Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Rain in the Desert: Thoughts on the Gilbert Cultural Celebration

I just watched the Gilbert Cultural Celebration clip here: http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/church-dedicates-142nd-temple

My first thought was, "Why is everyone sweating so much at night?" Followed by, "Why is everyone wet?"

"This must be part of the event. Everyone is soaked. They are dancing in mud. What kind of a celebration is is?"

Then I saw the full shot and could see the massive pouring rainstorm in the surrounding lights.

Then my thoughts were:

Wow, and they are still smiling.
Everyone looks so happy despite the storm around them.
They are so dedicated.
Even the sister missionaries are out there singing in the rain all for the chance to sing to the prophet.

Once I got over the whole rain in the desert shock, I started looking at the themes behind the celebration.

I loved how many different types of cultures they showed. That's one thing I've always loved about the Mormon church.

There are so many different types of Mormons, not only culturally as it is a world wide church, but it embraces personality differences as well. This is evident in the "I'm a Mormon." videos seen here:

"While our backgrounds and experiences are diverse, we share a deep commitment to Jesus Christ, to each other, and our neighbors."*

The whole song with the thousands of white flags was amazing. I couldn't help but think of the traditional flag of Zion. Its a white flag marked by a gold sun with twelve rays of light.

The whole field seemed bright with those flags, which to me, is a sign of peace, strength and safety. We create our own sanctuary when we come together.

The rain really added its own beauty to the whole celebration. 
I loved the way it sprayed off the ballet dancer's white skirts as they pirouetted. Each droplet capturing the light like enchanted fairy dust, adding a mystical element to their praise.

I loved when the "Army of Helaman" charged out onto the muddy field, despite the storm. The lack of hesitation reminded me of the valiant the Army of Helaman. Without hesitation, they served their God and country. They did not doubt, they did not fear, they did not question when they saw what they would have to face.

The performers were soaking wet, the ends of their clothing covered in mud. I can only imagine how many of them slipped and fell. Anyone who spent anytime on hair and makeup had their work ruined, which for a bunch of teen girls is kinda a big deal, especially since this was being filmed.

This reminded me of life. There are going to be spiritual storms all around us. EVERYDAY. Sometimes we are going to slip and fall in the mud, but with God's blessing we can be clean again. Anytime it rains in the desert like that it's a blessing from God.

Despite the adversary who beats down on us, we can smile, be genuinely happy and turn our trials into something beautiful and inspiring.

What were some of your thoughts on the celebration?

*Quote from Mormon.org.
Photos courtesy of  http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/

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