At $200 a pop, “The Book of Mormon” Broadway production is a sophomoric, vulgar caricature of Mormon missionaries in Africa. It distorts, maligns and childishly ridicules simply to earn a few measly bucks and garner vacuous awards from the narcissistic Tony Awards gang. Any resemblance to anything Mormon is purely coincidental. Sadly, too many will take the production seriously which is more dangerous than if they were to simply be entertained by its malicious humor. Merely having the word Mormon attached to it doesn’t imply that it contributes to any authentic or educational Mormon Moment.
That two Mormons (Romney and Huntsman), each of decidedly liberal political persuasions, are attempting to garner the Republican nomination for president has indeed increased the profile of the religion in many quarters. This alone isn’t really indicative of any Mormon Moment. Historically, others have done the same thing; one of them, Joseph Smith, was martyred for his beliefs.
What might constitute a Mormon Moment is if people would honestly contemplate the following abbreviated list of things related only to Africa (where the insipid BOM Broadway production is supposedly sited). They might come a bit closer to understanding their prejudices and also to what a Mormon Moment really means:
Through Mormon humanitarian efforts in Africa in the last seven years:
• over 4 million people have clean drinking water;
• over 34,000 handicapped kids have wheelchairs;
• millions of children have been vaccinated against killer diseases like measles;
• over 126,000 people have had their sight restored or improved;
• over 52,000 have been trained to help newborns with neonatal resuscitation.
And, when Mormons are successful in leading others to believe Christ and to observe the Thirteenth Article of Faith: “We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men” . . . then, that will be the Mormon Moment.