If you can’t beat them, join them? The Book Of Mormon musical may be more popular than the religion at this point in time, but missionaries are using the relatively new hit show to do some recruiting and old-fashioned proselytizing.
The musical is probably the most successful show ion Broadway history. The Book of Mormon tickets are not only constantly sold-out months in advance in New York, but for the tour company productions as well.
Here’s how Mormon missionaries are using the show to it’s advantage in their recruitment efforts. Rocky Spiker, or “Elder” Spiker (as he is known to his associates) holds open the door at theater venues as ticket holders enter the theater. Spiker tells them…”you know the book is always better,” or… “we’re real Mormon missionaries. Come talk to us after the play.”
He and other Mormon missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints wear suits and ties and hand out the actual Book of Mormon or cards offering free copies of the book. And they come for every one of the performances topping off their run with an open house Sunday night at one of their wards in the Green Hills neighborhood of Nashville.
This type of recruiting is taking place across the country by Mormons who have staged similar campaigns across the USA and have seen a rise in membership as a result of it, according to David Watson, the denomination’s top official in the Nashville Tennessee area.
“Never in a million years did I think it would come to Nashville,” Watson said of show. When he realized The Book of Mormon would come to Nashville, he and colleagues began planning their recruitment campaign, which also includes an advertisement in the show’s playbill.
Watson is a season ticket holder for the Tennessee Performing Arts Center, but said but gave his Book of Mormon tickets to friends. He said…”Our thing is the F-word. I read the script. When my wife and I get to seven or eight of those, we usually leave,” he said. “That would have allowed us to stay about 20 minutes.”