Missing the Mormon Message
Without question, The Church of Jesus of Christ of Latter-day Saints wants greater exposure from the release of their film, Meet the Mormons.
For 185 years they have been perpetually sending missionaries to the four corners of the earth. Eighty-eight thousand are currently serving. That's a long time, and that's a lot of young men and women who have responded to the Biblical command to evangelize.
Why then, are there so many prevalent myths and distorted views of Mormons when they have been preaching the gospel for such a long time?
Meet the Mormons is getting a wide range of responses. Some believe that the film was not an honest portrayal of how many Mormons live and experience their religion. Robert Kirby is one of them, and he is a Mormon. "There were lots of images of us behaving appropriately," he wrote in the Salt Lake Tribune. "If Meet the Mormons is intended to show that we're just like you non-Mormons, it probably left you scratching your heads as well. I don't know anyone that tidy and unblemished. I'll bet you don't either."
His review might be too cynical. We focus too much on the outward appearances in people. The film is about governing principles that have led people to more productive and happy lives, not some ideal image or perfect Mormon family. Many who see the film will be objective and naturally understand that the families represented have moments of contention, un-kempt homes, setbacks, weaknesses, worries and so forth.
Meet the Mormons illustrates that there are people who choose more family time and helping their neighbors over more professional time and overdosing on selfishness. The film depicts a man who responded to the whisperings of the Holy Ghost, and his actions blessed suffering children. The same spirit can operate upon the minds of hearts of people today who in turn can bless someone. The film shows that the gospel of Jesus Christ has the power to rescue individuals in dire and lonely situations. Plenty of people are in a terrible fix today. Meet the Mormons shows that an individual can choose faith in Jesus Christ over all other earthly pursuits. It shows that individuals can not only bless their family but those around them as they freely give of their time and talents.
The six individuals (more so, the families) highlighted in the film are reflective of millions people (and not just Mormon people). People who have learned the same principles and are selflessly performing remarkably well on the stage God gave them.
To view this film as merely image driven exposure for the Mormon Church is missing the inspiring purpose of the movie.