Sunday, January 5

Looking for Hope

The last few weeks have been tumultuous. On my birthday a federal judge ruled that the Utah Constitution was unconstitutional, because it only allowed marriage between a man and a woman. 

Short tangent on that. I was first really shocked, then really frustrated by that ruling. Here? In my home? Who would mount an affront like that?

Getting into debates isn't something I enjoy. They often serve to fire up people who are already passionate, or those who are on the other side. Not a viable way of effecting change. I wanted to do something. But that's just the thing. What can I do?

If it were a business or a person, like when Marriott supported gay marriage legislation or Jeff Bezos gave a gazillion dollars to a PAC focused on it, then I can change something in my everyday to channel my money and support somewhere else. I'm willing to spend more someplace else if the dollars I spend are enabling people to support the causes I support.

But this is a federal court. We already passed a constitutional amendment... and for a while I felt powerless to do anything.

And then I stopped and thought. What's my goal? To help people find peace and happiness and salvation. Does this ruling make it harder to do that? Sort of, but not really - missionary work is the same everywhere, regardless of current social norms... and it follows the same progression.

And then I found my answer. The answer is missionary work. The same as it was yesterday and the day before and since the beginning of time.

But doing missionary work how? I can do missionary work in my own life, but what more can I do?

Giving a couple thousand dollars to Focus on the Family would fuel the public debate over marriage and morals. Giving them to North Star (which just absorbed, sort of, major assets from Evergreen) would build spiritual resources specifically for same-sex attraction. Giving them to the general missionary fund would, at least I hope, enable people to learn the gospel and find the peace and joy I want them to find.

But is that the right thing to do? If I've decided to give up some of my savings to give to a cause, which one do I choose? I'm on the leadership for a North Star, and I know that if I don't give there, they'll still survive and grow. I know my money will be used well by the missionary program, but my own experience as a missionary makes me wonder. I saw missionaries who had no idea how to save money spend all their stipend buying things that weren't necessary. Those would be great place to give, but are they the right places for me right now?

I'm sure the answer will come.

Christmas came and went and I worked 16-hour shifts at a residential treatment center. Family, friends, chaos, stress...

And life is almost back to normal.

Practices for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir began this week as well... and at 7 o'clock I found myself looking at the clock and thinking about how life would be different had I made it in. Simpler at least. New choir members don't have to choose music or hold auditions or figure out practice schedules and performance venues. But I'm excited.

Auditions for Grace are in 9 days, and I want to have at least a few pieces chosen out that we can begin to practice off the bat. Amazing Grace will be one of them... the biggest issue right now is finding good a cappella arrangements of pieces. I haven't gotten good enough at arranging to get anything done in time, so I'm just looking.

Tons to do. Post ads in TMA Access at BYU for the audition, put something in the paper (maybe the Provo one, at least the Daily Universe) and on the walls in the HFAC, do some type of advertising through the Facebook event, tell everyone I know about it so they can tell their friends...

All stuff I'm not necessarily good at. But I guess it'll be a good growing experience. Life always is.

I think I'm going to throw myself headlong into this. That's the best way, right? I need music, and the Provo/Orem community definitely has good composers. I think I'll hold a composition contest to get pieces for the group. Set aside a couple hundred dollars for a prize, do some more publicity, and see what comes...?

I have other dreams for Grace as well. I want to do something that moves missionary work along... something that will touch someone and change their life. My biggest dream? Do something for the people in Italy. The Rome temple is being dedicated, probably next year. Music is something that touches people's lives... and since I went to my first temple open house I've had a dream. In the last room, where quiet music is playing and they give you a brownie and a card to fill out to request missionaries, wouldn't it be awesome to take home part of the experience? To pick up a CD of sacred music that had links to learn more about the temple... and could flow from listening to music to listening to the Spirit? I'd love to record a CD of sacred music that could be given away online or at a temple open house... someday.

I know some of the people who work for the temple department. I have connections to people who are coordinating the visitor's center there in Rome. Music is one of the fronts that I think we as a Church could do so much better on - sharing the gospel through music can pass doors that the spoken word can't, soften hearts where no missionary could ever go.

I just had a realization.

I've been wondering how to use my savings to help missionary work - whether to give to the general missionary fund or somewhere else. Grace is all about missionary work. At least I want it to be. It'll take at least some money to get to the point that I want it to be. Usually the Lord asks us to be a steward where and when we can, instead of just giving to others so they can do the work. Maybe this is the next thing He wants me to do.

That makes sense.

I think this is going to be my New Years resolution. Build Grace. Make it into a missionary tool that can touch the lives of people all over the world.

I'm excited. There's a lot to do. :)


  1. That is wonderful David! Finding your purpose within your passion and what you are good at is the dream! I am excited for you and to listen to what you come up with. You have a beautiful voice and I know that you will inspire untold people with it!

  2. I think you are absolutely right. Be a peacemaker. Stop all the debates. Use your time and talents for good. And the last time I read one of your posts you were trying out for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Congratulations on all your success.

  3. You are really on to something, David. Anxiously, and passionately engaged in a good cause :-). All the best!!!


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