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Archive for October, 2016

There is a great (or at least memorable… well, at least funny… well, maybe you had to have been there…) line from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”—“And there was much rejoicing.”  (And if you get that reference, I’m happy for you!  If you do not get that reference, you really need to go back and study the classics…)

Well, yesterday morning at 6:35-ish a.m., we had a somewhat parallel scenario unfolding in the men’s wardrobe room of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  Only instead of “much rejoicing,” there was “much lamenting.”  On top of learning (and in many cases, memorizing) more than twenty pieces of music for General Conference weekend, we had to show up extra, extra early on Sunday morning so that we could tie the dreaded “Trinity Knot.”

I am reasonably certain that there is an extremely cold place in Outer Darkness reserved for the inventor of this sordidly sickening and sadistic malevolent malfeasance of masculine fashion.  I’m certain it was a nefarious part of some dastardly plot to ensure that every single bass and tenor in the Choir arrived extra, extra, extra (did I mention that it was extra, extra?) early on an already extra early Sunday morning, only to then arrive late or almost late to the Conference Center Choir loft because we had to spend extra, extra, extra, extra time tying or repeatedly attempting to tie the terrible trinity knot.

I, however, was wiser than most of the other men.  Yes, I took the tie home with me, so I could tie the fiendishly foul knot while riding to Salt Lake City in our carpool.  That way, I could arrive at Choir ready to simply don the required suit and head over to the loft for a lovely conference experience.  I congratulated myself on my foresight and intelligence.  Ha-ha, suckers! I thought to myself.  Look at how smart I am!  And armed with a sheet of printed, pernicious perfidy, detailing how to tie the treacherous trinity, I sat in the passenger seat of the carpool and tied the knot.  And tied.  And tied.  And retied.

After about four attempts, I at last succeeded.  Victory was mine!  I closed my eyes and happily slept the remainder of the ride to Temple Square.

Then we arrived and I got out of the car.  And I realized, to my horror, that the tie was too long!  And I mean, we’re not talking about a few inches too long.  This was not something that could be covered up with a buttoned coat or by tucking the end of the tie into my trousers.  No, the tie was too long by nearly a foot.

Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch, Batman!  Wisdom wasted!

So, after all my approximately perfect preparations, I tromped off to the wardrobe room and spent the next twenty-five minutes tying and retying the nasty knot.  Sometimes it was too long, sometimes it was too short.  But it took at least fifteen attempts to get it reasonably right.

Other men (although not all—and I suspect most of them were tenors…) were also quietly (or not so quietly) cursing (in a very MORMON way) the ridiculously recalcitrant knot.  “Why, oh, why?” we moaned. “Today of all days?”

Ah, well, after “much whining” and “much moaning,” Robin’s minstrels were finally— Well, you either get the reference or you don’t.  (And if you don’t, I pity you for a culturally unprivileged clod.)

But after conquering the terrible trinity (no theological reference there, please), we sat in the loft.  And we had a glorious conference experience (in spite of the trinity knot).

And if the notorious knot is the price I have to pay to be there, to be a part of that magnificent choir, singing at the feet of the prophet and apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ, I will gladly pay it.  I will pay it every single time.  Maybe someday, it will get easier, but even if it does not, I will still gladly tie terrible trinities to sing in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  I know there are many—so many—who would be humbly grateful to have the opportunity to take my place.

So I’m grateful for the chance to tackle the trinity.

Perhaps, there is a parallel to being a part of the Church.  I may not understand everything I’m asked to do, I may even find it difficult and painful, but I will pay that price.  No price is too great to be enfolded in my Savior’s grace.  He paid the price for me.  He didn’t want to pay it.  He asked the Father to take away His cup of suffering.  But He paid that price.  For me.  Personally.

That’s worth tying a Gordian knot or two.  Or twenty.  And if you don’t get that reference…

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