A missionary in England named Richard talked about opening night at the Prince of Wales Theatre in London. He said that he staked out the venue ready to spread the word. He looked at the musical as the church does. He takes it for what it is, as for-profit entertainment, but also as an opportunity to convert the willing.
Richard had not viewed the production in full, but he had seen certain parts. He said some of those parts were very funny and that, overall, the musical was meant for people to have a good time.
In 1890 the supreme court ruled to essentially dissolve the Mormon church. At that point, the church caved, upon threats of seizure of church property by the U.S. government. A document called “The Manifesto,” released by LDS president Wilford Woodruff officially renounced having more than one wife.
Achieving statehood was worth it but the rejection of the many wives issue was coerced. Added to that the fact that Smith had written into the religion the go-ahead for plural wives, many Mormons refused to recognize the federal law.
And What About That Other Book?
There are those of us who have learned everything we know about Mormonism seeing “The Book of Mormon,” the catchy-tuned and fun-filled musical by South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Expecting biting irreverence all the way through, it comes as a surprise at intermission that it’s almost a celebration of the LDS Church.
When the curtain goes up after the intermission, however, it’s a different story. The floodgates open and inappropriate humor unleash for about an hour. Upon leaving the theater, one can only wonder how deeply offended an LDS in the audience must’ve felt.
When ‘South Park’ Creators Go Over the Line
Richard’s very upbeat demeanor turned somber as he talked about the specific content of the musical. Trey and Matt’s signature irreverence is impossible to ignore. Speaking to “Lifey,” via a video interview, Richard talked about the way church teachings had been taken out of context in a bad way.
Even though he felt “The Book of Mormon” was not meant to bash his religion but for fun instead, he couldn’t help feeling hurt. Sharing how he really felt he said, “Some very sacred things are made to be playful” and that’s a little difficult. Because seeing those things “in a very nonsacred context is harder to take as a believer in those things.”
Trey Parker: ‘I think Jesus wanted this to happen’
The dynamic duo of dissing everyone joined “60 Minutes” on CBS to talk about the massive success of the musical. The “South Park” creators wrote the lyrics and script with help from Bobby Lopez, first known for scoring the Oscar-winning “Frozen” soundtrack. The collaboration created the worldwide smash with 7 Tony Awards. When the boys are asked about whether “The Book of Mormon” is anti-Mormon they demure.
Trey Parker says that no one wants to see two hours of Mormon bashing. “It’s not a 2-hourlong Mormon bashing, it really isn’t.” Matt Stone breaks in with a quip of truth, “It’s about an hour bashing.”