*other discussions about this show and Mormonism are here and here.
Holy CRAP I am loving this show. I really, really didn't think I would, but it so obvious the amount of research the writers did, how sensitive and careful they're being, yet not holding any punches. Two things brought up that are "inside" knowledge. I literally jumped out of my seat, so shocked at them being acknowledged.
The "Eternal Smile". This, dear friends, is what every self-respecting Mormon girl is looking for in a mate. As in, the indication under the shirt that the boy - preferably an RM (return missionary) - is wearing garments. This is that "secret underwear" you may have heard about. Now, Mormons don't call it "secret," it's SACRED. And I'll respect that they feel that way about it. It's a serious covenant made with god directly by the wearer that you will be chaste, and respect your body. Basically, it's an undershirt and "boxers" that come to your knees. Which is why Mormons dress modestly. Nothing comes between your skin and your "G's" unless you are exercising, swimming (while wearing a modest suit) or copulating. There are symbols sewn in strategic locations, and while most Mormons don't realize it, they are Masonic symbols. Joseph Smith was a Freemason, and very high up, at that.
Girls will laugh, pat/rub a guy on the arm and feel for a hint of G's under his shirt sleeve, if she can't detect the Eternal Smile in the front. And the ad exec on the show was EXACTLY RIGHT. Mormons take care of their own first. And a lot of them shun those who aren't Mormon, and will not do business with them. It goes back to the communist beginnings of the early church when all the money, crops, cattle, etc. belonged to the church, and the prophet/leaders doled out an equal portion to everyone as needed. Sounds good on paper, but... That's what the UEB on the show is doing and it doesn't always turn out to be fair. As evidenced by Bill's mother and father being kicked out of their houses.
Shaking The Dust From the Soles of Their Shoes. OH. MY. GOD. This is one of those ugly little things you do NOT talk about outside of whispers, in my experience. New missionaries would always talk about this in hushed tones, reverent with their supposed power. This little ditty appears THREE TIMES in the Doctrine & Covenants, one of the books of the church, which is basically the "doctrines" handed down from the horse's mouth, Joseph Smith. This is NOT in the Book of Mormon. (The Church believes, as a physical representative of Christ on earth, anything the prophet says is gospel.) For those with a copy, D&C 24:15, 60:15, 70:20. (This is in reference to missionaries abroad, J. Smith gave this while in Amherst, Ohio.) It reads:
And in whatsoever house ye enter, and they receive you not, ye shall depart speedily from that house and shake off the dust of your feet as a testimony against them. It continues in 70:21: And you shall be filled with joy and gladness; and know this, that in the day of judgment you shall be judges of that house, and condemn them;
Aww! Condemnation, just like Jesus taught! If you happen to have an old, original copy of The School of Prophets, which I do, I thank you, you'll see that this sets a mark upon a house as evil. You know, so God can skip over them and curse them with a rotten life. That silly God! The church does not push this idea any longer, but that is its history, ladies and gentlemen.
Oh, and speaking of their history... Anyone else creeped out by Roman's son with his knife and bible in the car? That was VERY SYMBOLIC. That, my friends, was a reference to Joseph Smith's own personal avenging angel, Porter Rockwell. Basically, Joe had a personal bodyguard. That killed the wicked in a "spiritual cleansing" kind of way. God likes his killing. Oh, his nickname was: DESTROYING ANGEL. The church has changed its stance on this guy more times than a three year old with a bladder problem. Back in the early days, that man was a saint. That man was an absolute blessing to the prophet and God's Will. People laughed and praised god when they mentioned that bloodthirsty man. Now, it's hushed tones, and times were different, and have you forgotten about the persecutions? No, but killing a man, spilling his blood from his neck on the ground and putting ashes on them isn't in keeping with any god I would follow, thanks.
Oh, that's right. I don't follow any God. Maybe Thor...
He was a hired assassin, basically, and was even sent to kill Governor Wade Boggs of Missouri where Mormons were emigrating, who was shot. Hmmmm. Guess by who? Oh, and there was a "prophesy" earlier about Boggs being killed as an enemy of God. Guess Smith just wanted to speed up that prophesy. And as the Mormons had grown in numbers and had political control over Navoo, they both got off when arrested for Boggs' attempted murder. Interesting. A history of violence is steeped in the Mormon church, whether its members want to acknowledge that or not. So Roman was keeping with custom, you see. Wiping out those that would stop His Work.
So... Roman would see nothing wrong with killing Bill. Or Bill's son, to ensure his seed was wiped out.
One last note on the show: I loved Nicky quoting back scripture to those missionaries, and refusing to call them "Elder so and so." That was a little dig at denying they had any priesthood authority, by the way. The "Mr. Christensen" or whatever their names were. And... those were some smarmy missionaries. I doubt anyone would act like THAT at a first meeting, as being called to a mission in SALT LAKE CITY is considered the absolute worst assignment EVER. Those kids are usually pretty humbled by the complete lack of interest in non-Mormons (I mean, those people are SURROUNDED. They know about the church!) or... there's Mormons. So... they don't need conversion. Very interesting ep, all things considered. I'm absolutely hooked.
Okay, I have a thousand more things to talk about, books, magazine articles from the latest Harper's that have FLOORED me, but I am being to freak myself out with the sheer volume of spazz-matazz happening in my head and fingers. Heh. *sheepish* and Mr. S is gone for a MONTH, then home for two days, then gone for ANOTHER MONTH and he is being accompanied by armed guards at his new location and I can't sleep and I should lay off the caffeine.