Where did the Church get these people from such a broad range of faiths? Curious. Just as curious as the decision to make an ecumenical chastity video in the first place. I’d like to know more about who made this video and how.
What difference will the ecumenicism make to my young men who see the video? Why not just have 6 LDS kids who can speak to the LDS experience? Well, most American Mormon kids have been raised in an environment where diversity is associated with fashion and cultural cache, so having a racially mixed and religiously mixed group is just doubling down on the perceived potency. But even more the answer, I think, is that the video is harnessing the positive value of peer pressure, or put another way, the value of imagined community. When the LDS faith is experienced as a peculiar commitment in the middle of near total opposition, it is strong but fragile. There is a certain desperation to it. But when it is experienced as a more perfect instantiation of perennial truth, it feels as permanent as the mountains. At least that was my experience when young, when I started reading more widely and discovered that Christianity and belief had a long history. My interaction and even embrace of the Christian tradition strengthened my Mormon faith. I would similarly bet that LDS youth who felt themselves part of a worldwide, ecumenical youth commitment to chastity would have their specifically Mormon commitment to chastity strengthened.
As we learned in the territorial days, trying to live apart in the middle of a hostile culture is dangerous. We may have no choice, but if we can we should try to make or find allies.
Its interesting, too, how similar our vocabularies for talking about chastity and sex are. For most of the video I thought the Lutheran girl was the Mormon, though I was hoping the Mormon kid was either Eric or Gladys.
Its interesting how the video implies that we, the Mormons, are leaders in this worldwide youth movement for chastity, both in the fact that we are making it and also with the lead-off quote from the Proclamation. I wouldn’t read too much into one video, but the move is similar to the ones the Catholics have made post Vatican II where they have stopped treating other Christian sects as purely heresies but have redefined Catholicism as sort of the inherent leader of those sects, God’s shock troop, if you will.