Saturday, April 7, 2018

There's a Moose on the Loose

“Some people say we should make peace. I say f*** that, let's make a cake!!”

This week the Tapir/Sparlock Signal blog continues its series on heathen helpers, those volunteers who have never been Mormon or a Witness who nevertheless can’t stay away from the morbidly fascinating trainwreck that is the LDS Church or Kingdom Halls.

The other week you met FSM_Noodly_Luv. This week, meet Erin, who purportedly rides a moose to work because she lives in Canada. She’s dating an exmo, but before she met her boyfriend, “My only intro to Mormonism was the South Park episode.”

While almost entirely accurate, the South Park episode only outlines the origins of the LDS faith - how founder Joseph Smith claimed to have found golden plates inscribed with the Book of Mormon, which he translated by placing his seer stone into a hat and reading the English words that magically appeared on the stone (♫♫ dum dum dum dum! ♫♫)

"When my boyfriend started telling me the 200-level Mormon stuff, I told him, I can't tell if you're making this up or not," Erin said.

He wasn't. Erin's boyfriend drifted away from the church in his late teens, but discovered the r/exmormon subreddit about ten years later. He began looking into church history, and the more he found out about the ways in which he had been fed, at best inaccurate and at worst deceitful, information at church, he became angrier and angrier. Erin, who was raised "aggressively atheist" herself, sat with him and supported him as he worked through the lies until both made as much peace with it as they could.

"Mormonism itself isn't a huge part of our lives anymore. The biggest part is the extent of the trauma caused by it," she said. "He's 33 years old and still doesn't feel like he's worthy some days, because that's what he was told growing up.

"The Mormon church segregates people," she added. "The idea that you have to leave your whole support system to leave the church is really shitty."

That's why she signed up to volunteer as soon as she heard about the Tapir Signal. She's seen the devastation leaving can cause and she wants to help support the people who are making that brave leap. Of course, Erin added, she can't do much in person because she's up in the frozen north, but if anyone needs anything in Canada, down to and including maple syrup and Tim Horton's coffee, she's your girl.

"I think that I can help with anything Canada-wide because I have access to a lot of resources that aren't available in the U.S. And we do have Mormons here...just not as many as down South. I want to do anything I can to help someone who has their world fall down around them," she said.

As for her boyfriend? He recently resigned from the LDS church. The resignation is hanging in a frame on their wall.

Right next to the moose head.

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