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I'm a Mormon billboard campaign about ending myths, not Mitt Romney, spokesman says

im a mormon billboard cropped.jpg
Big pics below.
"I'm a Mormon," announce billboards currently popping up in Denver -- and the timing of their appearance have suggested to some observers that they're intended to boost the presidential aspirations of Mitt Romney, the present frontrunner in the GOP presidential sweepstakes. But a local spokesman insists that's not so.

"Whenever there's a correlation between events, people draw conclusions," notes Lynn Southam, speaking for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the metro area. "But I'm a retired lawyer, and as I used to say, 'Wrong assumption, wrong conclusion.'"

im a mormon billboard 2.JPG
Southam says the billboard campaign grew out of a survey conducted four years ago, which suggested "there were a lot of misconceptions, a lot of myths, about the Church." With that in mind, LDS officials set up Mormon.org, a website where people can get their questions answered even if bike-riding youth in white shirts and black ties don't knock on their door.

The billboards are intended to point folks toward the site, Southam explains -- and while the placards are only now arriving in Denver, they began appearing in other places, including New York City and Colorado Springs, last year. Moreover, the current roll-out of twelve cities includes some outside of the U.S., including Brisbane, Australia -- where, presumably, no one is equating the signs with Romney or John Huntsman, the other Republican presidential candidate who's an LDS member (albeit one who typically polls in the single digits).

As for why targeting Denver makes sense, Southam points out that "we have 140,000 members of the church in Colorado," out of fourteen million worldwide, "and 100,000 of those are along the Front Range. And in the metro area, we have 65,000 to 70,000 members, which is quite surprising to some people. They may not realize that some of their neighbors are members."

im a mormon billboard.jpg
According to Southam, the campaign as a whole has three central messages: to set the record straight about those aforementioned misconceptions; to emphasize that the LDS church is indeed Christian (something that should be obvious due to the presence of "Jesus Christ" in its moniker); and to engage members in the broader discussion of the faith.

"There's a conversation going on about the church, and we want to be part of that conversation," he stresses. "If you want to know about the Catholic Church, you talk to a Catholic. If you want to know about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you talk to a member. In fact, members have been given a little pass-along card to give to people, and the benefit of that is, it lets people with questions go to the website and get information -- and get a better sense of who we are and what we're about."

And, in this case, "we" doesn't necessarily equate to Romney and Huntsman.

More from our Media archive: "Judgment Day is coming May 21: Downtown billboard guarantees it."


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46 comments
Ozpoof
Ozpoof

I'd say the push into Australia is about the high Aussie dollar. More bang for the tithing buck.

rude but true
rude but true

These signs should be changed to read "Im a white guy, but I will fuck whoever, thats cool" 

anybody else notice that most of these signs feature a white guy, and a woman of some undetermined ethnicity that might happen if their mammas had been fucked by whitey.... 

Cant have lotsa wives anymore, but we still got the maid.... 

Ken Harmon
Ken Harmon

Listen to what Jeffers has to say and take note of the spiritual impressions you feel in your heart.  Then head over to www.mormon.org and look around for a little while.  Ask yourself if what you feel is different than what you felt when you listened to Pastor Jeffers.  That feeling in your heart is one we hope you will trust.  Here are two clips:

Elder Jeffrey R Holland, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, 2007 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

Original 13 minutes http://lds.org/general-confere...

Fletch!
Fletch!

Mormons... How I enjoy you! Let me count the ways!1. Prosthelytizing to the susceptible poor in foreign lands2. Using genealogy to baptize the dead, which included using Nazi records to baptize Jews killed in the Holocaust. BTW, when you provide your family info to those ancestry sites, you provide them more names of the dead to make Mormon.3. Not accepting black people into higher levels of the church until 1978.4. Being polytheists! Why are those families so big? Well, if you are a man (women serve the man in this religion), your universe, to which you are a God, is based on the number of kids you have. The bigger your family, the greater your universe it! So many people can become gods.5. Secret handshakes to get you into heaven! One of the final things they teach you in their silly religion is that in order to get into heaven you need to know a special ritual that you will perform  before you enter the afterlife. You basically have to give Jesus a special high five in order to get into his frat party.

I could go on and on, but I won't. It's a silly religion, maybe a little more silly that then other ones. They're not like me...

Anna-lee Justine Peterson
Anna-lee Justine Peterson

What surprises me is that several people who have posted below have included a link to information that they found on the internet that they believe to be true about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, when the whole reason this campaign started was to direct people to a site that has CORRECT information about the faith. 

Anonymous
Anonymous

It's amazing how people in the 21st century are so full of hate towards this religion.  When people lashed out at Muslims, the country was quick to reassess the hate as unfair and ignorant, since it was based mostly on assumptions about the connection between Muslims and Terrorists.

The Morman religion deserves equal respect from people as any other.  You certainly wouldn't hear this much uproar about Jews.  But, then again, it took an entire genocide to get people to lay off a bit.

To assume you know everything about an entire religion by watching two forms of entertainment by Matt Parker and Trey Stone does nothing more than solidify your lack of intelligence.  It seems you would believe that Succubus' exist too, since they appeared in an episode of South Park. 

The missionaries of the LDS church are indeed quite versed in both the Book of Morman as well as the Bible.  Go talk with a missionary.  Ask them questions.  You will find your foot has been in your lodged in your mouth for some time.

Just like any other form of Advocacy, this is a harmless way for the Mormon Church to attempt to help educate the people of our culture that believe such harsh, negative things about their religion based solely on rumor and the entertainment industry. 

Lets all try to be adults of a civilized nation based on freedom of religion and expression and have some respect. 

Guest Who
Guest Who

Simply put. The Mormon church called themselves a cult, when they denounced Warren Jeffs. Because John Smith would have been so proud!

JoethePlumber
JoethePlumber

When does the Rick Perry inspired "I'm a Doofus" campaign begin?

"Coyote shooting jogger, racist, C-student at a state school, hypocritical Christian...I'm Rick Perry, and I'm a Doofus."

It's the only campaign that would be all-inclusive for Republican politicians.

Guest Who
Guest Who

I love how they have a token Black person on that billboard though. LMAO. He probably plays for BYU. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B... was probably Black, Smith certainly wasn't. If I ever agreed with a Christian Conservative it is the illegitimacy of Mormonism.OH BTWThey distance themselves from Warren Jeffs and Polygamist cults, yet Joseph Smith was murdered (and martyred) for what exactly? Inciting a riot in the name of Polygamy?? Hmmm... Who does that remind you of? Not exactly a ChristLike thing to do. 

Guest Who
Guest Who

Everything anybody ever needs to know about Mormonism has already been depicted brilliantly by Trey Parker and Matt Stone in the Tony Award winning musical The Book Of Mormon, and before that on the episode of South Park that dealt with Mormonism.

Furthermore, I think it was worth noting that they have a bunch of young kids riding around on bikes with name tags that declare them to be "Elders". However, most of these kids have not actually read ANY scripture, except for the highly dubious Book of Mormon (not the musical the book).

For instance, if you were to quote to them THE VERY LAST SENTENCE of the Bible where John proclaims that he who tries to add an additional book to the end of the Bible will suffer a shitload of plagues and what not. I guess If I were riding around with one of those additional books in my backpack, preaching from it, I might want to ignore that passage too...

Fuck Rick Perry though. 

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

The "I'm a Mormon" campaign may not benefit Romney.  The Rabid Right may yet rally fundamentalists for Perry or Bachmann as true believers against the demonic cultist.  An explication of the tenets of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints may inflame the orthodox and is most unlikely to reassure the moderate or liberal.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

Who is Jeffers and why do you want us to listen to what he has to say?

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Very interesting post, Anonymous. We're going to make it an upcoming Comment of the Day. Thanks for reading and sharing your views.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

In order to understand any religion one should examine its doctrinal basis and history.  The "I'm a Mormon" campaign will be giving such subjects a wide berth, because (to most objective Americans) the doctrinal basis and history of Mormonism are especially ridiculous.

Anna-lee Justine Peterson
Anna-lee Justine Peterson

Warren Jeffs is not part of the "Mormon" church. He was part of a group of fundamentalists that the Church of Latter Day Saints does not condone nor support. Secondly, it's Joseph Smith not John Smith. 

CandidusCA
CandidusCA

...and why the fascination with other peoples' underwear???

CandidusCA
CandidusCA

The issue isn’t how you define “cult”, but rather the insult implicit in the word … a shorthand wayto put all 14 million members of the LDS church into a pejorative box.  Of course, it’s always reasonable to discussdifferences in theology, just leave out the name-calling.

Jim Henson
Jim Henson

Wikipedia is not a credible source of information... if you had an education you would know this.  Stupid is as stupid does...

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

Your link is dead.  Mormons believe(d) that the natives of South America killed the Jewish settlers God had transported there, that they were therefore accursed, and (somehow) that this onus attached to people with African forebears  The Prophet had some revelation some years back that somehow people with more melanin than Caucasians are now rehabilitated and eligible for the priesthood, which is supposed to include all males in the community.  If any Mormons care to correct or elaborate my account, by all means weigh in -- are there any whatever-ites in South America still accursed by God for killing off the supernaturally transplanted Israelites, e.g.?

Dr21
Dr21

Many books were removed from the Bible.  It was not written in order or all at once, the Bible is a collection of books.  The Bible says that you can't add or remove anything from it.  What about those books that were removed?  Do you think they are scripture?  Mormon missionaries volunteer their own time and money to serve 2 year missions for the church.  Members of the LDS church deeply study and accept the Bible as the word of God.  Those "Elders" attend seminary which is an extra hour each school day dedicated to scripture study for all four years of high school.  Then they attend Institute which can be anywhere from 1-2 hours a day during college.  Everything that you posted is based off of misconceptions and opinions.  All the fears that non-members have about mormons would quickly go away if the truth was learned.  Please go to the source for valid information.  Mormon.org.

Anna-lee Justine Peterson
Anna-lee Justine Peterson

Just FYI, the book in the bible you're referring to is Revelations; which has been proven to have been written before SEVERAL of the other books in the bible. So your argument about not "add(ing) an additional book," doesn't really hold up. 

Guest
Guest

Robert, Jeffress is a Pastor of a Baptist church in Dallas. He claims he is  man of God, and yet trashes the Mormon faith publicly as he introduced Rick Perry at a Republican Debate. The verbiage he used during several interviews were thought inappropriate by several Mormons and Non-Mormons including Rick Perry himself. I think what Ken was trying to show was how the LDS church preaches by sharing what they believe instead of pointing the finger at other faith's faults.

Anonymous
Anonymous

The problem with that thought (of it being "ridiculous") is that every religion is, by those same ideas, ridiculous.  The only argument people can come up with that is not directly in line with doctrines and history is that Mormonism is fairly recent in history.  But anyone who studies religions wholly knows that.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

Jeffs is (or was) the Prophet of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints which hews to the teaching of Mormonism's founder Joseph Smith that the Church should practice polygamy.

Webster
Webster

All religions are cults.  That you find the word a pejorative is telling.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

Nonsense!  There are better and worse articles in Wikipedia, just like any other encyclopedia.  The references in the articles that appear in Wikipedia can be checked like any other.  To claim that educated people know that Wikipedia is not credible is just ignorant cant.

Jon-Michael DeShazer
Jon-Michael DeShazer

They were not Jewish settlers.  They were members of the Tribe of Joseph through Manasseh.

Was the church allowing blacks to hold priesthood authority in the church?  Not until 1978.  Yes there are several reason that early church leaders used to perhaps justify why, but none of these reasons were doctrinally based, but rather the opinions of those in charge.  The fact is, this hasn't been an issue in 33 years and there are many black members of the LDS faith.

LDSapostate
LDSapostate

Dr21 -> The source likes to change it's story often, therefore the source cannot be relied upon by any thinking and reasoning human. I will share just a few reasons for my premise with you. Revisionism and apologetics don't cut it in our world of evidence and science. The Mormon church has been on the defense ever since it was created for many legitimate reasons. The Earth's studied scientific history simply outweighs LDS faith in Joseph Smith and his amazing claims. Mormons seem to have the faith promoting story polished and ready for delivery and sale. The story the church publishes and constantly scrubs clean of historical facts falls apart quickly upon inspection. When it comes to actually reading accounts from people and publications of the time, mormons are remarkably ignorant of their own past. Why should we accept a religion which was clearly created in contemporary times by a convicted thief / seer / magician and profiteer? A church created by an exceptionally disturbing individual that makes Warren Jeffs look like an amateur? A manipulative man with 33 wives and 1,000 failed prophecies in the late 1800's (not that long ago - hint, see also "megalomaniac"). A man who preached that the great black and or dark men and women of this planet are marked with the curse of Cain!? White is delightsome but "Dark people are bad... (until we need those highway dollars from the Federal government), then god told us it's ok... (send the check to church headquarters...) "Come on in 'dark skinned' people, so nice to see yooooouuuuuuu!!!!!!!!! Would you like some jello? Now give us 10% of your income!! You are making a living thanks to civil rights and mormon Jesus needs his piece if you want to make it into one of the two lower levels of heaven we believe in aside from our top level heaven reserved for us! Wow!! Can you believe we beat south Africa in the race of race!? Good job mormons, we are following a Profit, seer and blah blah". Does any of this sound like anything Jesus Christ said or did to anyone, besides a mormon? I know the facts are "offensive" to mormons. That is why they change them so often. They live in an incredible psychic bubble that Edward Barnays would be very, very proud of. Mormons are good at changing the truth into a "better" and more faith inspiring "truthiness" for the good of the flock. When is it time for people to take a look at what they are involved in with a critical eye? When should the claims of "Scientific mormonism", scientology, Islam, or Christianity be taken seriously and held accountable? The only people who believe the stories in the BOM as actual historical fact are the LDS followers. Same goes for the great flood in the Bible. No Scientists, Historians, Archeologists, or sane people (even mormons I know admit it is all BS but are clinging to the community and family aspects out of...???...FEAR!!!). The mormon church is growing and is hovering around 14 million claimed followers. Mormons... You people are mostly good and loving individuals. Some of you are greedy evil curs... but I digress. Great people and families for the vast majority of you, no doubt in my mind. You have that no matter what any "Profit" says because you created it yourselves. Mormons don't need grand expensive buildings and secret combinations and political campaigns and TV commercials to get into a first class celestial heaven. You are all in God school here, right? Becoming God's? Try to save your ten percent church fee for your family and for those you can help personally for six months and watch what happens. Jesus is just fine without $Cash$$ money to use on expensive real estate projects and political campaigns benefiting a business and very few people. You will see it if you ever read the KJ Bible and compare it your holy books with a critical eye. Pray about it. I know you are busy with your Doctrine and Covenants, which was erroneously "translated" from Egyptian funeral texts before Joe Smith thought anyone knew Egyptian, but check it out sometime. Face the facts and evolve everyone! GOOD LUCK, I love you all and hope you will begin to wake from your slumber!

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

Add away.

Anybody who finds the most stultifying parts of the Old Testament riveting will love its long-lost companion volume, translated from "Old Egyptian" by Joseph Smith with the aid of a seer-stone off of gold plates lent to him by an angel by the name of Moroni.

Webster
Webster

Agreed.  Every religion is ridiculous.

John Hutchins
John Hutchins

Broadly informative yes, I am not sure about deeply. The LDS Church encourages, rather than forbids, people to have an online presence so if Wikipedia has actually false information then that would be the fault of the members. People should probably go to both sites so that they can see what the LDS Church says about it self and what the objective facts are.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

right -- you have been wearing that attitude on your sleeve throughout this exchange.  I already know about your faith -- far more than most non-Mormons, at least.  All I meant to indicate was that the articles in Wikipedia about Mormonism are informative and objective -- you seem to assume that they are instead inaccurate and hostile.  You also did not answer my question -- unless the Church has explicitly forbidden it, many Mormons are likely keeping those articles fair.  I have visited the LDS website -- I am not warning people away from it or challenging you to prove something, I merely suggest that Wikipedia is more broadly and deeply informative about Mormonism than a site devoted to proselytization for it and I cannot fathom how this assertion can be controversial..

Anna-Lee
Anna-Lee

Why? If you wanted to know about my faith for any other reason other than to insult it and bash it, you would make the effort to compare the wikipedia articles to the campaign site yourself. I have nothing to prove to you. The information is there for people who have a higher interest and purpose for their curiosity. Why waste my time and breath on someone who will never change their view because they're constantly waiting for the next opportunity to rebut and insult.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

Instead of attacking Wikipedia, why don't you identify some datum in their articles about your religion and its history which is not correct -- don't you realize that many Mormons are scrutinizing and editing all these articles?  As for the LDS website, it is intended to proselytize rather than inform -- anyone seeking an objective understanding (as opposed to shopping for a religion) should definitely stick with Wikipedia.

Anna-lee Justine Peterson
Anna-lee Justine Peterson

As you may have been able to tell, I am a Mormon. And coming from someone who is definitely more knowledgeable than most, Wikipedia is NOT a good source of information. Wikipedia is hardly ever a good source of information due to the fact that ANYONE can create a Wikipedia page; at most universities, professors will not accept Wikipedia as a cited source due to its lack of credibility. But again, if you don't want to hear information from the horses mouth (the reason for the "I am Mormon" campaign) don't go to the website. Simple as that. 

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

Thank-you so much for your gloss on Mormon polygamy.  I quite agree that "these things can be answered beyond a quick assumption", and you should start by reading the article on the "Utah War" in Wikipedia (the information in which might have prevented you from making the assumption that "Once there was no longer a threat, they threw out the practice of polygamy").  If you want to adopt so didactic a tone, consider getting a clue about the subject matter first.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

Anyone wanting objective information about any church should certainly look further afield than that church's website!!!

I have known and discussed their religion with Mormons and have learned about Mormon doctrines and history from a variety of sources.  As is usually the case, Wikipedia is an excellent resource for those who want to learn more -- start with "Mormonism".

Anna-lee Justine Peterson
Anna-lee Justine Peterson

Robert, you are correct. But that's like saying the alphabet is made up of just A and Z and disregarding everything in between. There is A LOT of history in between Joseph Smith time and Warren Jeffs. With that aside, the "I'm a Mormon" campaign is promoting the LDS church not the FLDS. It is merely an attempt for people of a specific faith to share with the world what they believe, why is that so wrong? If you're not interested don't go to the website. 

Anonymous
Anonymous

Back when they practiced polygamy, the members of the church were being literally hunted down and killed for their practices.  As a preventative method of holding up their population, in order to continue the faith of their religion, they began to practice polygamy.  Once there was no longer a threat, they threw out the practice of polygamy.  It was simply a survival tactic based on their faith.  Once again, these things can be answered beyond a quick assumption.

CandidusCA
CandidusCA

Nothing wrong with the word, just the implicit insult ...

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