The LDS church recently started an internet marketing campaign that they hoped would go viral. I think I blogged about it.. I can’t remember for sure.
The “I’m a Mormon” video series provides very short video testimonials by members of the church who each give a short summary of who they are, what they do and how happy and successful they are. Each of these videos ends by the person proudly saying, “I am a Mormon”.
The obvious implication is, if you want to be happy and successful and well thought of like me, become a Mormon!
The testimonials are painfully devoid of true testimony bearing and anything of real doctrinal substance. Each person is basically holding themselves up as a light unto the world and inviting others to become like them.
This proactive marketing idea was created to counteract the ever increasing amount of anti-Mormon material that shows up on the internet. I think the idea behind it was to change the direction of dialogue about Mormonism from difficult historical and doctrinal problems to the fruits of happy lives.
The internet has changed our world in many ways and it has certainly changed the world of Mormonism because it makes all of the painfully uncomfortable historical and doctrinal issues so easy to research and so easy to buzz about.
Anyway, the above mentioned marketing effort of the LDS Church was a very bold PR move and it may well become the worst marketing nightmare in the history of the church.. and maybe in the history of the world because it has given a host of ex-Mormons the opportunity to duplicate the concept with the opposite spin, by allowing ex-Mormons to tell the world how happy and fulfilled they are now that they have left the church.
“I am an Ex-Mormon… I am finally happy and fulfilled!”
I have watched several of the videos and I must say, many of them are quite tastefully done and rather compelling… in the same emotional response marketing way that the Mormon testimonials are compelling.
It is too early to tell if this campaign will go viral, however, if it does this will certainly be the outing of Pandora from her box.
There are so many people who have a story they want to tell about leaving Mormonism.
As they say, what goes around comes around and all of those quiet little “courts of love” that have embarrassed people, destroyed reputations, broken up families and left such a bad taste in so many peoples mouths will now come forth to haunt the those loving brethren.
Those who have become disenfranchised from the latter day apostate church have just been given a very special platform and a public voice they did not have before. Their voices are now beginning to show up, not as a voice of hostility, but rather a voice of pity with a perceived empowerment.
One of the stories tells of a young wife who temporarily lost her questioning husband because her Bishop counseled her to leave her husband.
In the first seven years of the restoration movement that Bishop would have probably been released and disciplined for doing such a damnable thing (see the original revelation on marriage “It is not right to persuade a woman to be baptized contrary to the will of her husband; neither is it lawful to influence her to leave her husband.”
In another testimonial, a member of a music group got a standing ovation from a sympathetic crowd when his friend introduced him as someone who had just left Mormonism.
A large portion of the world has a very distinct hatred for Mormonism.
That would not be a bad thing if they hated Mormons for being true and humble followers of Christ.
What hurts is that they hate us for having many cult-like characteristics that represent a false form of true religion. One that has a variety of putrid fruits.
I don’t know who I feel the sorriest for, the Mormons who have inherited a cult-like religion from the false traditions of their fathers who rejected the fulness of the gospel and became a condemned and cursed people four generations ago, or the ex-Mormons who have gained just enough information about early Mormonism to become angry and unbelieving.
What folly we latter day Jews and gentiles find ourselves in!
It is so heartbreaking to see what people all over the world are saying about the Mormon religion.
I am reminded of these words from Psalms 44-
“Thou makest us a reproach to our neighbours, a scorn and a derision to them that are round about us. Thou makest us a byword among the heathen, a shaking of the head among the people.”