Bishop, I have a confession to make: for the past two decades I’ve been a closet fan of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The age of WiFi has enabled me to access their UTube videos almost anywhere on the planet. I recall last October in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, Arab Emirates, hearing the choir sing: “Tie me not to the pasture, chain me not to the plow, set me free to find my calling, and I’ll return to you somehow.” The lyrics brought a tear to my eye.
On occasion, we might think that our voice or view or very life doesn’t matter—in a large choir of 400 or in a large church of 16 million—that it matters not whether we show up or have the spirit when we sing—that’s it’s all the same, just going through the motions.
While that may be the case in some choirs, it’s not true in the Mormon choir or church.
Often I’ll read the comments that accompany the choir number. One read: “Nice choir. Now if you just get rid of Joe Smith and the Book of Mormon, you might have something.”
Really? What would we have without Joseph Smith, Jr. and the Book of Mormon? I testify that WE WOULD HAVE NOTHING! There would be no tabernacle, no temple, no organ, no choir. One by one, the choir members would file out, along with the orchestra, followed by every other member of this church. NONE OF US WOULD BE HERE.
Without Joseph Smith, we would have no sure witness of Christ’s restoration of his Church. We would have no first-hand vision of God and his Son: “I saw two personages whose brightness and glory defy all description. One of them spoke to me and said, pointing to the other, ‘This is my Beloved Son, hear him’.”
Without the Book of Mormon, we would not have the clear voice of God to his amazing prophets over a thousand years of history in the Americas. There would be no “Mormons” because we would not know of Mormon, Moroni, Nephi, Alma and all the other Men of God whose powerful voices are recorded in the Book.
In fact, most of us would likely not be here at all, meaning we would not exist or have life on this earth. And even if we were here, our lives would be very different.
Imagine: What might fill the vacuum created by the void of the prophet Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon? I testify that the great light of the restoration of the Church and Gospel of our Savior, Jesus Christ, would go out, and we would have even more darkness and decadence. And the earth would be utterly wasted at our Lord’s second coming!
So, let us praise the man who communed with Jehovah and thank God for the miracle of the Book of Mormon.
Note: This is not a transcript but a recollection of what I said in the meeting.