Thursday, October 08, 2015

Mormon Mentions: Melissa DeCarlo

If you're not sure what a Mormon is, let alone a Mormon Mention, allow me to explain:  My name is Susan and I'm a Mormon (you've seen the commercials, right?).  As a member of  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (commonly known as the Mormon or LDS Church), I'm naturally concerned with how my religion is portrayed in the media.  Because this blog is about books, every time I see a reference to Mormonism in a book written by someone who is not a member of my church, I highlight it here.  Then, I offer my opinion—my insider's view—of what the author is saying.  It's my chance to correct misconceptions, expound on principles of the Gospel, and even to laugh at my (sometimes) crazy Mormon culture.

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In The Art of Crash Landing by Melissa DeCarlo, Mattie Wallace and her friend go to visit a man, looking for information about Mattie's mother.  He invites them in.  Then:


Mr. Hambly clears his throat, "Latter Day Saints?  Jehovah's Witnesses?"

Luke and I both laugh.  I think he's laughing out of surprise, but I'm laughing because Luke, in his white dress shirt and dark tie, really does look like a religious door-knocker, which is probably what gained us entrance into the Hambly home in the first place. 

(Quote taken from Page 258 of an uncorrected proof)

-- The Church's missionary program is legendary all around the world.  Mormon missionaries are easily recognizable by their white shirts and ties (men), conservative skirts and blouses (women), and black name tags (all).  They're also well-known for going door-to-door delivering messages about Jesus Christ.  Or trying to, anyway.  Mattie's assumption that she and Luke are allowed inside because they're religious representatives is pretty optimistic, since I'm pretty sure most people run and hide when they see the LDS missionaries (or Jehovah's Witnesses) coming.  A pity, since everyone can benefit from an uplifting religious discussion.  Unless, of course, your visitors are of the Mattie/Luke variety—people who look like missionaries, but are actually nosy strangers wanting to know all your secrets ...

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