Tag Archives: fresh air

Tom Hanks’ brief exposure to Mormons

!! About a month ago Tom Hanks was on Fresh Air. Terry Gross mentioned that Mr. Hanks had been around a few different religions when he was younger and he went on to explain each of them. One of them was The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (although only the term Mormon was used).

These guys, literally like The Book of Mormon [musical], they came around in white short-sleeved shirts and black ties and they rode bicycles. They convinced my Dad’s second wife that being a Mormon was just the greatest thing in the world.
My Dad said, “You know what, Whinnie?” (that was her name; sweet lady), “If you want your kids to be baptized in the Mormon church you go right ahead, but no way are my kids going to go through it.”

So we just kind of sat around and enjoyed some good Mormon Family Home Evenings that were choreographed by Elder Paul and Brother Bob and a few other people. They knew magic tricks with coins and were really funny. All the time my dad would sit in the living room with his hands around a can of beer.

From 31:23-32:07 of Tom Hanks Says Self-Doubt Is ‘A High-Wire Act That We All Walk’

If I had a chance to talk with Mr. Hanks, I would tell him that indeed, being a Mormon is the greatest thing in the world! 🙂 (j)

Elizabeth Smart is my hero

I hope that didn’t sound sarcastic, because I mean it. Let me explain why…

When the 14-year-old Mormon Elizabeth Smart was kidnapped in 2002, it got a fair amount of attention in my part of the world. I live in Canada near Buffalo, and so a lot of our radio and TV stations come from “over the river”. The Canadian media also reported on things a fair bit.

I only had 1 child at the time (a baby) and I could only imagine what her parents must have been going through. When she was found, it seemed like a miracle.

I wondered how “messed up” this young woman would be. She had to try to get back to a normal life after almost daily rapes. Her life was threatened and she was forcibly removed from her home. Could she grow up and be “normal”?

I have no idea how difficult it was, but it was great to hear that she was going on a mission (to France). Then later came word that she was getting married (I think in the Hawaii Temple).

Now she has written a book, and apparently she tells it all. I read somewhere that she figured there would be no point in writing a book if she only shared half the story.

So after all of that, I thought, “Good for her! What a nice person.” Then earlier this week she was interviewed by Terry Gross on Fresh Air. That is when she truly became my hero. She was so calm; so well-spoken; a person who didn’t seem to be full of hate or bitterness; a person who cherished her family; a person who knows that God loves her. She showed her faith, and represented her family and the Church well.

People like Elizabeth are heroes. Movie stars, athletes and pop stars generally aren’t. I’ve been lucky enough in my life to know a couple of people who have overcome huge challenges and I marvel at how they managed. Faith played a large part. The support of loved ones (family, friends, and community) helped.

If these people can survive what they have gone through, and even flourish afterwards, then it inspires me to keep slogging through my difficulties.

Thank you Elizabeth and others for being such an example to us all.