Monday, October 3, 2011 at 12 p.m.
You might not have gathered from the first three minutes of Paris' YouTube video detailing his history of homelessness and passion for ping pong that he's more than just what meets the eye. But no need to sit through the soft-lensed four minutes for him to spell it out for you -- he's a Mormon.
The missionary's from Alabama, he's currently in England, and he's one of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' newest faces in a national campaign, including television spots, billboards, ads on buses and Internet promotions, that'll go live in Phoenix today.
The short spots, illustrations, and advertisements aim to "give a glimpse into the lives of Latter-day Saints from all over the world" and will redirect those interested to Mormon.org
The website has served as the Church's landing page and home to thousands of profiles of Mormons -- searchable by name, age, gender, heritage, country ethnicity, and previous religion -- who according to the campaign, are more than happy to answer questions you may have about the faith. (Note: suggested topics include, "Are Mormons Christian?" "What part does prayer play in your life?" "Why don't Mormons drink coffee, tea, or alcohol?" and "What do Mormons believe about the Bible?". No word on whether members will discuss undergarments, hidden pantries, or whether planet points will be awarded for correct answers).
This campaign is a continuation of an effort started last year after the Church conducted international research related to how the Church and its members are perceived on a national level. The results came in, and the Church got a hold of a few video cameras.
According to Mormon.org, the there are more than 190,000 people who practice Mormonism in 490 local congregations and one temple in Mesa. Two additional temples are under construction, one in Phoenix and one in Gilbert.
The "I'm a Mormon" campaign (which you can check out in full here
) is slated to continue through February 2012.