Sunday, 20 October 2013

Dreams come true in all kinds of ways

I was watching the General Conference meetings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently and as always I admired the music of the Mormon Tabernacle choir. I have a confession that ever since I joined the church more than 34 yrs ago now I have longed to sing with that choir. While I can hold a pretty good tune and I make a loyal member of our stake and/or ward choirs, I am pretty realistic that I don't have the musical expertise to make it through the audition processes of the Mormon Tab choir. For those who don't know this choir well, to gain entry there is rigorous auditioning process that involves demonstrating sight reading, knowledge of music theory as well as obviously having a good voice. Choir members are usually very accomplished musicians.

My distance from Salt Lake City while living in New Zealand was of course a natural excuse for why I would never be able to participate either. I want to share with you however, that dreams do come true and sometimes in the most unexpected of ways. I have learned to look for the unexpected and to take real pleasure in the simplest of things. Let me explain:

It was announced to us that the Mormon Tabernacle choir was going to tour Australia and New Zealand in 1988 (boy does that make me feel old!). As part of their agenda, it was requested that the choir be given a tour of the city of Auckland by bus shortly after they arrived in the country and prior to their concerts. I was excited to have been recruited as one of the "bus hostesses", one per bus, so that we could answer their questions as they drove around a few of the sights.

We began this tour from the Auckland museum. The choir and entourage were escorted into this slightly cramped room in the middle of the museum so that we could have a opening service before heading off: including an opening and closing hymn and prayer. It was here that my dreams took on a new dimension because the presiding priesthood authority invited me to conduct the opening and closing hymns and my good friend, Kim was to play the piano. As I got up to conduct the opening hymn, "I believe in Christ" I looked down and it suddenly hit me that before me was the greatest choir in all the world and I was about to wave my hand in front of them and we would all sing together.

I had not completely understood the attraction in being a conductor of choirs or orchestras prior to that moment but that wonderful day the spirit of this magnificent choir almost blew me off that little podium. There was a power in their voices that I had never experienced in all my life. It pierced my very soul and it almost physically moved me. It is a moment that I will never forget. If I get very amused with myself then I tell myself that I had an experience in conducting the Mormon Tabernacle choir but that would be presumptuous. I waved my hand but they were the ones teaching and leading me. While I may never be an actual member of the choir itself, the Lord blessed me with a wonderful experience so that I could strike that one off my bucket list.

What a blessing this choir is to us as a church but also what a blessing they are to the whole world. It is the Sabbath day today and I will be doing my usual thing today at some point and will be turning on some Mormon Tabernacle choir music to uplift and edify my day. I love being a Latter-day Saint!