Entertainer Steve Martin has joined the LDS Church!
Proctor and Gamble, Inc. has close ties with the Church of Satan!!
Remember when you heard these stories? Maybe for a moment, you might even been suckered in and believed one or both of these urban myths. Truth be told, the Steve Martin story had me going for a day, but Church of Satan with Proctor and Gamble not so much. There is another urban myth circulating about missionaries who work hard on their missions who will be blessed with a super gorgeous babe wife. Ok, I see you rolling your eyes at me. I will now illustrate the impact of this seemingly harmless Mormon urban myth with some true to life stories. Now put on your thinking caps, questions will be asked… here we go.
In a high socioeconomic ward in Draper, Utah, during a family sharing time in Primary, the father of the family, on bended knee with a grave and serious tone, said, “Boys, my Mission President told me that if you work hard on your mission, you will be blessed with a pretty wife”. Later this brother was called into the Bishopric. Another anecdote from the same ward, in testimony meeting, a different brother said his Mission President told him because he worked hard on his mission he would be blessed with a gorgeous wife. Lest we misunderstand either situation, neither brother defined pretty or gorgeous as internal beauty.
I candidly asked a recently returned missionary if he had heard such a thing he replied, “Well, that definitely IS a rumor. I know it goes around missionaries’ a lot. For example, in Washington, they say that the more you tract in the rain, the more beautiful your wife gets. So, I think it would be an attempt at encouragement or motivation, but I have never heard it mentioned from any leader in my mission. I may have heard it jokingly, but never seriously.”
In LDS Bride a magazine, sold at Deseret Book, an article entitled, The Harder You Work featured a recently married couple; the groom was quoted as saying, “The classic missionary saying that goes, the harder your work on your mission, the prettier your wife will be. A miracle! First day home and a gorgeous girl was already looking for me!”
Is it just me, or does this make anyone else think of Muslim extremists and their promised eternity with a boatload of gorgeous virgin babes? Of course I realize I am comparing senseless, horrible violence of suicide/homicide vs. dedicating two years of your life to the Lord to serve a mission and Proclaim the Gospel, which I know is quite a dichotomy, but do you not see a thread of similarity in motivating our young men, intentional or unintentional as it may be?
I cannot imagine that any authority in the church intending for the missionaries to take this obvious joke seriously, but apparently, for some, it has. This is one factor I believe contributes to self-esteem issues with women in the church. We tell our young women that they are daughters of God, and they have divine worth. We then speak out of both sides of our mouths by then telling our young men hard work on your mission results in a breathtaking babe wife? Just as in the world, are we guilty of over-valuing the physical?
I think the Lord intended missionary work to be instead a promise found in the Doctrine and Covenants:
And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!
And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the Kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me! (Doctrine and Covenants 18:15–16)
Inquiring minds want to know
is this a joke and everybody knows it
does this particular Mormon legend contribute negatively to our LDS culture (even as far as potentially impact our reputation and future missionary efforts)?
Don’t be shy. Whatever your opinion, do tell.