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The Book of Mormon Missionary Positions with Photos and Everything

The Book of Mormon Missionary Positions with Photos and Everything

Portland-based photographer Neil Dacosta, wanting to satirise the stance on homosexuality, the Mormon Church has, has made an illustration book simply and funnily called: The Book of Mormon Missionary Positions. In short, it portrays two male missionaries becoming intimate all the while remaining fully clothed in their emblematic buttoned up and perfectly pressed uniforms.

The idea for the project first came to Dacosta in 2012 when Mitt Romney, a Mormon himself, ran for the presidency of the United States. Facing a possible Mormon president, both Neil Dacosta and his “partner in crime” Sara Phillips saw the impending threat on equal rights as well as the already established separation of church and state. The two “missionaries” here are Kaj-anne Pepper and Zak DesFleurs, two models who perfectly fitted for the aesthetic of the series.

Before taking on the challenge, Dacosta familiarised himself with the ins and outs of the Mormon Church and their views on chastity, prohibition of homosexuality, sex before marriage and masturbation. He read books on the matter and talked with his Mormon friends, in order to better understand the norms and general stance of the church. One of his collaborators, Shelby Menzel, happened to be a former Mormon, and he provided key particulars about the ways in which Mormon missionaries were expected to dress.

The project, although it deals with a serious subject, provided cathartic moments of laughter and farce. Throughout its duration, the shoot was punctuated by fits of giggles. “After the first shot of them even just holding hands, we knew it was going to be a fun day,” remarks the artist.