Mormon.org: A Review of The Official Mormon Website
Mormon.org is the official website for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The website is very aesthetically-pleasing and interactive. Overall, the website makes me think that Mormons are in general good people, who care about stuff like family and spreading the word a lot, if a little over the top. It seems like the Mormon religion is built on terrifying craziness, but I get the impression that its members mean well.
The “Our People” section reads like an internet dating website or a social network. The “I’m a Mormon” page offers professional Mormon profiles, but the website allows you to create you own profile and mingle with other Mormons on the “Meet Mormons” page. You can meet them by sorting by gender, age, ethnicity, continent, or previous religion. I sorted by the age group “18-24″ and previous religion group “Atheist” and there were 25 profiles. I read profiles of Mormons that I thought had an alternative aesthetic.
The website’s “FAQ” page feels particularly honest. Some of the answers to the tough questions on topics like homosexuality, polygamy, tithing, and pornography seem apologetic, confused, or even exasperated. Members can submit answers alongside the “Official Answer from the Mormon Church.” To answer the question, “Why did your church previously practice plural marriage (polygamy)?” username Jen! answered, “We don’t know. But that’s OK—it was a long time ago, and we don’t now.”
By far, the most remarkable features of mormon.org are found at the top-right of each page. They are as follows: Mormon.TV, Missionary Request, and Chat Online.
The content of Mormon.TV falls into five categories: “Our Stories,” “Beliefs,” “Family,” “Entertainment,” and “New Videos.” I was curious to see what Mormons consider entertainment. I watched a video entitled, Born to Play the Game. I hoped it would be about a famous Mormon basketball player on the Utah Jazz who is a prophet of God [via mad basketball skills]. Instead, it was a public service announcement about family. A chubby little kid’s mom in a long, plain dress totally rejects his shot and they seem happy. Every video on the Entertainment page seems to fit this mold, where a situation is interrupted by a surprise ending that is maybe sorta heartfelt or sorta funny.
On this page, you can type in your address and have a Mormon “delivered to your door.” This page reinforces the stereotype that Mormons walk around in dress clothes. It includes this sentence:
Why would these young men and women choose to put on their dress clothes and traipse around strange parts of the world for two years?
It points out that most missionaries are ~20 years old, putting aside school, work and dating for ~2 years to mission the hell out of the globe. The mission service seems official, and the Elders, as the mission kids are called, can’t talk with their parents while they are serving the Lord.
On their website, you can chat with a Mormon over the internet so you don’t have to worry about them coming into your house and never leaving. I chatted with a Mormon named Chad for a little bit and he seemed alright.
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