Men on a Mission to Mortify Joe Miller

September 14, 2007 at 12:40 pm 24 comments

As we’ve shared many embarrassing moments this week in posts, this little gem just had to be shared at the expense of our blogger laureate, Joe Miller. My friend Joy tipped us off about this most interesting new 2008 pin-up calendar of LDS missionaries and this is the following email exchange which took place this morning:


From LeMare, 10:50AM: What on earth–is this real?

From Joe Miller’s brother (who is receiving Joe’s work emails at his old address for some reason), 11:18AM: LeMare, I’ve changed my mind—you can use this address to email Joe anytime. You’ve put me on a new path. I have a new aim in life…Mr. “June 2008”.

From LeMare, 11:19AM: So these guys are REALLY on missions, and they’re REALLY posing shirtless with their pants as low as A&F models??? Certainly not while they’re ON their mission???

A couple of them are pencil-necked geeks. Some, not so much.

From LeMare, 11:34AM: I couldn’t look at this page too long because I was afraid that people were going to come up behind me and think that I am some kind of sick degenerate.

And, in thinking about it… would they be right?

From Joe Miller’s brother, 12:07PM: I’m not sure what you are suggesting. My wife hasn’t stopped looking at it since I showed it to her. Her favorite is Matt.

From Joe Miller, 12:18PM: Ok, someone just walked into my cubicle as I was checking out the website. My mouth was agape in shock but I wonder how my coworker interpreted my expression due to the fact that he immediately exited my area like it was an accident he ever ran into me. My life is now over.

P.S. If you have a picture of a recent Return Missionary, nominate them for the 2009 edition here.

Posted by JL


Entry filed under: Current Events, Embarrassing Moments, JL's Posts, Living History, News, Random, Work.

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24 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lowdogg  |  September 14, 2007 at 1:35 pm

    Maybe I’m a little uptight, but this is a stupid {!*&*?1 idea. It kind of pisses me off.

  • 2. Lowdogg  |  September 14, 2007 at 1:41 pm

    I wrote to the company:

    I’m LDS, 28, an RM and I think this is a terrible idea. Missionaries as sex symbols is a disastrous message. It was hard enough serving in some areas of SoCal as a spanish-speaking missionary, where some mothers think their daughters should marry missionaries so they can become legalized. This promotes an idea about missionaries that is opposed to the work that they are doing.
    There is no way that this helps the work. I can think of how this would have opened doors for preaching the gospel. One more stupid question for the missionaries to have to deal with.

    Call me a prude, but this is a bad idea.

  • 3. Jdon  |  September 14, 2007 at 1:47 pm

    I think I need to take a shower.

  • 4. JL  |  September 14, 2007 at 2:29 pm

    Lowdogg, calling this a “bad idea” is the understatement of the century. However the owners position their mission statement on the calendar and how it ends up helping charities of the missionary’s choosing in the end, blah, blah, blah, it’s exploiting a church calling that should have nothing to do with shirtless photo shoots.

    I’m sure they had slimy talent scouts working Provo Town Centre after a showing of I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry to round up their culprits.

  • 5. lemare  |  September 14, 2007 at 4:05 pm

    I can’t tell you how hard I laughed when I read that about the coworker walking into Joe Miller’s cube, seeing the beefcake photos with Joe’s mouth hanging wide open… All my coworkers have already heard all about it.

  • 6. pammyshep  |  September 14, 2007 at 6:21 pm

    Yes, this is bad. Tacky, too. If these kids really are missionaries, I”m guessing their mission prez will quickly change their status. But let’s not feel as though we Mormons are the only ones to have a tacky calendar. While in Venice I saw the ‘Hot Priests’ calendar. To be fair, the priests were better looking than the missionaires… I know that makes me sick.

  • 7. Joey  |  September 15, 2007 at 11:08 pm

    Are we sure this isn’t just my last BYU ward’s directory? My favorite stake conference memory: the 2nd Counselor in the stake presidency gave a talk in which he said, “You young brethren need to wear your shirts. I see you around far too much without your shirts on.”

  • 8. Jana  |  September 16, 2007 at 1:33 pm

    This solidifies my feeling on/for elders. What’s next? Bikini clad sisters? Who wants to see that??? My favorite (because of course I had to see all of them and see what their life goals were after graduating from Community College, not that I’m judging) was the guy who served in Japan and was pulling down his pants to show just a hint of G. Nice.

  • 9. lemare  |  September 16, 2007 at 4:05 pm

    Something about men posing provocatively in black jeans gives me the creeps… even WITHOUT them being missionaries.

  • 10. Lowdogg  |  September 16, 2007 at 9:06 pm

    Here is the response that I received:

    Thank you so much for contacting us! We want you to know that we respect and honor your opinions. We hope that you will do the same for us.

    Much peace and blessing,

    The Mormon Project Team

    What a load of BS. They honor my opinion? My response:

    To “Mormon Project Team:”

    While I imagine that you may in fact “respect” my opinion, in the sense that you respect the right to free expression that makes your tacky project possible, I submit that you do not “honor” my opinion. Some common definitions for “honor” include honesty, fairness, or integrity in one’s beliefs and actions. How exactly does your organization intend to honor my opinion? By taking it to heart? I doubt it. You fail to honor the precepts of the Church that you claim to be helping.

    Joe Lowry, Jr.

  • 11. lemare  |  September 16, 2007 at 11:06 pm

    You tell ’em, Lowdogg!

  • 12. Lowdogg  |  September 17, 2007 at 9:12 am

    I was very effective. Their response:

    If you wish to cheapen our sincerity, that is your choice sir. God Bless.

    I’ve been converted by their good example of Christian forebearance in the face of persecution. Not really. I am done with this issue though.

  • 13. URGENT: Help IRF save Joe Miller! « In Rare Form  |  September 17, 2007 at 12:26 pm

    […] 17, 2007 Our valiant IRF contributor, Joe Miller, is in quite a bind, as demonstrated in JL’s Post on the Missionary Beefcake Calendar.  “Ok, someone just walked into my cubicle as I was checking out the website. My mouth was […]

  • 14. lemare  |  September 25, 2007 at 8:21 am

    I just noticed in our RSS feed that the Daily Universe has this story!
    One of the models said this : “This project is not capitalizing on the church,” Martin said. “If you think it is, then don’t watch ‘The singles ward,’ ‘The RM,’ [or] ‘The God’s Army.’ Nor you ever wear the shirt that reads ‘I can’t, I’m Mormon.'”

    I won’t, I won’t, I won’t, and I won’t.

  • 15. Prez Hinckley  |  September 25, 2007 at 12:02 pm

    You self-righteous pigs!!! If any of you are without sin then cast the first stone…..Meanwhile these men are not sinning…they are not missionaries they are return missionaries. Any professional endeavor that they do with their personal life is not a church issue and this one in particular is not demeaning to the church in any way whatsoever. Your opinon can be shared as to what you think about the calendar in itself. But it is only your opinion. This project has been accepted by the members of the church for the most part. But many ultra conservative mormons do not accept but the project team didnt think they would anyway. If you think that there is something wrong with these young men or this project then I seriously suggest that you check your own backyard.

  • 16. Jdon  |  September 25, 2007 at 1:56 pm

    Is it blasphemous calling yourself Prez Hinkley? I only ask because I got blasted for bearing testimony in the name of Albert Gore.

  • 17. Mikel  |  September 25, 2007 at 1:57 pm

    Wow, Prez Hinckley! Blogging! And calling us self-righteous pigs. Quite an honor, I’m touched. Good to see there are even more people who feel like making the Church a joke.

    It’s cool that the Church has done formal polling to know that the project has been accepted by “members of the Church for the most part.” That puts me at ease. I guess we ultra conservatives better repent of all the stuff we must be doing bad because we think this is “tacky” and “stupid.” I hope these guys can make an appearance at general conference.

    This was a dumb idea. They’re clearly portraying the Church in a much different light than they were while on missions. If they feel good about that, none of us need to judge them.

  • 18. lemare  |  September 25, 2007 at 2:14 pm

    This post is over a week old and the comments are still pouring in.

    I love that PH is self-righteously calling US self-righteous.

    PH: I didn’t call them sinners, but it doesn’t sit right with me… Mainly because it is tacky and vulgar in the way that I feel little dirty when i walk into an A&F store. But this is worse because you’ve got shirtless guys in tight pants doing pelvic tilts… and right next to it, they’re wearing a badge that deems them a representative of the Church.

  • 19. pammyshep  |  September 25, 2007 at 7:55 pm

    Prez Hinckley: Let me address a few of your issues with this post and the responses to it.

    1. I am not an ultra-conservative Mormon (I’m actually a liberal Democrat as well as a good active Mormon), but I also found the calendar TACKY. I could conduct my own poll of Mormons, using political party preference as my independent variable, to see which percentage of members support this type of promotional calendar. I hypothesize that no matter how conservative or liberal one might be, members will share the opinion that it is TACKY. But that’s just a hypothesis.

    2. Opinion. We’ve all got one. Did the calendar ruin my testimony? Nope. Am I calling anyone to repentence? Certainly not. Was it in BAD taste? You bet.

    3. Are you an accredited academic? If so, I’d like to know what sort of statistical data you have that would allow you to say with confidence that “This project has been accepted by the members of the church for the most part”? Did the Engisn conduct a random survey of church members throughout the world and if so, can you send me the SPSS spreadsheet with the results? I would like to know if there was a significant difference between members of the church who accepted the calendar as Christmas-gift worthy and those who didn’t.

  • 20. JL  |  September 25, 2007 at 8:19 pm

    Pammy, spoken with the true authority of a newly minted “Master” of Johns Hopkins who has been through the rigors of a thesis defense. Prez. doesn’t stand a chance against your arguments.

  • 21. jdon  |  September 25, 2007 at 8:57 pm

    Wait a minute, are we arguing with the Prophet of the Church? Is this “The” Prez Hinckley? If so, statistics be damned, I’m with him!

  • 22. cburt  |  September 25, 2007 at 9:45 pm

    I take issue with this statement:
    “Any professional endeavor that they do with their personal life is not a church issue and this one in particular is not demeaning to the church in any way whatsoever.”
    Actually, this would be true if the individuals posing in the calendar were not using the Church’s name and wearing their missionary badges/ attire and referring to themselves as “the Missionaries.” It is clear to me that their business is based on representing themselves as current Church missionaries and profiting on that affiliation. Come on–it’s not like anyone would buy a pin-up calendar of these guys any other way. This is no different than if I were to streak down Main Street throwing my business cards up in the air. Obviously I’d be fired in a heartbeat and most likely sued. And I’d deserve it.

  • 23. pammyshep  |  September 25, 2007 at 10:47 pm

    One more complaint with Prez Hinckley… when it comes to name-calling, I’d like to point out the following definitions:

    PIG: a person of pig-like character, behavior, or habits, as one who is gluttonous, very fat, greedy, selfish, or filthy.

    PRIG: a person who displays or demands of others pointlessly precise conformity, fussiness about trivialities, or exaggerated propriety, esp. in a self-righteous or irritating manner.

    If you’re going to insult us, try using the correct terminology.

  • 24. lemare  |  September 26, 2007 at 11:08 am

    I was just in a meeting laughing to myself about Cburt streaking down main street throwing her business cards up in the air.


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