Monthly Archives: January 2006

New York Doll

This Saturday I saw New York Doll, the story of Arthur Kane and his band The New York Dolls. The Dolls were an influential punk rock band from the 70’s whose short career produced music that was ahead of its time and which influenced several artists including Morrissey. The Dolls lived lives of heavy drug use and illicit sex. Before long the band broke up and Arthur Kane was as poor as dirt.

The movie goes on to narrate Arthur Kane’s conversion to Mormonism. He was baptized in the Mormon church in 1989 and later served in the family history library of the Los Angeles Mormon Temple. When he initially prayed about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, he said the answer he received was like an “LSD trip from the Lord.” That, and other funny quotes from Arthur, were in the movie.

In 2004 Morrissey organized a reunion concert for the Dolls in London. Arthur was anxious at first but glad to be reunited with old friends and play his bass guitar again. Just hours before the show, Arthur told other band members about the Mormon Word of Wisdom and that tithing was a “pretty good deal.”

The reunion concert was a success, and afterwards Arthur was surrounded by fans, including adoring girls. Someone asked him, “You’re not going back to your day job, now, are you?” Arthur replied that he worked in a library, that they were expecting him back, and that they were a bit “understaffed”.

New York Doll is an entertainingly told story about a likable guy, with candid commentary by the people who knew him best.

Mormon Temples

This blog features a picture of the Mormon Temple in Las Vegas, NV, located at the base of Sunrise Mountain on the east side of the valley. While there are thousands of Mormon churches across the world, there are only 100+ temples worldwide. In Mormonism, temples are considered sacred places where it is easier to feel the presence of God and to feel peace.

That has certainly been my experience. When I visit the temple, I can clear my head, feel at peace, and see more clearly what is important in life. I think the Manhattan Mormon temple is one of the best examples of contrasts: the streets of NY are busy and loud and crazy, while just inside the walls there is so much stillness and peace and direction.

Christianity in “Narnia”

One of the best things this Mormon did over the Christmas holiday season was see The Chronicles of Narnia. I’m not a big fan of fantasy movies generally, but as a symbol of Christianity, Narnia was an excellent movie. The symbolism is easy to see — the lion Aslan is the benevolent king who allows himself to be killed by his enemies to save the life of a traitor. There are other important details, as well, such as the resurrection, the freeing of the “prisoners”, and the kingdoms the humans inherit in the end. I think anyone who watches Narnia with the mindset of looking for Christian symbolism will appreciate the reminder of what Jesus did for us.

Mormonism & Judaism

If you search for “Jew” on Google, the top result is an anti-Semitic site. Google is running an ad above it that explains why it appears first and that they don’t endorse the site. They also explain that the term “Jew” is often used in anti-Semitic contexts, while Jewish people themselves prefer the term “Jewish”. Google suggests searching “Judaism”, “Jewish”, or “Jewish people” to find more relevant results.

This parallels what has happened with Mormonism. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have typically used the terms LDS, Latter-day Saint, or LDS Church to speak of themselves, while people outside of the Church often use the terms Mormons, Mormon church, or Mormonism. Therefore, search results for this latter set of terms are often littered with sites that are unfriendly to the Church. (By the way, I’m not suggesting that the resulting anti-Semitic and anti-Mormon sites are equally bad — I don’t know — just that they are both “anti”.)

People interested in learning more about Mormonism will have more success by searching for “lds church” or by visiting directly. Other search terms like Mormonism or Mormon church aren’t great, but they are getting better.