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Selsdon Mormons say: We're fine with South Park creators' new musical


FAR from being offended by the West End's production of The Book Of Mormon – the savage comedy from the creators of South Park – local worshippers are delighted their religion is getting some exposure.

Adam Hawkins, bishop at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) in Selsdon Park Road, said on the whole, his 38-strong congregation saw the musical as an opportunity to spread the word of Mormonism.

"The main difference between us and other Christian churches is our text, The Book of Mormon, which sets us apart."

The musical, which is about two Mormon missionaries who are sent to a remote village in northern Uganda ruled by a brutal warlord, takes its title from the church's main scripture.

The pair try to share the book, which only one of them has read, but fail to inspire the locals who are more concerned about war, famine, poverty and AIDS than about religion.

Mr Hawkins said: "I have read reviews about it and it is not something I will probably go and see. However, I think it is great for the church – it's a really positive opportunity to let people know what we are about.

"I find that comedians often poke fun at religion but I really do not know their motives. I have never thought why these people have decided to make a comedy about us.

"The church has started the 'I'm A Mormon' campaign, which will feature on buses throughout London and direct people to a website which has information about Mormonism on it."

Just as the musical revolves around two missionaries, missionary work is a central theme of the Mormon religion, according to the bishop.

He added: "In our congregation we have people on missions to Hong Kong, France, Canada, Poland, Chile and Russia. I once did some missionary work in Manchester and it was a very important experience for me.

"It's about striving to live by the teachings of Jesus Christ every day – he taught the gospel on earth and told his disciples to teach the gospel. That is exactly what we are doing."

The bishop said that more than half of his congregation in Selsdon had converted to Mormonism rather than being born into it.

"We've seen a rise in interest in the church since the musical began, which is great," he said.

"Mormonism is definitely a life choice – being a member of the church affects me each day and the decisions I make.

"It offers purpose to our lives and helps us to understand what our lives are about."

Anyone interested in knowing more can visit mormon.org.uk

Selsdon Mormons say: We’re fine with South Park creators’ new musical

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