LONDON — Within the first few seconds of my husband Alex Boye's international interview, BBC radio hosts busted out of the gate with difficult religious questions: "What is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' view on gay marriage? Why is your church secretive — do you have something to hide?"
Surely all of us, especially those who served full-time missions, have been asked questions like these, or questions similar to them, but not during a live interview on the BBC World Service Radio for all of England and Ireland (and probably more) to hear.
My poor husband was put in an incredibly uncomfortable position with questions from radio personalities doing their best to increase his heart rate. With questions surrounding topics like "posthumous conversion," they pulled out every trick to stump this English black Mormon.
While in London, Alex sent me an email saying, “One DJ was firing off questions relentlessly and it was clear that his purpose was to just make me look as clueless, uneasy and embarrassed as possible. Well, he succeeded!”
Alex was given 10 seconds to answer questions on topics we dedicate our entire lives to learn as Latter-day Saints, asked to expound on profound doctrine in small sound bites. He was expected to do it all in a four-minute interview or less — while coming across friendly, humble, normal and knowledgeable.
And for someone who has never heard of the LDS Church, or what they believe in, that, my friends, was their first impression of us. Talk about pressure to represent.
I’m proud of my husband. Everywhere he turned he saw billboards, posters in the tubes, playbills in “The Book of Mormon” musical, banners on red double-decker buses, signs in the train stations, and digital pass-along pamphlets with his face plastered on all of them — loudly proclaiming, ”I'm a Mormon!” (Oh, and my face, too. Turns out my picture made it into a London subway station.)
What can I say, folks? We’re proud to be Latter-day Saints, even if that means we have to do hard things sometimes. I’m proud to be a born-and-bred Utah native, with LDS blood as far back as my pioneer heritage. And quite frankly, I think I can hear my ancestors cheering me on, applauding me for taking three kids under the age of 3 to church by myself while Alex is traveling (yep, that’s my kid under your bench); for consoling a toddler and coloring with my preschooler while nursing my baby at the same time; and for attempting to do family home evening with three monsters when all I really want to do is a Julie home evening. Alone. With a big bowl of ice cream. In silence.
But all that compared to getting grilled with religious questions on live radio, while upholding a solid reputation for the "I'm a Mormon" campaign?
Yeah, I’ll keep my day job.
Julie Boye is a graduate of the U. and mother of three. Contact her: firstname.lastname@example.org. Alex Boye launched "Africanized" via Kickstarter. Support the Boye tribe: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/alexboye/alex-boye-is-recording-a-new-album-0