New visitors welcome TV commercials

Public forum for topics that don't fit into the other categories.
User avatar
jamison
Posts: 225
Joined: 05 Sep 2010, 20:14

New visitors welcome TV commercials

Post by jamison » 01 Jul 2019, 12:53

Was I the only one offended by the Church commercial that show the visitors welcome sign on the Church building, and states toward the end: we can make you a better person, and you'll help us become a better church? I know I dont have the quote right, but i thought to myself. I dont feel welcome at church, and I know a lot more people outside the church are better people than some inside the church. My wife is actually the one that brought the last sentence to my attention. It is true that Christ betters people, not the Church. I'm sorry this commercial is repulsive and wrong.
"Ignorance, fear, and conflict are the basic elements of everyday consciousness" Marvin Harris -- Cows, Pigs, Wars, and Witches.

User avatar
mom3
Posts: 4077
Joined: 02 Apr 2011, 14:11

Re: New visitors welcome TV commercials

Post by mom3 » 01 Jul 2019, 14:52

Funny - our RS Pres mentioned it yesterday. She didn't like it either. She didn't give specifics. I think she just needed to let off a bit of steam. It's bad when a devout person comments on it.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

User avatar
DarkJedi
Posts: 7316
Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: New visitors welcome TV commercials

Post by DarkJedi » 01 Jul 2019, 15:00

Here's the ad in question (it wasn't easy to find): https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_cont ... U4G2a2QAic

I saw the ad on BYUTV, I haven't seen it otherwise. I think the last line is pretty close to what you said. I wouldn't say I'm offended by it, but I did pause and think to myself "Really?" As a convert can I say I'm a better person than I was before I joined the church? Probably so. I'm probably also a better father, husband, and leader among other things. Could I also have become a better person by regularly attending and participating in another church? Probably so, I have seen it happen among family members. The real questions in my mind are how anyone makes the church better and are we portraying something that isn't always true? Yes, I do understand that my participation has probably helped others and believe it or not there are some people at church who like to interact with me (even though the feeling is not always mutual). But can any run of the mill member, including bishops and SPs really make the church as a whole better? Top down seems to be the rule, so I don't think so. Nevertheless, that's not going to stop me from sitting by and talking to the outsider. However, I don't think that's true of every member and I'm absolutely sure that treating people like family is in some wards (at least) a very dysfunctional family. Even in my own ward, which I think is more open and accepting than average, I don't think a tattooed gay couple who came in holding hands would be made to feel especially welcome despite the effort of the few of us.

BTW, this is my favorite church ad: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/med ... s&lang=eng
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

User avatar
SilentDawning
Posts: 7348
Joined: 09 May 2010, 19:55

Re: New visitors welcome TV commercials

Post by SilentDawning » 01 Jul 2019, 15:19

I don't think a non-member or investigator would read as much into that as we do. They might think that simply being at church and associating with other members would be make things better, due to their personalities, or some other vague, not yet understood, non-threatening benefit.

But for a long-time member -- I know I'm a bit jaded at being treated like an employee, with indifference when I've had non-financial needs, while being subject to heavy "extractions" from my financial and personal life. Very one-sided so much of the time. So, I don't really like the "make us a better church" part of the statement.

Has being a member made me a better person? In some ways, yes. It kept me out of the vices and their possible harm to others. But I think I was good to begin with -- that's why I wanted to be part of it. I'm not even sure if I want to be a "better person" than I am. I guess I want to be, but I know how hard it is to develop new traits or strengthen character. IN some ways, I'm worse off. It was in the church I developed a resentful, bitter kind of quality about my service there. Also, a kind of cynicism about the church, and experiences there have detracted from, rather improved my faith. I think I have less now that I did before I joined the church.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

User avatar
nibbler
Posts: 4520
Joined: 14 Nov 2013, 07:34
Location: Ten miles west of the exact centre of the universe

Re: New visitors welcome TV commercials

Post by nibbler » 01 Jul 2019, 17:37

jamison wrote:
01 Jul 2019, 12:53
...I dont feel welcome at church...
I think one issue is that we conceptualize the 11th article of faith as pointing outward:
We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.
It's easier for us to make that concession for non-members but we might have a harder time with extending members of the church that same privilege.
Cure sometimes, treat often, comfort always.
— Hippocrates

User avatar
DarkJedi
Posts: 7316
Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: New visitors welcome TV commercials

Post by DarkJedi » 02 Jul 2019, 05:44

nibbler wrote:
01 Jul 2019, 17:37
jamison wrote:
01 Jul 2019, 12:53
...I dont feel welcome at church...
I think one issue is that we conceptualize the 11th article of faith as pointing outward:
We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.
It's easier for us to make that concession for non-members but we might have a harder time with extending members of the church that same privilege.
It might be easier to extend the "let them worship...." idea to those outside the church, but I'm not sure we (as the institutional church) do very well at that either. If we really believed and practiced the idea wouldn't we just drop the whole gay marriage (AKA religious freedom) thing? If that's how they choose to worship shouldn't we "offer them the same privilege?" And it's hard to get through a Sunday in my ward without hearing how wrong that church or that religion is.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

User avatar
felixfabulous
Posts: 118
Joined: 10 Jul 2018, 07:13

Re: New visitors welcome TV commercials

Post by felixfabulous » 02 Jul 2019, 07:28

I just watched the ad and actually really liked it. It seems like the negative reaction stems from not feeling welcome yourself and it being hypocritical and the claims that coming to the LDS Church would make you a better person than not coming. Is that right?

I am of the opinion that the missionary program is answering the questions no one is asking. We are out telling people that we are the true church, we have the legitimate authority and people generally don't care because no one is really talking about that these days. The questions they are asking are "how can I belong to something bigger than myself?" "how can I find a community?" "would being part of a church make my life better?" You can say what you want about the Church, but we (when it works) do community as well or better than anyone else out there. I see this ad as a first attempt to answer those questions and sell the Church based on community and not on truth claims.

User avatar
nibbler
Posts: 4520
Joined: 14 Nov 2013, 07:34
Location: Ten miles west of the exact centre of the universe

Re: New visitors welcome TV commercials

Post by nibbler » 02 Jul 2019, 08:50

I just watched it after reading your comments felixfabulous. You raise some very good points.
felixfabulous wrote:
02 Jul 2019, 07:28
It seems like the negative reaction stems from not feeling welcome yourself and it being hypocritical and the claims that coming to the LDS Church would make you a better person than not coming. Is that right?
I'm sure it factors in. There was a recent article at the-exponent (So you Want me Back at Church?) touching on this subject. I hope it's fine to post links from that website.
Cure sometimes, treat often, comfort always.
— Hippocrates

User avatar
felixfabulous
Posts: 118
Joined: 10 Jul 2018, 07:13

Re: New visitors welcome TV commercials

Post by felixfabulous » 02 Jul 2019, 09:03

The article from the Exponent raises some good points about the ideal vs. the reality. The reality is that outspoken authentic people usually scare the hell out of everyone and make it uncomfortable. We usually squeeze them out and make them feel unwelcome.

I would guess most of the people on this forum do what I do and participate when they can in a non-threatening way (offer a different perspective gently, or emphasize something in the scriptures that may contradict the conventional thought) and fly under the radar with our unorthodox views. If that doesn't work, I tune out the lesson or leave when it's something that will make me mad.

I think we should welcome everyone and be willing to tolerate different view points and all kinds of people (what I see as the ideal), which is why I like the message of the ad. But I recognize we are not there yet and it may be totally different than the pain people have experienced.

Roy
Posts: 6217
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: New visitors welcome TV commercials

Post by Roy » 02 Jul 2019, 11:20

felixfabulous wrote:
02 Jul 2019, 07:28
I am of the opinion that the missionary program is answering the questions no one is asking. We are out telling people that we are the true church, we have the legitimate authority and people generally don't care because no one is really talking about that these days. The questions they are asking are "how can I belong to something bigger than myself?" "how can I find a community?" "would being part of a church make my life better?" You can say what you want about the Church, but we (when it works) do community as well or better than anyone else out there. I see this ad as a first attempt to answer those questions and sell the Church based on community and not on truth claims.
Yeeessss! We seem to be saying, "We know that lots of other churches claim to have the holy secret sauce but we really do! No, really!" And millennials and others that place less value on institutional loyalty are taking a hard pass. Maybe this is a trial balloon to a different approach.
jamison wrote:
01 Jul 2019, 12:53
we can make you a better person, and you'll help us become a better church? I know I dont have the quote right, [snip] It is true that Christ betters people, not the Church. I'm sorry this commercial is repulsive and wrong.
In watching the commercial (thank you DJ) it does say "He" can make you a better person. Meaning Jesus.


I do feel that the church can do a sense of community well - especially in some wards and areas.

I also noted that the people in the commercial seemed very diverse. I am sure there are some very diverse wards out there but that has not really been my experience and I was surprised by how many people of color were represented. Not that I am complaining - I just imagine that it was a deliberate choice.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

Post Reply