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Friday, July 12, 2013

7/12/2013

The summer term has brought time to enjoy local theatre. Last night I had the opportunity at last to see the much-hailed musical, “The Book of Mormon.” The ticket stub itself was a spoiler for the tone of the show, a last warning to any purchaser who might have thought this was a fair and respectful infomercial for the benefits of the Mormon Church, “Parental Advisory: Explicit Language.” Indeed, the lyrics (and with them the choreography) were bold, bald, and hysterically funny!

The contagious joy and extraordinary investment by every member of the cast let the audience in on the secret that this was not your average brutal satire. No, there was something else. There was hope. While the storyline is indeed a merciless caricature of the Mormon faith, it is also an ironic hymn to the power of real missionary work.

For those who have not seen the musical, I won’t ruin it for you but I can tell you it was a surprisingly innovative presentation of timeless truths of the human condition. We are wired to hope. The least likely Mormon missionary, with a wild imagination and a casual relationship to the truth, made believers out of skeptics.

I left the theatre urged on by levity and gravity. As people of the Gospel, let us teach our truths with joy in local tongues, and not forget the responsibility for people who believe what we say.

In this season after Pentecost, may you and I be the church God calls us to be as the stories we tell unfold.

Lisa Kimball, Ph.D.
InterimAssociate Dean of Students
Director, Center for the Ministry of Teaching