Monday, April 15, 2013

The Mormons Are Coming!

It's an exciting time to be a Mormon in London, especially a Mormon missionary. The satirical Book of Mormon Musical is in full stride at the West End theatre district, and the Church has been getting a lot of publicity. P.T. Barnum is quoted as having said, "There's no such thing as bad publicity," and in this case it seems to be true. It's been interesting to see what's unfolding.

Advertising for the musical began in September of 2012 with billboards and posters proclaiming that  "The Mormons are Coming!"  (See our Sept. 20, 2012 blogpost.) Since then the Church has seen a 10-fold increase in Internet hits to When the play opened on March 21, patrons found three full-page ads in the playbook that featured members saying "You've seen the show, now read the book" or "The book is always better."  On April 8th, the Church began its month-long "I'm a Mormon" campaign, with large banners and video boards in the Charing Cross train station and numerous platform displays at eight tube stations, including Oxford Circus and Piccadilly Circus near the theatre district.  Posters cover the sides of 250 double-decker buses circulating through downtown London.  Some buses that already have ads promoting The Book of Mormon Musical are now being followed by buses with ads that say "I'm a Mormon" or "Ask a Mormon."  It's pretty amazing!

Last Friday, on our P-Day, Pat and I took the train into London to tour the National Archives and the Family History Centre there. We had a great time visiting Paul and Annie Smart who have just arrived to serve a mission there for the next 18 months. They are in the England London South Mission with us. They are from Draper and Paul and I served together in the Corner Canyon Stake before it was divided. So fun to see them! They took us on a personal tour of the Archives and even got us special access to the area where they do their work.

Yet another rainy day...
The beautiful British National Archives complex
Pat and I with Paul and Annie Smart
Picturesque street on our way back to the Kew Gardens Tube station...

This Tube train starts out above ground until it gets closer into the center of London.
On the way to Kew Gardens and the National Archives, we stopped at Charing Cross and Piccadilly stations to see the "I'm A Mormon" displays and take pictures. We had a great time.

One of the buses at Piccadilly Circus

Right now, in central London, you can't miss the member profiles and messages to "Ask A Mormon" about the Church. Many people in England, and elsewhere, are skeptical about organized religion, but this campaign is an invitation for people to hear directly from British members about their faith and insights, to explore basic LDS beliefs on their own, or to contact missionaries if they have questions.  All inquiries are directed to  for further information. It will be interesting to see how traffic on this Internet site and our Chat lines increases.  

One young woman we met in the Maidstone Stake had a funny experience a week or so ago. She was in London late one evening riding a bus with a bunch of her Church friends. A group of young men having a good time - with the help of a little alcohol - were on the same bus. She heard one of them say to another, "Keep it Mormon." She was surprised, to say the least, but soon realized that what the guy was really telling his friend was to act a little more respectable! She took it as a compliment and struck up a conversation. While most of the group put their earphones back on, one of the guys in the group started asking questions.

More people are becoming curious and wanting to know what the Church teaches, who the Mormons are, and what they believe.  "The Mormons are Coming?"  No!  They've already been here for 175 years, nearly 200,000 strong in the British Isles, and growing.                     ~Don~


  1. What an amazing campaign in a concentrated space! I am so impressed with our church on so many levels!

  2. Credit where it’s due – this is an amazing campaign which has been extremely well executed. It literally covers every single corner of Charing Cross Station: floor to roof.

    I first saw (and admired) the campaign last Monday on my way to work. What really grabbed my attention (though you didn’t mention it in your post) are the decals on the floor. They truly stand out against the massive expanse of white floor tiles, forcing you to look upwards, where there are creative materials suspended from the ceiling and mounted to the walls.

    I did wonder why the campaign wasn’t extended to Leicester Square, widening the reach beyond Charing Cross’s commuters. This would have been especially apt given the closeness of the Prince of Wales theatre as well as the massive tourist traffic. I guess advertising opportunities are hard to secure in such a crowded area.

    I’m not a member of the Church and while I admired the campaign, I’m unlikely to visit But its creativity stuck in my mind, and had me Googling to see what others were saying about it (hence me stumbling onto your blog). I guess in that respect, the campaign delivered.

  3. A friend of mine sent me this blog, and my daughter Lucy is currently serving her mission in the England London Mission, in the Visitors Center on Exhibition Road. She has only been there two months, but the campaign is mind blowing! She has sent numerous pictures, and she loves having people come into the VC to ask questions. Much of their traffic coming in there has been from the campaign. It's great to see advertising and social media being used in a positive way in this world. No matter what religion was being advertised, it is impressive that any religion is being advertised at all, I think! It's just a powerful, positive, Christ-centered message that helps people know we aren't that different. We are just regular people. So fun to read this blog, thank you!