Loved this photo and commentary by Christa Woodall, on JWeekly.com, one who records what others say about what it’s really like serving as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ in Africa–dispelling myths and mockery in the Book of Mormon Musical:
If anyone thinks we as missionaries were not really grappling with the poverty, sickness, and suffering we inevitably came across, they’re dead wrong. Things were hard to cope with. We were troubled, we were angry, we were disappointed, we were devastated. We often laughed, when there wasn’t anything else to do. We did pray, we did rely on our faith in Christ and in the teachings of the Church; that doesn’t mean, though, that we ever felt we had easy answers or that we found quick and permanent resolution to the concerns that troubled us.” - Jay Bostwick
The official Church statement regarding the Book of Mormon Musical can be found at the official LDS Newsroom Site.
Here’s what David, a New-Yorker had to say, who was willing to shell out hundreds when he initially heard about The Book of Mormon Musical, Trey Park, Matt Stone, and Robert Lopez’s satire, lampooning two Mormon missionaries serving in Africa (See what really happens in Africa below, as a result of missionary work and humanitarian aid):
It is REALLY vulgar…I mean a lot of cursing… more than I really felt comfortable with… a lot of blasphemy……they just went too far….. do not take kids to this, or your parents as they may want to walk out they will get so offended…
Many of the jokes were funny, but the plot just did not move fast enough for me… many of the scenes were just too long and dragged out…
Cowardly, it seems to me for those intentionally wanting to attend a mockery of a production, never having read The Book of Mormon itself. Off Broadway, the truth about the doctrines and lives of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, engages over 13 million. Railing against the truth only moves our work forward, as honest seekers become more curious, and The Book of Mormon continues to be produced and sent all over the world as a Second Testament of Jesus Christ. I testify that it is what it purports to be. God continues to speak to us today.
Have to say, it makes me wonder: when Parker was hurt after a break-up with a Latter-day Saint girl, if this is the only way he could continue to vent. Sabotage through what one writer aptly called “delivering spiritual anthrax” in a “colorful envelope.” Max Wilson goes on to say:
It’s not just the extremely offensive language. Even disregarding the vulgarity, the only way I can think to describe the message of the music is Anti-Christ. There is absolutely nothing uplifting, edifying, or virtuous to be gleaned.
Here’s what Mormon missionaries and Latter-day Saint (“Mormons”) do to help the people in Africa. Who is it, did they say, who is “unequipped” to contribute to humanitarian efforts globally? And what has Southpark done recently for them?
- To date, members of the Church of Jesus Christ have helped 7 million people in more than 5,000 communities obtain access to clean water.
- n 2008, the Church began work on an 18-mile-long pipe that will bring clean water to the central African city of Luputa and nearby villages. In 2009, this same pipeline delivered water to the African villages of Tshiabobo, Mafumba, Kasha and Ibola.
- Regarding the Measles Initiative–a high-quality measles immunization campaign involving The Church of Jesus Christ (“Mormons”), Red Cross, UN Children’s Fund, and other orgs, a study published in The Lancet, an international medical journal, gives credit to these for having reduced measles cases by 91 percent in 19 African nations from 2000 to 2003, preventing an estimated 90,000 child deaths in 2003 alone.
Gospel of Jesus Christ: The Complete Tool Kit that “Mormons” Utilize
I listened to the interview of South Park proselyteers regarding their creation of a mock Book of Mormon production. Why so foul, why so much distortion? The verbal description of missionaries “sent to Africa with insufficient tool kits” is insidious. Are we alone equipped for life? The gospel is the toolkit and ‘it’ is complete; without it, we are not, and our resources are never enough, at 19 or 49 or 79.
None of us can do anything, even breathe, without God. Of course, as a missionary myself, I had to stretch, identify with the concerns of Germans, learn their concerns, their view of life, their culture, and then with that and the gospel, find the way to utilize that kit. Are any of us fully prepared for what we see when we step outside and see the conditions in India, or in the aftermath of Haiti or in African villages? Are any of us really prepared? Spiritually, missionaries have prepared all their lives, in many cases. They are armed not with a power that would please South Park or be apparent to those looking in the window with little accurate information. Their armor is real; the sword of truth is invincible, and they learn what to do, even as they search, struggle, experience gawky moments, through the Spirit of God. They wrestle, they work, they get into those communities and assist the poor, teach self-reliance, offer hope, and strengthen those with feeble knees.