A new Mormon Messages video that focuses on bullying in the digital age is striking a chord with audiences on the Mormon Channel and on social media channels. The film, produced by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was posted on the Mormon Channel’s YouTube channel on Friday, 28 February 2014. On Tuesday morning, the views were close to 180,000 with hundreds of shares.
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s message from the April 2012 general conference titled “The Merciful Obtain Mercy” is featured throughout the storyline of a high school bullying scenario that focuses on the relationship between a brother and sister as he experiences a change of heart. The youth profiled in the video don’t realize there is a new way to hurt others anonymously through texting and social media.
“I imagine that every person on earth has been affected in some way by the destructive spirit of contention, resentment, and revenge,” said President Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency, at the beginning of the video. “Perhaps there are even times when we recognize this spirit in ourselves.”
President Uchtdorf’s voice is used to share this counsel: “This topic of judging others could actually be taught in a two-word sermon. When it comes to hating, gossiping, ignoring, ridiculing, holding grudges, or wanting to cause harm, please apply the following: Stop it!”
Mormon Messages producers originally planned for the film to be part of a youth video series, but they realized President Uchtdorf’s profound message would resonate with people of all faiths. Producers also wanted to address growing concerns over online behavior and the issue of cyberbullying.
The video is experiencing extraordinary momentum as it quickly picks up views. It was filmed by the Church in Davis County, Utah, in December 2013.
“These guys are exactly like the guys in my high school…glad to see that people are seeing a different side of bullying,” posted a YouTube user.
“This is really good for me because [I’ve] been bullied and [I’ve] been a bully,” said a viewer.
“I’m not Mormon, but I found the message beautiful and universal,” added another person who watched the video.
“I’m an atheist. I agree with the message of this video,” commented a fan on YouTube.