Sun - Mar 20, 2016 : 12:11 am
Singing In The Celestial Room
So, I don't have near the time to dedicate ato this right now as I should, but I'm gonna need half-a-day to get it all out.
Yesterday (Friday) I had a 'dress rehearsal' for the Temple Choir, and the singing in the Celestial room was indescribible. It was amazing to sing there, and the acoustics were wonderful. But the thing I kept being swept away in, was the "what am I really doing?" - and I had those moments every 5 minutes or so. It was thoroughly amazing.
We sing during the Provo City Center Temple dedication tomorrow at noon.
So, as I was typing in my journal on Saturday evening, my computer decided to act up, so I'm finishing it now.
Truth be told, today, I'm feeling a bit down, which I totally didn't anticipate. Sunday was good, and the performance was wonderful, but instead of feeling overwhelmed by the Spirit, I felt very focused, and intent on "doing the job", which I think was for the best. Getting all wrapped up in the intensity of what I was actually doing, and where I was doing it probably wouldn't have led to a whole lot of singing, but rather sobbing.
It was Friday that was amazing. The 'dress rehearsal' for the choir(s) was just awesome. Being in the Temple, being dressed in the new suit I had purchased for the occasion, singing with the people I had been practicing with for the past 2 months; all happening for the first time, overwhelmed me a few times to the point of tears.
I just kept thinking, "I'm singing in the Celestial room of God right now.", and "I'm being permitted to worship God through my musical talents in His holy house right now.", and when those thoughts came, so did the tears.
When we were done singing through our set, we began singing the Hosanna Shout, and at that time the next choir had come into the Celestial room and was getting ready to sing "The Spirit of God" along with us.
This was the first time we had heard the counter-melody for the song, and when they sang, I was completely overcome with the Spirit and it went like that through the whole piece. I was able to sing for about 10 seconds, then bawled like a baby for the next 5 seconds, and back and forth.
It was as if God was pouring in His pure love by little increments into my heart. Gosh, it was awesome.
On Sunday, it was pretty much the same, but to a lesser degree, and the Celestial room was packed with 150 bodies. I sang the best I could.
Also - it is worth noting that on Saturday evening, I felt impressed to start a fast, which isn't usually the best idea to do the day before a performance like that, but the prompting was unmistakable, so I started a fast, and all throughout the morning and right up until the first song, there were people drinking water, getting ready to sing all around me. But, it didn't matter. I felt very distinctly that God was able to bring my body and vocal cords to their best much more than water would, if I was willing to follow His Spirit, and sure enough, when I sang the first note of "Arise O Glorious Zion", there was power, control, and clarity in my voice just as much as there ever had been. ...and it continued on through all 4 songs.
I've got to admit, however, that it wasn't a perfect performance. I made two mistakes, one of which I think will resonate in the ears of those standing in front of me, but far beyond the importance of my desire for perfection in my performance is the preparation beforehand.
You see, during this whole ordeal, I kind of thought that the crowning moment of this whole thing would be singing in the Celestial room the day the Temple was dedicated. I wholly anticipated having the most spiritual experience while singing that day, but, it wasn't. Somehow during the process of following in Christ's footsteps, trying my very best to stay as close to the master as possible, God let me know that this building is just that. A building. It's a building of earth. It comes nowhere near as close in importance as God's children do. I don't know why that thought came to me, but it did. God would much rather His children came back to live with him through the process of faith, repentance and baptism than He would want to build a thousand Temples. What I'm typing sounds blasphemous, even to me now, and I'm pretty sure I'm not getting the point across as eloquently as I thought I would, but, for me, the singing on the day of the dedication was great, but the process of dedicating and consecrating myself to the practice, and the commandments, and to God himself on a daily basis in order to prepare myself for the performance was just as important. ...and for some reason, God really wanted me to know that.
We sang Arise O Glorious Zion, For All the Saints, How Beautiful Thy Temples Lord, and The Hosanna Shout.
It's been a wonderful 2 months.