Thursday, November 29, 2007

an allergic reaction

Last week just as we drove over the border into Utah, I shuddered involuntarily.

"What?" my husband asked.

"Utah," I answered.

"Ah." He understood.

"It's like my desire for a tattoo shoots through the roof as soon as I get into the state."


Mai said...

I remember when the Elders came to our door.

My visiting brother, dressed in full bana (Sikh religious get-up), a three foot sword hanging at his side, answers the door. Bro is well over six feet tall, with a turban, long beard and the build of a defensive lineman. Bro scowls at them, his hand on the sword hilt, 'If I became a Mormon would I have to support the Brigham Young football team and vote Republican?(Note: Bro is Canadian.)

'Most of us do, Sir.' In a quavering voice.

Bro scowls some more. 'I think, young men, you had best leave.' Hand still on the sword hilt.

In unison. 'Yes, Sir!' They turn and beat a hasty retreat.

This story, with much embellishment, has become a family legend.

I don't think we'd be very happy in Utah. Beautiful scenery, though.

BTW, I also know how to get rid of Jehovah's Witnesses, and they don't come back. Don't work too well if you're wearing bana, though.

from the ashes said...

lol, great story, Mai. I wonder how that story is told from the Elders points of view! Hee hee.

I've actually never had missionaries knock on my door since I left, except once, only about 2 weeks after we stopped attending. That was way too early for them to realize we hadn't just missed a couple weeks of church. They only wanted an address from the list of local members, and I gave it to them. I kept that list until we moved, since I had friends on the list (all of whom also stopped attending).

Rebecca said...

I actually really like being in Utah now that I'm not at BYU, and I'd totally consider moving there. Of course, I didn't grow up there...And I would NOT move to Provo. Probably.

Julia said...

I just wish there wasn't such a divide between Mormons and those that aren't Mormon. I think both sides create it and it causes WAY too many issues. People here need to learn to stop dividing themselves based on religion. Then I think people wouldn't have such a "shudder" when they think of Utah.

from the ashes said...

rebecca- I actually could live in Utah (not Utah valley, probably). As we drove back out of the state, DH and I discussed that we could live there. What we couldn't do is raise our son there. And part of that is what Julia mentioned--that Mormon/non-Mormon divide that is so strong and somewhat toxic. He would be the Other. In other places, people divide themselves, too, based on various things, but there is generally a lot more diversity, too.

Julia- I think you have a good point. Mormonism is so strong there, so _given_ for so many that practice it, that people who are not Mormon, esp. people who left Mo'sim, feel a need to react in order to balance things and set boundaries. The situation could be better; but how? Why is there such a strong divide?

Mai said...

That's a great idea! After all, I'm a writer. But I just don't know the inside of Mormon Elders' heads well enough to write it. And I don't really know any Mormons except you. If you'd like to...?

Or we could turn it over to the author of Mormon Erotica for the treatment...

Or I could call the local Mormon church and invite some Elders over. I could dress very carefully. *sighs* but I'm short and fat and have a very scanty beard *pulls on two chin hairs* and I doubt I'm scary enough to pull it off, even with a metre long sword, which I do have. *BWG* and I am somewhat skilled with *BiggerWG*

Ah, well.

I don't usually do things like this in ubsuspecting people's comments, but this is irresistable:

The Passing of Larry LaPrise

Larry Laprise

With all the sadness and trauma going on in the world at the moment, it is worth reflecting on the death of a very important person, which almost went unnoticed a few weeks ago.

Larry LaPrise, the man who wrote 'The Hokie Pokey' died peacefully at the age of 93. The most traumatic part for his family was getting him into the coffin . They put his left leg in. And then the trouble started.

Shut up. You know it's funny. Now send it on to someone else and make them smile. :-)

AZ Awakening said...

I get the same feeling for Starbucks after landing at SLC.

KingM said...

If I didn't have so many friends and family there I would never consider moving back. There is a lot of beautiful scenery in Utah, but largely of the natural variety. The human stuff is strip malls and subdivisions as far as the eye can see.

I also appreciate the green and the rain and the clean air. Precious little of that in Utah.

from the ashes said...

mai- I meant, I bet there are a couple former Elders out there who tell that story from their point of view. "And then this big Sikh threatened us with his sword...!" Heehee

az- I googled Starbucks as one of the first things. American Fork, Orem, Payson...

kingM- The strip malls and billboards are certainly not scenic. I was just saying to DH today that next time we go back, we should visit the (not Mormon) historical sites, like the Golden Spike area, and the beautiful scenery like Arches and the Uintahs. The natural part of the state has some very great sites.

Mai said...

...But we weren't afraid because we knew Heavenly Father would protect us from this perdicious, violent creature destined to the lowest reaches of the terrestrial or telestrial - which is lower, I don't remember - heaven.

Oh, this story simply must be written. Maybe pass it on for the Mormon Erotica treatment?

If I remember correctly, only fallen Mormons go to hell, right?

from the ashes said...

Exactly! What a riot.

I can never remember which heaven ("kingdom" is Mormon parlance) is lower, either. I often tried tricks to remember, like it's reverse alphabetic order, or "terra" means earth, so that ones most like earth--but it's not, it's the middle one, isn't it?!? Ugh. I dunno. Guess I lost the light.

As for Mormon hell, yeah, there are two places that could correspond to a more Christian- or Islamic-traditional hell (I don't know what Sikh's believe on the matter). There's "spirit prison," where non-Mormons go, but it's only temporary. Perhaps this corresponds best to Catholic purgatory, except instead of praying for them, Mormons do the temple work for them so they can move on. After that they go to one of the kingdoms. I think D&C says they can't go to the Celestial, but I think it's common for people to believe that people who didn't have a chance to hear the Mormon gospel on earth, but then accept it in spirit prison, can go to the CK. I can't remember exactly what D&C says, though; I only read it 2x.

Then there's Outer Darkness, where only Mormons who have received the fullness of the light of the gospel (or something to that effect, whatever the hell that means)--and then reject it--go. It's not clear who qualifies to go. Some say that you have to have had the priesthood (which means women are incapable of going to Outer Darkness), or even a very high position in the church, before rejecting it, in order to qualify as Evil Enough. Some say you had to have had the Second Anointing, which is a extra temple ritual which only a very few receive (they are hand-picked).

And there's your Mormon theology lesson for the day. :)