23 August 2015

Indianapolis Temple Cultural Celebration


The cultural celebration committee. Yes, I type with my laptop resting atop my pregnant belly.
Last night, we were able to attend the Indianapolis Temple Cultural Celebration put on by the youth in the temple district. It was an incredibly special occasion for me because I was able to help coauthor the script used for the performance (the Agriculture, Crossroads/Indy 500 and Anxiously Engaged B parts, to be exact). It took many hours of meetings with musicians, choreographers, fellow writers, technicians and others to hash out a vision of what the youth would be performing, then more time spent writing and editing. The interesting thing is that it never felt like a burden. It was always a joy to work on and it felt like a great honor to participate in its creation.
Everyone was (mostly) happy.
It all culminated last night. Once the program had been finalized, the youth and their leaders went to work, also spending countless hours practicing their parts. It was amazing to see how so many kids could be so invested in celebrating a special religious event by sharing their talents for singing, dancing and performing. We arrived late, accidentally missing dinner and being a bit crabby after we woke them from falling asleep in the car but we found our seats and once a cloud covered the sun, we enjoyed the perfect weather and waited for the show to start.
Some of the youth who performed.
President Henry B. Eyring came, along with Elder M. Russell Ballard and a few other visiting general authorities. It was a special treat to sit near them in the premier section, along with other members of the committee. After the youth were all seated, President Eyring addressed them before they began. We listened quietly, until Kate spotted something. Her finger shot up skyward and she shrieked, "AIRPLANE!" into the silence. Well, airplanes are pretty exciting to two-year olds.
Right after Kate spotted the fateful airplane.
After President Eyring was finished, we were treated to a fantastic performance. I'm not afraid to admit when I heard the first section of my part of the script being narrated that I burst into tears. It could have been because it was such a tender mercy to see and hear the fruits of my labors. Or, it could've been because I'm nine months pregnant. We'll never know. Whatever the reason for my weeping fit, I just went with it and let the tears fall while laughing with Jack about it.
Look at those kids swing dance!
The kids did great. Our girls were thrilled with the music, gymnastics, drumming and charismatic dancing and it turned out to be a beautiful tribute to the state of Indiana, as well as to the completion of the new temple.
The Big Beat Angels.
When the show finished, we sat and people watched for a few minutes, then waved goodbye to a few friends we spotted on the way out as we slowly ambled with the masses back to our cars. The girls had been exceptionally well-behaved (especially for not having had dinner beforehand...I'm really sorry, kids!) so we treated them to some supper at a questionable pizza joint, filled with very polite, very tattooed ruffians, who may or may not have been running the restaurant as a front to something else illegal. Oh, well! It was all part of the experience that will make the evening memorable.
President Eyring approves!
There were a lot of neat experiences working with the cultural celebration--I was stretched as a writer, composing sections of the script, a press release and program. I was in a photo of the cultural celebration committee that was put in the cornerstone of the temple, learned more in depth the history, culture and tradition of the state we call home and was able to take my family to the event to sit near church leaders whom I respect and admire. But, most important of all was the spirit felt and the special connection to the Lord's house. It will always be a cherished experience for me!
Pushing one of the Indy 500 cars out.
Well done, everybody!
The finale!

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