Thursday, June 20, 2013

Book of Mormon Musical

I went to see The Book of Mormon musical yesterday.  I saw it by myself witch was fine.  It's to be expected when you are straddling two different worlds.  I decided to make it an event for myself.  I had my BreakingMormon T-shirt, my personal progress necklace,  my hopes up,  and my Book of Mormon with my new testimony in it.  This was my trip to meca. When BOM Musical first came out I hated it.  Oh... the idea that someone would mock the noble Joseph Smith.  Then I study the hidden history of Joseph Smith.  Within a matter of day’s Matt Stone and Trey Parker went from my enemies to my heroes.  To any non-Mormon this was just a fun show about a silly faith. To anyone who actually knows the truth behind Mormonism you see Stone and Parker are making a very clear statement about Joseph Smith and his Book of Mormon. 

The play is a comedy complete with spectacular musical numbers, Sequins, and giant Starbucks coffee cups.  Ben Platt played Elder Cunningham. A lovable nerd who is a compulsive liar.  His story parallels the story of Joseph Smith.  Mormons never to look too deeply into Joseph's  his life.  We should just read the Book of Mormon and pray.  Elder Cunningham rewrites the BOM to convert the villagers in Africa.  He is severely punished for writing his own religious text. (Irony) Nabulungi, a young African girl, is devastated when she learns what she was worshiping was a lie.  Devastating can only began to describe the emotions of finding the true story of Joseph Smith.  You praise and worship this man all your life.  Only to discover that he (and I’m biting my tough hard here) made mistakes.  

The lead characters name is Elder Price.  He was played by Nic Rouleau. Price was a hard working peter priesthood kid who knew the church was true…until he didn't.  I was surprised at how emotional this show would be.  Maybe I saw it too soon. I expected it to be hilarious and poke fun at the church. I didn't expect the second act to bring me to tears. It was cathartic. I wondered how many people in the room knew what it is like to try and leave the Mormon Church.  When Nic Rouleau sang I believe I realized I was watching myself two months ago.  Holding on desperately to something I didn’t really understand. The play beautifully illustrates how every Post-Mormon feels in a scene where Elder Price is in the doctors office. 

At intermission people asked me about my shirt.  It was fun. I answered questions and told them a little of my story.  I only said good thinking about the church.  I know I have bitterness and hard feelings but i'm working on letting that go. I don't want to viciously angry with the church.  I know that it's not all bad.  Mormons are really wonderful people. I have yet to find that balance but unlit I do I will smile and speak highly of the church.

Elder Price is sitting with 12 cups of coffee.  He has turned his back on the church.  “We are Brainwashed” “we are a cult” he said.  It’s a strong accusation that only a post-Mormon can understand.  I hate to say the church Brainwashed me but I will say that I have had Spooky Mormon Hell Dreams(see: Spooky Mormon Hell Dream).   I hate to call it a cult but I will say that I’m a member of faith that is very very hard to leave.  Elder price finds a happy medium between being a Mormon and being what he is.  He learns to love the church again.  Something I long to find. 

At the end the worst thing that can ever happen to a Mormon missionary happens.  They are dishonorably discharge from their mission.  I gasped! Being discharged from your mission is a death sentence to a young Mormon boy. I’m not sure people in the audience really understood that.  You are shamed.  Mormon girls won’t date you. People treat them like a mistake.  They have to explain to their friends and family.  Many men feel they are a failure. But my buddy Elder Price dose something heroic!

After the show I raced out to meet the actors.  I wanted them to sign my Book of Mormon.  When I tell Non-Mormons I’m leaving the Mormon faith they don’t think much of it.  Many faiths only take a second to leave.  You just say “I’m leaving.”  Not so simple with the Mormon faith.  It’s not a religion.  It’s a lifestyle. It’s your world. It’s everyone you know. It’s all you know.  It’s who you are every single day.  I’ve felt so alone these past two months.  No one understands what I’m going through. I don’t want to leave but I don’t know how to stay. 

As the actors were signing my BOM I told them my story.  I didn’t need to say much.  I saw sympathy and compassion in their eyes.  They knew!  They understood. For the first time I was surround by people who didn’t look at me from a distance.  They know the truth.  They sing and tap dance it every night.  They gave me hugs and told me I would be okay.  When Nic Rouleau AKA Elder Price walked out the door I quietly shouted “There he is!”.  I forgot he was an actor.  He was the only other Post-Mormon I knew.  He knew better than anyone what I must be going through.   Sure, he is not really a post-mormon but it is what I wanted to believe so I just believed.  That skill comes in handy. I wish there was such thing as an Elder Price.  I imagine he and I would run away together.  But there are no post-Mormons around here. Nic and I talked, he gave me big huge and told me how excited he was for me.  That everything would be okay.  
The actors all left but I stayed at the theater for some time.  I didn’t want it to end.  Come back my friends!  Alas, I was alone again.  I contemplated going back and seeing them again after their show the next night. I could come back every night. But then I remembered I’m not a creepy weirdo.  I would have to return to the world.  A world where men offer to help me get drunk, and woman ware things that show off their shoulders.  “I will be okay” I thought, “tomorrow is not another Latter Day.”


  1. I don't know how I found this blog, I'm not mormon but have researched the heck out of it. It's such a lifestyle it seems which is hard to elk away from. However keep walking you will find your way x

  2. I just love you. I'm probably going to end up reading your blog religiously (pun only slightly intended). Even if I'm not commenting, just know that I'm always here. Keep on keepin' on, you fabulous woman!

  3. When I saw BOM, it was so cathartic. Such a fantastic show. I even have a bootleg video of it now so I can watch any time I want.