When the saints go marching in

By Tara Zahra

By Letters to the Editor

Published November 21, 2000 8:12AM (EST)

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Kudos to Tara Zahra. As a 28-year-old member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and someone who is involved in the media, I am happy to see those who are not of our faith offer an honest and sensitive profile of our missionaries. It is obvious that the author spent a good amount of time with the missionaries who were interviewed and, hopefully, enjoyed herself. Having served a two-year mission to Indianapolis, Ind., myself, I found myself recalling some of the fondest memories I have: meeting new people, finding out how they are different and the same and sharing something with them that is very dear to me.

Thank you for the memories.

-- Mike Chenoweth

Just wanted to thank you for the story on Mormon missionaries. I served in Birmingham, England, from 1991 to 1993. Since then, I have found so few objective stories published about our church, this one was refreshing!

-- Zane Kerby

Imagine such a thing: A 19-year-old greenhorn neophyte going around the world acting as an authority on the nature of God and an individual's relationship to him or her or it or whatever! What's wrong with this picture?

If one thinks the Mormons are so wonderful, he or she ought to come out and live among them for 34 years as I have. For a religious group with American origins, it sure appears to lack many American principles, such as democracy, tolerance and acceptance of all.

-- Pete Lipovac

This article shows the failed efforts of well-meaning American simpletons to "improve" the morals and culture of a country they can't comprehend. Czech culture is by far more sophisticated than beer and nakedness on TV.

If you want to understand the sexual culture, just compare "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" with current Hollywood productions like "Mercy" or "8MM"

In the religious realm, Czechs have one of the most diverse histories, including John Huss (precursor of the Reformation) through rabbinical and Gnostic writings of the 15th to 17th centuries.

Czechs went through the Hapsburg occupation, World War I, World War II and 50 years of communism, preserving their unique culture. Prague has seen Mozart, Kafka and Hasek -- a couple of guys from the prairie will be quickly forgotten.

-- Greg Telega

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