101 Missionary Stories You Won't Find in the Ensign
White Horse Books (Salt Lake City), 1998. Softcover:
Suggested retail price: $7.95 (US)
The title is true, the names have been changed to protect the guilty.Although you will not find these stories in the Ensign youneedn't worry about this being an alternative book that will "corruptthe youth of Zion".
What it is is a compilation of anecdotal stories that richlyillustrates the goofy stunts missionaries pull on each other and theodd things that can happen in a missionary's life, most of themhumorous.
Each story is no more than a paragraph or two with title and number.Example: #1. Jeremiah: Prophet or Amphibian?
Bingham admits in the foreword of the book that he has changed thenames and missions of those involved and he has depended on theassumption that those who shared their stories with him were beinghonest, but-"If there are errors, they are the errors of men.& .& ." and some artistic license may have been taken in thetelling of the story (stories)".
At least one of these stories-#60. Chip Off the Old Block, he admitsmay be apocryphal, but the guy who told it to him "swore it was true"concerns a supposed encounter two missionaries had with a priest inthe Vatican who greeted them with, "Hello Sons of the Devil." To whichthey reply, "Hello Father." It's funny, but the same story isattributed to J. Golden Kimball and a Baptist Minister in another bookput out by the same publisher. When I pointed this out to Mr. Binghamin an e-mail, (which he lists at the back of the book for people tosend in more stories), he replied by sending me a couple moreanecdotes that will be put in the upcoming follow-up book.
These complaints aside, it's a cute and funny book that doesn'tpretend to be anything else. It includes a irreverent and informativeglossary of missionary terms by Robert Kirby at the back of the book.Example:
Golden-Non-member who will in all likelihood, join thechurch. "Those dirty flippers who threw rocks at us yesterday aren'tGolden." There is also a story that is about Kirby, without the namechange, that he related in his Irreantum interview about the dog hehad on his mission that he and his companion used for doorcontacting. (#96).
At least one General Authority is named in the hijinks, Elder Bruce R.McConkie-#15 Wait for Me One Hour and I would really like to know whothe Apostle's son is in #14 who cried, "I'm going to tell my Dad!"after being the brunt of a practical joke involving a garbage truck.
Most of these stories are G rated, some PG, but if someone is lookingfor a gift for a younger sibling to give an older brother or sisterwho has served a mission, this is a good one. It is inexpensive andwill bring knowing nods and chuckles.
Kathy Tyner, Orange County, CA
© 2001 Kathy Tyner < firstname.lastname@example.org >