This weekend ushered in the dawn of a new age. An age of strange public policies, an age of the President and First Lady living in separate homes, an age of a true blue celebrity claiming one of the loftiest titles a man or woman could hold!
I don’t wish to talk about him though, or his family, or his politics. I wish to look into a certain performance that we all witnessed during the inauguration. It can’t be denied that the performance given of America was indeed moving.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is one of the most famous if not the most famous choral group in the entire world. They are a musical group based out of Utah made up currently of 360 volunteers who are all members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They began in 1847 and have only increased in beauty and notoriety since then.
Such a group, called an ambassador for the church has only one purpose which is: “uniting people worldwide through music.” It is indeed a simple message, but it is a message of hope, a message of goodness, and a message that everyone in the world could glean from. Such a message is needed now more than ever.
Image courtesy of 1Cataracta3
The US government though, hasn’t always had good feelings for Mormons. Why might this be? In October 1938, the “Extermination Order” was put forth by Missouri Governor Lilburn W. Boggs. This was due to the Missouri Conflict where the bulk of church membership had moved into Jackson County. Because of the difference of opinion on various things such as slave ownership, Sunday worship, and education, tensions were high. After the Mormons published an article about freeing the slaves, their printing press was destroyed and local leaders tarred and feathered. This led to Mormons properly arming themselves against their attackers and that led to the US army suddenly viewing them as a new threat to national security. Because of a lack of understanding, it wasn’t ‘lawful’ per say to kill a Mormon on sight, but the order was not rescinded until June 1976.
Nowadays though, the relationship with the church and the nation is great. The choir is loved and enjoyed so much that the great Ronald Reagan himself called them “America’s choir“. They have performed for ten US Presidents and have performed at the inaugurations of Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and both George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush.
Many have reacted negatively toward the most recent performance of the choir. Critics have claimed that the church is making a political statement of allegiance toward the ideals of President Trump, when the choir and the church especially are making no such statement.
The only statement that they are making is their purpose, to unite the world through music. To unite us all against hatred, oppression, and strife. Jesus Christ said it best Himself, “They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” The choir goes along with those same lines. If their performance and their presence could have caused any good whatsoever, you can bet that they were there for that reason only.
Featured image courtesy of wikipedia