Saturday, March 24, 2007

MORONI AS BARISTA, OR, CAN YOU TRADEMARK AN ANGEL?

Just Add Coffee, a coffee shop in Taylorsville, Utah, has run afoul of the Mormon church because of an ad showing the angel Moroni with coffee pouring into his horn:
T-shirts being sold at the coffee shop feature an image of the angel Moroni, the golden statue of a male figure in a robe blowing a trumpet that sits atop many LDS temples. In the Just Add Coffee version, Moroni's trumpet is angled upward as coffee from a pot is poured into it.
"It was a spoof," Beazer said. "It was meant to be fun."
It apparently didn't amuse the LDS Church, whose members are discouraged from drinking coffee.
In a letter sent to Beazer's home last week, the shop owner was informed that the image of Moroni is a registered trademark of the LDS Church. The letter also requested that Just Add Coffee discontinue use of the image in advertising campaigns.

Ah, well. I guess you can trademark an angel. Apparently the shop is discontinuing the shirts. It sounds like someone missed his morning cup.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

You would think the Mormons would appreciate the free publicity of spreading their angel image, even as a spoof, instead they generate a lot of bad blood about trademarking angels. But from the beginning that church been very careful to protect its business interests. Joseph Smith, Jr. put his byline and copyright on the Book of Mormon even though he claimed it came from God (a 150 years later the Church added the blasphemous sub-title "Another Testament of Christ" to make the work seem more Christian). It seems to me that growing their church and making sure their members are tithing has always been their first goal.

Anonymous said...

This is the best spoof I've seen in quite some time. I tried to be a Mormon for a few years, but could not part with my morning jitter juice. When their goons found out I was still sipping, I was basically asked to leave. I was more than happy to.

Kurt said...

I am a regularly attending member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I am not an authorized representative, but believe I am uniquely qualified as I am a life-long member.

Moroni IS a sacred individual in our church.

Our belief structure considers him a prophet, equal in value and identity to Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses; successively through Peter, James, John and Paul. WE DO SHARE, with mainstream Christianity, the Reverence, respect, careful study and ponderous contemplation regarding these prophets and the Godly inspired words they left for us to help us help ourselves and others find the peace and joy, only available through Jesus Christ, in this life and in the life to come.

What these men unintentionally did, from our perspective, is the same as showing a picture of Moses, or any of the other prophets, breaking a commandment of God... They also have shown some regret, which shows they are men of character willing to take responsibility for their behavior.

The church's response was, as always, mild and diplomatic. The men who own the coffee shop chose to disclose the correspondence from the church, which appears was meant to be quiet and without ill intent. The only result they intended was to simply inform them of their error and request that they correct it.

James 1:5, 6 allows us to ask God, without fear of criticism or punishment for asking, whether or not ANYTHING is true. The ONLY condition he makes is to ask with an appropriate investment of faith, without pretense. In my experience as a missionary, EVERYONE I have witnessed, excepting one who I unfortunately lost contact with, following this direction from James, eventually became a member of my church (she did commit to join before my mission ended).

There are a lot of misrepresentations, some of which unknowingly stated from good members of my church, including myself at times, that provide fodder for those seeking evidence against the validity of my church. As with any matter crucial for our salvation, a close relationship with God and the way he informs us individually, is the only way to know we are heading in the right direction.

Truth, by definition, is simply what is right. Pride is that condition that elevates who is right above what is right… “And the meek shall inherit the earth.”

I sincerely welcome any correspondence delivered in the same non-contentious voice as the above was intended. I would greatly appreciate knowing how this may have been received as offensive to anyone and hope to correct it through jointly respectful conversation, if so.

Brett said...

It really amazes me how much iterpretation is read into this stuff. The mormon kid that works for me lectures me all the time on how I drink coffee and tea and he drinks hot chocolate and coke.

Everyone knows the original D&Cs say you should not drink "hot drink"....How that became strictly tea and coffee is anyones guess.

It also amazes me that "moroni" can be trademarked. I suppose the golden plates are as well (can you trademark something that has no proof of existence?)

Kurt said...

... So much for jointly respectful.

It appears that I failed in my attempt to show that Mormons, like me, are valid human beings. All of these posts have some amount of venom directed at us with no clear point about how we deserved it other than the fact that we defended a mild attack unintentionally directed at our beliefs.

It is becoming apparent that Mr. Cameron recently decided to seek fame and fortune at the expense of truth. Any Christian should receive this effort as satanic in nature, notwithstanding Mr. Cameron's innocence due to the blind passion that most of us fall victim to on occasion.

The part that I find discouraging is how those of you who find yourselves qualified to make venomous remarks about a man that you do not know, who gave his life in the service of God, could allow yourselves to be so unfeeling when a people who do know him try to defend him in the same way God would expect you to if you found yourselves in the same place (like recently) where the sacredness of your belief structure and/or one or more of the individuals (like the nature of Jesus Christ) was under attack.

To be clear, these comments are mildly prejudicial, unfounded, incorrect and unfair. My goal was to achieve Matt. 18:19, 20. We can't do that if I am not at least viewed as an equally valid child of our Heavenly Father.


FYI

1. Joseph Smith had to name himself author to get the Book of Mormon published.

2. Sources unaffiliated with the church and unaware of its stand on it, confirmed the likelihood that Native Central and South Americans believed that Christ came to this side of the world, spoke with them (the account in the Book of Mormon teaches that his visit resulted in 200 years of peace among two diametrically opposed peoples) and told them he would return (Another Testament of Jesus Christ).

3. Christ said, "Feed my sheep."

4. Since God gives us everything, he has the right to ask for 10% back. The members that follow this commandment are blessed for it in the same way people of other faiths are (Malachi 3:8-11), !(Matthew 6:1-4)!.

5. There is much more to the story about being "basically asked to leave." This is EXTREMELY uncommon and is usually a big mistake on the part of the requester. "Our job is not to reject the weak, but to strengthen them." (Joseph Smith)

6. D&C 89 can be found on lds.org.
The "guess" is via worshipping God according to the dictates of our own individual conscience after receiving ongoing prophetic guidance.

7. We wouldn't have a leg to stand on if the church, through foresight, didn't trademark the image of Moroni. This would be a mute point if it were any prophet you subscribe to.

Sincerely and respectfully submitted with no ill intent, -Kurt

Anonymous said...

Is it my interpretation as a former member of the LDS church (I chose to leave after a lifetime of service and yes - a "successful" mission; rather than being asked to leave)... Or is Kurt a little over-sensitive?

As is the case with many successful marketing campaigns, there is likely no "venom" implied when making business decisions such as this one. In fact, it is only with the Church's response that this became a popular news item world-wide.

If not for that letter, then this would certainly have been "kept quiet" since no attention would have been brought to the subject.

Sorry, but that's the breaks in life. This is the real world and one can't live in a bubble... in fact, if you are trying to do so, then what are you doing in spending your bubble-time reading this Anti- literature?

Kurt said...

As for the church requesting the cease and desist, if that was what it was, I believe it was the right thing to do in the same way that I agree with the Christian community’s response to Mr. Cameron’s less than informed decision to “show the world” the lost tomb of Jesus. Neither was right and for the same basic reason.

I have been guilty of being over sensitive before, so there is probably some truth in that. My excuse then, and now, stemmed from my commitment to life... The more I put into something, the more vulnerable I become. In this case, this vulnerability is not a weakness, however; it is a choice. The same choice any proactive Christian makes.

I don't mind putting my beliefs up for others to scrutinize. I do mind, and have a spiritual stewardship to clarify what those beliefs are, when they are misrepresented. In this case, call it "anti-Mormon" if you like, I don't believe anyone here is trying to be deceptive but simply responding from a foundation of knowledge accumulated from things they have heard and accepted as true. In fact, most of the posts I have read herein are stimulating and go toward making this world a better place… The same is true of nearly every Christian, Mormon or not, I have ever met.

Perhaps my language leads you to believe that I was cut deeper than I really was, or you still haven't reconciled leaving the church. I will say that some of my best friends are not Mormon... Two of which are immersed Christians, Biblical scholars and have a genuine, deeply abiding concern for my Eternal well-being. Their staunch anti-Mormon stance has melted somewhat, however, since my devotion to and acceptance of Jesus Christ is undeniably equal to theirs.

I would like to know why you left the church. I wouldn’t mind chatting back and forth here, but I don’t know how long Alan will tolerate that! God bless. -Kurt

Anonymous said...

Kurt, you ask for questions, and I have one that I've always wanted to ask a sincere member of the Mormon church:

How do Mormons reconcile Galatians 1:7-9 with the angel Moroni and the Book of Mormon? It seems to explicitly condemn Moroni's "testimony":

"7Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.

8But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

9As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed."

How can the Book of Mormon be "Another Testament of Christ" without violating that scripture?

susanna in alabama

Kurt said...

Excellent question, Susanna.

Simply put:

From our perspective, both the Book of Mormon and the Bible teach our Heavenly Father’s plan for our happiness. They contain the same “good news”, but are recorded by people in different lands under different circumstances. It isn’t any different than John and Paul and their teachings to different people.


And the extended simple way (summarized):

The Book of Mormon begins in Jerusalem at 600 B.C., during the prophetic ministry of Jeremiah, just previous to the captivity by Nebuchadnezzar.

Lehi, a man we regard as a prophet, warned of the impending Babylonian captivity, left Jerusalem and eventually landed in the Americas. From prophetic succession through the birth of Christ (no Malachi to Matthew gap) until 421 A.D., these prophets followed the same commandment Biblical prophets were given to write what God revealed to them. Among other important things, they wrote of the new star appearing at the birth of Christ. They wrote of the tumultuous times at his death. They wrote of his post-mortal appearance fulfilling John 10:16: “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” He healed their sick and afflicted. He brought about a peace that lasted 200 years.

3 Nephi (Third Nephi), in the Book of Mormon, is no different in substance and viability than Matthew, Mark, Luke or John to us because it is literally the written words of the Savior, translated into English. For obvious reasons I’m sure we share, we don’t believe that Christ would contradict himself.

Moroni was the last prophet to write in the Book of Mormon. His last known written words were directed to us, the house of Israel, to “come unto Christ and be perfected in him.” Moroni delivered an abridgement of these writings to Joseph Smith, who translated them into English through the gift and power of God.

In 367 A.D., St. Athanasius decided which books to include in the New Testament, not an authorized person, when absolutely held to the standard quoted in Galatians 1:7-9; Revelations 22:18-19. The Jews felt then (still do) about the New Testament as you do now about our calling the Book of Mormon Another Testament of Jesus Christ (Deuteronomy 4:2). But, according to a belief we share, Christ’s detractors will eventually find themselves kneeling, bowing and confessing Him. No Christian should dispute the inspiration given to St. Athanasius or any of the composers, translators or constructors of the Bible.

The Bible (I read mine every day, except when I forget!) and the Book of Mormon are one in our hand (Ezekiel 37:15-19). As with any prophetic text, there is potential for perceived differences or incompatibilities regarding doctrine, however; using the historical construction of the Bible as a benchmark for comparison, one has to look unreasonably hard for disharmonies between the Book of Mormon and the Bible, when pursued through Hermeneutical study.

This kind of study has led me to a place where a simple handshake and a sincere look into the eyes of nearly any Christian is all that is needed to know that they have accepted Christ, know and love Him, and barring a wanton Spiritual catastrophe, have already completed all that they need to do to worship in His presence, at His feet, for all Eternity.

We believe God wants us to do much more after accepting Christ and endeavor to share what that is. When the meat of that message is delivered before the milk, the perceptible truth becomes confused and leads to disbelief and the false appearance of absurdity. I testify that we ARE Christian and that the Book of Mormon IS true.

Kurt in Nevada 