Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Called to Be Saints

This entry is part of my general conference application series.

Called to Be Saints, by Benjamín De Hoyos
Of the Seventy

I recently listened to a radio interview with Trey Parker and Matt Stone (link to interview). These two are the creators of the South Park cartoon as well as collaborators on The Book of Mormon Musical. I enjoyed listening to the interview and hearing that while the story line does, indeed, poke fun at members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), the writers wanted to be sure that their admiration and respect for the same members was known.

Part of the interview featured a portion of one of the play's songs. This song, "Two By Two," features missionaries learning of where they are assigned to teach (link to song). Part of the song cleverly (in my opinion) points out the awkwardness of the loooong name of the Church: "We are the army of The Church of Jesus Christ... of Latter-day Saints."

As was discussed in the interview—and sung about in the song—the Church has a long name that doesn't really doesn't roll off the tongue. No wonder we're called Mormons, LDS, etc. by others.

Interestingly, the interview also discussed the official Church response to the musical. Parker actually said that it "is a great response," and Stone added, "which we completely agree with." They even said the response is a sort of QED showing the musical's audiences how "cool" the Church is.

Here's the response, by the way:

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.

In his talk, Elder De Hoyos recounted another radio show interview, this time ne that he and a companion gave on Mexican radio. One of the questions asked was, "Why does the Church have such a long name? Why don't you use a shorter or more commercial name?" After explaining that the name came by revelation from the Lord (see D&C 115:4), the questioner replied, "We will thus repeat it with great pleasure."

I don't recall how old I was when I had those same questions, but I do remember how the very name of the Church helps to clarify what the Church is: it is Jesus Christ's church in the latter-days, distinguished only in time from the Church He established in the Meridian of Time!

Now, I don't know exactly how the Book of Mormon Musical portrays Latter-day Saints, but I do know that there is great joy found in being, as Paul said, "fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God."

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