Thursday Morning Quickie #1

[Note: The following text was taken verbatim from the "M Men-Gleaner Manual, Love, Marriage, and You" used in 1956-1957. Previous entries in this series can be found here.]

Lesson 10

Chastity and You

During World War II two soldiers, Tom and Vince, were off duty for six hours in a small French town. Both were in their early twenties and were morally clean. They sauntered about the streets in the dusk of the evening and then stopped for some food in a dimmed-out eating place. Two girls were seated at a table nearby and smiled at them in a friendly way. Before long, the girls came over to their table and started a simple conversation in broken English. Tom and Vince did not give them any encouragement and the girls finally left the eating place. However, as they arose to leave, one of the girls handed Tom a card with an address and telephone number on it.

As soon as the girls had gone, Tom suggested that they follow them to their rooms. Vince flatly refused, with the statement, “I’m a Mormon, and God and my Church tell me that’s wrong.”

Tom replied, “Ah, just this once. We’re due to go to the front lines soon, and no one will know anything about it.”

Vince quickly retorted, “God and my conscience always know what I do, and besides I believe that Sally (his fiance at home) and I will be happier in marriage if I don’t.”

Tom was convinced. In fact, an hour or two later he nudged Vince and said, “I’m glad you are with me. You have helped me to do what is right.”

Quickie Questions

1. What worth-while lessons are illustrated by this incident?
2. Was Vince right in his belief that his own marriage would be happier if he didn’t go to the rooms of these girls?
Discuss.

________________________

Thursday Morning Quickie #1

Comments

  1. Julie M. Smith says:

    Best post title ever.

  2. I can think of three possibilities to question 1:

    1. If two investigators approach you and your companion during your lunch hour, just presume that they are prostitutes and be callous towards them so they will leave you in peace to continue your meal. Do not offer them a BoM or invite them to a meeting: such women are beyond redemption, and it might out you as Mormon. In fact, say nothing at all: with luck, they will think you are merely gay.

    2. The best way to avoid sexual sin is to constantly be alone with another man who does not desire the company of women, using frequent physical contact as a positive physical reminder of your mutual support.

    3. If you are one of the two prostitutes who approach two men eating alone who do not immediately offer to buy you a drink, flee. Nothing good can come from wasting your time further.

    I can think of no other answer to question 2 except “yes” that would not be a one-way ticket to the bishop. I wonder how many young men would take the road less traveled on this one in a lesson.

  3. So Tom has a chance to ditch Vince and hook up with two French girls back at their place in a small French town on the eve of battle. Yeah, at that point, I think the boys in my YM class could be too distracted to hear anything else I might have to say.

  4. The girls were german spies and Tom was an agent for army counter-intelligence. Visiting their rooms would have resulted in Tom gaining information that would have won the war much sooner, saving thousands of lives. Vince never married Sally, because he was one of those killed in action in further fighting at the front. Vince committed suicide in grief over Tom’s death and his own ineffectual actions as a spy. The two girls later emigrated to America and became involved with Lee Harvey Oswald, whom they convinced to assassinate Kennedy.

  5. Mark Brown says:

    The women were sister missionaries who realized that Vince was a Mormon. Although the language barrier prevented communication, they realized he would want to know where the church was, so they gave him a pass-along card with the address of the church and the phone number of the bishop.

    The cirruculum writers need to get their minds out of the gutter.

  6. So, as the day progresses, will the title of this post be modified to “Thursday Nooner”?

    (The 1956 lesson manual actually used the term “quickie” (as in “Quickie Questions”)? Really?!)

  7. Hunter,
    The entire post, exept my note at the outset, is taken directly from the manual. No embellishment for effect.

  8. Wow, to think that my then-15-year-old dad was reading about quickies with French maidens. Perish the thought!

  9. Telephone number in rural France in 1945? These were not poor girls by any means even for “bad” girls. Was this a true story?

    I really dislike made-up stories.

  10. The first paragraph to this post would later go on to become the introduction to the greatest Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book ever.

  11. 8 – No, quickies with fellow soldiers. Obviously nothing happened with the French maidens.

  12. 9 – I resent the implication that this MIGHT be a made up story. I’ve met Brother Vince and Brother Tom and they are fine upstanding citizens.

  13. #2: “The best way to avoid sexual sin is to constantly be alone with another man who does not desire the company of women, using frequent physical contact as a positive physical reminder of your mutual support.” (AWESOME)

    But I know how painful rejection can be, so I can’t help but feel bad for those young ladies. I can just imagine how crushed they must have felt in their room alone that night – so, so lonely. In fact I am having a hard time not imagining where this story goes from here, but it’s probably best if I stop sharing.

  14. daveonline says:

    Lessons learned:
    1. Either Mormon males or engaged males are seen as less attractive than other males.
    2. Tom is insecure about his own ability to be by himself with two women. Later he realizes that he would have likely not been up to even being with one woman.
    3. The dangers of growing up in a country where one only learns one language. If either had spoken french they could have learned that the two sisters had someone at home who needed a PH blessing. On the other hand, it saved Tom from having to pretend he had the PH.
    4. What if they had not “sauntered”, but just strolled, navigated, or periambulated around town? What other attention might they have attracted instead?
    5. What a different war enviromment we live in today where soldiers would be putting their lives at risk (and likely court martialed) through such an activity as walking into a town for dinner.

    On a more serious note, I was impressed to see the second question focusing on the issue that private actions (pun intended?) do impact trust and confidence in other relationships

  15. Uh,

    This is why I always use real examples from my own life or the life of others in teaching YM. This one is terrible.

  16. Alex T. Valencic says:

    If I had never accepted the offer to visit the home of two young women I had met in Australia while with a friend, I never would have gotten to know most of my friends down under.

    And yes, Aussies speak broken English. (As do Americans, Canadians, South Africans, and anyone else not from England.)

  17. TheNewJerseyNutjob says:

    To restate the premise: Say that I am a chaste young man with raging hormones. I am obviously passing through some area momentarily. I am out on the town some evening and an assertive woman who I have not conversed with comes over and passes a note to me with her contact information on it. What elements towards gaurding my continued chastity might come into play here?

    I really like this lesson’s candor and its real-life basis for its teaching of this principle. Motion picture “standards” for the era required mature plot elements to be presented in a way requiring knowledgeable viewers to read between the lines — and I believe this manual from the same era used the same style to effectively produce constructive discussion.

  18. TheNewJerseyNutjob says:

    BTW it’s the delicately phrased “Tom suggested that they FOLLOW them to their rooms” that implies anticipation of attempted, worldly conquests. More than a group being engaged in conversation and walking SIDE-BY-SIDE. Again, it is subtle, yet the manual did not shy from addressing these real world decisions.

  19. Alex (16)

    So if I understand you correctly, you followed two young women home and got to know them down under? Congrats mate.

  20. TheNewJerseyNutjob says:

    If it were at all GRAPHIC it simply couldn’t be in an LDS Church manual, really.

    Although perhaps it should be? For example, what would you all think of this possible, contemporary version?

    ###

    Tom is at Cougar Eats one evening with Bob. Two prospecitve BYU co-eds who are visiting Provo from out of town for only one night saunter over to chat with them. One of the girls lightly rests a hand on Bob’s upper thigh. After allowing Bob to gaze for a long stretch into her eyes, the girl at intervals subtly lightly caresses Bob’s inner thigh. The girls says she has to run, winks and hands Bob a note. “We’re at the Marriot. Rm. #304.” Bob suggests to Tom that follow the girls over there after stopping by the drug store, “Just in case,” as he said.

  21. 18 & 20,

    Sorry, no amount of effort will make up for the fact that you took this post really seriously in your first comment (17).

    Better luck next time!

  22. TheNewJerseyNutjob says:

    I am busted! {winces}

  23. There should be a story that is more realistic for guys who had experiences like my own…

    One evening Tom and Vince, were at the mall and they saw a couple of really cute girls. Vince says to Tom “You think I could get one of those girls to go out with me?” Tom: “Do it dude.” Vince walks up to the girls and introduces himself. Trying not to sound nervous, he asks one of them if she would give him her phone number so they can “hang out sometime”. The girls laugh and then walk away.

    Vince goes home and tries not to cry while he sits alone and plays Super Mario Brothers 3 until 2 in the morning.

    The moral of this story: Sometimes it’s easier for some guys to maintain their chastity when they have bad acne and can’t get girls to take them seriously.

  24. So true, brother Matsby.

    Many of the YM lessons on chastity went right over my head because I never even had the chance to be tempted.

  25. Do you think maybe God blesses some people by making them repulsive to the opposite sex because he knows that’s a good way to keep them chaste?

    Seriously. Maybe I was so charming and irrisistable to the ladies in the first estate, so he decided to balance some things out in this this one so that I at least had a chance.

    My patriarchal blessing doesn’t mention it, but that could explain a lot.

  26. It’s not only looks and appearance. I know people for whom their personality is not only a guarantor of chastity but a very effective form of birth control.

  27. It’s true, Mark. My personality has saved me from social acceptance more times than I like to count.

  28. Come to think of it, education and occupation can also help a person achieve complete rejection. I have noticed since my early days as an economist that, if I watch closely, there is a small layer of glaze that falls over nearly everyone’s eyes the very instant I say “marginal,” “inflation,” “macroeconomic,” or really anything like that.

  29. #28 – Too bad you’re not hanging out with Peter Orzsag.

  30. Having stayed with pairs of girls I’ve run into during various wanderings around Europe, I can stay that they missed out. It is possible to hang out with and associate with members of the opposite sex without it always leading to sex.

  31. “On a more serious note, I was impressed to see the second question focusing on the issue that private actions (pun intended?) do impact thrust and confidence in other relationships”

    whoa

  32. (30) I’m not sure I want to live in a world where thats true!

  33. Cynthia L. says:

    Peter Orzag is seriously hot.

  34. “Do you think maybe God blesses some people by making them repulsive to the opposite sex because he knows that’s a good way to keep them chaste?”

    If so, I hesitate to think of the implications of the fact that God apparently either trusts some people with good looks and a suave personality, or he just doesn’t care enough about them to keep them chaste.

  35. Cynthia L. says:

    “…winks and hands Bob a note. ‘We’re at the Marriot. Rm. #304.’”

    Of course they shouldn’t go to the Marriot!! They could be exposed to pr0n!

  36. Harold Dwyer says:

    I don’t think I can answer this question without pictures of the French girls. Sally too.

  37. Left Field says:

    Used to be if you wanted a burger at the Cougareat, you could choose between a “quickie” and a “quickie with cheese.” No kidding.

  38. The story reminds me of one of my companions who was from SLC, I from Las Vegas. We were walking home to our apartment in downtown Munich which took us not only past the bars near the main Railroad Station but the red light district (the apartment was picked by an elderly sister since four elders could live there). There was a young woman wearing a raincoat standing outside one of the bars, leaning up against the wall and as we walked by, she said something to the effect, “Want to talk?”. Being from Las Vegas, I had a pretty good idea she wanted more than just talk and kept on wallking. After I had gotten down the sidewalk about 25 feet I realized my companion (6’6″) was walking back towards her. Ran up to him and asked him what did he think he was doing. His response, Elder, she wants to talk to us and we haven’t gotten in one door today, maybe she’ll listen to us.
    Needless to say, I convinced him otherwise…..

  39. …and one soul was saved or lost that day. God only knows which.

  40. “there is a small layer of glaze that falls over nearly everyone’s eyes the very instant I say “marginal,” “inflation,” “macroeconomic,” or really anything like that.”

    It’s true. My eyes just glazed over a little just reading those words. The thought of a whole conversation about it almost makes me comatose. (sorry Scott)

  41. Dan, that’s about what I was thinking…

  42. there is a small layer of glaze that falls over nearly everyone’s eyes the very instant I say “marginal,” “inflation,” “macroeconomic,” or really anything like that.

    I feel your pain. At least there might be a few people who listen to the news enough to have heard those words before. Once I tried to impress a girl using my knowledge of music theory. The talk of leading tones, tonicization, and German 6 chords was not well-received.

    (She did end up marrying me, but I think it was only because I agreed to never bring this topic up again. It probably counts as coercion.)

  43. Once I tried to impress a girl using my knowledge of music theory. The talk of leading tones, tonicization, and German 6 chords was not well-received.

    I can think of a perma or two at BCC whose hearts would go pitter-pat if a guy said such things to them.

  44. (37) Yeah, a quickie with cheese could really hit the spot right about now.

  45. Wow, to think that my then-15-year-old dad was reading about quickies with French maidens. Perish the thought!

    Hunter–Not to worry about your dad. M-Men and Gleaners were over 18 singles in the days before hs grads were kicked out of Mutual. Your dad would have been a Jr. M-Man with much tamer lesson material.

  46. Phew!

  47. Course Correction,
    Your theory fails to explain Hunter’s distinctly French facial features…

  48. #s 28, 29 and 33

    http://www.orszagasm.com/ (no pr0n, SFW)

  49. StillConfused says:

    I like #3. I am a gal and even I was intrigued at the two foreign women in a room.

  50. Bogolubov (#29)–Is that your real name? Either way, I love it. See here: http://www.jrganymede.com/2010/01/04/1e4-testify/

  51. Hi gst – Unfortunately my real name is shared by a number of frequent posters, so I decided to steal the coolest name I could find. Too bad there’s no English equivalent.

  52. #48 See, I’m not the only one! Even Jon loves Orszag!

  53. When I was a missionary a really HOT investigator turned on to me in Vienna. Mercy. It was one of those embarrassing situations where she started Dusprache and I had to work around in Siesprache. Talk of raging hormones! Before I could react she held onto my arm and pressed it against her oh so yielding body…. I managed to escape but not without serious hormonal damage.

    Months later we were riding our bikes around the Ringstrasse and saw her and a friend at a movie theater queue. She recognized us and we stopped as good missionaries should. During the conversation, and this is all I can remember of the conversation, she breathed that “Vienna was a VERY wicked city” and looked deeply into my eyes.

    I guess I sauntered a lot in those days. And I have come to envy the poor missionary whose girlfriend kidnapped him and tied him to the bed, just a little.

    Or the time we were tracting and passed a gang of road repair guys. One of the men, a tough middle aged guy, digging the ditch looked up from his work and asked us, effectively, if we were getting any. We told him we did not do that. He was beside himself with disgust that we were young and comely and wasting our lives. He tried mightily to convince us: reverse missionary effort.

    I will say in the end, those early delightful temptations were just that, delightful temptations. A presage to the true garden of delights.

  54. Brother Glenister says:

    I find this hilarious – so antiquated, so corny, so ‘wholesome’, gotta love the good old days of indoctrination etc. Bless our YM, they’ve never had it harder!

    Just as well it wasn’t ‘Easy Company’ or some Limey Guardsmen… that would have been quite a different outcome.

    Good to see there is still a sense of humour between the right and left-wing members. Quality – keep up the good work, nice to see shades of grey and not just the usual B & W.

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