I've been trying to collect my thoughts for three days since returning from the Reunion in Colorado. It was an amazing, wonderful experience, and to tell you the truth, it's left me rather speechless. I think others have done an admirable job of summarizing the events, speakers, and spirit, so I don't plan to write a day-by-day travelogue. Rather, I'll just focus on a few things that struck me.
People. I can honestly say I've never before associated with such a wonderful, loving, light-filled group. I had the opportunity to meet many people who had travelled from all over, but who shared a common bond of brotherhood and sisterhood in seeking the Lord. Now that I read it, that last sentence sounds a little dour and pious, like this was some sort of Sunday school. The opposite is true. These were people filled with joy, light, happiness, gratitude and fun. I hope I can live up to such a state in my own life. I thank God for the examples I saw.
I was also surprised and delighted to see a long-time friend who knew nothing of this event or movement, but just happened to be visiting the area. I was so pleased she joined with us in worship.
Places: Many reported feeling something special about the Mesa, and I'll agree it is a breathtaking, beautiful place, and certainly a great place to hold such an event. I'll be honest though—places aren't the primary consideration for me. I believe it's just as possible to commune with God in a closet as it is on a mountain top. But I do appreciate the effort that it required to gather where we did, because it introduced a greater opportunity for sacrifice. Almost everyone there had to make considerable effort to get there. The snow prevented much exploring of the Mesa, perhaps by design, and so the events were primarily confined to established, public venues. I'll add that the venues were well chosen and perfectly suited to the needs. I thank God for accommodating this gathering.
Weather: The weather forecast leading up to the reunion was, shall we say, not promising. But the weather actually turned out to be quite cooperative. Up on the Mesa, the patchy sunshine brought needed warmth to the outdoor testimony meeting, the forecasted 10 inches of snow turned out to be more like one inch, and the contrast between freezing temperatures on the Mesa and warming sunshine below reminded me of God's mercies and contrasts. I thank God for the beautiful weather.
Events: EVERY event I attended exceeded my expectations. The speakers, camaraderie, and activities all increased my desire for Christ and Zion. Highlights for me included the group Jewish dance demonstration, a barbecue with wonderful friends, the men's meeting where I learned from my Godly brothers, taking the sacrament outdoors in a beautiful setting with about 200 people, and hearing many, many incredible, enlightening, and spirit-filled testimonies. The organization and execution of this entire weekend simply couldn't have been better. I thank God for His hand and the hands of his servants to make the reunion possible.
Fear: It's no secret that there was some fear and concern expressed online before the reunion. Some were fearful that this event would displease God, involve bizarre or unholy worship practices, or promote destructive ideas. I'm pleased to report that it turns out there was no cause for concern. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING focused on Jesus Christ and His gospel. I didn't encounter any ideas or practices that weren't absolutely scriptural, uplifting, and approved of God. I thank God for the warnings issued before the reunion that, I believe, helped us all keep an eye single to His glory.
Work: I had a very small part in organizing this event. But even my small part required time, effort, money and attention to detail. Therefore, I'm absolutely amazed by the sacrifice of those who played major parts in putting the reunion together. Venue rental, printed materials, sound equipment, transportation, child care, campfires, food, name tags, scheduling, cleanup, first aid, and a thousand other details were provided by voluntary sacrifice. I am in awe to know a small part of what it took to provide this experience, and my heart is moved with gratitude to everyone who worked so hard and gave so much so that I could experience what I did. I thank God for his servants who saw to the details.
Worship: The scriptures discuss various forms of worship, including prayer, song, dance, music and shouts. I was pleased to participate in every one of these forms at the reunion. Nobody was more surprised than me when I received direction from the Lord that we close our worship service with three blasts on the Shofar and three shouts of praise to the Holy One of Israel (2 Nephi 31:13). I've never experienced anything like it, and even now, it fills me with joy. I shout my thanks to God.
A Movement among the People: This movement is real. People are waking up, shedding their scales of darkness and unbelief, learning truth, and seeking to know the Lord personally. Spiritual gifts, miracles, and angelic ministrations are manifest. The restoration continues! Oh, how I thank God that the restoration continues!
Messages: I really appreciated the speakers and the messages they offered. Perhaps even more, I appreciated the spontaneous testimonies shared at the testimony meetings. Though the testimonies were not recorded, the speakers were. Here's the link where you can listen to the talks:
Click to Hear the Messages
Photos: And finally, here are a photos so those who couldn't make it can get a feel for the events. Click any photo to enlarge.
|During a break between speakers on Friday night
|The end of the Saturday morning meeting, before heading to breakout sessions
|The testimony meeting on the Mesa. Note the snow, the clouds, and the sunshine.
|A beautiful, young person testifies of her conversation with God
|The view on the way up the Mesa
|Preparing for the Sacrament meeting on Sunday
|Yours truly, speaking on Sunday. You can tell it's me by the empty seats.
|After the Sacrament meeting on Sunday
And help us by the power of thy Spirit, that we may mingle our voices with those bright, shining seraphs around thy throne, with acclamations of praise, singing Hosanna to God and the Lamb! And let these, thine anointed ones, be clothed with salvation, and thy saints shout aloud for joy. Amen, and Amen.