Tag: Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Utah Symphony

I’m so grateful to live in Utah!!  It is such a fabulous place to live in so many ways including a wonderful history of cultural arts including of course the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the top 6 ballet company Ballet West and the world renown Utah Symphony.  They perform at Abravanal Hall which is an art deco masterpiece of a building with fabulous acoustics and have had top rate directors such as Keith Lockhart over the years.

Symphony-WideWebEarlier this year I went to a Bravo Broadway performance of Rogers and Hammerstein classics that was fabulous and tonight I went to a show called Cirque de la Symphony with circus acts performing along with the orchestra and it was fabulous.

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My friend Emily came with me and we had a lovely time.  And for 3rd row the tickets cost $18 each!!! Pretty remarkable I think.  I don’t know anywhere else in the country where you could see that kind of quality on a regular basis for that price.

symphony1 symphony 2It was fantastic and I’m so awe inspired by people and the talents God has given them.  What amazing gifts we all have.  I’m so grateful to live in a place where I can see so many wonderful performances at reasonable prices with a family values theme.  It is a great blessing.

For my Utah readers- have you been to the symphony? What have you enjoyed?

Next up I’m going to their Messiah Sing-in.  It is a tradition of mine but I am usually out of town for the symphonies version but this year I am staying put for Thanksgiving! What a treat that will be.

They played Night at Bald Mountain which was really fun as it is featured in one of my favorite segments of Walt Disney Classic Fantasia!

Holiday Music

One of my favorite things during the Christmas season is the music.  This year I even broke the cardinal rule and started listening early in November ( I know what a rebel!).   I have over 300 Christmas songs on my ipod, so I can put it on shuffle and listen to holiday tunes most of the day.  I like a variety of songs including everything from All I Want For Christmas by Mariah Carey and Santa Claus is coming to Town by Frank Sinatra to For Unto us a Child is Born from Handel’s Messiah and I Saw Three Ships by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Sometimes I wish I could listen to Christmas music year-round.  I love the happiness and memories the songs evoke.   (I also love Christmas movies- Christmas Carol in all its variations, It’s a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, Polar Express, and even Charlie Brown Christmas- so great!!!).

Unfortunately most of my songs are m4a not mp3 so I can’t share them with you; however,  I am including a few mp3’s that I have.  Enjoy and have the best Christmas time ever!  Oh how I love this time of year!

General Conference and Family

This weekend has been a delight.  On Friday my family (minus Ben and Megan’s families) came into town.  They are here to visit us (Anna and I) and to attend General Conference for our church.  General Conference is a massive meeting where we get to hear from our prophet, apostles and other leaders. I look forward to Conference every 6 months.  It builds me up and inspires. Sometimes I just watch it on TV but with my family in town we made the effort to get tickets.  My family went to Sunday morning, and I went with them to Sunday afternoon.  All of the talks were excellent and encouraged me to be a better person.  One of my favorites was Elder Holland this afternoon.  It was a stirring testimony of the Book of Mormon.  I wish I could show it to all of my investigators/converts on my  mission.  I will post some videos once they are available.  Here is the audio of the talk:

A big theme from the conference I noticed was preaching about the love of God.  With all of the challenges in the economy and around the world it was comforting to hear the prophet and apostles teach about God’s plan for us and His love for us. The music was also wonderful- with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing some of my favorite songs.  Everyone should hear them sing at least once in person.  It is great.

Meanwhile, I have been enjoying the time with my family.  We have all been up at our home, the Anna.  It has been fun to go hot tubing, play games like psychiatrist (we can play that for hours), talking and eating together and just having a nice time.  My only regret is that Megan and Ben aren’t here.  That would make it perfect.  At least I get to see Megan next week.  I haven’t been able to work much this week but its ok.  I am doing alright.  We had a fun surprise work-wise on Saturday.  A woman who has stayed at our homes 3 times called and said she needed a place that same hour. Luckily, the Alpine house was available and we got her checked in.  That was $477 we wouldn’t have earned otherwise.  Not too shabby!  I felt like it was a little blessing allowing me to have fun and put work on the back burner just a little bit.  Believe me- it is impossible for me to completely turn off work but I did pretty good this weekend.  It was great!

Here is President Monson’s main address.  I loved the part about his birthday and all the service which had been done.  I wish I had known about it and we could have done something for enrichment.  Oh well!  Next time.

Happy Easter! He shall reign forever and ever.

11 Whatever It Takes


On this Easter Sunday I feel grateful for the many blessings in my life. Above all, I am indebted to Jesus Christ for saving my soul from sin and despair. I am an imperfect person but with Christ I can be forgiven and be made whole.  It took a God of the world, a perfect person to atone for mankind’s sin but that is exactly what Jesus did.  In agony He bled from every pore and hung on the cross, so we could be forgiven.  He felt the anguish of every sin, sorrow and moment of grief ever felt by any human ever.   It’s one of those things which is tough to explain but nevertheless  true.  I have experienced moments where I felt alone and confused- where I felt weighed down by my own sins and shortcomings.  In those moments Jesus Christ has testified to my heart that He is real, He does live, and He did die for me.

It is this knowledge that has helped me move  through difficult times to the happy life I currently lead.  I say this knowing others have faced far worse; however, my challenges were still hard for me to experience.  Part of the reason we have been sent here is to be tested and grow strong- how can we do that without some faith-testing opportunities?  Through it all, the Savior has never forgotten me.  I know that He loves me.  I know He listens to my seemingly small problems.  I know these things because I have prayed and gained confirmation for myself that they are true.  I have felt Jesus Christ’s presence as an active force in my life- purifying, comforting and forgiving me each day.

I can’t tell you what comfort it gives me when the world criticizes my life, my appearance, my faith, to know deep down inside that I am loved- and not loved by just anyone but by the God of the Universe, by Jesus Christ.  I feel privileged to have such knowledge but it is by no means limited to me. All men and women can gain a testimony of the atonement of Jesus Christ through faith, prayer and repentance.   I hope He knows I will do whatever it takes to follow Him.  I love Him and  on this Easter I say with the angels “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11)

Let’s not stand gazing into heaven- let’s get out there and make a difference.  Whether it is speaking out on faith-based issues,  finding a day a month to serve, calling an old friend, doing an extra load of dishes unasked, smiling when we want to complain, and so much more.  I believe He wants us to look at His example and then “go and do likewise” (Luke 10:37).   None of us can be saved without His sacrifice and resurrection, but we can all be His helpers down here to spread His gospel.  He has asked us to “be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).  I hope you feel His love in your life.  Your life does matter.  A high price was paid for it.  Let’s try and give back in any small way we can!  He truly shall reign forever and ever! God bless you and thank you for being my friends and reading my blog.  Happy Easter.  Love, Rachel.