Friday, January 27, 2012

Sharing a Memory -- Day of Celebration

It was actually the title of this post that brings me to today's memory.

In 2005 our Church celebrated the 200th birthday anniversary of the Prophet of the latter-day dispensation, Joseph Smith.  As part of the celebration, youth groups all over the world were involved with activities to celebrate Brother Joseph's birthday.

In the Salt Lake City area, the Church produced a marvelous event called a "Day of Celebration."  All of the youth of the area were invited to gather at Rice-Eccles stadium at the University of Utah, where there were all kinds of activities planned.  The youth had been invited to participate in rehearsals, etc., if they wanted to be performers at this event.

One of the activities was a choir, and Taylor (who was 12) and Briana (who was 14) opted to participate in that.  The choir--which was originally planned for 3,000 youth--was 15,000 strong.  Imagine 15,000 young people belting out "Praise To The Man," and you can understand why I was thrilled when I was asked to also be in the choir as a driver of 5 young women and one young man (our Taylor).  For many weeks before the DOC, we held rehearsals in The Conference Center.  The rehearsals were fun because the choir director was funny and bold and talented and because of 15,000 young people belting out "Praise To The Man" (and other songs).  They were also spiritual feedings.  We were taught by members of the Seventy and Mack Wilberg (the director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir) and others.

One evening we were practicing "Joseph Smith's First Prayer."  The choir director was encouraging the young people to consider the words of the song.  He said, "Our Father in Heaven appeared to a 14-year-old boy, and he called him by name.  It's incredible, and it's all true.  And THAT is why young men leave their homes and families for two years to go out into strange places throughout the world to wear suits all day and talk to strangers.  THAT is why we choose to look peculiar to the world because we don't drink or smoke or use profanity.  THAT is why we wear modest clothing.  THAT is why."  He then shared his testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, which came through the Prophet Joseph Smith.  It was a sweet, spiritual, beautiful, tender moment in time.

We had been seated by vocal parts, so I was sitting by the girls who I drove.  I had told Taylor that I would meet him after the rehearsal by a particular pillar.  To get to that pillar, I had to "swim upstream" against a lot of people walking the other direction.  When I arrived there, Taylor was standing against the pillar.  He looked at me, smiled as I approached, and said, "Ah, Mom!  Did you FEEL that?"

The DOC was fabulous, and I'm so grateful that I got to participate.  But my very best memory of all of it was that 2 seconds when I saw our son really "get it."


Becky said...

Love this story and love the folks in it too!