Category Archives: Mormon Church in Pop Culture

A good clean joke?

Recently I was in a second hand store and was browsing the books. I was flipping through The Best of the Good Clean Jokes by Bob Phillips and happened to come across one related to Mormons. It makes a joke about polygamy. It may be clean, but

A Mormon acquaintance once pushed Mark Twain into an argument on the issue of polygamy. After long and tedious expositions justifying the practice, the Mormon demanded that Twain cite any passage of Scripture expressly forbidding polygamy.

“Nothing easier,” Twain replied. “No man can serve two masters.”

“Mormon mommies have the best blogs”

I’m sure many of you have seen this by now, but recently the Toronto Star had an article about how Mormon “mommy blogs” are among the most popular of that category of blogs. The general thinking is that family is important to us, and Mormon moms can be quite crafty. Lots of non-Mormon women apparently like this.

It’s an interesting read. Check it out at the Toronto Star website.

Tom Hanks’ brief exposure to Mormons

!! About a month ago Tom Hanks was on Fresh Air. Terry Gross mentioned that Mr. Hanks had been around a few different religions when he was younger and he went on to explain each of them. One of them was The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (although only the term Mormon was used).

These guys, literally like The Book of Mormon [musical], they came around in white short-sleeved shirts and black ties and they rode bicycles. They convinced my Dad’s second wife that being a Mormon was just the greatest thing in the world.
My Dad said, “You know what, Whinnie?” (that was her name; sweet lady), “If you want your kids to be baptized in the Mormon church you go right ahead, but no way are my kids going to go through it.”

So we just kind of sat around and enjoyed some good Mormon Family Home Evenings that were choreographed by Elder Paul and Brother Bob and a few other people. They knew magic tricks with coins and were really funny. All the time my dad would sit in the living room with his hands around a can of beer.

From 31:23-32:07 of Tom Hanks Says Self-Doubt Is ‘A High-Wire Act That We All Walk’

If I had a chance to talk with Mr. Hanks, I would tell him that indeed, being a Mormon is the greatest thing in the world! 🙂 (j)

“Things overheard at Jesus’ wedding” Top 10 List from the Late Show with David Letterman

Our local newspaper prints the Top Ten from the Late Show with David Letterman in the paper. I don’t often read them, but did the other day. The list from Tuesday, April 22, 2014 was the “Top 10 things overheard at Jesus’ wedding“. Apparently they had been talking about this with an audience member earlier before the show had started recording. #6 on the list was:

Should’ve  used the Temple in Salt Lake City

It probably got the biggest laugh/cheer in the place, and they put the camera on a man in the audience. I have no idea if that was his joke, or if he’s a Mormon, but I think it was kind of neat that the temple was mentioned.

You can see the video here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQCtKuCC75g

How Salt Lake City won over Goldman Sachs

The London Telegraph has a great article about how Utah has become a friendly place for business:

Although salaries are relatively low in Salt Lake, the Mormon population, which accounts for about half of all residents, tend to be highly educated, hard-working and loyal. More than half are fluent in a second language, thanks in large part to the Latter-day Saints’ tradition of doing a two-year stint as a missionary overseas.

Our first “social media” General Young Women President?

I’m sure many of you have heard by now that there is a new General Young Women President as of this past weekend’s General Conference. My wife is the Young Women President in our ward, so she took particular interest in this. As I was searching for information about here, I found others who had posted that Bonnie Lee Green Oscarson has a Pinterest page. She shows up as Bonnie Oscarson (only the Church would use her long full name) and her username is mormor20.

sister_oscarson_pinterest

If you visit her Pinterest boards, you’ll see that she has a lot of fun. Just today she posted a picture that shows the new Young Women General Presidency and compares them to the look of the fairy godmothers in Sleeping Beauty. Very cute!

There are several Young Women in the ward who love Pinterest, so if Sister Oscarson keeps pinning, I’m sure the girls will be quite interested in what she has to say.

As a side note, apparently Karen J Ashton was a member of the General Young Women Board. She is the wife of Alan C Ashton, the WordPerfect creator. He was the Mission President here in the Toronto area from 2004-2007, so I’ve met/seen her and heard her speak in person. She is excellent. I wonder if she’ll still be on the board when it is called again.

UPDATE: The paragraph above about Karen J Ashton originally said that she is a member. The page I linked to may get updated at some point, but at the time of this writing it is showing the former board members.

Mormon Church buys ads in Book of Mormon programme

I’m sure this has been done in many cities where the “Book of Mormon” musical is being presented, but this one is very close to home (I live about an hour away from Toronto).

From the Toronto Star:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints hopes patrons who see the runaway hit stage musical The Book of Mormon when it lands in Toronto next month will also check out the scripture that inspired it.

The church, which has no involvement in the frequently blasphemous religious satire, has bought three full-page ads in the Mirvish Productions programme for the show to encourage theatregoers to read the actual Book of Mormon.

“You’ve seen the play . . . now read the book,” says one ad.

“I’ve read the book,” reads another.

“The book is always better,” concludes a third.

NPR’s On Point – Mormon Moment

I think I’ve mentioned before that I go for a walk every day at lunch along the Niagara Parkway in Niagara Falls, Ontario (I work there). I usually listen to a podcast (sports talk show out of Toronto, various NPR shows, or Church-related shows). The other day I listened to an On Point episode from last week called The Mormon Moment. It was quite a good show. Host Tom Ashbrook had 3 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on to talk about how Mormons felt about this “moment” and what it meant to them and the Church. There was time for a few callers, and the questions were respectful. Unfortunately, many of the comments on the On Point web site are not.

If you have some time or like to listen to podcast while walkin/running or driving to work, you should definitely check it out.

8 religious wonders to see in the U.S.

(I promise this is my last CNN link for at least a little while)

Salt Lake Temple Dedication Day

Salt Lake Temple Dedication Day.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mormon_Temple_under_construction_Salt_Lake_City.jpg

CNN has a Summer Travel series and they recently posted about 8 religious wonders to see in the U.S.. I don’t know if it is any particular order, but the Salt Lake Temple is listed as number 6. There is a picture and the following brief description:

The Neo-Gothic Salt Lake Temple, which was dedicated in 1893, took 40 years to construct.

Then further down in the article are a few more paragraphs about the temple and Temple Square:

The Neo-Gothic building, which was dedicated in 1893, took 40 years to construct. Except for some of its hardware and glass, the temple was built completely of native materials. With five floors, six spires — the tallest standing at 210 feet — and a granite facade, the structure is definitely imposing.

I’ve never been to Salt Lake City before other than when I flew in and out of the airport when I was a missionary. There was no opportunity to visit Temple Square, and I’ve never made it back. I hope to visit someday…

“The Mormon way of business”

I generally try to keep up with news items in the “big” mainstream media when the Church is mentioned. The May 5, 2012 print edition of The Economist had a pretty decent one-page article about the Church and how we may have an disproportionately large number of successful business people. The article talks off by talking about the “I’m a Mormon” campaign, and then says:

The snag is, not everyone will buy the idea that Mormons are just like the rest of us. They don’t get drunk. They have large families, stable marriages and a three-month supply of food in the larder in case of Armageddon. They are usually clean-cut and neatly dressed (the facial hair in the “I’m a Mormon” ads is thankfully atypical). And they have a passion for business.

Less than 2% of Americans are Mormons, yet their commercial prominence belies their numbers. Mitt Romney founded Bain Capital, a private-equity powerhouse. Jon Huntsman senior (the father of Mr Romney’s rival for the Republican crown) founded Huntsman Corporation, an $11 billion chemicals giant. David Neeleman has founded two cut-price airlines: JetBlue in America and Azul in Brazil. Ralph Atkin started a third: SkyWest Airlines. Eric Varvel is the boss of Credit Suisse’s investment bank, Harris Simmons heads Zions Bancorporation, a more local bank, and Allan O’Bryant runs the Japanese arm of Reinsurance Group of America. J.W. Marriott runs the hotel chain his father created. Had Max Weber lived a century later, he might have made sweeping generalisations about the “Mormon work ethic”.

There obviously isn’t really a spiritual slant to the article, but I always find it interesting to read what others think about us and how we are perceived.