SALT LAKE CITY - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is launching a new advertising campaign that centers around Christmas and the holiday season to show it's a Christian church.
The LDS Church is sharing their Christmas message in a modern way with songs, stories and free Bibles available on their website. The Church will also undertake a similarly themed advertising blitz in New York City.
According to a statement from the Church, their message is focused on showing that Mormons are Christian; that Mormons participate in Christmas and worship Christ.
"All of our messaging is focused on helping people understand that Mormons are Christian. Mormons do participate in Christmas and worship Christ," said Ron Wilson, senior manager for Internet and advertising for the Missionary Department, in that statement.
Mary Ellen Robertson, interim director for the Sunstone Foundation, says that the advertisements hope to convey the message that Mormons are Christian; that they believe in the same God, they read the same Bible and they're not very different fundamentally.
"They're trying to convey the message that, 'Yes, we're Christian, yes, we believe in the same God, We read the same bible, we're not all that different in some fundamental ways from mainstream Christianity,'" Robertson said. "It's just when you get into some theological details, Mormonism is a little bit more out there."
Robertson believes the ad campaign will work among LDS faithful and steer people's views of Christmas to being about Christ instead of the materialism of the season, but worries it won't extend much beyond that.
"Maybe I'm typical, maybe I'm not, but I don't really see myself forwarding links to mormon.org/christmas to my friends. I just think I'd rather have them just come over and hang out during the Christmas season," she said.
The website is located at mormon.org/christmas.