Mormon Ads and Getty Images

02 February

Mormon Ads and Getty Images

Years ago there was a game show on television called Truth or Consequences. Ralph Edwards hosted the follies of what would happen when people didn’t give the right answer to some off the wall question being asked.  As it was, nothing tragic would happen if the contestant couldn’t answer the question fast enough in the time allotted, but they would have to perform some stupid stunt.  It was a very benign and harmless way to spend an evening watching the antics of those on television several decades ago.

As everyone knows in the real world, there are consequences for the things we choose or not choose to do. When we choose to do something bad, the consequences typically aren’t going to turn out well for you.

Case in point is what the Mormon Church has done with their Mormon ads that have flooded the internet, radio and television as of late. If you don’t use real Mormons for your ads, there’s probably a good chance someone will find out.

I received an e-mail from a brother in Christ the other day asking me if I’d seen one of the pages on the website of He said that while reading it, the picture on one of the pages looked out of place so he did some digging.

Come to find out he was right! The page in question was an ad that man can choose to do what is right and they have their free agency.  The background picture of this page is an African American father with a young boy who is supposedly his son.  The father is pointing at something in the picture as if he was teaching his son some great truth.

Now the Mormon Church has gone out of its way to show the American people they’re no different than everyone else. The ads were meant to convey there’s nothing secretive or strange about the Mormon people and you’ll be happy to know they’re just like you and me and your next door neighbor.  Many of these ads include people who aren’t white and claiming they’re Mormon.

So as my new Christian friend Chuck was reading the latest Pew Survey on Mormonism showing “the Church is losing ground among U.S. blacks dropping from 2% in previous years to just 1% last year”, he began wondering about some of the claims the Church was making.

He continued to read other literature links the Church provided and that’s when he landed on which is the picture of the African American dad with his son.

He said he suspected these people weren’t really Mormons so he checked out Getty Images who sells pictures for websites and banner ads.  Sure enough, the picture on is available for sale through the Getty Images online.   

Now let me say that it’s not a bad thing to buy stock photos for your website.  We’ve done this for graphics for our blog as it’s a great resource to use, especially when you’re not computer savvy like me!

However, this seems more than a little sketchy.  These ads are supposedly stories of real life Mormons who have decided to tell the world that they’re normal like you and me. Why couldn’t they get some Mormons to pose for pictures?

 Here’s what Chuck had to say in his e-mail to me when he made this discovery:

“There’s no wrongdoing in using a stock photo, but the juxtaposition of the church losing ground with the black population and then so prominently finding an image (purchased) of a black man and child is a bit amusing.  Tends to demonstrate the overall reality bending that takes place among church leaders and their marketing.  I wonder if that poor man had any idea when he signed that model release that he’d end up helping to market the Mormon Church!”

So the consequences for this are obvious. If you’re going to buy airtime on television and pages on the internet to convey to people “Hey look at us we’re Mormon”, it’d be advisable that those participating would be Mormon. Otherwise, you’re going to look stupid, just like the Church does right now. And I concur with Chuck. I feel bad for the model who signed a release form that people could use his image. I imagine it never occurred to him the Mormon Church would do this.

Michelle Grim

Life After Ministries

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5 Responses to “Mormon Ads and Getty Images”

  1. Neil February 2, 2012 at 3:16 pm #

    Now he may not be a Mormon but how do you know? Maybe he was a Mormon who posed for the picture with his son to make some money and then told the LDS Church so that could use it. Before making allegations do you really know that the man and the boy are not members of the LDS Church or are you just assuming because it can also be purchased from Getty they aren’t?

    Now the Church gets criticised a lot, but at least lets have some full research first. Did you research who the man actually is?

  2. CamdenC February 2, 2012 at 10:41 pm #

    Michelle – I am working on this inquiry by Neil…

    …and how come at the top of evey youtube page I get on is a video titled…”And I Am A Mormon” or “Mother, Mayor, and Mormon”?

    • lifeafterministry February 3, 2012 at 12:00 am #

      Camden –

      The Mormon Church has literally spent millions of dollars on an advertising campaign to try and buy a different opinion of Americans about Mormons. Several opinion polls have recently been published where people have been asked what they think of Mormons. The reviews weren’t favorable as you might imagine.
      Most people thought they were “cultish” or weird, while others even though they viewed the Mormon people as benign, still thought of them as not fitting into the normal mainstream lifestyles of other Americans.
      The Church has also tried to revamp their image as an organization made up of all whites, thus the Mormon ad campaign as of late. You can Google Mormon Ads to see what other newspapers have reported about the money they’ve spent to try and change the minds of Americans in this regard. Many of the commercials you see on television and Youtube are of non-white people stating they’re normal and they’re Mormon. What’s sad about this is the Pew Report that just came out telling a different story. Less than 1% of the Mormon population in the US is made up of non-whites.
      It’s all done to try and convey to non-whites that it’s safe to vote for Mitt Romney and the Church isn’t racist. I wrote a commentary on the USA Today article released today about their public image regarding racism. This is a huge hurdle they need to overcome. The Church has never publicly repudiated their beliefs, in fact the old teachings are still couched in their holy writ to this day.

  3. Rebecca February 4, 2012 at 3:44 am #

    Here’s a quote from the LDS page with that stock photo:

    “God has never approved of using force. In fact, God fosters the spirit of freedom and He knows that the human spirit requires freedom to effectively serve and believe in Him . . . It’s important not to trample on other people’s freedoms in pursuit of our own. Even when we feel our way of thinking may be for someone else’s “own good,” . . . ”
    The words- “free”, “liberty” and “captivity” are sadly ironic when pasted over that picture. Brigham Young was asked “What is the position of your church with respect to slavery?” He answered “We consider it of divine institution . . . ”

    Exodus 21:16 says “Anyone who kidnaps another and either sells him or still has him when he is caught must be put to death.”

    The African slave trade was the kidnapping and selling of people all over the world, including America. Brigham Young taught that God instituted a form of slavery that God prohibited. Brigham used his authority to bring slavery into Utah. How could a true prophet bring into law a horrifying and cruel practice that God had already outlawed?

    • lifeafterministry February 4, 2012 at 4:25 am #

      Amen sister! God bless you!

      The race issue was one of the main reasons I left the Church after 30 years…I’m not exactly white/light and delightsome – ha! 🙂 Well I am everywhere in the world but Utah. My dark Welsh heritage was a downfall in Utah Mormonism, but it’s how Jesus spoke to me all those years ago while sitting through Primary and then 4 years of seminary classes. What they meant for evil was used for absolute truth, good and love from the Lord. Praise Him!!!

      It’s always a prayer of mine black Mormons and other non-white Mormons will see the truth of this deception. What kind of God would curse His children like this and have his “prophets” degrade what God has made? This doesn’t make sense!

      1 Cor. 1:18

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