Mormonism is a missionary church and its public relations campaigns have consistently helped define its teachings, theology, and culture. If you are looking to read about Mormon theology you will little in the way of theological treatises. Instead, you would find missionary tracts. This is due in large part to the history of Mormon missionary work. Missionary experience produced much of early Mormon thought.
The massive emphasis on families comes from the way in which the church placed an appeal to family at the heart of its incredibly successful proselytizing work in the twentieth century. Today we have the “I’m a Mormon” ad campaign. It helps promote the image of Mormons as multicultural, hip, interesting. Furthermore, it labors against the stereotype of Mormons as white Republicans locked into traditional family roles and uninteresting corporate jobs.
Is the “I’m a Mormon” ad campaign simply a PR ploy? Or does it try to tell the tale that Mormons come from all walks of life? No matter what you believe, the ad campaign has become embedded within the missionary program of the Mormon Church. As a result we may very well see a change in the types of people that join the Church. Furthermore, over the course of their lives, Mormonism in its teachings and cultural practices may transform itself to look more and more like the cool Mormons in the “I’m a Mormon” ads.