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Mormon Spotlight Continues as 'Book of Mormon' Play Opens in St. Louis

NEXT IN SERIES: Mormon missionaries in St. Louis reportedly were tripled to intercept audiences at a musical for mature audiences to be shown at The Fox Theatre for the next several weeks, starting Tuesday. Wildwood protests shared electronically.

The irreverent, satiric musical The Book of Mormon starts playing at the Fox Theatre on Tuesday. Because this production is about organized religion, and Mormon dogma in particular, Mormon Reformation supporters organized a protest regarding what they call "Latter Day Saints' covered-up history and dishonest claims" to coincide with the musical's splash.

Read Sunday article from Eureka-Wildwood Patch for background regarding proposed inconsistencies:  Will Wildwood Mormon Church Be Protested Today?

A Patch reader then posted Sunday afternoon about participating in the protest by e-mailing questions to local Mormon church leaders. The posts stated:  "The reply I received was belittling and degrading." The reply, as shared by the poster, indicated Mormon leaders believed the original information supplied as part of the protest was "filled with half truths, misleading falsehoods, and a few downright lies."

The poster also stated part of the reply was:  "You attempt to expose the Book of Mormon as proven false through science. If this is the test for spiritual documents, then the Holy Bible must also be false."

The Mormon congregation based in Wildwood is estimated to be about 500 people, with 100 of them deemed active congregants, said a member who will be called Pat in this article to protect the identity of the real person.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) in Wildwood is located at 17132 Old Manchester Road.

Pat tells Patch that Mormon Church leaders increased the number of missionaries in St. Louis during the time of this related musical from 200 to 600 in anticipation of issuing real copies of "The Book of Mormon," which is a sacred LDS text first published in March 1830 by Joseph Smith as "The Book of Mormon: An Account Written by the Hand of Mormon upon Plates Taken from the Plates of Nephi."

Much of the current debate and protest focuses on the validity and authenticity of founder Joseph Smith's accountings, visions, doctrinal discussions and style of church leadership, which was said to include polyandry. Critics of Smith claim he plagarized portions of the book, and that archaeological evidence to support it is lacking.

"This could be an eye-opener happening in St. Louis. Controlling (people's ideas) within the Mormon church is so true," said Pat. "There is a manual for everything here. They don't appear to want people to think for themselves."

"Some Mormons are stepping out and just want to analyze the church's practices and teachings objectively. Some people feel Joseph Smith's actions were about usurping God's authority. However, nobody but God sits in the judgment seat."

Pat also shared the number of practicing Mormons globally (approximately 14 million) likely is inflated, because the church records and keeps members on its books until each one is 110 years old. Historically, there has been some debate as to how accurately membership records reflect the number of people who actually consider themselves to be Mormons. Read article in rd Magazine (Religion Dispatches):  Mormon Numbers Not Adding Up

Additionally, the rate of activity (people who actually go to church regularly) in the LDS Church has been estimated at around 35 percent worldwide, which would put the number of active Latter-day Saints at under 5 million.

About the Musical Itself

Encore Atlanta indicated The Book of Mormon, winner of nine 2011 Tony Awards including best musical, tells the story of two young Mormon missionaries sent to a remote village in northern Uganda, where a brutal warlord is threatening the local population. Naive and optimistic, the two missionaries try to connect with the locals.

The review specifically stated:

The show also won the Grammy for best musical theater album. It features book, music and lyrics by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone. Parker and Stone are the four-time Emmy Award-winning creators of the landmark animated series, “South Park.” Tony Award-winner Lopez is co-creator of the long-running musical hit Avenue Q.

Tough New York Times theater critic Ben Brantley called The Book of Mormon “the best musical of the century” and “heaven on Broadway.” He said it celebrates “the privilege of living inside that improbable paradise called musical comedy.”

Karen Davis February 20, 2013 at 03:19 AM
I viewed online excerpts of the Book of Mormon Musical. Hilarious! Mormons are likeable, clean-cut, fearful/respectful of their leaders & devout. However, as a Mormon, I also know the dark secretive side. All "good" members are blindly-obedient and don't think for themselves. What is incomprehensible, is that LDS writings and scriptures refute polygamy, secrets, blood oaths, the worship of "Kings" (as seen in the Kingship of their Prophets/Presidents) and blind obedience as warned against by Joseph Smith (Millennial Star #14). In early church history during its "pure years", women and blacks held the priesthood equal to any white man, there was NO polygamy or Masonry! Then corruption began as Joseph Smith failed to heed God's warnings to him against doing his "own will and carnal desires or he would fall". Award-winning LDS Historian D. Michael Quinn found that JS repented of polygamy & Masonry. He failed to complete his repentance (getting back to the original BoM rather than the altered BoM, which changed the identity of God). Those who research Brigham Young find an extremely dark reign of terror over the saints in the Utah valley as seen with the Mountain Meadow Massacre and other murders justified with BY's teachings of "Blood Atonement". LDS scriptures also foretell of a cleansing of this religion from its "follies and abominations" (D&C 124, 112, 64, etc.). Read: The Great & Most Abominable: The Prophetic Cleansing of the Mormon Church" .
John Kire February 20, 2013 at 04:48 AM
For more discussion, see the comments on the related story at: http://eureka-wildwood.patch.com/articles/will-wildwood-mormon-church-be-protested#comments_list
Fred W. Anson February 21, 2013 at 03:38 AM
My favorite song from this great musical (and one with some lyric that Missourians will no doubt find interesting): I Believe (from "The Book of Mormon The Musical") Elder Price: Ever since I was a child I tried to be the best So, what happened? My family and friends all said I was blessed So, what happened? It was supposed to be all so exciting to be teaching of Christ 'cross the sea, But, I allowed my faith to be shaken. Oh, what's the matter with me? I've always longed to help the needy To do the things I never dared. This was the time for me to step up So, then, why was I so scared? A warlord who shoots people in the face. What's so scary about that? I must trust that my Lord is mightier And always has my back. Now I must be completely devout I can't have even one shred of doubt... -continued-
Fred W. Anson February 21, 2013 at 03:42 AM
And now I can feel the excitement. This is the moment I was born to do. And I feel so incredible To be sharing my faith with you. The Scriptures say that if you ask in faith, If you ask God Himself he'll know. But you must ask Him without any doubt And let your spirit grow... I believe that God lives on a planet called Kolob. I believe that Jesus has his own planet as well. And I believe that the Garden of Eden was in Jackson County, Missouri. If you believe, the Lord will reveal it. And you'll know it's all true. You'll just feel it. You'll be a Mormon And, by gosh! A Mormon just believes! Oh, I believe. I believe.
Fred W. Anson February 21, 2013 at 03:43 AM
I believe that the Lord, God, created the universe. I believe that He sent His only Son to die for my sins. And I believe that ancient Jews built boats and sailed to America I am a Mormon, And a Mormon just believes. You cannot just believe part way, You have to believe in it all. My problem was doubting the Lord's will Instead of standing tall. I can't allow myself to have any doubt. It's time to set my worries free. Time to show the world what Elder Price is about! And share the power inside of me... I believe that God has a plan for all of us. I believe that plan involves me getting my own planet. And I believe; that the current President of The Church, Thomas Monson, speaks directly to God. I am A Mormon, And, dang it! a Mormon just believes! I know that I must go and do The things my God commands. I realize now why He sent me here. If You ask the Lord in faith, He will always answer you. Just believe in Him And have no fear! I believe that Satan has a hold of you I believe that the Lord, God, has sent me here And I believe that in 1978, God changed his mind about black people! You can be a Mormon.. A Mormon who just believes! - continued-

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