Saturday, December 31, 2016

For Whom the MoTab Sings

Disclaimer: I know my opinion matters just as much as anybody’s on this (you know, as in, not at all).

So, with that said…

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is scheduled to sing at the Presidential Inauguration in 2017. The performance is not mandatory for any choir member and over half of the choir can’t even go. I didn’t have to read the comment sections to make a guess about the vast range of reactions from both members and non-members alike.

But I did anyway.

I didn’t vote for Trump (I was never going to), but the many negative reactions to the news saddened me. Here’s why.

If, by some miracle, Donald Trump walked into an LDS church house on a Sunday because he wanted to “see what the Mormons are really about” for himself, how would he be received? Would people go up to him and give him a piece of their minds? Would he be avoided as if he were leprosy reincarnate?

or…

Would people see it as an opportunity to disband rumors, show him what being Christ-like is all about, and hope that he leaves a better person than when he entered? Would we hope he felt comfortable enough to come back and maybe, just maybe, be willing to accept the missionaries in his home some day?

There’s nothing wrong with being well aware of negative feelings you may have towards somebody or something and using our best judgment on Election Day. What is wrong is believing that any of us are justified in letting those feelings fester into distain, anger, and hate, as if Christ is going to ask for our opinions at judgment day.

He’s not.

But he is going to question why we thought it was our job to be critical of the decision of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir when that was never our job in the first place.

Here’s what else Christ is going to do:

He’s going to open the door to repentance and every other blessing the gospel has to offer whenever Mr. Trump wants to knock.

That’s right.

Mr. Trump fought with us for both our Savior and agency in the pre-existence. The Atonement applies to him just as much as it applies to anyone else and he needs it just as much as we do. Again, while we need to exercise good judgment in who we elect, we should not confuse good judgment with refusal to express Christ-like attributes to those whose sins are different from ours.

Christ was judged by his own apostles when he associated with those whom everyone considered to be unworthy of his presence. That didn’t stop him from being charitable, loving, and service-oriented.

Christ taught that we should do good to those that hate us and pray for those who would despitefully use and persecute us. He forgave both those who crucified him (even though they didn't ask for forgiveness) and the apostle/friend who betrayed him. 

The choir is planning to do something charitable, loving, and service-oriented. While the event is "a demonstration of [the choir's] support for freedom, civility, and peaceful transition of power (Source)," the person-of-interest is someone who has said terrible things about a lot of people, including Mormons. 

Sounds to me like the choir is doing exactly what Christ would do.