Monday, August 9, 2010

Scarlett Johansson

One of the hardest parts of being at BYU was finding religion classes that I could tolerate. There were a ridiculous number of religion credits required for graduation--Book of Mormon I, and II, Old and New Testament, Doctrine and Covenants I and II, and a number of other miscellaneous credits to top it off. While this might sound like torture, some of these turned out to be great classes taught by good, honest and thoughtful professors. A few of these professors even became people I could confide in, and speak openly with about my lack of faith.

But not all religion classes were taught by open minded experts. Professors from other fields besides religious studies rotate to teach classes like Book of Mormon because of high demand. When this was the case, the class often felt more like a Mormon Sunday school class than a college course. You'd have the Racketball 101 instructor preparing the night before class to teach about Jesus visiting the Native Americans.

In one such class, the Professor liked to open the class up for testimony and missionary experience sharing time. One afternoon a young male student raised his hand and told about how the week before he had been hired to pick up celebrities at the Salt Lake airport and to take them to Sundance for the annual Sundance Film Festival. It just so happens that his celebrity was Scarlett Johansson. So, as they were driving around Ms. Johansson began asking about the Mormons. This young student saw her questions not as a general curiosity, but rather as genuine interest in the gospel and its saving principles.

He answered her questions, but didn't really have the balls to fully testify to her. He spent the next few days praying about how to talk to Ms. Johansson about the church. He ended up writing his testimony on the inside cover of a copy of the Book of Mormon. He went to pick up Scarlett at the end of the festival, and before dropping her off at the airport he gave her the book, and told her to read it and pray about whether it was true.

He finished off his story by sharing his testimony with the class, and telling us all how thankful he was that Ms. Johansson was receptive to the gospel message.

Personally I think my classmate might have been misreading the situation a little bit. Mormons are prone to do this. As missionaries we would practically high five when a busy house wife would rattle off "Come back later, I'm busy!" before slamming the door in our faces. We were immune to the door slam, all we heard was the "Come back later." Much to the shagrin of said house wife we would in fact come back, several times a week if we had to, because damn it, she wanted us to!


  1. So true...the missionaries knock on our door at least twice a week despite the face that we haven't been to church in 10 months. I just let them knock while i watch them through the peephole, puzzling over what they could be thinking, coming back over and over despite the fact that our door never opens. Poor bastards.

    It's funny you mention celebs on this post. I was lying in bed last night thinking about Donny Osmond. Not in a naughty way, just in a WTH way. All that money and all the cool and interesting people he must've met throughout his career and he seems to have stuck with the faith. My SIL served a mission at the LA Temple and she ran into him there. He was a veil worker. Can you imagine?

  2. Maybe he gets "incentives" from the Church to stay...think of the media fallout...well not too much, but still...if he officially left. A lot of members look up to the Osmonds and if he left it might cause some people to wonder why...

    Great post. It makes me think about all the Mormon folklore about what celebrities are members etc. Like Steve Martin! HA!

  3. Hey, just wanted to post on here that I've started up an ex-Mormon blog of my own. Check it out. :)

  4. for you

    1. I am atheist but a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I am planning to attend BYU next year. I got all the recommendations. Some parts I had to lie to get the recommendation, but I don't care. I go to church every sunday because I just like to see people, since a lot of my friends go there. I don't make big troubles, so I think I wouldn't be doing stupid things at BYU. But, as an atheist, you probably understand, the members can be so annoying when it comes to testimony and worthiness.
      I would like ask, how was BYU life. Was it bad? How were the student? How were the rules you had keep? Is it that hard to live at BYU if someone is atheist? Was your bishop nice to you when you needed to get your recommendation? Are girls judgmental to boys who don't want to go on a mission?

    2. Are you kidding me FRAGRANT BREEZE! Mormon are the biggest judgmental Hippocrates on the planet! If you come across any superficial "friendships", know that they are simply "listening" to lure you into the trap. I have many friends of all walks of life, unfortunately, Practicing LDS people will only bare their "testimony" but never their true trials/feelings. They are supportive enough, to individuals who question faith, in order to get you baptized into the "only true religion" on the planet! Then you owe them every time they do something for you! They "can't share" certain things about the church, that should tell you something! JESUS wants us to know EVERYTHING about his word, the only TRUE WOrd is the BIBLE. Read it. It also states very clearly in there, that there are many false Prophets and the LDS Organization is strictly a billion dollar business that brain washes their followers to believe they are better than anyone else and that only THEY are going to Heaven. A good person shares everything they know about religion, the bible and their church. There's Good & Bad - no in between. Period.

  5. I am a 68 year old disabled member of the LDS church. I was Baptized on August 10, 1978. I moved back to the Mainland from Hawaii in October of 2005 due to my health. Since arriving in Oklahoma City, I have had not been supported by the church. I am too ill to accept a calling in the church so I am basically ignored. This makes me very sad. It never occurred to me that I would become disabled; that is something that happens to other people but not to me. I pray to Heavenly Father to lift the burden of resentment from my heart. I believe that people are "doing the best they can. If they could do any better, they would be doing it." I also believe that "everything happens in God's world for a reason." I am waiting on the Lord to reveal to me the reason for this experience. No. I am not an atheist. I have experienced too many personal miracles in my life to be a non-believer. I know that there is a "Power greater than myself" that watches over the universe. As for the Mormon Church, I don't know. Personally, I believe in the "Power of God that Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. No Church owns God. Only God knows what's in your heart ❤ or my heart. All we can do is try to be kind and decent citizens and love our neighbor.