Thursday, August 8, 2013

When the Golden Rule isn’t Specific Enough


Secondary to the impending onslaught of Missionaries (see The Mormons, The Missionaries and Me) I learned that Missionaries follow two sets of rules, one set is global and written by the church presidency, but they also have to follow local rules, dictated by the Mission President.  (By the time I was a Sunbeam, I thought there were enough rules.)


Rules from the Official Missionary Rule Book:

Never be alone. (And right there, if for no other reason, I couldn’t do it. One of us would end up “missing.”)

If your companion needs to use the restroom, stand outside the door and wait. (Well there have been times of toilet paper shortages where a runner would have been handy.)


Sleep in the same room as your companion but not in the same bed.  (I’m going to guess that the “in the same bed” has had more than a few incidences.)


Do not have excessive baggage. (Good policy in general, ever try to lug suitcases, strollers, diaper bag and two toddlers while pregnant? But they are living out of bags for TWO YEARS and I would assume that in some areas non-destructible, poly blend, slacks and jacket would be difficult to locate.)


Do not attempt to tamper with the Odometer in any church vehicle. (“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Ferris Bueller) and you may just end up with a bike! 

Do not handle explosives. (Or bio-chemical weapons or rabid squirrels.)

Do not date. (The Mormon Mission is quite possibly one of the best birth control for ages 18 to 25 and good on you!)

(The mandatory schedule wouldn’t be too hard.  It’s about what I do now, minus the 6:30 A.M. and the studying and leaving the house and wearing, who am I kidding, owning a skirt and the exercise and talking to people.)

Arise at 6:30 A.M.
Study for 2 hours every morning.
Proselytize for 10 hours between 9:30 A.M. and 9:30 P.M.
Turn off your lights at 10:30 P.M.
Exercise regularly.
Write in your journal regularly.
Spend appropriate time in service to others.
Proselytize as much as possible on weekends and holidays because this is when you'll find people home.

Do not participate in athletic teams and do not sponsor athletic teams (unless you are the angel Moroni.)


Do not engage in contact sports, water sports, winter sports, motorcycling, horseback riding, mountain climbing and do not swim. (And if you feel yourself having fun, a sharp poke in the eye should do the trick.)

Do not play full court basketball. Do not play in basketball leagues or tournaments. (I would guess the full court covers that.)

You may play half-court basketball. (Granted, I completely abstain from all manner of ball throwing, hitting, smacking and tossing, but what!?! I am failing to grasp this concept. And while we are on the subject of balls, what about soccer? I think there may just be a few more soccer playing youth globally.  Those British explorers were once so diligent. So can the Missionaries kick a ball around? Or how about do some log tossing with the Scotts? Couldn’t find anything about that.)   


Seek advice from your Mission President if your companion is "having difficulties" and/or if he doesn’t obey the rules.
Be loyal to your companion.



(Anyone else see a discrepancy between these two rules? I’m sure when you companion comes back from the rule-breaking, desensitizing program, there will be no hard feelings.)


Do not write to the President of the Church or to other General Authorities. Letters from missionaries to General Authorities are referred back to the Mission President. (If I recall, it seems that most oligarchies came to a bloody demise. However, since they are looking at a two year duration of service and a small area so that probably dampens down the pitchfork waving crowd.)


In Conclusion:
While digging through the internet for rule verification I came across the perfect end for this this post. 


“I don’t doubt that the Mormon Church’s long experience with their missionary program has necessitated the institution of such rules. What I don’t get is why we’re supposed to believe these kids have power and authority from God when even the LDS Church doesn’t seem to believe it.” 

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