Get Your Music On!

Relief Society Sisters in Sierra Leone singing from the 1985 hymnal

As we’ve mentioned, the Church is developing a new hymnal and Children’s Songbook. The final due date is 1 July 2019, but yesterday the Church issued additional information about what they’re looking for and final call for your opinions about current content.

As mentioned in the May 9 announcement, here are ways to participate:

As for me, I think I’ll take a bit and leaf through the hymnal to prepare for the revision survey. Then I’ll review the doctrinal points of emphasis and decide whether I have anything worth submitting by July 1.

More Dads Please

I’m not a British Royal watcher at all. But the fact that a new prince was born this week has dotted my social media feeds to the point of not being able to avoid this story. That said, I’m always happy when a new baby is born and I’m happy for the new parents as they start on the crazy road of parenting. Parenting is everything you never knew you wanted to know, and needed to feel — it refines you and tests you in ways you didn’t know existed.  But there is also indescribable joy and love that come with parenting too.

That all said, and this week being Mother’s Day, I don’t want it to seem like I’m trying to steal Mom’s thunder but time is of the essence today, and it relates to the new prince being born. Someone I follow on twitter, retweeted the following:

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Oakland Temple Open House

The public open house for the newly renovated Oakland Temple will start this Saturday, May 11th and run through June 1st. The Church has put together a short video showcasing some of the renovations. I have never been inside the Oakland Temple, but after seeing this video, I’ve put it on my places to visit list. I did have the chance to stop and visit the grounds about 20 years ago. The view out across San Francisco Bay from the hill where the temple sits is stunning. The interior is also stunning and a testimony to the careful attention and detail that goes into each temple. The temple truly is a house of God.

A friend who lives in Northern California related an funny anecdote about this temple to me recently. In the late 1970s and early 80s, the United States was going through an energy crisis, private citizens were encouraged to conserve energy by turning off unneeded lights in their homes. Even public and government buildings, and churches were encouraged to turn off their outside lighting to help the cause. The temple lights on the Oakland Temple were not lit for a time. Then there was a call from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to the church. “Can you please turn the temple lights back on? Pilots are getting lost as they come into the bay area airports.” Turns out the FAA had the Oakland Temple listed as a visual marker for directions. It’s still that way today — the Temple shining as a physical marker for airplanes and ships and spiritual marker for us on the way home.

Church eliminates temple marriage waiting period

Another change:

In a major change to a century of Latter-day Saint wedding tradition and policy, members who marry in a civil ceremony no longer face an automatic year-long wait before they can be eligible for a temple sealing, an ordinance that allows a marriage to continue after death.
“The policy requiring couples who have been married civilly to wait one year before being sealed is now discontinued,” the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced Monday morning in a letter. “Couples who have been married civilly may be sealed in the temple when they receive their temple recommends.”
The change will make it easier for some families who have struggled to balance temple marriage celebrations when some family members are not church members. Only worthy church members can enter temples and attend temple sealings.
Presidents Russell M. Nelson, Dallin H. Oaks and Henry B. Eyring signed Monday’s letter and sent it around the world to the church’s international and local leaders.
But the change will be felt most keenly in the United States and Canada, where a one-year waiting period for a temple sealing after a civil marriage was the policy for about 100 years, according to a previous blog post by independent historian Ardis Parshall.

Music Monday: Name That Tune Edition

Last year we cut the cord and dropped our satellite service. It was the best decision ever. No one needs 47 home shopping channels. With our Roku and smart TV we can watch whatever we want, when ever we want. We also watch a lot of Church produced media/shows/videos over our devices. The other day I noticed something when the Church is getting ready to live-stream something eg: devotionals, Music & the Spoken Word, General Conference. They will play about an hour of the Tabernacle Choir singing, but about 2 minutes before the broadcast begins, this particular organ piece always plays. Always. It’s somewhat of a Pavlovian response for me at this point, “Two minutes! Twwwoooo minutes!  Places everyone!  It’s going to start!”

What was this song called? It’s been on my mind and in my ears for a few weeks. I had to find out what it was. I took a video on my cell phone of the Church’s youtube page and posted that video on my Facebook page for a game of Name That Tune, and asked the hive to chime in. We had some good guesses.

Someone thought it was Chopin, others Bach, something French, from the Romantic period. In the end my friend Laura identified it as Prelude and Fugue No. 2 in B major, composed by Camille Saint-Saens, played by Clay Christiansen.  Brother Christiansen just recently retired from the Tabernacle Organists corps.

Every day is a good day for some organ music, in my book.  Enjoy!

3 Preludes and Fugues, Op. 99: Prelude and Fugue No. 2 in B major