Men Are, that They Might Have Joy

Sister Mann

The Savior will strengthen us as we make our best attempt, or even desire to make our best attempt, to find joy in this life.

Photo by Jordan Larsen

One of the shows we perform here in Nauvoo is called “Sunset by the Mississippi”, which takes place on an outdoor stage and is full of high-energy, family-friendly songs and dances. One of the acts is a clogging number, “Orange Blossom Special”, named after a train in the east coast that ran so close to the orange trees that any rider could lean out of the train and pick a blossom from the trees. In the photo above, you can see the final pose of that dance.

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A Wise Relief Society Sister, a Real Pioneer Woman, and a True Disciple of the Savior

Sisters at fence

Today I pay homage to all the Mamas, including my own mother, who tenderly care for their children, their neighbors, the sick, and everyone else.

One of the plays we perform in Nauvoo called “Just Plain Anna Amanda” tells the story of a young girl who wants to feel important but can’t seem to figure out how to find her self-worth.

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The Tukuafus

Tukuafu Home

I think we can each use music in a better, holier way to lift our spirits and provide us peace in a world full of busyness and worry.

Photo by Mark Lusvardi

Several years ago when I was a missionary in California, my companion and I visited the home of a Polynesian couple. It was several moments before they opened the door after we knocked, and we found that they had been sitting out on their back porch singing hymns and playing their small instruments.

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Thank You So Much

Nauvoo Temple

Every time I watch this song, I feel a surge of gratitude and love for those who have written to me during my stay in Nauvoo.

In a moving scene of The Promise, one of the plays we put on here in Nauvoo, the protagonist, Julia, and several other women write letters to a group of missionaries who have traveled to England for several months to preach the gospel. Among the missionaries is Henry, Julia’s brother-in-law, who is a father figure to her, and William, one of her admirers.

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An Important Somebody

Anna Amanda

May we remember that the Good Shepherd will also spare no effort in rescuing us and bringing us back to the fold, because to Him, we are important.

One of the plays we perform in Nauvoo is called “Just Plain Anna Amanda”, which tells the story of a young girl who feels ordinary and unnoticed. Throughout the course of the play, she runs into several friends who each lend her part of their outfits, like the farmer’s boots, the twins’ satchels, and her teacher’s hat. Finally, weighed down with so many accessories in an attempt become more “important”, Anna Amanda trips and falls onto the ground. 

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Better Than Before

Chance in The Promise

This idea of sacrificing to heed a prophet’s call is especially pertinent to any missionary who has sacrificed for the sake of serving the Lord.

One of the productions I’m managing in Nauvoo is called “The Promise”, which is set in the 1800s and tells the story of two young immigrants who fall in love with a local Nauvoo girl, Julia. While I won’t say whether the Englishman or the lumberjack wins Julia’s heart in the end (you’ll have to come watch the show to find out), I would like to share several lines from the music that struck me this week during rehearsal:

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The Castle on the Mountain

Many months ago on a Wednesday night, the stake president called me and a few great brothers into his office to set us apart for our new callings.

It was dark outside when we arrived at the chapel. But when we entered the Stake President’s office, warm lamps gave a golden, homey feel to the room. It was a spacious office and the desk was a beautiful wood. Nice photos framed the walls and the credenza behind his desk. His chair was made of leather.

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