Laurie and Jen: May The Good Lord Bless And Keep You

April is a bitter-sweet month for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The sweet is the gift of being able to sing for General Conference. The bitter is that we have to say farewell to so many of our beloved choir family members.

It’s retirement season.

Mormon Tabernacle Choir_Come Thou Fount

Members of the Choir are allowed to serve for up to 20 years or until age 60, whichever comes first. A formal retirement ceremony is held annually in mid-April. When I joined the Choir I thought 20 years sounded like an unrealistically long time to participate with a choir. I imagined I would give a solid 5 years and then leave to pursue other performing opportunites. Well, seven years later I find that time has passed like a snap of the fingers, and the thought that this amazing experience cannot last forever fills me with dread. Each year my retiring friends have the same message; “treasure every moment, because it will be gone before you know it!”

That’s a pretty good mantra for life in general.

Next week will be the Choir’s official 2015 retirement ceremony, with twenty-eight of our family members leaving us. There will be a lot of tears and hugs happening. But, this week was also filled with tears and hugs because it was the final broadcast for two additional choir family members – my sweet friends Laurie and Jen. Neither of them have reached that 20/60 cut-off, so they will not be going through the formal retirement ceremony. They simply have life circumstances which require early departures.

20150412lauriejen

I love these marvelous women dearly. We have made special memories together over the past seven years spending literally thousands of hours together singing, rehearsing, travelling, touring, socializing and performing. They have touched my life in so many positive ways, and inspired me to be a better person. Laurie and Jen are women of exceptional musical talent and extraordinary faith. They stand firm in their testimonies of Christ, and have generous hearts. It’s difficult to imagine that I won’t be seeing them in the choir loft anymore.

The final song on today’s broadcast was a perfect expression of our feelings, although a rather brutal challenge to sing these words without dissolving into a puddle of tears!

May The Good Lord Bless And Keep You

May the good Lord bless and keep you
Whether near or far away
May you find that long awaited
Golden day today.
May your troubles all be small ones
And your fortunes ten times ten
May the good Lord bless and keep you
Till we meet again.
May you walk with sunlight shining
And a bluebird in every tree
May there be a silver lining
Back of every cloud you see.
Fill your dreams with sweet tomorrows
Never mind what might have been
May the good Lord bless and keep you
Till we meet again.

I believe the reason why people feel so much sorrow when something – or someone we love comes to an end, is that we are eternal beings.

Our everlasting soul cannot accept finality.

In the Lord’s plan, every change, interruption, or ending that we may have to experience in this life is simply a new beginning on our journey back Home.

quote-endings-not-our-destiny-uchtdorf

From “Grateful in Any Circumstance” – Dieter F. Uchtdorf, General Conference 2014

And so, I do not wish for my friends to experience a sorrowful ending, but rather to embrace the joyful new beginning for their mortal adventure.

I love you Laurie and Jen! Keep shining bright and singing praise! –  MoSop

P.S. There isn’t a video yet of the MoTab performing this song. So, until then, enjoy this classic version.

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