Friday, October 24, 2014

Meet the Real Mormons

Dang! I missed my chance. Meet the Mormons is no longer playing in a theater near me. I suspect the same may be true in many other less Mormon-populated locales. But for those of you who live outside the Brigham Belt, or who simply don't want to pony up the price of admission (tickets to my local Cinemark range from $7.50 to $9.00 a pop), I have an alternative suggestion.

After watching the trailer and skimming the Meet the Mormons official website, I've learned that what the Salt Lake Tribune calls a "sales pitch" focuses on the lives of "six ordinary individuals." Namely, the famous WWII candy bomber (whose story the church has trotted out on countless previous occasions), a Nepalese humanitarian, a Costa Rican female kick-boxing champ, an African-American football coach, a single mom, and an African-American Mormon bishop. At first glance, they don't seem very typically Mormon to me.

Want to meet the real Mormons? (Or the ones who call the shots?) I invite you to wander over to the LDS Church website and read the load of bollocks the regular gang of white male cliches have been churning out about their church and its history.

Not only is it free. Not only is it a truer representation of the LDS Church. I believe it will prove far more entertaining than the Lord's feature-length film. In fact, in places it's flat-out hilarious.

With their talent, the Brethren should really do stand-up. Or write a satire blog. After all, they've been practically writing mine for almost five years now. Try as I might, I can do little to improve upon them.

Take, for example, this past week's article: "Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo." You decide, Gentle Readers, who is funnier? Them or me?

Excerpt from LDS Inc. satire:
Most of those sealed to Joseph Smith were between 20 and 40 years of age at the time of their sealing to him. The oldest, Fanny Young, was 56 years old. The youngest was Helen Mar Kimball, daughter of Joseph’s close friends Heber C. and Vilate Murray Kimball, who was sealed to Joseph several months before her 15th birthday. Marriage at such an age, inappropriate by today’s standards, was legal in that era, and some women married in their mid-teens.26  
Helen Mar Kimball spoke of her sealing to Joseph as being “for eternity alone,” suggesting that the relationship did not involve sexual relations.27 After Joseph’s death, Helen remarried and became an articulate defender of him and of plural marriage.28
Following his marriage to Louisa Beaman and before he married other single women, Joseph Smith was sealed to a number of women who were already married.29 Neither these women nor Joseph explained much about these sealings, though several women said they were for eternity alone.30 Other women left no records, making it unknown whether their sealings were for time and eternity or were for eternity alone.

My attempt to improve on LDS Inc. satire:
Most of those sealed to Joseph Smith were between 20 and 40 years of age. The youngest, Helen Mar Kimball, was 14 years old. The oldest, Fanny Young, was months shy of her 57th birthday. 
The marriage of a 14 year old girl to a middle-aged man who is already married is and always has been both illegal and inappropriate. However, Joseph attempted to evade U.S. laws and standards of decency by drawing a distinction between marriages for "time and all eternity" and marriages "for eternity alone." 
Helen Mar Kimball spoke of her sealing to Joseph as being for "eternity alone." This suggests that rather than stealing her away to indulge in her nubile, teenaged flesh, Joseph merely retired with Kimball to his bedchamber where he recited to her in Reformed Egyptian.
Joseph Smith was also sealed to a number of women who were already married. Because this also is and always has been both illegal and inappropriate, some of those women likewise described their marriages to Joseph as "for eternity alone." 
That way, when confronted by an angry husband, Joseph could explain, "No worries, Harvey. She's still yours for now. I'm just practicing on her for the next life." 
Others left no record or description of their relationship with Joseph, a common practice for married women who suddenly find themselves in similarly confusing connubial situations.  

See what I mean? The LDS Inc. schtick is deft, subtle, hip! Whereas I come off as a puritanical old poop.

Regardless, I'm guessing this week's article on Plural Marriage reveals a lot more about the Mormon Church than the subjects of its new documentary ever could. That being said, I want to meet that Latina kick-boxer. There are some human targets in Salt Lake City I'd like to see her apply her talent to.

10 comments:

  1. Well, it's considered crude and crass to post a lady's age and weight. So if Helen Mar Kimball was married to Joseph Smith "Several months before her 15th birthday" it's just a nice way of saying she was under the age of 18 but over the age of 14.

    I'm several months shy of 53 but enough past 40 to not pass for a young woman any more. See, it just sounds classier. Classy, that's what the Mormons are all about.

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    1. You said it Dee. Stay classy LDS Church!

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  2. It all reminds me of something that ginger tree-climbing daughter of Warren and Theresa jeffs would say. I know Warren was locked up and couldn't do a hell of a lot about it, but I never understood why Theresa didn't tell her daughter to get out of the tree.

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  3. Coincidentally I had to hang out with some real Mormons this past week who knew me when I was a believer and also know that I am an "apostate." It goes without saying that my lack of belief is a barrier between us that is almost tangible.

    Real Mormons? Passive aggressive, judgmental, dishonest (as in can't have an honest conversation about facts, at a minimum), disempowered, and very threatened by people who don't share their beliefs. Very threatened. And consequently they are emotionally unhealthy.

    For starters. Though I do know a few exceptions to the above description, it applies overwhelmingly to most of the Mormons I know. And I know a lot of Mormons.

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  4. Alexis, I'm not familiar with that story! Golly, just when I think I've heard it all… I was in Southern Utah recently and saw some polygamist moms with their daughters - all gussied up for their trip to town. (That would be the Maverick store at the gas station.)

    AT, you nailed it. They are definitely threatened by people who don't share their beliefs. I remember those days and it is such a relief to be free to think for myself and not worry about what others think. After hanging with real Mormons all week you must have been ready for that well-deserved Friday night cocktail last night! Have a great weekend.

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    1. Also, thank you to the Gentle Reader who pointed out my bad grammar last night! I just corrected it. http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/irregardless-versus-regardless

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  5. Donna, You are definitely funnier. The church is just outright ridiculous.

    I wish the church would write an essay on the differences between a narcissist and a sociopath and then tell us, once and for all, which of those definitions fits Joseph Smith.

    Signed,
    A Women several months over 40

    PS I would like to meet the Latina kick-boxer as well ;)

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    1. Thank you Just Jill, but I couldn't do it without the material. In that spirit, I think I'll start telling people I'm a few months over 39.

      OMG, you should write that essay on Thoughts per Coffee! Hilarious idea.

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  6. I love the word bollocks. Its brilliant!

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