[This is the second in a series, first one here.] Last year Elder Ballard told graduates of BYU-Hawaii to use new media to spread the gospel, and the exhortation was repeated to all church members in a cover story in last month’s Ensign. Among other things, members were encouraged to “create videos that illustrate aspects of your membership in the Church and post them on video sharing sites like YouTube.” I’ve taken it upon myself to compile a preliminary progress report for Elder Ballard. Humbly submitted: more good, bad, and ugly of Mormons on Youtube.
Genre: Rap and Hip Hop
Most of you will remember the Weird-Al-style Mormon Rap from the 80’s. Terrible as it is, it still inspires some among our youth. Fortunately, the quality of Mormon rap has improved dramatically over the last two decades, though we still have a ways to go.
Genre: Effective vs. Ineffective Missionary Techniques
Elder Ballard identified sharing the gospel as one of the primary purposes of going online as LDS. Here I’d like to evaluate the effectiveness of several approaches to missionary work. Unfortunately, we can’t tell from these short clips how many souls were saved by each approach, so I’ll just have to speculate based on my own judgement.
- I can confidently categorize this Elder’s unique take on the spirit:body::hand:glove object lesson as ineffective
- In this video, we are treated to a vertiable Oxford English Dictionary of missionary techniques, complete with real demonstrations of their effectiveness (shout out to Bookslinger!)
- Oh boy. Intra-companionship contention at 0:15, stuff mom doesn’t want to know about at 1:03, property destruction at 1:14. On the plus side, a painting of Jesus is prominently displayed and apartment is not as messy as it could have been.
- Memo to Elder: making toddlers cry is decidedly not effective.
- This missionary has two key ingredients to successful missionary work: enthusiasm and love of those he serves. However, he’s got at least a couple serious issues.
- Mass slaughter of men’s arms may be effective if you are either (a) a LEGO toy, or (b) a Book of Mormon hero. Or, as in this case, both. However, it is not recommended to try this at home. (very nice production values on this one, bravo!)
Genre: Missionary FAIL
This genre already made an appearance in the first Mormon YouTube Progress Report. However, there is a seemingly endless supply of these. So we return for another look at Elders acting out subconscious fantasies about escaping the rigors of mission life by any means necessary, even on a stretcher:
- Cooking FAIL!!!
- Turkey p0wns Elder
- How to handle anti-Mormon attacks
- Bike fail #1 and #2, and ice blocking fail (since ice is frozen water, perhaps this should be banned under the umbrella of the no-swimming rule?)
Genre: Documenting Mormon Life
- I know many BCCers love pioneer treks! This is for you guys. Also for Robert Kirby, who went on his own handcart trek this summer. Here is a quote from one of his reports:
The handcart trail crosses Bureau of Land Management terrain [which has the following rules]:
1. Stay on the trail.
6. No rock picking.
7. No fires.
8. Leave all animals alone.
9. No burying babies.
I didn’t make up that last one. Previous trek companies had apparently issued plastic dolls to their families as overwrought object lessons. The baby had to be cared for and protected and lugged the entire way—until it died. Then it was buried alongside the trail. …The BLM wasn’t keen on the idea and put a stop to it. The object lesson risked catching on with all trek companies, and the last thing even the butt end of Wyoming needs is 40,000 plastic babies buried in makeshift graves along a trail. Future trekkers would be digging up babies just to bury more babies.
See for yourself in the Springville Spring Creek South Pioneer Trek commemorative video. Note fake babies being distributed at 0:15, and burying one of them at 4:35. Good times!
- This LDS Dance in Mexico is way cooler than any stake dance I ever went to!
Genre: Grand Prize
This is the video that makes this entire YouTube Progress Report worthwhile: