Meet the Mormons – in a theatre near you

A feature length movie titled “Meet the Mormons” has been screening in theatres and other venues across Australia, New Zealand and several Pacific Island nations over the last few weeks.

Theatres in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Rotorua, Taupo, Tokoroa, Wellington, Nelson and Christchurch screened the movie which was produced by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and directed by Blair Treu.

The Latter-day Saints’ Pacific Area Director of Public Affairs, Richard Hunter, says the movie’s release is “a great way for members and guests of the Church to celebrate this year’s 175th anniversary of the first Latter-day Saint to arrive in the region.”

But, “Meet the Mormons” is not a documentary but an informercial, “meant less to inform than to introduce a sales pitch.” says Sean Deans writing in the Salt Lake Tribune.

He says it does not tackle any of the issues faced by the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, (LDS) or answer any of the questions  about the church raised by those who are not true believers.

” The movie is simply a string of vignettes, all nicely told by director Blair Treu, telling the stories of six members of the LDS Church whose lives and work are influenced by their Mormon faith.”

“The movie, like the church’s ‘I’m a Mormon’ ad campaign that it resembles, is great at presenting its six subjects as just regular folks who credit their faith for giving their lives foundation.”

“Nothing wrong with that, except there’s little that differentiates Mormonism from other denominations.”

“There are fleeting mentions of doctrine in Jones’ narration — like the Book of Mormon or the fact that Mormons don’t drink.”

“But there’s nothing in the movie about Mormon history, and no discussion of the unique aspects of LDS doctrine about which non-Mormons tend to be the most curious.”

Traditional Mormon missionaries are familiar to most New Zealanders. They dress in distinctive way and go from house house in pairs knocking on doors, explaining why their Lord was the one true Lord.

Now the LDS successfully embraced the new media.

The  Mormon church’s unprecedented experiment in Internet-based proselytizing,  has become a wildly successful undertaking and is the subject of a feature story in The Huffington Post.

Last June, thanks in large part to the wave a converts added by internet missionaries, the church announced it would put previously banned tools like Facebook and text messaging into the hands of all its missionaries.


Additional reading

News category: New Zealand.

Tags: , , ,