In a par-for-the-financial-course move, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has approved a one-off Sabbath-Day performance for the Tony-award-winning play, The Book of Mormon Musical in one of the largest theater-style auditoriums in the world, the Conference Center.
“This will be a one-night thing. It is better that one night should perish than that a money-making opportunity should dwindle and perish in non-monetization,” said managing director of the church’s Public Affairs, Michael Otterson.
The Conference Center hosts the church’s semiannual general conferences, opening its doors to worldwide faithful. “We don’t pass around a donation plate during church meetings, so the Brethren have Enosly wrestled with the Lord to divine ways in which the Lord’s church can charitably benefit from the Conference Center’s plush 21,200 seats.”
The financial figures have not yet been released, but the church is likely to net more than one million dollars by hosting Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s satirical musical, which is enough to build approximately 1/1,500th of a City Creek Mall.
“Is this secular play our first choice? Certainly not–but Donny and Marie have a contract in Las Vegas, so they are unable to help us out right now. You will be pleased to know, however, that the Book of Mormon Musical folks will not be allowed to use the organ. We have some limits,” said Otterson.
The musical has already broken box-office records, so it’s a boon to the pocketbooks of the wealthy church, which has already softened the blow of criticism with the oft-quoted response to the musical: “The production may attempt to entertain audiences for an evening, but the Book of Mormon as a volume of scripture will change people’s lives forever by bringing them closer to Christ.”
Members of the church who want to attend the musical who purchase from a third-party scalper may use any surplus cost as a tithing write-off, as long as a receipt is obtained.
To send words of support to the church for allowing the musical to be performed in the hallowed Conference Center, use these points of contact:
To contact a representative outside of business hours please call: (801) 240-1000
Eric Hawkins: (801) 240-4111
Public Affairs Department: (801) 240-2205