“So You’re Going on a Mission!” What to do about Girls? July 14, 2016Posted by Ubi Dubium in Books, Humor.
Tags: books, christianity, missionaries, Mormons, sex, women
Continuing commentary on the 1968 Mormon guidebook for future missionaries.
On we go to Chapter 2: Girl Care.
This is their chapter on dating and issues with girlfriends back home. The author spends only three pages on this important topic, but her instructions could have been reduced to one word: “DON’T“.
Don’t try to keep a long-distance relationship with your girlfriend from before you left, don’t expect to just resume a relationship when you get back, don’t even start dating before you leave, don’t get involved with anybody while on a mission, don’t, don’t, don’t.
This chapter feels more like it was written in 1868, not 1968. Remember when you were a kid, and children’s books and Disney movies portrayed a world where sex didn’t even exist? Where girls waited for their handsome prince, and all the prince wanted from her was a kiss, and then they got married followed by “happily ever after”? I think the author is expecting these boys to keep living in that fairy-tale world of their childhood.
There is no mention of sex in this book, only “temptation”. Even though girls were known to go on missions, this chapter really only addresses the boys. And it has great advice for them like this:
“Never be alone with someone of the opposite sex regardless of her age.”
“Always stay at arm’s length except to shake hands.”
“And don’t think that just because you’re going to one of the Pacific Islands or to the Orient that you’ll be immune from temptation. In working with people you become very close to them and basic differences may be forgotten easily and quickly” (all from pg 17)
And the attitude towards girls is completely shallow as well:
“But if, and when he returns, he finds that she is still interested in rock operas and concerts, all of which have become foreign and insignificant to him, she can easily be tumbled off her pedestal.” (pg 15)
Ignoring the real possibility that while the boy has been off focused 24/7 on religion and religion only, she’s been getting on with her life, maybe going to college, broadening her thinking, and now finds him a colossal bore.
Because the author treats sex as though it doesn’t exist, there is no advice whatsoever for the real problem here – these are 19-year-old males that are being asked to be celibate for two years, and not even supposed think about sex for all that time. And we know that nothing gets you thinking about something like being ordered not to think about it. How does a missionary handle the real problem of how to suppress his sex drive, at a point in is life when it’s the strongest? Or more bluntly – what’s a missionary to do when he gets horny? In the fantasy world of this book, that apparently never happens.
And there’s also an assumption that all the missionaries are completely hetero. It says that they are assigned a twenty-four-hour-a-day companion to help them to resist “temptation” but what if the temptation IS their companion?
Since this book ignores this problem completely, I’ll just have to end with this helpful advice from the musical Book of Mormon: