Five things you need to know about Mormons
Trey Parker and Matt Stone, who created The Book of Mormon , are hometown heroes -- and that alone is reason for a "Glory Hallelujah" all around. Tickets for the musical sold out in record time yesterday; for those lucky enough to have snagged them, there are a few things about the LDS faith that you should know before you see the show. And for those who didn't get tickets, these tips will also prove helpful to anyone thinking of visiting the great state of Utah (where I lived for a few years) and/or parts of Iowa and Missouri.
Here's our list of five things you need to know about Mormons, and try not to have premarital sex, caffeine or anything to smoke while you are reading this.
5. Golden plates and a magical stones in a hat -- yes, they really believe this stuff.
Mormons have a rich and celebrated history -- at least since 1830, when Joseph Smith found some golden plates buried in a hill, read them in a hat with magical "seer stones," and translated them into the Book of Mormon, thus spawning a new religion complete with a talking angel, divine ethnic transformations and the ability to baptize dead Jewish people. Sound nutty? Not to Mormons. They actual believe this stuff, and they don't understand why everyone doesn't believe it, too. But there's a bright side: If you ask for it, they will be more than tickled to enlighten you over a big plate of Rice Krispies treats. It's a hoot to watch their eyes glaze over while they're proselytizing, and the real magic happens when they make logic and reason disappear.
4. They don't like talking about their underwear.
Mormons don't like talking about every aspect of their religion, though. The idea that people can own blessed underwear with mystical powers is a source of fascination to non-Mormons, but if you ask them about their "temple garments," they will shut you down faster than a porn shop in Salt Lake City. Even a well-meaning and genuinely curious inquiry as to how underpants can help them resist temptation, fend off evil and "choose the right" will be met with either stone silence or a whispered "we aren't supposed to talk about it." Take this for what it's worth, because any other LDS topic will have them talking until you have to throw yourself in front of a city bus to get away.
3. It is a numbers game with Mormons.
Mormons are all about numbers: ten percent of your income goes to the church, having seven (or more) children gets you a golden ticket to the celestial kingdom, and as of 2010 there are over 14 million LDS members worldwide. Between the feral fecundity and the conversion rates, everyone in the known universe may be Mormon in a few years, and we can only hope that enough carrot-raisin Jello salad can be produced to keep everyone fed.