How much trouble can you get in, if called as the sacrament meeting chorister?

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Brent Allsop

Aug 16, 2021, 11:07:32 PM8/16/21
My Fellow Transhumanists,

As some of you know, I don't always attend Church.  Mostly only on Mother's day, when the choir sings (I'm in that), and days like that.  (So saying:  "You are preaching to the Choir" doesn't work on our ward, since I'm an atheist, and in the choir. ;)

Well, I got a call from Brother Taylor Ensign, in the bishopric, saying they were "inspired" to call me to be the choral director for Sacrament meeting.  I figured I could handle that, but have problems with some of the hymns.  He gave me a few days to sleep on it, and after that I responded with:

"Hi Taylor,
Brent Allsop here. Not sure if a text is an acceptable way to respond to the call, but here goes…  
If I did become the sacrament meeting music director, there are a bunch of songs like “Onward Christian Solders” I would never select on my own, since my conscience tells me songs like that are a slap in the face, and in complete opposition to what I believe is the meaning of his sacrifice. That is, unless there were requests, which I would try to honor, despite still feeling sinful in this way as I conducted such songs, since I try to honor what others want, before my own wants. If that works for everyone, I can accept this position to be sacrament meeting music director."

To which his reply came:

"We will be blessed to have you serve."

So, the first thing I did after that is see exactly what it says in the church handbook of instructions, to see what is OK, and what is not.  I found this section on music.  Where I found the part where it says what my straight laced wife keeps emphasizing to me (my bold):

"The hymns are the basic music for worship services and are standard for all congregational singing."

But notice that, right before that it says (again my bold):

"All Church music should be consistent with the following guidelines."

So, the question I've been asking everyone in the ward, as they congratulate me, after I was sustained, I'm telling them this, then asking "what can I get away with since that is only a "GUIDLINE?"

Getting some very interesting reactions with that question.

Anyway, as many of you know, I served my Mission in Japan, and ever since then there have been the first two lines of the hymn "High on a mountain top" in Japanese rattling around in my head, always cheering me up, I so love that song.

So, one of my first thoughts was, THAT is the first song I want to conduct for my first week this upcoming Sunday the 22nd.

If any of you know the studious attorney, Chris Jesop in our ward (related to the famous Jesop musician at BYU),  he was the previous director called to a new position in the stake, the one I'm replacing.  I found out after all this that he, of course, has the entire year planned out, what hymns will be sung when, for every week, all the way through December.

Well, I'll give you one guess as to what Song I discovered he had picked for the opening song for this coming Sunday, my first week, way back at the beginning of the year.

Yup: "High on a mountain top"

My wife says that's "One of his tender mercies" but you know I don't like those kinds of things, being an Atheist and all.  But no matter whether you hope it is just chance, or whatever, I think it is kind of cool.

“And save our-selves with ALL our dead.”

Some of the hymns are truly great.

I think I’ll slow to half time on that last line, and really emphasize those last 3 words.

Then wait to see the surprise I have planned for immediately after that.

I can't spill the beans for what that surprise will be, till after, so stay tuned...

P.S.  Oh, I also found out that everyone was OK with me changing the closing hymn from "Choose the Right" to "If you could Hei to Kolob."

Lincoln Cannon

Aug 16, 2021, 11:16:03 PM8/16/21
to MTA Members
Love it, Brent. You'll be excellent. And, yes. Please, let's save ourselves with all our dead. :)

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John Grigg

Aug 17, 2021, 3:45:02 AM8/17/21
to transfigurism
Brent, I challenge you to do a solo of this classic song for your ward's sacrament meeting...  :  )

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