Friday, July 24, 2009

The 24th of July and Mormon folklore stories I do not believe.

The 24th of July is not my favorite holiday. I find it a tad bit pretentious, like it thinks it's better than the 4th, but knows it's not. I am also not a big fan of the parade and it's, "We're too good for the giant, floating balloons, and every float must have huge macrame angels pushing handcarts or your out!" attitude. And I definitely don't like the fact that the only place I can see the fireworks is at Liberty Park. Why is Liberty Park so high and mighty? Just because Brigham Young lived there for a spell? And don't give me this "There are fireworks at the Bees game" jive. I like my fireworks like I like my Costco samples: free and surrounded by old women with mini microwaves and scissors!

Perhaps my least favorite part of the 24th of July is this yearly article we seem to be force fed every year by the Trib or the Deseret News on Mormon folklore. Allow me to recap some of the old standbys:

1. Yoda, of Star Wars mythology was based after President Spencer W. Kimble. Yeah, riiiiight. I had this one taught to me as a kid as if it were gospel truth. What's next? Chewbacca was based after Donny Osmond? C3PO was Thurl Bailey?

2. Steve Martin is Mormon. Uh huh. That would explain his choice of recent roles: Baby Mama, The Pink Panther 2, Bowfinger, and Shopgirl. All clearly Mormon cinema at it's best! Although one role clearly makes more sense than the others - Cheaper By The Dozen. 12 kids - chaos and mahem ensue! The only thing missing is the "Quest for Perfection" matching tee shirts.

3. "Two LDS elders stray a few miles from their area -- a ground-rule no-no for missionaries -- to attend a baseball game. But their hard-working mission president, taking some time off, catches the same game on TV. The camera pans the crowd and stops on the two off-base missionaries. When they return to their apartment that night, they find their mission president there. In his hands are two tickets for their flight home."

Okay, I think this rumor started flying about the same time that Ferris Bueller's Day Off came out. There are three things wrong with this story: 1. I highly doubt attending a baseball game is grounds for dismissal. 2. The camera never stops on two regular 19 year old Joes. 3. What is the Mission President doing watching a baseball game? No way did this ever happen.

This was just a stupid story designed to scare missionaries into being obedient.

In this well-worn missionary retread, a couple of Mormon elders are spreading the word door-to-door in a bad neighborhood. A gang surrounds them. The missionaries hop into their car and speed away. The thugs look on, stunned. Once the two elders are safely away, their car dies. The two pop the hood and find there is no engine.

I actually think the first time I heard this one, I was at Youth Conference. It was used as an "inspiring moment" of some sort.

There are problems with this story as well: 1. If you are a missionary in a neighborhood with gangs, you likely do not have a car in the first place. 2. Why would anyone, even gang members, want to steal an old Chevy Cavalier engine? 3. God is a good mechanic, but he ain't THAT good!

5. Of course, there are all sorts of stories about the 3 Nephites, many that I have heard too many times to count. Personally, I think the 3 Nephites are all driving the same ice cream trucks they have been driving for years.

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