Periodicals; Mormons; Religious thought; Philosophy and religion
Independent national quarterly established to express Mormon culture and examine the relevance of religion to secular life. It is edited by Mormons who wish to bring their faith into dialogue with human experience as a whole and to foster artistic and scholarly achievement based on their cultural heritage. The journal encourages a variety of viewpoints; although every effort is made to insure accurate scholarship and responsible judgment, the views expressed are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of the Mormon Church or of the editors.
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Dialogue: Vol 29 No 2
Mormonism on the Big Mac Standard
Mormonism on the Big Mac Standard /. Michael Cleverley A few years AGO a member of our Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2nd Ward bishopric and his wife made their first journey across the United States. Born and reared in Japan, they were anxious to see the interior as they drove to and from Salt Lake City. During their absence everyone missed their fresh, unladened spirits. When they returned, we were anxious to hear about their trip. "It was wonderful to experience the church as we traveled from state to state," he said, during the first testimony meeting home. "It was just like McDonald's. Everywhere we went, every Sunday school class we attended was the same." We were amused, more by the innocent frankness of his testimony than by the idea. As a member of the American diplomatic service, I and my family too have traveled a fair amount, living in five different countries and on both sides of the United States. This migrant-worker life has given us considerable perspectives on the church. Our Japanese brother was not far from the mark. The church's Correlation program, coupled with its extensive translation effort, puts the same message into virtually every Gospel Doctrine class worldwide each week. And that is just the beginning. Meeting schedules follow the same sequences. Ward and stake organizations are planned by template. The Ensign is translated into monthly publications internationally. Primary materials, temple ceremonies, accounting procedures, wardhouse floorplans, even sacrament meeting formats are prescribed by the book. Measures of worthiness are standardized, whether you are in Finland or South Africa. That is a bit like McDonald's. In fact, McDonald's is so standardized that some economists, only half-jokingly, use the term "Big Mac standard" to determine if international currencies are distorted in value through either overvalued or undervalued exchange rates. The theory goes like this: A Big Mac