Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Mormons and Their Magic Underwear

The other day I had been in at the gym.  There is a weird trend that occurs amongst the most dedicated and social gym members.  After seeing these people (both staff and member) everyday they almost become your friends and most days you stop and chat a couple minutes on the way in or out of the gym.  This particular day I was stopped on my way in by a staff member to ask about another gym in the area.  This led to several topics including but not limited to organized religion.  Gym manager, we'll call him Bob, expressed his cynicism and skepticism for organized religion.  As he waited for me to weigh in, I measured my words carefully. 

After a moment I responded, well I can appreciate a lot of your concerns and recognize the validity of the complaints you have just mentioned but as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a Mormon, I can't say that I share those feelings.  Obviously, I believe in organized religion, predominantly mine.  I think that certain tenets of Christianity can be lost if not preserved by a cultural context.  It was at this point that he inquired as to our "magic underwear".  I couldn't help but laugh, although this comment is not one previously unheard by me, each time I hear it I find myself totally unprepared for the ridiculousness of it.

Shrouded in the sacredness and symbolism of their origins the masses keep thinking that there is some mysticism and magic that accompany this item.  He asked me questions about what happens if I take my garments (the actual name of our "magic underwear") off, what do they do magically speaking, what do they look like and other likely questions that I am sure most people have, but don't ask.  A secondary staff member confirmed having seen mine on several occasion as she took my body fat.  She mentioned we had to go to several layers before we could access my stomach for a measurement.

I explained to him as best I could some of the history and purpose of them, generically wrapping it up in the phrase, they are a somewhat outward manifestation of our promise to God - a reminder we see each day.  Bob was not wholly convinced as his experience with his underwear was that he didn't think about it ever in the day except now that we were talking about it.

As he continued to ask scattered questions including wondering what we like to be called and more about the origins of the church, I answered him as best I could.  Often times I am to quick with my words and less thoughtful than I should be.  But I started to give him a brief explanation of the church and where the FLDS and us differed.  As I explained the death of Joseph Smith and briefly about his life, he jumped in with - yeah I know all about that I...where he promptly dropped off the end of his sentence.  I encouraged him to finish and he somewhat bashfully said, "Yeah I know all about that I watch South Park." 

Well being good enough friends, I laughed at him, and said well I guess that covers it then.  He admitted to how ridiculous it sounded once he said it out loud.  But honestly I didn't mind.  I'm sure we've all seen clips as the church is often mentioned on it.  Regardless at the end of the conversation he admitted to having a hundred more questions at least.  And finished time you do a long run, I know what we are talking about.

You see when training for my half marathons if I am stuck inside on the treadmill on a long run day, the workers will come back and talk to me and entertain me for 20 minutes stints, to help me from getting bored.

And you see I would like to re-emphasize that is A-OK with me.  I'm happy to answer any or all questions you have.  Because I would rather you ask and me with my well intentioned but blundering ways answer my way through them then you wonder and believe that my underwear have mythical properties as yet unseen.

1 comment:

Inspector Clouseau said...

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