|Excellent accommodations for affairs/missionary work|
Cedar Rapids, IA—When area man Benjamin Beck, age 38, started a relationship with Chicago waitress Heather Landau, age 28, he was not planning on it also being a chance for him to share the gospel. Beck, who is married, a father of three children, and an insurance claims agent, was not planning on telling Landau anything about his life back in Iowa, but his fiery missionary spirit could not be held back.
Beck only started talking about Mormonism after a chance comment during his third illicit encounter with Landau. Landau was getting dressed in Beck’s Courtyard by Marriott hotel room when she noticed the room’s copy of the Book of Mormon and said, “Oh, those Mormons don’t even believe in Jesus.” Beck, who had loved missionary work from when he was a child, felt like he could not let Landau’s misconception remain, so he timidly replied, “well, I heard that their official church name has Jesus in it, so they probably do believe in Him.” Landau merely shrugged at this suggestion, and then promptly winked at the law-of-chastity-breaking Elders Quorum secretary, flashed him a bit of buttock, and told him she’d see him next week.
Beck’s next gospel discussion with Landau came only a couple of weeks later. Landau and Beck were again at the hotel where Beck spends most of the week, returning on weekends to resume his (fraudulent) life as a “fairly reliable” home teacher and seemingly good example for his 12 and 11-year-old sons and 9-year-old daughter. After some unusually vigorous intercourse with Landau, Beck asked if something might be up. Landau confided in the man she “was just having some fun with” that not only was her mother’s health rapidly declining but she had lost a beloved cousin to leukemia just a few months before. The suddenly visibly distraught Landau concluded, “it all just seems so futile to love people and then to bury them, knowing you will never see them again.” For a second time Beck felt strongly that he could not let this go, so he tried to casually toss out, “well, you know those Mormons you mentioned a few weeks ago—I think that they actually believe family bonds and love can last forever. I think there are even some Youtube videos about it.” Not wanting to pursue this conversation for too long, Beck then distracted Landau by initiating sex for the fourth time in 24 hours.
At the same time that Beck was tearing through all of the promises he had made with God and the church, his mistress was finding more and more intriguing ideas from that same organization and God. Several hours spent watching Youtube videos led to many more questions for Landau. She did not know exactly who to ask until one evening when she and Beck were in the bath together, and she said that she sure wished she could talk to some “of those Mormons” about their beliefs. She distractedly mentioned her Youtube search and how many questions she had, not thinking the topic would interest Beck. Beck, though longing to answer all of her questions yet afraid to reveal how the life he was living with her was a betrayal of all he held true, suggested circuitously that “don’t those Mormons have people that walk around telling people about their church…I think they are called missionaries? They probably have a website you could use to meet them…or something…” Landau feigned disinterest, saying that she “might look into it.”
Within two months of this clandestine meeting, Landau started missing her weekly trysts with Beck, saying she “was not feeling well” or she “had to pick up an extra shift at work.” Beck, who had come to rely more heavily on the fleeting sexual pleasure he enjoyed with Landau to cover his soul’s rotting emptiness, became more and more anxious, restless, and then upset at Landau’s absence. When Beck finally confronted Landau at the restaurant where she worked and where they had met, an exasperated Landau confessed to Beck that she had been busy meeting with some “really awesome Mormon sister missionaries,” that she didn’t feel good about sneaking around with Beck, and that what she was learning was “somehow changing” her. Beck was so struck by the clash of contradictory emotions—intense sexual frustration, anger, betrayal, despair, and disappointment but at the same time immense joy for Landau—that he could not speak. Misinterpreting his sudden silence, Landau concluded, “who knows—maybe the Mormons could even help your family and maybe even you, because, honestly, you’ve kinda made a mess of your life!”
Unbeknownst to either at the time, this would be the last time Landau and Beck would ever see each other, though many years later Landau and Beck’s then ex-wife would, by chance, be in the same Illinois stake conference. Beck, for his part, would lose his family and church membership but would retain the copy of the Book of Mormon he picked up in the Chicago Courtyard by Marriott hotel, a book he keeps with him in the place where he now lives—a van by the river.