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Getting It Right: "Why Jews — and Everyone Else — Should See ‘Meet the Mormons’"

meet the mormons poster
Jewish Tablet Magazine writer Yair Rosenberg provides a thoughtful review of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ film “Meet the Mormons” and explains what all communities, religious and otherwise, can learn from the show.

First, Rosenberg explains the important point of what the film seeks to do — namely, to portray the lived faith of Mormons more than to explain doctrinal details. “There’s a reason, in other words, that the film is called Meet the Mormons and not Meet Mormonism,” he says. “It is not so much instructive as illustrative — an effort to show how the LDS Church offers meaning to its followers like any other religion, and thereby to secure its place in the pantheon of American faith.”

And true, as Rosenberg says, the film avoids hot-button issues such as the Church’s views on same-sex marriage. “But you won’t hear much about the diversity, contributions, and personal fulfillment of everyday Mormons in the mainstream media,” he adds, noting that the film is “a necessary corrective to the cartoon caricatures of Mormonism that too often masquerade as respectable representation.”

Rosenberg also notes that although Jews and Mormons have different origins and doctrines, there are “certain aspirations that the film brings to the fore.” For example, he says this film is “an attempt by a minority faith — often maligned as privileged and clannish — to dispel debilitating stereotypes and gain acceptance in the American mainstream.”

The article concludes with a powerful point about how those of other faiths or no faith at all can benefit from the turn-the-other-cheek mentality of the Latter-day Saints.

“Rather than penning angry op-eds or indulging in victimhood, the LDS Church placed tongue-in-cheek ads in the playbill for the musical The Book of Mormon, posted a detailed explanation of its sacred undergarments on its website, and produced a documentary about itself that is utterly devoid of resentment,” Rosenberg says. “It’s an example from which many others, both religious and secular, would do well to learn.”

See Rosenberg’s full review, “Why Jews — and Everyone Else — Should See ‘Meet the Mormons.’

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