Missionaries Are Packin’
Courtesy of The Deseret-Tribune
by al fonzarelli
In response to the terrorist attack on the United States, Mormon Church President Gordon Hinckley has ordered all missionaries, both domestic and abroad, to arm themselves for the purpose of self-defense.
Church spokesperson Dale Bills said effective immediately, all of the estimated 57,000 Mormon missionaries worldwide will be issued a specially constructed Book of Mormon where a hollowed-out portion of the book conceals a 10 shot, 40 caliber Beretta automatic handgun.
Said Bills, “We are taking the necessary precautions to protect the thousands of brothers and sisters that serve the church throughout the world. We have decided to conceal the weapons in the Book of Mormon as opposed to wearing the sidearm in a holster. We think this is both prudent and practical—prudent because we live in a new and dangerous world—and practical because we do not want to alarm those we witness-to by pointing a weapon in their face. Also, since the holy book is always in hand and at-the-ready, our missionaries can more easily access their weapons and more rapidly fire upon the enemy. If church founder and prophet Joseph Smith had such an ingenious tool, he may have been able to surprise and overcome more of the guards at the jail that housed him, shortly before a breakout attempt that resulted in a shootout and his death.”
When asked what conditions must be present before deadly force can be used, Bills replied, “All our missionaries must feel their lives are in imminent danger before they are authorized to use deadly force. Or, if they come upon information or believe that a member of the church is not obeying the commandment of tithing, they are to visit that member and open to the appropriate page of the book, if you will, and remind them the Lord is a jealous god.”
Apparently the issuance of side-arms to missionaries is not the only changes being instituted by the Mormon Church in response to what are suspected to be Islamic terrorists attacks on the United States that have left more than 5,000 dead. The normally serene and tranquil grounds of the Mormon church’s Mission Training Center in Provo, UT, is now a place where on any given day, sounds resembling basic military training can be heard from afar: sporadic gunfire, mortar explosions, and young missionary cadets singing cadence as they march to Mormon Mission Drill Instructors. In downtown Salt Lake City, future venue of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, Mormon church security has increased its presence and has undertaken measures to defend church headquarters and the Mormon Temple from a possible terrorist attack. The deafening sound of bulldozers and backhoes tearing up concrete can be heard around church property as they make way for installation of anti-aircraft artillery posts.
In addition to casting out those who use vulgarity, wear tattoos, listen to music, smoke tobacco or are perceived as a menace, church security guards now routinely expel anyone wearing a turban or a red dot on their forehead from their property and future site of the Olympic Medals Plaza.