Going Back, III: Gossip

Yet another installment in my series about returning to Argentina, 2 years after my mission. Previous installments here and here. Yes, I’ve changed the names for privacy reasons.

Behold my bi-monthly, post-mission ritual: I’d be strolling across the BYU campus, minding my own business, when suddenly I’d bump into a returned missionary from my mission who’d returned home after I did. I myself had only been back for 6 months, but this was long enough for me to view each RM as a potential gold mine of information and updates about my old areas. So I’d make the predictable inquiries … about my baptisms, my investigators, my favorite ward members, my mission companions. Interesting tidbits of information were few and far between, but the potential was always there, so I never stopped asking. Occasionally I’d get some morsel of gossip, but nothing to write home about. Until one fine afternoon – as I interrogated a recently returned elder about each of my junior companions – I participated in the following bombshell exchange:

RM: “Dude, did you hear about what happened to Elder Sorenson?”
Me: “No, I didn’t. What happened to him? He was my comp, you know.”
RM: “Yeah, he got sent home a few months ago. Something to do with homosexuality.”
Me: “WHAT? Are you kidding me? No way! I cannot believe that. What in the world happened?
RM: “Honestly, I don’t know. I never did get the full story, but it had something to do with Law of Chastity problems. Homosexuality specifically.”

I was stunned. I hadn’t served with Sorenson very long, and I wasn’t particularly close to him, but I felt like I knew him pretty well. He didn’t seem like the type to go home early. And never in a million years would I have guessed he was homosexual! I may not have possessed the most sophisticated gaydar, but I still imagined myself as savvy enough to pick up on this sort of thing. There were plenty of elders who I could imagine being sent home (or who I thought really should’ve been sent home) for one reason or another, but Elder Sorenson was not one of them. I just couldn’t fathom it.

Later that afternoon, I returned home to my apartment, which I shared with several friends, including “Elder K”, an RM from my mission who’d returned to the States at the same time I did.

Me: “Dude, you’re not going to believe what happened today!”
K: “What?
Me: “I just ran into Elder So-and-So. Remember him? Well, we were chatting about the mission and he mentioned that one of my comps was sent home for being gay!”
K: “You mean Elder Sorenson?”
Me: “DUDE! How did you know?
K: “I didn’t. But if you tell me one of your mission companions was gay, I’m going to figure it was Sorenson.”
Me: “Huh?”
K: “Oh Aaron. Don’t be so naive.”

Elder K – an aspiring psychiatrist-in-embryo – explained to me how, in his limited interactions with Sorenson, he observed this or that telltale sign of gayness. Nothing blatantly obvious enough for someone like me to notice perhaps, but subtle signs for those with eyes to see.

Anyway, the semester dragged on. As other elders returned home from my mission, I’d have occasion to chat them up as I’d done their predecessors. Sometimes the conversation would turn to my former companions, including, inevitably, to Sorenson. And on two additional occasions, I had elders relate to me the very same story about Sorenson’s Law of Chastity problems and his dishonorable mission discharge. Everyone confirmed that Sorenson’s grievous, mission-ending sin involved homosexuality in some way. But with whom? What were the details? No one knew.

* * *

Fast forward 8 months or so. John W. and I returned to Argentina during Christmas break, with plans to visit several of our old areas. As it happens, one of these was the very same city where Elder Sorenson was serving when he was ejected from the mission (though this happened many months after I’d served there). I maintained a mental list of things to do and people to see once I arrived, and I must say that investigating the circumstances of Sorenson’s travails wasn’t high on it. But, I confess, it was on it. “Why?”, you might ask. Why did it matter? Why couldn’t I just leave it alone? Why did I need to bother myself with a past scandal that didn’t involve me, and wasn’t any of my business? I’m not entirely sure why. Perhaps I needed to hear the story directly from someone who really knew the details, so I could put to rest this inconsistent picture of Sorenson I had in my head. Or perhaps I just wanted to gossip. Honestly, I don’t really know. I like to think I had a combination of high and low motivations, though perhaps I’m fooling myself.

One of our first orders of business in the area was to visit one of my youth baptisms, “Alex”. Alex was now 14 years old, living with his elder brother and mother, and I was anxious to catch up and see how he was doing. I had written him a letter a few weeks prior to my arrival, telling him to expect us at a given date and time. When John W. and I arrived at the house, we were greeted by its three inhabitants and had a joyous reunion. But we were surprised by two other houseguests who were also on hand to greet us. I refer to the notorious “Belinda” and “Carla”.

Belinda and Carla were famous in the stake. They were well-known as the worldy, 20-something, gossip queens of their ward. Really nice and loads of fun, the elders always enjoyed talking to them. Belinda was surely the more infamous of the two — attractive enough that every elder took notice of her, but not so attractive as to be irresistible, she was the quintessential mission “snake.” (Picture a younger, prettier version of Latoya Jackson). Belinda was inappropriately flirtatious with every non-ugly elder that passed through the ward. At times she tried so hard, she seemed a little desperate. For this reason, she seemed more harmless than she might have otherwise. Carla, meanwhile, was the less sultry, heavy metal biker chick. Not quite as attractive as Belinda, and not as prone to come on to the elders, but loads of fun all the same. It was enjoyable to catch up with the two of them.

As the afternoon dragged on, an obvious thought occurred to me: If anyone knew the story of what happened to Elder Sorenson, it was surely these two. They knew everything about everyone. So at a certain point in the conversation, I decided to take the plunge and make some inquiries.

Me: “Um, did you guys ever know an Elder named Elder Sorenson? He was my junior comp, and I think he served in this ward at one point.”

All heads around the table nodded in unison. Everyone apparently knew him.

Me: “Um, someone told me that he was sent home early from his mission. Do you guys know anything about that?”

Heads nodded again. Belinda even said, “Yes, it’s true.”

Me: “So, um, I just have to ask…. rumor has it Elder Sorenson was sent home because of Law of Chastity problems.”

Several heads nodded. It was confirmed. And at this point, I decided to ask the $64,000 question, the one I really wanted to ask. I felt a little guilty about it – I wasn’t sure it was appropriate – but I was so close to getting the real scoop, I just couldn’t stop myself …

Me: “Um, I also heard … that Sorenson’s offense had something to do with homosexuality.”

There was a long, awkward pause in the room. Belinda leaned forward in her chair, and gazed at me intensely. Her next sentence – uttered very slowly and forcefully – is burned into my brain to this day:

“Elder Brown … let me absolutely assure you that Elder Sorenson was NOT a homosexual.”

More silence. Belinda stared at me. I stared at her. Was she saying what it sounded like she was saying? Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, Belinda got up to use the restroom, and Carla took over. She explained the whole sad story.

Belinda had been trying to bed an American elder for years. And for the longest time, she was completely unsuccessful. But her persistence was bound to eventually pay off with someone. And with Sorenson it finally did. She and another woman from the stake had propositioned Sorenson and his companion, and in a moment of weakness, they gave in. The four of them apparently went on an overnight “camping” trip, where they all did the deed. The next morning, both elders felt guilty about the previous evening’s activities. So guilty that they both confessed to the mission president that very day. Both were immediately sent home.

I was floored. This unexpected relevation raised so many troubling questions. How could Belinda have done this? How could Sorenson have succumbed to her charms? How disturbing was it that even my 14-year-old baptism seemed to know all about this? But I couldn’t think about any of these things. I was too busy preoccupied with one question, and one question only:

“How the Hell do you get sent home from your mission for having sex with a woman, yet have half the mission end up thinking you’re gay?”

I posed this question to Carla, to Belinda, to everyone in the room really. But no one knew what to tell me. Truth is, none of them had ever heard the gay rumor before I mentioned it. And everyone agreed it was ridiculous, particularly under the circumstances.

* * *

I still have no idea where the Sorenson gay rumor came from. I suppose I’ll never know. But I have a theory. That is, I have a mental narrative in my head that I’ve composed to explain how this false rumor may have originated. It goes something like this:

Elder Sorenson confesses his sin to the Mission President and is promptly sent home. The Assistants to the President drive him (and his companion) to the airport and see them off. Given their participation in the departure, it’s inevitable that they come to understand the circumstances of Sorenson’s discharge. Meanwhile, Elder X is serving in the mission office, so he also learns of Sorenson’s early exit, but unlike the APs, he is less privy to the details. Still, Elder X is curious. He assumes Sorenson has broken the Law of Chastity; after all, a certain number of elders inevitably do, and this is always a mission-ending offense. So he asks the AP about the circumstances of Sorenson’s departure. He just wants a few details. But the AP Is tight-lipped about the whole affair. Giving Elder X any information about Sorenson’s case would be unseemly, inappropriate gossip, he thinks. Best not to engage in such talk. But Elder X continues to push, in a gentle, tactful way. So the AP realizes he needs to say something to convey the gravity of the offense without providing actual details, so as to shut Elder X down. The AP then says to Elder X, “All I can say, Elder, is that it was a very, very serious matter, and I really can’t talk about it. Trust me, you’d rather not know.” Elder X gets the message and he backs off. But later, he wonders, “What could be so serious that it can’t even be named? Law of Chastity violations are serious, sure, but they’re not so scandalous that we can’t call them what they are. So what could be even worse than a run-of-the-mill chastity violation?” And as Elder X ponders this question, the same thought occurs to him that occurred to Elder K at BYU: “Sorenson does seem to have certain tendencies, now that I think about it. Perhaps this means that ….” Elder X shares his theory with his companion. This companion in turn shares it with another elder, except the “theory” has evolved into a “fact.” And so it goes. The story travels from one elder to the next. It never spreads far enough to reach everyone in the mission, of course. It’s too scandalous to simply trumpet from the rooftops. But elders talk, and some naturally inquire about what happened to Elder Sorenson. And so they are told, by those who imagine themselves in the know. Eventually, the story makes it all the way to the BYU campus, yea, even unto the incredulous ear of Elder Brown.

Am I right about this? I don’t know. Is it a plausible story about the origin of the rumors about Sorenson? I think so. How else does a false gay rumor about a disgraced straight elder spread around the mission? But even if you’re not convinced, just ponder the possibility for a moment. Imagine that the explanation I’ve given – or something roughly like it – is true. Because if it is, it becomes easy to imagine how things might have played out differently. And difficult not to wish that they had, for Sorenson’s sake. What if the AP had been a tad less ominous in tone as he offered his vague, non-explanation to Elder X? What if he’d just acknowledged the chastity violation? What if he’d even provided a true detail or two, justifying this as fleshing out a cautionary tale that illustrates the precise ways in which Elders can and do fall from grace? Little decisions at key junctures might have quelled any colorful rumors before they began – false rumors any heterosexual elder would surely find more distasteful than true rumors that at least portray one’s sexual orientation accurately. In short, disclosure on the front end might have prevented outlandish, false rumors on the back end.

Or, in other words, if anything like my imagined explanation is correct, a counterintuitive moral emerges from the whole Elder Sorenson affair:

Sometimes, a little bit of gossip is preferable to no gossip at all.

Comments

  1. Capozaino says:

    Maybe the Elders just heard about a companionship that went home at the same time for a law of chastity violation that occurred at the same time and just connected the dots incorrectly. All it takes is one wrong gossipy Elder connecting the dots wrong.

  2. Last Lemming says:

    My guess is that the visual of two companions being sent home at the same time and, presumably, for the same reason overwhelmed any other logic that might apply.

  3. Last Lemming says:

    And of course I was analyzing my thought process so carefully to make sure it was sound that I got beaten to the punch.

  4. I was going to say the same thing as the last 3 comments.

  5. So, did anything happen to the two girls in this story? What was the penalty for vamping the elders?

  6. MCQ, I don’t know. Or, perhaps I used to know and I’ve forgotten. I’d be surprised if Belinda didn’t have some sort of ecclesiastical action taken against her. But again, as I said, figuring out her membership status wasn’t the most pressing thing on my mind at the time.

    Everyone else, it is of course possible that I’ve made the story more complicated than it really is. Perhaps all it takes for gay rumors to fester is for two elders to get sent home simultaneously. But I’m not convinced this is necessarily the best explanation. Missionary companionships are supposed to stay together all the time. So chances are, if one missionary gets in trouble, the other will also be involved in the same troubles. So for two members of a companionship to get sent home for chastity problems simultaneously needn’t automatically imply that the sin was between the two of them. At least that’s not the conclusion I think I would have drawn had I heard of a companionship being sent home.

    So I do suspect there was something else going on. Perhaps Elder K was right — perhaps Sorenson had this or that tendency that made people think he was gay anyway, and this tipped the scales in elders’ minds. But I myself never picked up on this, so that’s why I’m not inclined to just leave the explanation at this either. (Whether this says something about Sorenson, or something about me, is a fair question I suppose).

  7. Kevin Barney says:

    And did you immediately ask Belinda out? (I kid, I kid!)

    This is why I think it was better for Brandon Davies for people to know the true nature of his honor code violation, so their imaginations would run away with all sorts of nefarious misdeeds being the possible cause of his suspension.

  8. Kevin Barney says:

    wouldn’t run away…

  9. But wait, why was the rumor only about Sorenson being gay? What about his companion?

    We had a companionship of sisters sent home at the same time in my mission who had the same rumor told about them. But in their case, the rumors were true (I was the AP at the time—no I didn’t spread the rumor, they told a bunch of other sisters).

  10. I think your scenario is quite possible, but the additional fact that both elders were sent home at the same time for the same Unmentionable Sin would surely add fuel to fire.

    Not only did Elder Sorenson do something so bad that Elder X couldn’t ask about it, but so did Elder Sorenson’s companion. Maybe the did something together and… OMG! They violated… Yikes!

    And since you were only companions with Elder Sorenson, then nobody really thought to ask about his junior companion, who wasn’t very well-known anyway.

    I have the same thoughts when I watch a movie that employs the Jumping to Conclusions device to turn the plot. The whole mess would be resolved if someone just told the truth, rather than try to hide it with vague phrases.

  11. “Sometimes, a little bit of gossip is preferable to no gossip at all.”
    In your defense, I don’t think you were gossiping. Gossiping, at least to me, would include perpetuating a rumor that isn’t grounded in fact and could be harmful to the individual being mentioned. I mean, you talked about what happened, sure, in moments of “can you believe it?!?” but you didn’t share any examples of you telling this nasty untruth to those who weren’t exposed to the rumor.

    As far as your investigation goes, I think your actions reflect a virtue, not a vice. From all appearances you seemed to want to know the unadulterated truth and you got it, and at least for yourself (and I hope for others) dispelled an rumor that can’t do any good for the poor individual caught up in this life-tainting sin. Your prying into a sensitive subject did good and I don’t think it is reflective of the true, vile nature of gossip.

    I mean, if there’s evil in your actions then where is the evil result of them? I see none.

  12. ha *a * rumor.

  13. MCQ, here’s the thing: I only asked about Sorenson. So maybe there was a gay rumor about his comp, maybe there wasn’t. If there was, it never came up with any RM I talked to. So there’s no way to know for sure. Although maybe it’s fair to assume that the RMs would have said something about the comp if he were romored to have been the other homosexual party.

  14. I don’t know whay it’s so much more nasty or nefarious for this particular elder to be rumored to be gay. He might be able to use that rumor to cover the truth, if it ever comes out. “I couldn’t have had sex with Belinda, haven’t you heard, I’m gay!”

    Of course, to me, LaToya Jackson always looked like a guy in drag, so I’m not sure that defense would work if that’s how Belinda really looked. In fact, further investigation might reveal that both the rumor and the truth are completely accurate.

  15. Elder Sorenson says:

    Thanks for using my real name, you jackass.

  16. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  17. Serves you right, Sorenson, for refusing to iron my shirts for me when we served together in Buenos Aires. Just you wait for me next installment, when I mock you for your infamous flatulence problem.

  18. Bravo, MCQ, for identifying the subtext of my post that was so far beneath the surface that even I missed it.

    Also, Belinda was white, in case anyone’s confused about that.

  19. Capozaino says:

    #9 There was no rumor about him being gay because the rumor was about him being bisexual, obviously.

  20. Elder Sorenson says:

    Elder Brown, the rumors of my gayness were not connected to the incident I got sent home for. They involved you. I’m so glad you posted this so that I can now tell you this, you sweet, sweet hunk of man you.

  21. Hi MCQ,

    Allow me to explain myself- I think the rumor is a nasty one because it is a rumor of an egregious sin that I think our Mormon culture frowns upon and turns a cold shoulder to, rather than uplifting and nourishing those who are repentant as Christ commanded when teaching the Nephites.

    I’m concerned that the peer judgment would be detrimental, whereas, for example, a rumor about someone not sincerely studying their scriptures every day like the prophets have taught a zillion times isn’t quite as serious (partly because I think it’s a largely ignored counsel, and partly because it’s not a cardinal sin). The effects of each probably wouldn’t be the same in magnitude.

    With that in mind, I think that if “Elder Sorenson” was repentant (and indicators seem to suggest he was) then such a rumor could potentially make his personal repentance far more difficult and possibly help hinder him in his return back home to God in a family. So that’s why I say it’s nasty. I mean, all gossip is nasty, but there are varying degrees of that nastiness just as there are varying degrees of the seriousness of sin.

    Still, if everyone knew the details of his actual sin you’d probably be right in the sense that the gossip might be as damaging as everyone knowing the truth because the sins are both quite serious in nature, I don’t know. Except there might be, and I think there is, a cultural stigma accompanying homosexual transgression that is more intense than that accompanying heterosexual transgression.

  22. Hey Aaron,
    How is that none of you have ever run into Elder Sorenson in the days since the mission? I suppose that an Elder who was sent home isn’t likely to show up at mission reunions all the time, but it still seems plausible that someone would have heard from him at some point.

  23. Scott, you’re making certain geographical assumptions about Elder Sorenson’s whereabouts. And that’s all I’ll say about that.

  24. Elder Sorensen = Elder Sotelo

  25. Mark, its telling that you automatically assume that homosexuality (which, for the record includes the possibility of NOT acting on it and (probably) still being sent home = no sin) is a more nefarious/nasty reason to be sent home than actually having sex (albeit with a girl).

  26. Not trying to single you out. I imagine that would be the more common response in our culture. But it is telling.

  27. You’re fine, don’t worry about it. My point was that I think our culture would respond more poorly based on their own scripturally unfounded paradigm (although I think we’re getting better in this regard). If someone I knew got into that situation and I were in a position to help, I would help because he’s my brother, and not a social punching bag to make me feel better about my own perceived self-righteousness. For me the important thing is not what he did, but how we respond to aid him. If someone else sins, in a serious way or not, what is that to me?

    Folks who fall into temptation will have enough sorrow from elsewhere without my poorly calculated judging adding to the burden. However, I think the Mormon culture (very different in some ways from gospel culture) would take greater issue with him. That said, I don’t affiliate myself with that same culture and disagree with that paradigm.

    As for your point, I will say if there is any difference in seriousness of sin between homosexual activity and sex I think the variation wouldn’t be significantly great. Really, if there is any remote difference I’m willing to wager it isn’t much. I could be wrong, of course.

    And trust me, I’m aware that there are members of the church who struggle with the feelings of homosexuality and resist them as those who experience heterosexuality must resist their own urges. I don’t have any qualm with them because they feel a certain way, and recognize that a tendency is not sin until it is succumbed to knowingly. I mean, if we were all judged based on tendencies we have, I don’t think I know a single individual who would be spared from hell fire, myself included.

    Finally, with Elder Sorenson I was speaking in a context strictly considering all this in light of the idea that he had engaged in homosexual actions, not just feeling that way. I’ll be more careful about making that distinction clear in the future, so thank you for bringing that to my attention.

  28. Huh. There also remains the possibility that E. Sorenson was struck with a last second bout of whimsy and decided to start the rumor himself as a form of revenge against those who hinted to him that he registered on their gaydar. Sometimes nothing ruffles the sensibilities like a confirmation.

  29. you’re all wrong. He IS gay. the sisters are covering for him. the sisters are actually men. in fact all the sisters in the mission are gay men in disguise.

    but really, whats the point of this post?

  30. Aaron B., You posit that sometimes, a little gossip might be better than no gossip. Maybe not.

    A little gossip would have satisfied the curiosity of the elder in the mission office, but satisfying that elder’s curiosity is not cause for breaking ecclesiastical confidences. The better solution would be for all of us to grow up and to love our neighbor as a brother in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and to care more about building up and strengthening. “I don’t know” or “I can’t say” are honest answers that should be respected. The Lord and scripture do not foretell good outcomes for gossip-mongers and tale-bearers.

    The Christ-like reaction to hearing that Elder Sorenson was sent home early is sorrow. Gossip might be inevitable in the world, but it is regrettable when it passes through church associations.

    I understand that we’re not there yet, but I hope someday we, one by one, will learn correct principles, one by one.

  31. Capozaino says:

    It also seems like you’re not really saying a little gossip may be better than no gossip at all in some situations. After all, the hypothetical AP didn’t really remain completely tight lipped. He slipped just enough gossip to start a rumor. So maybe there’s a happy practical medium between absolutely no gossip (which is probably better but impractical) and rampant gossip.

    That said, would it really have been better for the hypothetical AP to say, “They got sent home for having sexual congress with women,” than to say, “It’s none of your business why they got sent home?”

  32. Jonovitch says:

    In my experience, the only place more gossipy than the RS is the mission field.

    I was the victim of gossip while on my mission: one Elder I shared an apartment with didn’t like me solely because of things his companion said to him about me. After a number of tense months in the same apartment, the both of us were transferred to other areas. At some later point during our missions, we saw each other again, and we reconciled, hugged and laughed, and he told me how his opinion of me had been pre-emptively poisoned. I felt really bad about it, because our months in the same apartment could have been so much funner. As an unfortunate side effect, my opinion of his companion was then lowered. All because people like to talk about other people.

    A slightly more humorous example: in some district meeting where there were some elders who still knew me (long after I had gone home) it was announced that a girl in the mission had gotten married to me and was living with me in my home state. It was true that we had been writing letters and emails back and forth, and she had even visited me for Christmas (which is probably where the rumors really heated up). When I heard about this (while visiting my old mission areas), I hadn’t yet even proposed to her (of course, that *was* the main reason I went back). But half the mission had us already married off and living together as newlyweds months before I even had a ring!

    News spreads fast. Gossip spreads like a wildfire. As a rule, I try to avoid the practice. It tends to tarnish both the subject and the speaker. “Small people talk about people.”

  33. 11- actually, he did. He brought it up to his comp’s ward members, who had never heard the “ugly gossip” and involved them in it. Imagine if they didn’t know the details? They would have assumed it was true, and those girls would have spread it around even more.

    I’m not even sure why this is on here. Is it really something worthy of discussion?

  34. O, I’m not sure why you’re on here. Are you worthy of discussion?

  35. I’m glad you learned that “A little bit of gossip is preferable to no gossip at all.”

    I learned that I should shut my pie hole next time I feel like gossiping, and that your average Mormon is homophobic.

  36. Jane,

    While I won’t dispute your claim that the average Mormon is homophobic, I don’t think the view that I attribute to a hypothetically informed Elder Sorenson — that he’d find false gay rumors more distasteful than true straight rumors — really counts as evidence of homophobia in any strong sense (which is what I take you to be saying, though I confess I’m not positive about that). I suspect that most uncloseted people would prefer that their sexual orientation not be misrepresented, and so I don’t think you can impute any particular level of homophobia to such people.

  37. I don’t think this (incredibly entertaining) story just shows how people dislike having their sexual orientation “misrepresented.” I don’t think it’s just a simple case of wanting the truth to be known, instead of falsehoods. It’s very, very relevant that the rumor concerned homosexuality, and demonstrates how shocking it is to Mormons, and how people are fearful of being labeled as homosexual because of societal repercussions.

    Pretend Elder Sorenson had actually been sent home on his mission for homosexuality. I think many Mormons would believe that it would be less scandalous, less damaging to his reputation, and carry less social stigma if a lie were told – that he broke the law of chastity with a woman. Sadly, I think almost any lie would carry less social stigma within the church.

    This was a really great story, and it shows how little we can trust rumors.

  38. I don’t know if I necessarily buy that Sorenson is proven to not be gay. It’s not like we don’t have a history in the Church of gay people pretending to be straight. He could have been so far in the closet that even he didn’t know, but then he could have just been straight and displayed some characteristics that people picked up on. I had a companion that I have no question was straight, but before we were companions he would have been in the top 5 or so missionaries that I wouldn’t be surprised to find out was hiding in the closet.

    My money would be that some missionaries did pick up on the signs that he may have been gay, then he got sent home for chastity problems, and put 2 and 2 together.

  39. Sure some of it could be homophobia, but I wonder too if some of is the natural quesitoning when someone you live with as close as companions do…which is seriously unparalleled, than find out somehting like this…there is more shock. the I should have known, questioning your gaydar, wondering if he was attracted to you..or if any playfulness or teasing was actually flirting. Wouldn’t that naturally add to the shock?

    I agree the most likely reason for the jump is two missionaries going home together and the slip of the sin…

  40. could the AP have been trying to protect the girls by leaving them out of the story and just not recognized that obvious jump?

  41. “I had a companion that I have no question was straight”

    Um, why? Because you came on to him and he wasn’t interested? He didn’t like singing showtunes with you? He wouldn’t put on the wig on Madonna night? What was your ironclad test?

  42. Jane, I agree completely with your #37.

    MCQ, all Mormon missionaries like to sing showtunes, so I’m not sure that question is really helpful.

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