Published by a youtube user entitled “ldsteencenter“, this new video is powerfully interesting. The primary audio track is a female singing “I know that my Redeemer lives.” The video track consists of natural disasters, wars, and calamities, interspersed with pictures of Jesus, Gordon B. Hinckley, Book of Mormon quotes, etc. The secondary audio track is excerpts from General Conference talks. The end shows hundreds of new converts on baptism day, climaxing in more pictures of the Savior. Definitely an effective use of multimedia (depending on what your goals are).

I’m just curious. How many of you share this “Mormon World View” — in other words, that Mormonism (via its interpretation of Christ’s gospel) will ultimately become the solution to the world’s ills? Just curious.

What do you like and/or dislike about this video? If this work is primarily targeted at LDS teens, what do you think are the implications of motivating LDS teenagers in this way? Good? Bad? Indifferent?


  1. paula September 18, 2006 at 1:56 pm

    My own kids would do a lot of eye rolling at this. I have to admit I didn’t watch the whole thing, since I dislike Mo-pop, and this kind of emotional manipulation. But I think my kids would think it was silly (they’re 15 and 20). I don’t share this world view– that Mormonism is the answer to the world’s ills, and I dislike anything that implies that some of these natural disasters might be because of the “wickedness” of the world.

    I never saw the film at the old Hotel Utah (is it the Joseph Smith center?), Legacy, I think it was, but my very orthodox brother in law was very bothered by it. He thought that it made people confuse spiritual experiences with emotionally manipulative stuff, like the music in that movie. I think that the same thing is wrong with this movie, if it really does appeal to teenagers– but I’m not sure how many it would appeal to.

    John– you’re spending too much time at YouTube! Find some time for podcasting! Paula

  2. Matt Thurston September 18, 2006 at 2:43 pm

    Interesting. I definitely held an ethocentric Mormonism-is-the-answer-to-the-world’s-ills world view, once upon a time. Knowing I had all the answers brought me a profound sense of peace… and not a little naive arrogance: I remember thinking, “Man, my kid brother ‘gets it’, why can’t these world leaders, these news people, these pundits also ‘get it’? What the B.O.M teaches about ‘pride’ must really be true!”

    In any case, what is the message of this piffle? That if the world were converted to Mormonism, earthquakes, tsunamis, and hurricanes would cease? Please. Or if the world were converted to Mormonism, war would cease? I doubt that. But assuming it were true, couldn’t the same be said if the world converted to any peaceful religious worldview? Or an athiestic world view? Or a secular humanist worldview? The answer to war isn’t religion (Mormonism or otherwise); in fact it is often the cause. Religion divides as much as it joins. The answer to war could certainly be found in some of the tenets that religion espouses, but these same tenets can be found in the lyrics of pop songs, or scribbled on the walls of subway cars, or bandied about in saturday morning cartoons. Why am I ranting?

    Nice song though.

  3. Genevieve September 18, 2006 at 2:55 pm

    Mormonism may not be the solution to any of the problems of living in a mortal existence. I however have found that the gospel of Jesus Christ does add peace and motivation when experiencing necessary struggles. Besides how did you get that this flim implied violence or natural disasters were caused by “wickedness”? I thought the message of the film was that knowing that there was a Savior of this sometimes chaotic and confusing world brings hope, joy, and love. Rolling your eyes at that is a very jaded perception.

  4. angrymormonliberal September 18, 2006 at 4:12 pm

    It’s a huge disapointment when one is given the idea that the LDS church can solve all the worlds problems only to discover that that only works if your just like everyone else. Solving the worlds problems is a wonderful thing until you find out that you, or members of your family are one of those problems to be ‘solved’. Loving your neighbor becomes a much less potent phrase when someone tacks ‘we should send all the gays out to a Island somewhere and leave them to starve’ onto the end of it. Financial aid, emergency food and clothing, clean up volunteers, their all wonderful things. But their shallow when at the same time we engage in a long term, illegal campaign to keep women from having equal rights in the United States,when we activly campaigned against having nuclear missles in our own back yard but didn’t bother to think about anyone else, and when we created a unique brand of racist folklore surrounding skin colour that has yet to be repudiated. My hope is that one day we might recognize that our neighbors that we’re supposed to love are the gay folks we wanted to deport, the black folks we labled as inherantly unrightous and the Russian Communists that we pointed nuclear missles at.

    It’s hard to express how hard it is to be taught ideals so broad as to encompass healing all the worlds ills and then being required to justify actions by church leaders and members at all levels that contradict those ideals so directly. Even the ‘we are human and we make mistakes’ arguement just dosn’t quite fly. The Quakers made mistakes, they were not always as virulently anti slavery as they came to be, they were not always as accepting as they came to be. But if you look over their history, they confrunted the issues that came into the public spotlight and consistently dealt with those according to their core belief in the love of Christ. Their mistakes are a testimony to their progression. Our mistakes are covered up ineptly and ignored. One of the more vivid images Christ uses to describe the Pharisees is that of whitened sepulchres. I think it’s what we’ve let ourselves become.

    As a youth, I think LDSteencenter has encountered the whitened outside of the tomb. As an adult, I hope he or she survives the encounter with the skeleton buried inside.

  5. Doc September 18, 2006 at 9:02 pm

    What would the world be like if everyone actually lived what Christ taught. I see some cynical comments above that simply point out that even the saints haven’t been even close to really, truly, live up to the ideal. If the world were converted, to the point they actually lived the gospel, how many of the World’s problems would melt away.

    Natural disasters? certainly not. Everything else. Absolutely. Sure, religion as a definer of us and them has failed over and over again leading to war after war. So what. Were those people truly living their religion, or wearing some nationalist version of it? Were they really working on the beams in their own eye or more concerned about the motes? Did pride lead them to enmity, and if so, is that really in keeping with the gospel of Jesus Christ?

    As for the world being converted to any peaceful religious or secular humanist worldview working, well the principles in operation seem to be the exact same. Truth is truth regardless of the source. I don’t think that’s an unorthodox position. As for an atheistic worldview leading to peace, that only works in the cynical imagination of someone who finds religion a scapegoat for the world’s problems. Cynicism is hardly an answer for the World’s problems. I think cynicism is the main thing that lead you to posit this question in the first place. Here is the question I would ask, If the gospel of Jesus Christ is not the answer for much of the suffering in the world, what exactly is the better alternative? Is there no hope of a better world? Should we even bother?

    Here’s the thing. If there is a God, when we die and realize that that gee, he’s real and (humor me here) that the purpose of life really is what the “Mormon Church” teaches that it is, and eventually everyone except the most stubborn of rebels eventually experiences glory and wonder and learns finally how to live with each other, well I just have to imagine that is the definition of Heaven/Nirvana/Abraham’s bosom/whatever you want to call it, eventually the world’s problem’s are solved. There is a basic human understanding that minus the evils of mankind, life is a pretty sweet deal.

    Even better, we are separated out according to the law we ourselves are able to abide. So exactly how perfect it can become is limited only by ourselves. Not only that, but we will always have the opportunity to bring others to a greater understanding of universal truth and help them along this same road ad infinitum. Eventually we will purge ourselves of the weakness that causes enmity, pain, judgemnt, misunderstanding, mistrust amd have as peers others who have accomplished the same, and share this with those who have not yet arrived. There is a beautiful symmetry to it all.

    So, in the end, even though the Church has been unable to build Zion among its owndue to our shortcomings, I have to believe that the principles will work nonetheless. This has more to do with truth of the principles than a Mormon interpretation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The phrase “Mormon interpretation” serves as an obstacle as great as anything. Oh, how arrogant to think you have truth cornered, when in reality if you really do have truth, does it matter? It does in the nationalistic us and them world but once the traditions of our fathers, which we are all imbued with in this life to some degree, are stripped away all that is left is truth or untruth, pure and simple.

  6. Doc September 18, 2006 at 9:11 pm

    BTW, I thought the video was cheesy and likely not the answer to the World’s problems in 3 minutes.

  7. wkempton September 18, 2006 at 10:01 pm

    In the video the natural disasters are passed off as being caused by Mother Nature. In the theistic world a god caused all of it not Mother Nature! The fact is that believing in Jesus and getting baptized Mormon won’t stop hurricanes! Think about it, why do churches have lightning rods? It’s time we start exploring other more rational God-hypothesis, like Deism.

  8. Genevieve and Deseret September 18, 2006 at 11:45 pm

    I had to make my 15 year old sister watch this video because I’m 21 and maybe I don’t fall into the catagory of “youth”. Here’s what she has to say about “targeting” youth this way.

    I think that it was way cool. I think seeing all those families that were baptized makes me want to share “the gospel” something that helps me out. If everyone wanted to live like Jesus then people would love each other a lot more. That includes even the people that are different. There wouldn’t be as many contreversies if people really wanted to understand each other. I think that people who blame mormonism for descrimination are the ones looking at the whitened sepulchers instead of the core of the gospel that has to do with our savior love. I think that someone’s mom probably doesn’t know what they think.

    I totally agree. I just hope that “cheesy things” like this always affect me.

  9. Dave Sigmann September 19, 2006 at 11:48 am

    “What would the world be like if everyone actually lived what Christ taught?”

    The virtues of compassion, patience, hope, forgiveness, wisdom, love, etc, have their place and can result in much good and peace when applied appropriately. At other times the most appropriate course is justice, holding others to their word, swift action, skepticism, protection, and defense.

    Christ certainly does not have a monopoly of the teaching and illustrating of good virtures. There were many great teachers before and after him, and not all that Christ taught was beneficial for mankind or individual well-being. (He preaches an awful lot of intolerance and destruction for those that do not believe in and obey the Hebrew god {Matt 10:14,15; Luke 13:23-28; and he encourages individuals to forsake their families to follow him {Matt. 10:34-37; 19:29}).

    I am happy for those who find peace in the teachings of Christ, but I fully reject the notion that his is the only path to happiness or the only source of peace when the calamities of this world strike close to home.

  10. Chris Rusch September 19, 2006 at 4:30 pm

    I agree with paula at least as far podcasting goes. I miss coming home and seeing that there is a new podcast to be downloaded and heard while treadmilling.

  11. Thad September 22, 2006 at 11:33 pm

    Sure, religion as a definer of us and them has failed over and over again leading to war after war. So what. Were those people truly living their religion, or wearing some nationalist version of it?

    Doc, please….your evaluation of people truly living their religion is trivial. The fact is they were living their religion, at their capacity, at the time, and the real-world consequence being war after war says something for the current divisive state of religious views perceived and internalized by the majority of members.

    To discount war with a “So what.” ????? I guess if your context is “Obi-wan Kenobi, Anakin and Sith Lords” a comment like this is understandable. But in this real-world, right here, right now it matters my friend. More than any of the fairy-tales you choose to espouse.

    Let’s get real here.


  12. Doc September 24, 2006 at 8:02 pm

    My point is that true religion is not nationalism. Conflating the two is a classic anti-religious approach, but believe it or not, the two are completely separate. One is Godly perfection, another a human failing. As a human failing, (you even conceed they were living “at their capacity,”) The truth is war would still be very much with us without religion. No one has taken me up on the challenge for a better answer because there simply isn’t one.

  13. Thad September 24, 2006 at 9:28 pm

    Agreed, true religion is not nationalism, but (true religion) is also purely academic. Reality or applied religion encompasses many if not all facets of a member’s life. One cannot separate the influence in the real world.

    To say that war would exist without religion is also true. But to imply that war after war has not been the direct effect of divisive religious influence is simply ignorance. (ex. a single quote from the Pope just days ago?)

    I believe there is a better answer…..

    It is a refinement and progression that requires the discard of obsolete dogma and ritual. A progression that removes superiority and emphasis on difference and replaces them with knowledge, cognizance, love, forgiveness, acceptance, empathy, and equality regardless of (brand). Be it LDS, Catholic, Hindu, Muslim, Jewish, Atheist, etc…

    We should appreciate and learn from our history and tradition but not bind ourselves to it.

    Frankly I am pro-religion because so many need it, but it has a long way to come. Religion needs a good dose of Humanism. :) (and perhaps even vice versa)

    Lastly I would like to apologize to you for the tone of my last post. It wasn’t becoming and could have been more suitably worded. I agree to disagree with you on some points, and believe in the big picture we may be on different corners of the same page.

    Best wishes,


  14. Bonnie October 1, 2006 at 3:02 am

    pretty song, stupid video

  15. Jarrod October 1, 2006 at 5:36 pm

    I find this video just as uplifting as the videos of Palestinians weeping with joy when they watch the same calamities and acts of terror, believing that such events are the fulfillment of passages in their own holy books that cite such events as the wrath of God upon the infidels. Anybody can co-opt powerful images of destruction and suffering and use them to promote their views. I find it rather tasteless. I also find the way the authors tie the events depicted in the video to specific scriptural passages a bit arrogant, as if they understand better than anyone else why these calamities befall our fellow humans. It’s just downright tacky and naive.

    If someone wants to promote their version of religion, I suggest leaving out images of WTC & Katrina, and just go for pictures of puppies and kittens, mingled with images of their beloved prophets and leaders.

    By the way John, keep up the excellent work. I’ve enjoyed every one of your podcasts and look forward to future episodes with great anticipation.



  16. rangi October 2, 2006 at 1:57 am

    The church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints nurtures, encourages and supports the virtues of patience, kindness, compassion, tolerence, mercy, joy, piece, chastity, forgiveness, family unity, caring, service respect for things both physical and spiritual, and an overwhelming abundance of love unconditional for God and for all menkind, As members of the Chruch of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints magnify these teachings with faith in Christ and much perceverence even the adversery as a battering ram cannot pierce or shake the solidity of such a foundation. I would indeed support without a shadow of that mormonism is the answer to the worlds ills. Even as scriture tells us that the heavens opened and the entire city of Enoch was translated due to the righteous acts of people who lived in the world as we do chose to live the virtues before mentioned, we too can be the recipiants of the same blessing if we so choose. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the ultimate solution to world illS?. Most Definately.

  17. Skye January 3, 2007 at 12:53 pm

    As a musician, I have really mixed feelings about this type of thing. I don’t like the emotional manipulation that comes with a lot of church-issued videos and such. As a young adult, I felt I had been force-fed so much of that kind of thing during youth conferences, etc, that I had lost some opportunity to truly discern the spirit.

    And yet, I also have a strong testimony of music, and its ability to reach places in our souls and access feelings within us that tend to get squashed as we become more adult, more cerebral, more cognitive, more jaded. I used to hate hate hate anything by Janice Kapp Perry. Now I think maybe there is a time and place for that type of thing for some people. My ways are not everybody’s ways. And if a video like this helps someone to feel hope, peace, or serves as a reminder of the power of personal peace in the gospel, then I applaud it.

    I am interested in the range of reactions and interpretations of this, by the way. Further proof to me that people are all affected differently by different things, and there should be room for all sorts of spirituality among us.

  18. Administrator January 3, 2007 at 1:45 pm

    Those are great points, Skye. Diversity is very important, and we should be respectful of all types of value and meaning. I guess that’s what art is about.

    Thanks for the reminder.

  19. K8 H. age 14 March 4, 2007 at 6:30 pm

    Thank you to whoever made this video. Thank you.

  20. lordsservant April 6, 2007 at 6:23 am

    to the comments that are not members!!! thanx but well teach you in the spirit world ok… know your savior… dont just learn know about him… KNOW him….

  21. Melissa May 30, 2007 at 5:22 pm

    I wish all of u would stop ur bickering, i dont think that was the point of the vid. I am not perfect and neither are u but Christ helps us get there. It is those as demonstrated above who give our church a bad impression. U have ur right to an opinion, but please to not downgrade something that others believe so strongly in. I thought the movie was great and made me a little teary eyed. if u dont like it, u dont ever have to watch it again. I believe the world is just becoming too atheist. Thank u to those who stood up for the church.

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