Still reeling from the proclamation at the latest General Conference lowering the missionary age for both sexes, faithful Mormons are now trying to absorb yet another blockbuster edict from the General Authorities. Effective immediately, missionaries will no longer be paired with the same sex, but rather will be assigned companions of the opposite sex.
According to Church spokesman G. Homer Pratt, the new co-ed policy is a no-brainer. “A lot of the brethren on the Sub-committee on Preaching & Proselytizing were relaxing in the sauna after a rather contentious meeting on missionary regulations when someone—I’m not sure who, maybe it was Elder Frotter—threw up his hands, in the process smacking me in the face, and suggested that we ought to just pair up the gals and guys and send them out there to preach the Gospel as couples.
“It was, like, duh! Light bulbs of exceeding wattage, brighter than the noonday sun, went off in our collective craniums. Boys and girls together would kill several birds with one stone. I can’t even begin to tell you the stories we get about missionary behavior. Living in such close quarters, these young men, and to some extent, young ladies, bug the heck out of each other.
“Things like not screwing the cap back on the toothpaste, or not flushing the toilet, or leaving dirty socks or items of undergarment attire lying on the floor, or generally just stinking up the place. These are all the annoyances of living in close and intimate contact, most especially marriage, which is why we’ve always told the young people that going on a mission is good practice for marriage.
“Of course, the problem with that argument is that it’s not really like marriage when you have two overly hormonal young fellas sharing the same space 24 hours a day. And now, with changing mores in regard to same-sex marriage, the last thing we want to do is encourage same-sex coupling, either sacred or profane.
“Now, with the new Co-ed Missionary Plan, all those problems are off the table, out the window, down the memory hole. Frankly, I don’t know why it took us so long to figure out that as long as we sell missions as practice for marriage, we might as well just bite the bullet and go whole hog and make missions really like marriage by pairing up our young guys and gals.”
On the surface, it might seem that this latest move by the General Authorities is greatly at odds with Mormon history. But students of history have only to remind laymen and gentiles that in addition to being known as The Great Colonizer and the Lion of the Lord, Brigham Young was affectionately called by his people The Mighty Matchmaker. Long before such newfangled entities as e-Harmony and Match.com, Brother Brigham, aka The Man of Magnificent Equipment, was summoning young people into the Lion House and, after conferring with the Man Upstairs, assigning them mates for time and all eternity.
According to spokesman G. Homer Pratt, there was not as much grumbling and resistance to these arranged marriages as romantics might think, and he doesn’t anticipate modern-day young folks balking at being assigned missionary companions of the opposite sex.
“We are blessed with obedient young people,” Elder Pratt explained. “Beauty is skin deep, and after the initial shock, we are confident most missionaries will settle in and pursue spiritual achievement rather than delights of the flesh. One of the big problems we have always had is the conflict between the Spirit and the Flesh. Without going into too much detail, studies have shown that young males in particular find that their hormonally laden precious bodily fluids greatly impede the free and godly flow of the Holy Spirit.
“The Co-ed Mission Plan will offer a release of those fluids and give both the elders and the sister missionaries the requisite peace of mind and renewed spiritual vim and vigor. Besides, we have been receiving reports from the Pre-Existence that, owing to Mormon young people not rushing into marriage as they did in days of old, the Eternal Spirits awaiting the call to come to Earth and get a body have been restless up there on the far verges of Heaven.
“There has been a lot of pushing and shoving among the impatient Spirits, and even instances of cutting in line. Now that we are putting our missionary boys and girls on the road to marriage, families will follow for the Spirits to join.”
D.P. Sorensen writes a satire column for City Weekly.