Missionary Position: Keith Moore 

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Keith Moore

Novelist and poet
Served mission in eastern Canada, 1950-52


Did you break the rules?
As often as I could. Consequences? Very few. It’s a good thing my mission was 55 to 57 years ago, because it’s all draconian now compared to then. The worst thing one could do then was listen to the radio, but we were permitted to leave our district, even the mission field, and we hit flicks weekly—at least. All verboten now, and much more.

My favorite rule-break was to go over to Sister Myrtle Goodworth’s in Belleville on Saturdays and use her piano. But I was with my fiercest companion, a Sanctimonious Sammy from Central Casting and, even at 20, he had that hangdog, Basset-hound face that is the first requirement for General Authorityhood. He’d slip on Levi’s and a maroon shirt over his garments (one-piece flour-sack type with trap door) and hustle over there with me and sit and underline scriptures with colored pencils for two hours; it ruined my practicing. In this church, you’re never given credit for innocence, or trusted.
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