Thursday, June 12, 2008

LDS Missionaries and the Matrix

Who would know that Keanu Reeves would have a cultural affect on many LDS missionaries that would attend the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah? In the Matrix Reeves plays Neo who wears sunglasses and fights villans. Missionaries tend to be drawn to super-heroes.

In the MTC there has developed a practice of missionaries emulating his exploits of dodging bullets backwards and flying through the air. Many cool missionaries have similar Neo-style glasses and wear dark suits that approximate his clothes.

In the MTC is a metal bar on which many missionaries pose in various positions. The young men document their experiences with pictures of them walking on the wall, flying backwards or forwards. Sometimes there is one missionary and other times there are two or three.

The MTC can be a very intense experience for young 19 and 20 yea old missionaries who must learn new languages and gospel discussion materials. Riding the matrix is a way they unwind after a hard day of intensive classroom study that last ten hours a day for between three weeks and twelve weeks.

The young missionary sees himself just like Neo that they will save many people once they get out in the mission field. They may not have to dodge any bullets but they will meet hostility and try to conquer it with a message of peace.

I wonder if you have experienced the matrix in your time as a missionary. Generations of missionaries will look back on their time at the MTC and remember the matrix.


Nick Literski said...

Laying aside, for the moment, the issue of LDS missionaries being inspired by a trio of R-rated films.... ;-)

Seriously though, missionary attire emphatically does not resemble the costumes of Neo. Anyone who's actually seen the films knows that missionaries dress almost exactly like the agents!

Jacob J said...

To further make your point, check this out if you have not seen it before.