At first, my colleagues and I in the Ministry of Truth were sorely vexed when we got word that the young men of South Park fame were staging a musical about singing Mormon missionaries and dancing Negro people. As you all will remember, as if it were yesterday, we issued a statement to the effect that the musical might entertain a few folks for an evening but that the Gospel had been of service to benighted peoples all over the world for a very long time. Something like that.
Now that The Book of Mormon has received boffo critical reviews and thrilled theatergoers of all ages, ethnic origin and sexual orientation, we have decided to go the lemonade-from-lemons route and leap onto the bandwagon. The exposure of our rather eccentric doctrine leaves a sour taste in our mouths, but we plan to brew up a sweet concoction of lemonade to quench the spiritual thirst afflicting every nation, kindred and tongue. We hearken to words of the late Prophet Gordon Hinckley, who famously urged us to embrace our peculiarity: “Our weirdness is a wonderful thing! It is glorious! We are a marvelously weird people!”
In keeping with our new strategic communications plan, which we like to see as a subset of the divine plan of salvation, we are moving forward on several fronts to build on the success of The Book of Mormon, the musical. You surely have already read our amended statement on the aforesaid production: “The Book of Mormon, the musical, may entertain an audience for an evening; but The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Christ, has left masses all over the world chortling for nearly 200 years. We invite you to pick up a copy today and buckle up for fun-filled ride that will tickle your funny bone, leave you speechless and blow your freaking mind.” You may have noticed that savvy entrepreneurs have beaten us to the punch with various merchandizing ventures aimed at capitalizing on Mormon Mania. We urge the general public not to be seduced by the cheap and showy junk now being hawked on the Internet and by some unscrupulous street vendors. The Prophet action figures of our own manufacture will soon be on the market, and will far outstrip the phony action figures in the verisimilitude department.
The Heber J. Grant action figure, for instance, is simply the pre-existing Sigmund Freud action figure, with the standard gray coat painted black. And the Brigham Young action figure, which is selling like hotcakes, looks to me suspiciously like Ed Asner with a fake beard. And anyone with eyes can tell that the Joseph Smith action figure is just Tom Cruise dressed up in an old-fashioned frock coat.
If you go on the church’s website you will see that we have issued a product alert on those unauthentic missionary nametags that youngsters are trading like crazy. First of all, Steve Young was never a missionary. And if you come across a Mitt Romney name tag you’ll know it’s a fake—I have the only genuine Mitt Romney nametag, which he gave me in appreciation of my helping him to feel the Spirit when we served together in the Paris, France, mission. (By the way, the tag reads “Elder Willard Romney.” And Elder Romney so loved his tag that he named one of his numerous begotten sons Tagg.)
To feed the flames of Mormon Mania, we have tasked our stable of writers, who normally ghost faith-promoting windbaggery of high General Authorities, to churn out Mormon-themed scripts with all deliberate speed. We are excited about three new sitcoms already in production: Temple Recommend, in which a harried young bishop, played by Steve Carrell, is faced with determining who is worthy to enter the temple; Feeling the Spirit, with Hugh Laurie in the role of a mission president with a secret drinking problem; and Technical Virgins, a rollicking sitcom set at BYU, where every week dramatic tension swells as yet another young couple struggles with whether they will go all the way.