Is the Church coming out of Obscurity?

Not too many Democrats like Romney for his being Republican and Mormon. But on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Chris Matthews and others complimented Romney for his New Hampshire acceptance speech, which was a call to return to American normalcy.  Matthews explained that it has a lot to do with the LDS view on family, faith, and America as a divinely inspired nation.

And last night on my drive home, NPR was talking about the elections in New Hampshire with Romney and Huntsman, and then talked about two other Mormons in NH.  Yes, they talked with two missionaries, who talked about LDS neutrality.  NPR stated they don’t see tv or read papers, but do get 1/2 hour a week on the Internet, on Mormon.Org.  They then talked about some of the profiles there, etc.

A year ago, we had the Book of Mormon broadway show in the news. We have Mitt and Huntsman in the news.  We have the “I’m a Mormon” campaign in the news.  All of this is going international in the papers and news.  Some call it the “Mormon moment.”  Is this the time when the church comes “out of obscurity”? (D&C 1:30).

It sure looks that way to me.  The question will be, how can we capitalize on it locally, so we can help others lift their lives, have a better attitude towards Mormonism, and see that its teachings can benefit mankind?

9 thoughts on “Is the Church coming out of Obscurity?

  1. Our ward sponsers community lectures once a quarter in our cultural hall. It’s great because most of the people that come are not LDS, but can see that we’re not so werid after all. Personally, I’ve spent many hours convinceing the neighbors that although we have food storage, we do not have a bomb shelter in the back yard.

  2. Personally, I’ve spent many hours convinceing the neighbors that although we have food storage, we do not have a bomb shelter in the back yard.

    Smart. That way, when the bombing starts, you can have the place to yourself.

  3. Joyce, what is the format and ground rules for the community cultural hall lectures? Sounds like something of real worth. I’d like to know more.

  4. I find that some bishops and stake presidents are very leery about having an open discussion with the public regarding the Church (and sometimes even with the members). However, more and more are becoming media savvy, and realize the best way to deal with it is not to have one’s head in the sand.
    My stake president is very involved here in Indianapolis. We are putting together a speaker’s bureau that can speak on a variety of topics regarding LDS issues.

    Having an open house to allow others to “know the Mormons” may also be a great idea to have.

  5. One problem that I don’t think is getting addressed is those places (think Utah) where the LDS Church is out of obscurity. Is perceptions and attitudes toward Mormons and the Church in those places different than others? To be honest, our mission is to share the Gospel and not just prove how normal we are. I am all for expanding people’s understanding of us as people, but what costs and to what purpose?

  6. @JCC — to answer your question = The ward mission council in conjunction with the bishopric decide on what they want the theme to be and then invite the appropriate speakers. I live in Los Alamos, NM, home of Los Alamos National Lab and the Manhattan Project. We’re really lucky to still have in our community many top scientists that worked with Oppenheimer, Fermi among the other greats. They come and talk about their experinces working at the Lab. We’ve also had former lab directors speak about various topics. One in particular, Sig Hecker, works with the State Department and goes to North Korea all the time. We have him speak at least once a year on conditions there — those are always packed — and very interesting. We’ve also had local historians and authors come and talk about thier topics. Specifically about the Cerro Grande Fire that burned the town down in 2000. I’m sure in the next year we’ll have people talking about the Los Conchas fire which almost burned us out in 2011. We’ve also had the director of the Forest Service come in and talk about the water issues facing Northern New Mexico.

    It can really be about whatever your ward or stake wants it to be. The speakers are ususally not members of the Church and we adverstise in the local paper, at the Chamber of Commerce and around town. We also are a pretty small town, so everyone knows everyone, and word of mouth is pretty big as well.

    We’ve had pretty good sucess with the lectures and it’s nice to have people come in the building to socialize and meet us.

  7. Rameumpton, the concerns you raise about leadership not being comfortable with talking to media is a good topic. Do you know if any workshops or training is given to leaders at all on how to deal with the media, the public and so on? I know in my hometown, there were 2 or 3 brothers specifically called to be media liasons for the Church. And in my stake currently, we have a media liason. Is that an isolated calling or more widepsread — does any one know?

  8. Joyce, it is becoming more and more common to have media liaisons. Ours became apparent when the Indy temple was announced, so it is rather recent. Also we are a key city in the “I’m a Mormon” campaign.

    We are lucky to have several members that work for media outlets here, and they are on the committee for public affairs.

    I’m not sure how much assistance the Church gives to other areas, but we’ve received some good training here, but again it is because of the “I’m a Mormon” and temple events.

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