It’s the Book of Mormon!

It seems that quite a few people wonder what exactly Mormon missionaries do. I like relating the story from when I lived in Belgium (91-92) and the Brussels police busted a couple of them under “the Suss Laws” (Belgian Police can detain people for 48 hours and give them a litre of coffee and baguette). The police weren’t sure what Mormon Missionaries did. The law firm that we shared space with represented the Mormons and had to get the hapless lads out of Jail.

It seems the creators of South Park have spent quite a bit of time contemplating the question of “What do Mormon Missionaries Do?” as well. First, they did the film Orgazmo abotu a Mormon missionary who becomes a porn star. Now, they have a hit Broadway play with The Book of Mormon. I don’t think Old Joseph Smith prophesised that this would happen when he translated those golden tablets!

The play’s story follows two young men, Elder Cunningham and Elder Price, who are aspiring to go on their mission and spread the word of the LDS church. Price wants to go to Orlando , and Cunningham just wants to go on an adventure with a best friend. Instead of Orlando, they are assigned to Uganda, which is not at all what they expected (“there are no doorbells?!”). The boys think that they have all this faith, but once they have to put it to use in a 3rd world country they realize that it only takes them so far—the rest needs to be determined on its own. Throughout many musical numbers they express this, and also touch upon the value and role of organized religion in today’s society, how Mormonism is “all-American”, and even the story of Joseph Smith.

Wow! Now, is the US ready for Mitt Romney?

I may not be a Mormon in this life, but I know for sure that when they tell me in the afterlife that I was retroactively baptised that I will be eternally grateful in what can truly be called heaven with Marie Osmond and Mrs. Fields!

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