Welcome, welcome Sabbath morning!
At last night's rehearsal the red cast were given the unexpected news, that for Sunday we would be free from rehearsals. At 9am we had a special sacrament meeting in the pageant theatre, which was a very unusual experience, the highlight being a talk from a young woman from the work crew, she was a new member and gave a very sincere testimony about her introduction to the church. We then had an hour and a half of choir practice, this was a very uplifting experience. Usually I would say singing hymns is not my 'thing', but some of the arrangements are so amazing, the main difficulty I have (and I'm not alone in this) is not being able to sing as I feel like I'm welling up. I had such a great time that I am considering making the suggestion for the church to replace Sunday school and priesthood lessons with "Adults singing time".
With a free afternoon, I would have thought leaving the temple complex would be just what I wanted, however we found ourselves just wanting to stay on site and be with fellow cast members we had lunch at the accommodation centre which was a hive of activity with so many people. Everyone just seemed so happy to be together, there is a growing sense of unity among pageant cast members. I was the recipient of some service:
|Me rolling around in agony|
Tuesday Palmer (a fellow cast member) gave me some reflexology (special kind of foot massage), I say that she provided me with some service and reflexology however it was sheer agony, Tuesday could get a job with MI6 torturing terror suspects! As time went on a small group of sisters gathered round and seemed to take huge amounts of delight in my pain - the more I groaned with pain, the louder they laughed. It was the least manly I've felt since I grew my beard.
The social aspect is not really something I had anticipated in preparing for the pageant. As British members of the church, I think that we can be quite envious of members in Utah. Membership is so high there. Many of the youth here find themselves as the only member at their school, whole towns and villages only have a handful of members. This can be a very challenging aspect of church membership in Britain. Experiences like this make me to desire to live in a place like Utah and be surrounded by other church members, however I really believe it wouldn't quite be right, the people there are just too different, not better not worse, just different.
The pageant really focuses on all the things that are great about Britain and the British, it is helping me realise how proud we should be of our heritage. The feelings that I have being surrounded by the British members united in service are very powerful, I know that I will not want to leave.
I find myself thinking it would be amazing to buy up a lot of land, so that we can build a British Mormon city, it would be a unique city in the world with LDS chapels on every second corner and a fish and chip shop on every other corner :).
I think I may have found a new definition for Zion!