The Book of Mormon Broadway musical mocks the Mormon Church, but they used it to their advantage and increased their membership across the U.S.
The Book of Mormon is a musical by the creators of South Park that satirizes anything Mormon-related. The story follows two happy-go-lucky Mormon missionaries on their journey to Africa. The play makes jokes about their demeanor, and the religion’s origin story. However, the Church of Latter-Day Saints responded shockingly well, stating “The production may attempt to entertain audiences for an evening, but the Book of Mormon as a volume of scripture will change people’s lives forever by bringing them closer to Christ.” They simply sent their missionaries over to speak to the audience.
— Book of Mormon LDN (@bookofmormonldn) November 21, 2014
Rocky Spiker, or Elder Spiker, and his fellow missionaries put together a campaign. They dressed up in suits and ties, collected a stack of the Book of Mormon and printed up cards offering free copies to hand out at the performance through to Saturday. They intended to end the week on Sunday with an open house event. They even brought along a cardboard cut-out for the audience members to pose and take pictures with.
They have succeeded in broadening their membership across the U.S., as other Mormon missionaries stage similar campaigns outside of the Book of Mormon theaters. The play is often sold out, and they give out hundreds of copies of the Book. Many others have researched and looked deeper into the religion as a result of the play.
Book of Mormon: Well-Balanced according to Mormon Community
Seth Merril, a ward mission leader for the CLD, believes there is little real ‘harm’ in the play. He said, “We just want to share our message. And here was a group of people at least talking about the Book of Mormon….The play may spread some misconceptions, but it also makes people curious about what Mormonism is really about. It’s balanced.”