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.
2. They are really, really friendly.
You will never meet friendlier people. They will help you change a tire, bake you cookies, sew you quilts if you have the flu, mow your lawn, carpool, help you move, and share their cases of Costco vitamin water with you anytime, and do it all while singing PG-rated Disney tunes and smiling like marionettes. Unless you tell them you have absolutely no interest in ever being converted to the LDS church, after which they will treat you like you farted out an assful of smoke and demons.
1. Mormons aren't as perfect as they appear -- just like other people.
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There is no drinking, no smoking, no gambling, no fucking -- except to breed -- no porn, no coffee, no homosexuality and certainly no skipping church. Just plenty of good, solid work, family time, missions to convert the heathens overseas and the occasional Ann Murray song on the iPods as a special treat. Who could want for more than this? Mormons, as it turns out, because much like everyone else, they put on a good show during the week, and then sneak off to drink hot cocoa, play poker, smoke pot out of an eggplant bong and have steamy same-sex relations during weekends in Las Vegas. Perfection is a tall order, and there are probably more than a few Mormons with Katy Perry songs on their iPods right now.