by Danny Stout
The Star Trek TV show ended in 1969, but the Trekkie phenomenon endures. Each week there is a Trekkie convention somewhere in the world. The annual Trekkie convention in Las Vegas is one of the largest in the “entertainment city.” Mormon Trekkie websites abound, and the “I am a Mormon” page on LDS.org is replete with members disclosing their Trekkie affiliations.
Compelling is the “Star Trek Family Home Evening Group” <http://stfhe.jlcarroll.net/Klingon_BoM/> where a group of LDS Trekkies are translating the Book of Mormon into Klingon, a language in the fictional science fiction TV series and movies. The FHE site reads:
“As we finished watching yet another fun-filled episode of Star Trek, we found ourselves with little to do besides our mounds of work that we should have been doing. As we discussed Beth’s bizarre ability to speak the Klingon language, it suddenly hit us: Why not translate the Book of Mormon into Klingon? It was just quirky enough to be interesting. So Beth whipped out her two volumes of the Klingon Dictionary and James pulled out his scriptures and we set to work. Some may not approve of this project, but the Seventy to whom we spoke seemed to think it was a fun idea. Maybe someday, this crazy project will lead some Trekkie to read the Book of Mormon in their native Klingon language, but for now it remains an interesting scholarly exercise. We invite Mormon Trekkies from around the world to assist us in our monumental endeavor by translating their own favorite chapters…”
Trekkie clubs or “ships,” as they are called, are interpretive communities, or media-centered churches within a church. Several on the “I am a Mormon” page on LDS.org make it a point to say they’re not only Mormons, but also Trekkies:
Hi I’m Whitney. I’m a trekkie, an animal, sea creature and bug enthusiast and a student, but most importantly I’m a Mormon! <https://www.mormon.org/me/cthw>
Hi I’m Seth. I’m a trekkie, a gamer, but most importantly, I’m a Mormon <https://www.mormon.org/me/9pp3>
The documentary, Trekkies, reveals that in addition to wearing costumes and trading Star Trek paraphernalia, there is an emerging belief system. Trekkies are nonjudgmental, tolerating individuality and imagination. Creativity is always praised. A positive view of science is embraced as Trekkies visit schools, perform community service, and protect the environment.
Perhaps it’s time to ask why church members seek out Trekkie groups. How does the Church community compliment the Trekkie community? How do they diverge? Such questions speak to the postmodern condition where previously disconnected cultural categories are blurring in new ways. Take note, you might be sitting next to a Trekkie in Sacrament Meeting. Don’t forget the Trekkie hand sign.