End game - the great rebrand

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no1saint
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End game - the great rebrand

Post by no1saint » Fri Apr 15, 2022 8:10 am

Mormonism has undergone some pretty massive leaps in branding both internally and externally. The last great one was under GBH where the walls built around leadership were torn down and he employed the Jewish PR firm to rebrand and start the mainstreaming of LDS INC.

This was after a period of stagnation under a decrepit ETB and HWH.

Now arguably after a period of stagnation under TSM, we now see RMN forging forward with an internal and external rebrand. But what is the end game? What process is in play now that has been agreed to by impending successive Presidents?

dogbite
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Re: End game - the great rebrand

Post by dogbite » Fri Apr 15, 2022 8:32 am

I don't think it's been agreed to per se. Mormonism is a top down kind of thing and the corporation sole enforces that. They don't rock the boat because it will get them thrown out, loss of prestige, money and so on. If they try to whistleblow, they inciminate themselves. Rather, they know if they win the live-long-enough lottery that they get the unlimited power. And no Wendy/Dew power sharing.

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Red Ryder
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Re: End game - the great rebrand

Post by Red Ryder » Fri Apr 15, 2022 3:13 pm

I agree with dogbite.

The obvious pattern appears to be to support the one true church narrative led by the one true prophet. It seems everything else is just some sort of avenue to reinforce the second part of that pattern.

Every apostle knows they have a chance to become the Prophet yet they have to spend time supporting the guy in front of them while taking bites of things they plan to change or focus in when it’s their turn.

So I think the end game is to survive and not let the church deteriorate on their watch. Hence the massive efforts to build temples by Nelson. Go bigger then the guy before you.

I really hope Oaks becomes the next prophet just to see it all fall apart and what he tries to do to save and build it up.
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blazerb
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Re: End game - the great rebrand

Post by blazerb » Fri Apr 15, 2022 7:27 pm

The difference between the "rebrands" of GBH and RMN is that GBH really understood branding and marketing. That was always his thing. RMN clearly does not understand how to reach people. He's good at hobnobbing with the pope or Chinese officials back in the day, but he doesn't understand how to connect with society. GBH tried to create a world leader role for himself with his book, "Standing for Something." He seemed to try to take Mormon values and make them relevant to the world at large. Though some of his appearances were not totally successful, he engaged with media outside the church bubble, Mike Wallace and Larry King. I can't imagine that RMN takes much notice of the wider world. His advice only makes sense within a Mormon paradigm. I doubt he has spent much time thinking about how church values can affect the wider world.

I think the way that succession is set up in the church makes it hard to have a sustained program that lasts longer than a single presidency. As dogbite and Red Ryder have noted, each apostle is just trying to wield the influence that they can while they wait to see if they win the live-long-enough contest. There is no prize for convincing others of their good ideas. They can't get a mandate for wider change. Every effort that starts is likely to end as soon as the current president passes away. I halfway expect mormon.org and lds.org to become the url's again at some point in the future when someone decides that "Mormon" and "LDS" are not such bad nicknames after all.

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Hagoth
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Re: End game - the great rebrand

Post by Hagoth » Sat Apr 16, 2022 7:42 am

Red Ryder wrote:
Fri Apr 15, 2022 3:13 pm
The obvious pattern appears to be to support the one true church narrative led by the one true prophet.
Hinkley: one true church (making it more palatable to the rest of the world)
Nelson: one true prophet (his main purpose seems to be to outshine his predecessors and contemporaries)
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Hagoth
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Re: End game - the great rebrand

Post by Hagoth » Sat Apr 16, 2022 8:06 am

blazerb wrote:
Fri Apr 15, 2022 7:27 pm
...hobnobbing with the pope...
And even that was just a publicity stunt. The momentous meeting with the pope was really just one of 8 photo-ops he had scheduled for that day. He seems to have enjoyed meeting Russell Nelson far less than meeting the Italian cycling team, who gave him a bicycle and signed jersey, and the motorcycle club who gave him a Harley:


Image

Image

Image
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stealthbishop
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Re: End game - the great rebrand

Post by stealthbishop » Mon Apr 18, 2022 6:54 am

MY POV:

I think it will be a continuation of trying to align the LDS Church more and more with and appease conservative American Evangelicals. It will continue to have a fundamentalist view of scriptures. While it will maintain the temple and the essentiality of a living prophet, the idea of eternal progression and becoming like God will continue to diminish. It will move closer and closer to the Calvinistic theology of the total depravity of human beings rather than human beings being good and noble and having divine potential. There will be an increased emphasis on grace like evangelicals and that we are so depraved and broken we can do nothing other than accept the grace of JC. We will still be expected to work our asses off as a result of this divine gift to show how grateful we are that JC saved us from depravity and as a witness of faith. Expect more Calvinism plus temples and living prophet in short.
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no1saint
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Re: End game - the great rebrand

Post by no1saint » Mon Apr 18, 2022 8:05 pm

stealthbishop wrote:
Mon Apr 18, 2022 6:54 am
MY POV:

I think it will be a continuation of trying to align the LDS Church more and more with and appease conservative American Evangelicals. It will continue to have a fundamentalist view of scriptures. While it will maintain the temple and the essentiality of a living prophet, the idea of eternal progression and becoming like God will continue to diminish. It will move closer and closer to the Calvinistic theology of the total depravity of human beings rather than human beings being good and noble and having divine potential. There will be an increased emphasis on grace like evangelicals and that we are so depraved and broken we can do nothing other than accept the grace of JC. We will still be expected to work our asses off as a result of this divine gift to show how grateful we are that JC saved us from depravity and as a witness of faith. Expect more Calvinism plus temples and living prophet in short.
100%! I think we are seeing the slow but sure demise of unique Mormon theology and a more worldly palatable brand. The issue with this is that the one size fits all happy meal brand the Church has is so vanilla and so unappealing to the world, why would people join?

The lack of a truly global network of grassroots charitable outreach programs is a blocker.

The lack of diversity in leadership is a blocker.

The constant churn in local senior leadership is a blocker.

The vanilla brand of worship is a blocker.

Do you think the Church could evolve beyond its mountain cultural and social hole in the ground?

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Just This Guy
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Re: End game - the great rebrand

Post by Just This Guy » Tue Apr 19, 2022 11:00 am

I don't see the rebranding as a deliberate attempt to align with the evangelical movement. It is mostly one guy with a butt hurt ego trying to show up the person who offended him to start with. The process of him trying to show up his rival just happens to align with evangelicals. So it's more of a happy accident that there are more people that can fawn over him than anything actually planned.

I suspect that RMN's ego is doubly hurt by the fact that he inherited a church that had been thrust into a new modern world where all the skeletons in the closet are nearly impossible to hide. GBH was just starting to see the rise of the 21st century internet when he started to decline in health. And chance of someone actually doing a good job handling the rise of internet knowledge is lost due to his health. TSM was basically useless and clueless. So by the time RMN takes over, Modern internet and the bloggernacle are fully ingrained in the world and the damage has already been done. RHM has to be stinging that in addtion to the personal conflict he had with GBH, He basically gets a problem that makes him look relly bad to the public as a whole that was, started by GBH, dumped on him. GBH was beloved by people in and out of the church, but he doesn't get that same ego stroking.
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Hagoth
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Re: End game - the great rebrand

Post by Hagoth » Tue Apr 19, 2022 1:03 pm

stealthbishop wrote:
Mon Apr 18, 2022 6:54 am
MY POV:
I think it will be a continuation of trying to align the LDS Church more and more with and appease conservative American Evangelicals.
But they are setting themselves up for disappointment. To join the club they will have to give up their entire concept of the godhead, the Plan of Happiness/salvation and afterlife as taught by the prophets. And, oh yeah, the prophets.

What they will achieve is a to become a rich and influential source of power that Right-wing politicians and Evangelicals can bend to their will fighting LGBTQ rights, women's rights, repoductive rights, etc. But the poor red-headed stepbrother will never really get his dream of being one of the guys.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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nibbler
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Re: End game - the great rebrand

Post by nibbler » Tue Apr 19, 2022 2:32 pm

The changes during RMN's tenure haven't been substantive, they're mostly bluster.
  • Changing the name of a program but the program is pretty much the same.
  • Rename some other things.
  • Reduce some quorums but the quorum experience is the same.
  • Change a logo I never look at.
  • Issue a proclamation for something we already talk waaaaaay too much about. Remember the proclamation? That's how much of an impact it had. None. Orthodox members didn't even rush to frame it and hang it on their walls.
  • Church = church * 0.66. We got the two hour block but the remaining two hours are exactly the same.
  • Launch a crusade against a moniker. Even that didn't result in much of a change, it just gave a few ward police another rule to enforce.
I haven't felt any cultural shifts resulting from any of that. It's like they took Church and made Church Lite. Church Lite tastes exactly the same, exactly... but it still has all the calories and fat of Church so what was the point?

I think the church is cozying up to Evangelicals to unite as one in the great Culture War. They're looking for allies in their fight against LGBT+. I get the feeling that the church thinks it's gaining Evangelicals' approval but from the Evangelical POV it's more of a temporary alliance; the enemy of my enemy is my friend. If the Evangelicals got the political power they crave they'd eventually turn on the Mormons once all the other people on the top of their list have been dealt with.
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1smartdodog
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Re: End game - the great rebrand

Post by 1smartdodog » Tue Apr 19, 2022 3:22 pm

They are just shuffling the chairs on the Titanic. If a brand is working you generally don’t mess with it.

If you are losing market share or profits you tend to start scheming of ways to turn it around.

Maybe RMN fancies himself going down with the ship.


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Hagoth
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Re: End game - the great rebrand

Post by Hagoth » Wed Apr 20, 2022 6:38 am

1smartdodog wrote:
Tue Apr 19, 2022 3:22 pm
Maybe RMN fancies himself going down with the ship.
I think he fancies himself The Ship. Everyone needs to be manning the bilge pumps or going down with him.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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stealthbishop
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Re: End game - the great rebrand

Post by stealthbishop » Wed Apr 20, 2022 6:50 am

Hagoth wrote:
Tue Apr 19, 2022 1:03 pm
stealthbishop wrote:
Mon Apr 18, 2022 6:54 am
MY POV:
I think it will be a continuation of trying to align the LDS Church more and more with and appease conservative American Evangelicals.
But they are setting themselves up for disappointment. To join the club they will have to give up their entire concept of the godhead, the Plan of Happiness/salvation and afterlife as taught by the prophets. And, oh yeah, the prophets.

What they will achieve is a to become a rich and influential source of power that Right-wing politicians and Evangelicals can bend to their will fighting LGBTQ rights, women's rights, repoductive rights, etc. But the poor red-headed stepbrother will never really get his dream of being one of the guys.
Agreed. It won't work all the way. They will just continue to try to find the common causes you outlined and fight along side Evangelicals on those issues. But I totally agree that they will never fully accept us. We would have to jettison much more and make even more concessions than we already have.
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Put me to the test
Things on your chest
You need to confess"

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Yobispo
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Re: End game - the great rebrand

Post by Yobispo » Wed Apr 20, 2022 3:23 pm

RMN's ego as the impetus for changes is an easy take, but I actually think it is the correct take. I can't shake the example of Hinck conference-slapping him 20+ years ago, then him making such a huge statement about the name Mormon being "a major victory for Satan". Has he made any statements about anything else being "major victories" against the church/God/gospel/etc? He threw his cards down very firmly on an issue that had zero real importance, and the corresponding changes like the name of the choir show what an empty, ego-driven move it really was. Nowhere in scripture does it say anything about the name of the choir, but the minions around him made it happen to align with the new kings' vision, regardless of how incredibly silly.

The easy take is the correct take, it's all about Nelson's massive ego.

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2bizE
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Re: End game - the great rebrand

Post by 2bizE » Fri Apr 22, 2022 11:02 pm

Why did the church build a temple in Rome? This had to be part of the rebrand. All the apostles attended the opening. There are not sufficient members in the area to support such a temple…
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moksha
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Re: End game - the great rebrand

Post by moksha » Sat Apr 23, 2022 10:22 am

"Whatever happened to Mormons?"

"Oh, they are still around. They just went underground and started to call themselves something else."

"Was it due to all the bad publicity?"

"Yes, even their leader admitted that Mormon had become a devil word."

"So why did they deny much of their past theology?"

"The leaders realized they were living in the 21st Century where a lot of that stuff sounded weird and could not be hidden due to the instantaneous nature of the internet."
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

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