Saturday, December 20, 2014

A Funny Thing Happened Tonight at Temple Square

So, we went downtown to Temple Square tonight to look at lights and fountains. Nothing surprising there, we do that every year. This year, however, we were treated to a gem of an experience.

We had walked across the street to the City Creek Mall, to look at the fountain show (really dazzling, but so short as to not make it worth the wait), and we were lining up at the pedestrian crossing to go back into Temple Square.

At that corner was a man standing on a concrete platform holding a lit-up sign that said, “Joseph Lied”. He was shouting all kinds of anti-mormon rhetoric, mostly about how the God of the Bible wasn’t the same as Joseph Smith’s God, and bla, bla, bla.

I’ve heard it all before. I grew up with my Evangelical Christian friends trying to convince me that there were no more prophets or revelation, or that we were saved by grace, not by works, and any of a number of reasons why they were right and I was wrong. I had learned to tune them out.

Suddenly I noticed that the young family standing in front of me were singing, “Silent Night”, kind of as if in protest of the protester. I picked up on it, and started singing along.  She turned around right away and smiled, confirming my suspicion. By the time we finished and started to loop it around again, a lady behind me had joined, and my father, standing next to me was singing along.

It wasn’t long before the entire crowd standing there waiting at the crosswalk was singing strong, “Silent Night, Holy Night,...”

And he and his partner went quiet.

Then, just as we were finishing the loop, someone a few behind me started singing “Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful”, and he didn’t have a chance to start up again.  We were all enjoying singing along and smiling at each other, and observing how the contention had faded, when the light dinged, and it was time to cross.  We kept singing as we crossed, and didn’t stop until the song ended, and the preacher was lost in the back distance.

On the way home, my boys commented on how the spirit was there and I pointed out how gentleness can overcome shouting.  It was a very powerful message to me.


Mark has a lifelong testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the Mormon Church). Mark also has other sites and blogs, including and his Dutch Oven blog.


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