As a Christian who has long been a fan of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I am saddened and disappointed that the church leaders have decided to not only strip the word “Mormon” from its unofficial, but most well-known brand-name world-wide, but to actively campaign against its use.
Church President Russell M. Nelson has stressed on several occasions: “The Lord has impressed upon my mind the importance of the name he has revealed for His Church,” “It will be a challenge to undo tradition of more than 100 years,” and “It’s not Mormon’s church, it’s not Moses’ church, it’s the church of Jesus Christ.”
There is no doubt that Nelson is sincere and has the best interests of his faith and his flock at heart. That said, it will indeed be odd to suddenly have the world-famous 171 year-old Mormon Tabernacle Choir identified as “The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square.”
More than odd, as a Christian who deeply respects and appreciates the Mormon faith, I do view this as unfortunately one more sign that those who continually push intolerance and hate are succeeding in their never-ending mission to eradicate any “tradition” which does not conform to their radical views.
For well over a century, the “Mormon” name has truly equated to faith, charity, love, forgiveness, and patriotism. Those of the Mormon faith that I have been blessed to know and call “friends,” are collectively, the most decent people I have ever known.
Sadly, the “Mormon” name really started to become problematic in February of 2011 when the vile musical “The Book of Mormon” debuted on Broadway.
Not surprisingly, basically every liberal reviewer in the land heaped praise on the musical which went out of its way to belittle and smear the Mormon faith. More than that, it won nine Tony Awards including “Best Musical.” The left simply could not get enough of a Christian sect being defamed.
Josh Hammer – a Duke and University of Chicago Law School graduate and writer for The Daily Wire – rightfully wrote a scathing review of the musical in 2014 for Red State in which he referred to it as: “an insidiously blasphemous Broadway play … besmirched with acts of unspeakable sexual deviancy … the on-stage parodying of Mormonism is deemed politically correct and is lavishly celebrated by the usual suspects in a way that applies to few if any other faiths.”
The fact is, those who created and funded “The Book of Mormon” would not dare depict another faith in such a way. But as Christians well know, Christians are always in season.
When I wrote a book about Jesus Christ several years ago which was referred to as a “Vision,” I was ridiculed by many on the left – and a number of rigid Christians --- because of my words and my faith. Criticism which means less than nothing when compared to love, message and teachings of Jesus Christ.
We either believe or we don’t.
We either stand strong for our beliefs or become silent accomplices to their eradication.
To close his review of the bigoted and reprehensible “Book of Mormon” musical, Josh Hammer paraphrased Martin Niemoller – the German Lutheran Pastor who stood against Hitler -- by saying:
“First, it became politically acceptable to blasphemize and parody Mormonism, and I did not speak out because I was not a Mormon…”
Well, now is the time to stand and be counted.
I, for one, choose to speak out in defense of the word “Mormon,” and for a faith which does honor Jesus Christ in word and deed and could never offend Him.
The Mormon faith.
Douglas MacKinnon is a former White House and Pentagon official and author of the book: The Forty Days – A Vision of Christ’s Lost Weeks. (Simon & Schuster – 2015)