Thursday, September 25, 2014

Our Amazing 4th Rehearsal Where We Did Break Forth and Sing As One Voice

One of our Choir members shared the following to express how they felt after our amazing 4th General Conference Choir Rehearsal.  It's a beautiful song and I hope you'll listen, as it truly describes what we are feeling as we are singing:

"When I Sing" by Tyler Castleton from his CD "When I can't speak: The music of Tyler Castleton"; Shadow Mountain Records; with artwork from various LDS artists including Greg Olsen

It had been difficult after some of our Sectional rehearsals, to come back together and remember what it was like as we sang with one voice, as all the sections were now singing as their own unit. With concern and worry in my heart, I took my concerns to my Heavenly Father in prayer, and then opened my Book of Mormon and read words that were again an answer to comfort my heart! Again, I found my Choir of 364 likened within the scriptures of 3 Nephi chapter 4.

As we have traveled through time, from being first  likened to Helaman's 2000 Stripling Warriors, my Choir of 364 is now at 20 A.D. and have become the Lord's righteous people:

29 May the Lord preserve His people in righteousness and in holiness of heart.....

30 And we did rejoice and cry again with one voice, saying: May the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, bless this choir in righteousness, so long as we shall call on the name of our God.

31 And it came to pass that we did break forth, all as one, in singing, and praising our God for the great thing which he had done for us, in preserving both our minds and voices; our minds blessed with perfect memory of our songs and our voices preserved from sore throats, and hoarseness, and allergies.

32 Yea, we did cry: Hosanna to the Most High God. And we did sing: Blessed be the name of the Lord God Almighty, the Most High God.

33 And our hearts were swollen with joy, unto the gushing out of many tears, because of the great goodness of God in delivering us from the elements that would hinder our voices and singing; and we knew it was because of our repentance and our humility that we had been delivered and preserved to sing the songs of our Savior’s Redeeming Love; and to sing our praises to Him while seated at the foot of the Holy Temple and in that great Conference Center, before the Prophet and all of the Apostles; even all of the Lord’s Seventies; and before all the world.

We are prepared and ready to have our dress rehearsal at the Conference Center where we will once again, 'break forth, all as one, in singing, and praising our God!'

Monday, September 15, 2014

Our General Conference Choir is United in Singing of our Savior and Redeemer!

We have loved our daily Book of Mormon scripture reading! Errol and I are back to "companion" mode, as we were when serving our mission together.  We never stopped reading or studying, but after our mission, for a time, we were both studying separately and each seeking individual enlightenment in the scriptures. And while we still continue to each have our own personal time in the scriptures or Conference Messages; there has been a wonderful spirit of unity and togetherness as we have maintained and reserved our morning Book of Mormon reading as our family 'companion' scripture study time. The result is that we're on the same page in our thoughts through-out the day!

As noted in the previous blogs, we found my Choir of 364 likened in the scriptures about Helaman's faithful army of 2000 Stripling Warriors. We followed their steadfastness through the battles and trials through the years until we arrived at Samuel the Lamanite, preaching on the wall to the wicked Nephites below. Obviously, my Choir of 364 was no where to be found in these scriptures!

And then, yesterday's Sabbath morning, we arrived in our daily scripture reading to the 16th Chapter of Helaman in the Book of Mormon. And there was my Choir of 364!

While on the wall, Samuel the Lamanite tells the wicked Nephites of the converted Lamanites who have been firm and steadfast in the faith; and also of how the Lord will be merciful to the Lamanites in the latter-day days. At this time, it's about 6 B.C.

(Remember, Helaman's beloved army of 2000 were the sons of the people of Ammon, who were converted Lamanites.)

Following, is my Choir of 364 likened within the scriptures of Helaman 16:

5 And I would that ye should behold that my choir of 364 are in the path of their duty, and they do walk circumspectly before God, and they do observe to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments according to the law of Moses.

 6 Yea, I say unto you, that all the choir are doing this, and they are striving with unwearied diligence that they may bring the remainder of their families and friends to the knowledge of the truth; therefore they are diligent to sing praises daily.

 7 And behold, ye do know of yourselves, for ye have witnessed it, that as many of them as are brought to the knowledge of the truth, … and are led to believe the holy scriptures, yea, the prophecies of the holy prophets, which are written, which leadeth them to faith on the Lord, and unto repentance, which faith and repentance bringeth a change of heart unto them—

8 Therefore, as many as have come to this, ye know of yourselves are firm and steadfast in the faith, and in the thing wherewith they have been singing glorious hymns of praise evermore.

 9 And ye know also that they have shaved off their beards, and parted their hair; and , and even after much prayer, they have shopped till they dropped to find that perfect blouse within the approved pallet of colors; and even they have removed their sequins and shiny buttons, and buried their paisley and patterned ties, — for behold they will suffer themselves to shorten and even miss their vacations and special family gatherings and travel many miles and hours from Island Park northward in Idaho and even from Saint George which is far to the south; that they may be in attendance and not miss one of our rehearsals, and this because of their faith in Christ.

 10 And now, because of their steadfastness that they do believe in that thing which they do believe, for because of their firmness in that they have been enlightened, behold, the Lord shall bless our choir of 364 and prolong their singing with miracles -

 11 Yea, even if they should dwindle in unbelief to doubt that the Lord shall prolong their singing, until the time shall come which they shall be at the great Conference Center, where also will be the prophet Monson, and many other prophets, who testify concerning the restoration of the Gospel; it is there our choir of 364 will again be brought to the knowledge of the truth—

12 -- that in the latter times the promises of the Lord have been extended to our choir of 364; and notwithstanding the many afflictions which they shall have to keep them from singing, and notwithstanding they shall endure changes to the music and feel lost on their part, and frantic that they missed the cut-off, and took a breath when they should not have, and be corrected and re-corrected on their pronunciation that they feel driven to and fro upon the face of the earth, having no place for refuge, the Lord shall be merciful unto them.

 13 And this is according to the great blessing given to them for their uniting to sing of their Savior and Redeemer, that they shall again be brought to the true knowledge, which is the knowledge of their Redeemer, and their great and true shepherd, and be numbered among His sheep.

Monday, September 8, 2014

More Parallels of Our Choir in the Scriptures

The story of Helaman's 2000 Stripling Warriors has always been a favorite! Perhaps that is why I found such a significance in likening his faithful army to my choir of 364.

In Alma, Chapter 58, we read of how these faithful sons of the people of Ammon were preserved by the Lord as they stood fast in defense of their liberty and faith. This occurred about 62 B.C.

I see the similarities in the hand of the Lord aiding my choir as they practice, prepare, and pray. (And all occurring as we are nearing the Second Coming of our Savior.)

We've just completed the 2nd rehearsal for my little choir of 364 and we were blessed with amazing progress! My heart is full of such gratitude for this opportunity to hear, feel, and experience such beautiful music! 

Following, is our choir likened in Alma 58 and 59:

10 After our first rehearsal we did pour out our souls in prayer to God, that he would strengthen us and deliver us from our burdens, yea, and also give us strength that we might retain our voices, for the support of our choir.

 11 Yea, and it came to pass that the Lord our God did visit us with assurances that he would deliver us; yea, insomuch that he did speak peace to our souls, and did grant unto us great faith, and did cause us that we should hope for our deliverance in him.

 12 And we did take courage with our small choir, and were fixed with a determination to conquer our musical parts, and to maintain our voices, and our faith, and our trust in the Lord to bless the cause of our songs of praise.

 13 And thus we did go forth with all our might to sing in the city of Tooele; and we did organize ourselves in car pools to take us to sing in the great Conference Center, which was near to the city.

38 Behold, this is now the second rehearsal.

39 And this three hundred and sixty four, of whom I have so highly spoken, are with me in the city of Tooele; and the Lord has supported them, yea, and kept them from falling by the influenza, insomuch that even one voice has not been affected.

 40 But behold, they have received many sore vocal cords; nevertheless they stand fast in their choir wherewith God has made them to sing; and they are strict to remember the Lord their God from day to day; yea, they do observe to keep his statutes, and his judgments, and his commandments continually; and their faith is strong.

 41 And now, my beloved choir, may the Lord our God, who has redeemed us and gifted us to sing, keep you continually in his presence; yea, and may he favor this choir, even that ye may have success in obtaining the choirs in heaven to join with us for our support.

1 Now it came to pass after the second rehearsal the Choir managers over the people met and were exceedingly rejoiced because of the choir, yea, the exceeding success which the managers had in obtaining those choir members which were lost and confused.

 2 …Yea, and they had made a platform that the choir might all see their leader, in that part where she was, that they all might rejoice also.

 3 And it came to pass that she immediately rejoiced , desiring that her choir  should cause the sections to be gathered together to strengthen each other, insomuch that they also rejoiced over all that they had been so miraculously prospered in singing.

As wonderful as my little band of 364 sang for our 2nd rehearsal, we aren't quite ready for you to hear us.  

Therefore, here is The Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing a most beautiful arrangement of "Redeemer of Israel" to uplift and inspire you for reading this post: