, and the Joneses now tweet from Hawaii, where brother and sister Jones and their 4 perfect kids just posed for a selfie all at the Iron Man finish line.  Crap!  Now how do we keep up?  Well, it’s easy, lots of makeup, a tanning bed, teeth whitener, a little Photoshop, an expensive camera helps, and your own “glorious” post from… how about Temple Square.  That will make those worldly Joneses feel dumb.  You get the idea.

Are we really supposed to portray and see ourselves as glorious anyway?  If you do a search of the term glorious in the scriptures you will not see any mortal referred to by God as glorious.  Not that I could find.  You may become “glorious in the resurrection” if true and faithful in this life.  But, Glory is for God!  Not men.

Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine! (Isaiah 28:1)

King Benjamin reminds us we are less than the dust of the earth, far from glorious, no matter if we have “figured out our part” or not.  Even those like this righteous King who do figure it out, i.e. are redeemed, still consider themselves less than dust and preach repentance not self-promotion.

 

 

10 thoughts on ““We’re Glorious”

  1. Jake

    Bishop,

    I have long since considered that there are really two very separate entities drawing on the name of the church.

    The first entity is the corporate church – the real church. This is where the GAs sit from on high; this church has a paid clergy, paid employees, manages global infrastructure, maintains and grows its massive finances, builds malls, and commands it’s PR machine (among many other awesome things.)

    You dear bishop are an unpaid franchise operator of a locally oriented group of neighbors who come together multiple times each week to share a common intimate experience. Your building is drab and ugly, your staff overworked and underpaid (not paid, perhaps rewarded) your budget is tiny (though I might add our ward raked in $38,500 last Sunday), and you personally are doing your best to keep it moving (what with being a part time psychiatrist, interventionist, marriage counselor, pay day lender, oh and local preacher and leader of a flock.) Your ward members intimate religious experience and daily lives depends on you.

    Twice a year, aside from the PR machines Giant Wurlitzer loudly advertising itself, your ward members get to hear from the “real” church, ogle its celebrities, bask in is amazing music machine, and feel connected to the other legion of members outside the local area franchises.

    I am a believer in the second church, the one that matters, the one that belongs to the unpaid workers of the provincial franchise whose routine American daily grind funds the “real” churches luxury, amazing conferences, beautiful buildings, restaurants, shrines, celebrities and everything else.

    Have a nice weekend off Bishop.

  2. Bishop Anon Post author

    Jake, you said it so well that I only wish to say, thank you. With your permission I may want to dedicate a post to your comment at some point.

  3. Rebecca C

    I have a silly comment, which is that the church is using poor David Archuleta, who is so cute and so very young. He is singing a New Age song and doesnt even know it.

    Anyway, i was wondering about that movie but wasnt very interested in seeing it. Very annoyed to hear false doctrine at general conference today and had a bad taste in my mouth anyway. All i know is i want to follow Christ and i dont need any of those 15 prophets in my way. Sorry if i sound too negative, but i am adjusting to a new paradigm since i no longer trust the church (i am still good with the gospel, of course). And i think social media does more harm than good.

  4. Bishop Anon Post author

    I agree with your perspective. I also concur that some very false doctrines were doubled down on this weekend. I hope good people like you will highlight them and challenge them using the scriptures. I think we can love and even sustain those who preach false doctrines, precisely by speaking up. I feel like nearly every talk was about our “beloved prophet” and how he and they (the 15) have a perfect system of checks and balances wherein it is “impossible” for anyone to be lead astray by them. Somehow we are to believe that their voice is the voice of God when they come to unanimous vote on a subject. They refer to a well-known scripture in D&C that many LDS cling to as their support – D&C 1:38 – “What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.” BUT rarely do we read the scripture before this one – vs. 37: “Search these commandments, for they are true and faithful, and the prophecies and promises which are in them shall all be fulfilled.” Verse 38 is referring to the commandments and prophecies which given by God to the prophet Joseph Smith and yet we now conveniently apply this out-of-context scripture to every word spoken by anyone in General Conference. I believe this is false doctrine and a damning one at that. The term “servant” is applied at other levels in the church as well, making one feel very small indeed when not in line with the brethren. I think it was Elder Ballard’s talk where he quoted himself a couple times at a recent missionary training where he taught that the church needs to keep its eyes on the brethren for their example. I say that’s the best advice of the conference, and I hope everyone will heed the call to watch the brethren very closely, and point out when they are leading the people astray. A little more transparency from them would help… Thanks again Rebecca. I love your counsel to follow Christ and to not anyone stand in your way.

    Bishop Anon

  5. David Davis

    I believe a scripture that we undervalue and underestimate is D&C 68:2-5. We focus on the part in vs 4 and seem to think it only and always applies to the brethren. The part “when moved upon the Holy Ghost” echoed in my mind as the above scripture in D&C 1 was quoted in conference. I even repeated those words to my teenage daughter as an emphasis on when it is really important to pay attention. I don’t believe any scripture is an island unto itself and they need to flow together to bring a greater understanding of truth. In this case, I don’t believe there is anything wrong with combining the truths from D&C 68 as a background to measure those taught in D&C 1. If truth is taught after being moved upon by the Holy Ghost, then that truth undoubtedly is the same whether spoken directly by God or by His servants (not just those in the higher echelons of the church either).

  6. Jake O.

    I too had a hard time this weekend listening to conference, My girlfriend and I actually went to the conference center (she had never been and wanted to go, and isn’t doing to well with defying the “doctrine” that the prophet can’t lead us astray). I served my mission in Salt Lake and got back 4 months ago. I saw some things that were simply inconsistent and contradictory to the scriptures. I served in wards of many general authorities and you can imagine the number of visits we received by many of the “prominent leaders” of the church. However, we as honest seekers of truth need to realize several things. First, God is the Father of all us children here on the earth, including the brethren. He loves them, just as much as He loves us. Do I believe that the Lord is displeased with some of the things going on in the church? I absolutely do. That does not change the fact that He loves them. I struggled with that this weekend, listening to all manner of false doctrine and priestcraft. Nevertheless, I was brought to remembrance of Nephi’s experience with charity. The Lord made the demonstrating of the pure love of Christ a commandment to keep. It is important not to become angry, or hateful because of the things going on. My grandpa often repeats the scripture to me in these times of trouble, “Be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world”. Having this light and truth revealed unto me has filled me with greater hope and joy than ever before. Others who still seek “because they know not where to find it” may take our criticism and negative comments to be full of anger and judgement and hatred which of course comes from the devil, the father of evil and misery. I just urge and invite all blog users and writers to be charitable unto all. Jesus even loved Judas who betrayed Him. If we feel betrayed, abused, and mistreated, then I propose that we look to the Savior for the example in how to handle it.

    If there’s one thing I learned on my mission, it was about charity, And having recently been brought to light about all of these things, I believe completely that the Lord had me learn it to prepare myself for this, and to be a peacekeeper among those whose intentions it was to contend and fight and quarrel. I’m not saying Bishop that I feel that way when I read your posts, or that those are your intentions, rather, I post this comment so that others may know that we are still commanded to love our neighbors, and love God and ALL men.

    If God is love, then with LOVE all things are possible.

    I thoroughly enjoy reading your remarks and your perspective. Thank you for your bravery in posting this.

  7. Bishop Anon Post author

    Thank you Jake O. for your words of great wisdom displayed at such a young age. I take your counsel very seriously and will endeavor to do better myself in this regard. The gospel is love after all. Great thoughts. I must say that I had similar feelings this past weekend. Sorrow, not anger. Sorrow because I do not see this ship as Zion or anywhere near sailing towards it. It does not make me better than them or anyone. If anything I feel a burden to try to act appropriately upon these feelings that are hard to digest. As a lifetime member I served as a missionary, received my Eagle, participated in temple marriage, numerous bishoprics, P/T temple worker, high councilor, stake and ward auxiliary callings, etc. I must concede that my membership in the church has been a tremendous part of my identity. But now I feel to weep for Zion and seek true redemption for me and my family and those I love.

  8. Joy

    I live in a Southern community and have recently been called to a calling coordinating service projects in the community that church members can get involved in. While I feel very excited about the calling and some higher purposes for this effort that I feel I have been shown, I have been disappointed and concerned to later be informed that this calling is under the umbrella of the local church PR program.

    To be able to give me access to the PR training manual, which apparently is kept under lock and key, the stake PR person had to get permission from someone or some committee higher up.

    I mention this here, for three reasons:

    1) Through this calling, I have been informed that there is an initiative under way that will shortly be unrolled, of the church having local stake and ward facebook pages. THIS IS COMING UNDER THE AUSPICES of PR. So absolutely the corporate church intends to capitalize on member’s facebook and other social media pages and identities. They are calling this “hastening the work”.

    2) We have also been recently asked to get members to flood the theaters with requests for this movie, Meet the Mormons. This is being pushed and coordinated by the stake PR chairman and ward PR people are being asked to “get their local members” to participate in this effort.

    So absolutely, this movie is intended for PR purposes.

    3) I remember being in a fifth Sunday joint meeting and the previous bishop instructing all the adults about using social media to promote Mormon Inc, and allowing the missionaries to connect with you on facebook, so they can then connect with your friends through their connection with you. He also mentioned that the corporate church is keeping tabs and watching members through their social media participation.

    I have so many concerns about this, for so many reasons. This feels like such a violation of privacy, spying, manipulation and exploitation… I am now feeling my way through how to fulfill this calling in a way that is in alignment with my own integrity and values..

    I think people need to know the massive PR influence and spin and network that is behind so much of the public presentation of the corporate church.

  9. Rebecca C

    It feels like unrigjteous dominion to me. Do the brethern still have the priesthood as defined in sec 121? I guess i wont give my opinion on that in case i am being watched. It was only just a few years ago that conference talks were being given against this stuff. But i guess someone found a way to capitalize on the internet and those warnings went out the window. More members equals more tithing. Plus all the free labor of earnest church members doing pr for the church under their direction. At the same time, maybe there is a real reason why you were chosen for that calling. Maybe God does have a hand in it and you can some how do some good. That is truly a challenge you have before you. You sound like a person who will stand for what you believe in. Just the fact that you have those concerns shows you are aware and looking for truth. The road to truth isnt easy, but its worth it, and i believe it is the reason we are here. That is the real test. Im struggling down the same road. I think a ton of people are, more than the church is aware. Maybe you might need to blow the whistle if there is anything in that pr manual that the people at large, the real church, needs to be aware of?

  10. Sally

    Jody,

    Reading your comment reminded me of our last 5th Sunday. A member of the Stk Presidency came and spoke about PR, mainly about Opinion Leaders and to give him contact info on Prominent leaders-business, political ect. that we knew to give their names and number to him. This was very unsettling to me. I ended up reading in Galations as he was speaking about all this and how we need to use social media.

    I wrote down in my notebook- Good “Church Image.”
    Rely not on the arms of flesh.
    me-Q:Who cares about the “Church’s Image?

    In Galations-
    Paul called by the Savior
    3 years later visits Jerusalem-met Peter and with him 15 days, James (brother of Jesus)
    14 years later back to Jersulam. Came because of Revelation.

    He (member of Stk Pres.) ended with “Although we should testify and talk about Jesus Christ all the time,but, some of these things (Public Affairs) brings them to the Savior.”

    I wrote down, “feeling void of the Spirit, sorrow fills my heart.”

    Thank you Jody for sharing about your calling and how you are handling it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.