TAYLORSVILLE, Utah (AP) — For a coffee shop, T-shirts of a Mormon angel with java flowing into his trumpet are selling well. But they don’t have the blessing of religious leaders.
The shirts have upset the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Not only is the angel Moroni a revered figure — Mormons believe he appeared to church founder Joseph Smith — but church members are discouraged from drinking coffee.
The shirts show Moroni, a male figure in a robe blowing a trumpet. The trumpet is turned up at an angle as coffee is poured in.
“They’ve been the best-selling T-shirts we’ve ever done,” said Just Add Coffee co-owner Ed Beazer.
The church informed Beazer that the angel’s image is a registered trademark.
“If they provide proof, we’re going to comply,” Beazer said. “We don’t want to break any laws or anything.”
Just Add Coffee put the image on greeting cards about a year ago and started selling the shirts before Christmas. Moroni also appeared in ads that caught the church’s attention.
Church spokesman Scott Trotter said the image is a trademark.
“It was a spoof,” Beazer said. “It was meant to be fun.”