Monday, April 14, 2014

Easter Concert...

This has been a slow week again for employment efforts but a special week none the less.  My last post told about our wee trip to the town of Oban.  It was grand to see the beauty of this land.  Last Sunday was our General Conference for the Church.  Every six months a General Conference is held in Salt Lake City where members gather to hear counsel and instruction from our Church leaders.  The meeting is held in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City and is broadcast via radio, television, satellite, and the internet throughout the world to allow millions to watch the proceedings.  Much of the music for the conference is provided by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.


The April Conference of the Church is always special because it is held near Easter.  This year the Sunday sessions were held on April 6th – the day the Church was organized in 1830.  The recordings of the Conference are available to anyone on  It is a chance to listen to a Prophet’s counsel and teachings on how we should live our life.  We sustain the First Presidency  and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as prophets, seers, and revelators.


This week has also been special because we were asked to help with the Mission Choir.  The Scotland/Ireland Mission created an ad-hoc choir at Christmas time by selecting some of the young missionaries living in Scotland and they performed in a number of locations.  It was so successful that they have put together another Choir for a series of Easter concerts which were held in Glasgow, Dundee, and Edinburgh.  The concert was called “He Lives” and included many songs about Jesus Christ and his resurrection. 


The first concert was held in Glasgow Thursday night.  We caught the bus in Edinburgh on Friday morning and met the Choir at St. Paul’s Cathedral in the center of Dundee.  The second concert was to be held in that cathedral.  This was a special experience to have the Choir sing in one of these magnificent buildings.  The acoustics are amazing.


St. Paul’s Cathedral was built in 1853…not that old as cathedrals go.  J  It was a very impressing building.  I was able to go up to the bell tower and take some pictures looking down to the main part of the building.

There were 32 young missionaries who performed in the Choir and they are truly talented.  Some accompanied the Choir with violins, a cello, the piano, organ, flutes, trumpets, and of course…a bag pipe.  One of the missionaries from Ohio has been playing the bag pipe for about 5 years and he accompanied the Choir as they sang Amazing Grace.  They love the work they are doing to share the gospel message of Jesus Christ.

There were only about 30 people in attendance but the Choir sounded great.  Because of their missionary responsibilities they only had 3 days practice before the first concert.  They put on the next concert Friday evening at the Dundee Stake Building and there were about 180 people in attendance.  We assisted in making sure the details of transport, meals, and lodgings were handled.

Friday morning the bus took us to Edinburgh for a concert in St. Giles’ Cathedral.  This was an amazing performance.


St Giles' Cathedral, more properly termed the High Kirk of Edinburgh, is the principal place of worship of the Church of Scotland in Edinburgh. Its distinctive crown steeple is a prominent feature of the city skyline, at about a third of the way down the Royal Mile which runs from the Castle to Holyrood Palace. The church has been one of Edinburgh's religious focal points for approximately 900 years. The present church dates from the late 14th century, though it was extensively restored in the 19th century.  Today it is sometimes regarded as the "Mother Church of Presbyterianism". The cathedral is dedicated to Saint Giles, who is the patron saint of Edinburgh, as well as of cripples and lepers, and was a very popular saint in the Middle Ages.


St Giles' was only a cathedral in its formal sense (i.e. the seat of a bishop) for two periods during the 17th century (1635–1638 and 1661–1689). In the mediaeval period, prior to the Reformation, Edinburgh had no cathedral as the royal burgh was part of the Diocese of St Andrews, under the Bishop of St Andrews whose episcopal seat was St Andrew's Cathedral. For most of its post-Reformation history the Church of Scotland has not had bishops, dioceses, or cathedrals. As such, the use of the term cathedral today carries no practical meaning. The "High Kirk" title is older, being attested well before the building's brief period as a cathedral.

The choir performance was wonderful.  There were nearly 200 people in the Cathedral during the performance and many offered very positive comments about the quality of the performance.  The message of the music was that Jesus Christ has atoned for our sins and that he gave his life for us that we might return to live with a loving Heavenly Father.  The ending numbers for each concert were "I know that my redeemer lives", "This is the Christ", and the "Hallelujah Chorus" from The Messiah.  The last concert was performed in the Edinburgh Stake Building with about 150 in attendance.  It was a wonderful experience to be with the Choir and feel the spirit as they sang.
Our message to the world is that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and our Savior and Redeemer and that He lives and is guiding His Church today through his  Apostles and Prophets.

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