I recently saw 2 commercials with the Christmas Theme
youtube.com/watch?v=uzjFEMmM0Xs This one is called He is the Gift. It says, “The first gift was not wrapped.” I say it was wrapped in swaddling clothing. This is the Mormon one to bring people to their church
This LDS commercial made me ashamed. I am ashamed for my faith that we sometimes do not measure up to the LDS in terms of a sense of the sacred, a hard LDS identity, being “in the world but not of the world”, family values, and evangelization. Say what you will about the faith and beliefs of the LDS Church, but they must be doing something right if they have established an empire in less than 200 years of existence.
I saw the LDS ad when it was the banner on youtube, ironically the opening words were “the first gift of Christmas wasn’t found in a mall”. This from a church that spent untold dollars building their very own high end mall and whose prophet finished presiding over the grand opening with the words “let’s go shopping”. I’m a bit cynical when viewing this ad, after all this is a church that has it’s own advertising company that touts how it has expertise in invoking an emotional response with it’s “Heartsell” method.
It looks like he was all in with the message and did say it. youtube.com/watch?v=IOx1sA0Femo
I disapprove of religious leaders participating in celebrating consumption and a high end shopping mall is the epitome of consumerism in my mind. To me the prophet of the LDS church up there celebrating the opening of their high end mall is really not different than so many other “Christian Ministries” out there hawking their wares. The Catholic Church has a dicey past when it comes to money, other churches have a history to look at and do better. I don’t see the LDS church doing better in this instance and the commercial they put up leading with "the first gift of Christmas wasn’t found in a mall" is an obvious effort to distance themselves from their close association with malls, a “we may own high end shopping malls but we’re not into promoting consumerism, we are all about Christ”.
Had the LDS church left off the first part of the commercial depicting the mall frenzy I would have been fine with it. As it is with their huge financial investment in City Creek and the President of the church making a personal appearance at it’s opening, it comes off as hypocritical.
The “spiritual but not religious” and “no religious affiliation” categories grow larger every year and it’s these shows of support for and enthusiastic participation in the “worldly” that lead people to regard all churches with cynicism, view their message as hypocrisy and walk away.
Call me jaded, from working for a LDS church owned retail establishment, that made 80% of its profit from Christmas sales. I hated Christmas when I worked there, all it meant was long hours, work stress, and all to the point of money for the LDS church. We were told by the CEO that never was the question asked about doing good or remembering Jesus. The only question asked by the leaders of the LDS Church was if the place was going to be profitable that year. So yes, I find this LDS production more than hypocritical.
The only reason the billion dollar Mormon owned mall in Salt Lake City stays open is because of Christmas sales.