We've had the most incredible Sunday today. I'm taking a music class and for it, I have to attend 5 concerts throughout the semester and submit reviews on each of them. I have one due next Monday and we're leaving for Moab Wednesday so we decided to attend Music and the Spoken Word this morning for fun, and for it to count as one of my concerts. What an experience.
I've been to the broadcast before, but it's been such a long time since I've heard the choir sing in the Tabernacle. I forgot how amazing those acoustics are. The choir of course sang an amazing performance with a particularly special one to my mom and I entitled "Homeward Bound". It's a celtic folksong that was breathtaking. It's been a long time since I've heard music that flawlessly beautiful. Of course we cried. I told my mom after that it's amazing how we've never been to Scotland, nor were we born there, but we have such deep ties to it and it's culture. Any folksong from there is always dear to our hearts and makes us cry. They even had a penny whistle accompanying the choir. I wish I could describe how awesome it was. The choir ended with "I Believe In Christ" which was another testimony builder for me.
Before the broadcast they announced the special visiting guests. Among those were Glen Beck, Governor Herbert, and Sen. Orin Hatch. We found it odd there were so many political figures present, but they said they would be involved in a presentation after the broadcast. Well, they all took the stage with Mac Christensen, Mack Wilberg, some other church officers, and none other than President Monson. The room lit up with excitement and the intense spirit that always accompanies a Prophet of God. None of us were expecting to see him today. Governor Herbert presented the choir with a declaration that October 10, 2010 is Mormon Tabernacle Choir day. After the presentation, President Monson turned to the choir while they sang everyone "God Be With You Till We Meet Again." Except for Cory, who never cries, I don't think there was a dry eye in the room. The spirit was so strong and I left feeling more edified than I could have hoped for. The Church is indisputably true and I am so grateful to be a member of it. The message given in the broadcast wasn't a coincidence, either. Given the unrest after Conference last week it was a great message. It also applied to my life in terms of letting things go from my distant past, and hoping that others will do the same towards me. Here is the message:
"It's been said that "harboring resentment is like taking poison and then waiting for the other person to die." Keeping a mental list of those who have offended or hurt us serves no good purpose. When we allow ourselves to be resentful, we only harm ourselves.
A middle-aged man learned this much too late in life. In his young adulthood, someone close to him had hurt him deeply. He carried the hurt, which festered into a grudge, for several decades. He spent years accumulating his own sort of "enemies list", remembering others who he believed had done him wrong - most of them unknowingly or at least unintentionally. It wasn't until much later, his heart now softened by age and more of life's ups and downs, that he realized how much he had harmed himself with his own grudges. The poison of resentment held him back from experiencing some of life's joys.
Very often the things that divide people - words spoken in haste, criticisms, accusations, or false assumptions - can lead to bitterness and animosity. And once divided, the people may never come together again.
The solution, of course, is to let the bad feelings go. We all know it intuitively: learning to let go of resentments, whether big or little, can open our heart to love and peace, to rewarding and lasting relationships. Refusing to hold on to hurt feelings leaves more energy for building bonds with those we love. Rejecting the inclination to itemize hurts, slights, and offenses allows for more joy in living.
Consider the lives disrupted, the peace disturbed, the happiness destroyed by resentment. Now might be a good time to clear the heart of past hurts, to drop the enemies list, to let it go."
I know I needed to hear that because I've had a hard time letting go of the resentment for the people who deeply hurt me in my life. Forgiveness is hard to do sometimes, but I'm only destroying myself by remembering the hurtful things I've been put through. On the flip side, I hope that people who may have resentments against me for my mistakes will let it go and forgive me and accept my apologies. Hopefully, without resentment in the church, we can stand together a bit stronger and happier.