It seemed like another pinup calendar until you find out who those hunks really are. The calendar called "Men on a Mission" is causing quite a stir in the setting of the Church of Latter Day Saints. The men of the calendar are young men recently involved in mission work throughout the world in the Mormon Church.
The calendar is the dream of Las Vegas businessman Chad Hardy, a sixth generation member of the Mormon Church. Actually it isn't a dream but a reality of 10,000 calendars for this year and plans for the 2009 calendar with auditions for the 2010 calendar currently underway. The $15 calendar has come with a price for Hardy. He has been recently ex-communicated from the church.
The church claims that the calendar is using religion to sell sex. Hardy says just the opposite. He says he is using the good looking young men with 6 pack abs to promote a religion that has the reputation of being a little legalistic. Hardy claims he's using "eye-catching images of usually buttoned-up men to draw attention to the charitable and civic contributions of the faith."
Hardy claimed that "I don't want to make the church look bad. I want this to be a positive thing for these guys." Each one of the young men who participated in the spread gets to choose a charity and donate a portion of the proceeds from the calendar sales. Some of the charities were from the same country that the young men served as missionaries. One donated his share to a foundation in the Ukraine whose focus is on education. Another who served in Argentina, donated to an organization that helps farmers and assist individuals to become self sufficient. A Habitat for Humanity in South Africa benefits from a third beefcake's shots. Another focuses on helping families in California with children who were born prematurely.
Each month shows a picture of a young male missionary in his standard white shirt, dark tie and black slacks garb along side of the same young man without a shirt in a comfortable pose. No nudes. Just 12 good looking guys with shirt and tie in one picture and looking buff in another.
With pun firmly in place he claims, "I thought it could be a pretty cool idea to strip off some stereotypes." The website is a play on words as well: www.mormonsexposed.com That won't sit well with the Elder's of the church, either.