An old legend tells of a magnificent bird with the voice of an angel who lives for centuries before bursting into flame. This sad occasion causes some to wonder — why would something so beautiful, so pure, be forced to endure a pain so horrendous, so heartbreaking.
This once glorious bird, turned into nothing more than ashes, disappears from this world in a moment.
Among the hurt, the pain and the suffering, teary-eyed spectators see something beginning to ruffle in the ashes.
As if by miracle, a phoenix is reborn in the ashes. Against all odds, its glory does not cease.
A short time ago we all stared as the beloved Provo Tabernacle burned to ashes. We cried as we watched a building so magnificent crumble to the ground. We hurt as we thought of the heritage lost in a few horrendous moments.
No one knew why such a tragedy occurred. Information from the Church was hard to come by. Acceptance of the lost monument’s fate was even harder.
While gathered together to listen to the words of the leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints President Thomas S. Monson made a wonderful announcement.
The phoenix would rise from the ashes more beautiful, more magnificent, than anything it had been before.
The Tabernacle, left in ashes for all to look upon would become a temple of the Lord for all to gaze upon.
This announcement, made after many wondered if the Tabernacle would continue to stand at all, turned this tragedy into a blessing. Instead of mourning the Tabernacle’s loss, we could now celebrate its elevation.
“Temples are places where relationships are sealed together to last through the eternities,” President Monson said. “We are grateful for all the many temples across the world and for the blessing they are in the lives of our members.”
As students at Brigham Young University, we know how blessed we are to have the temple so close.
We go to it, we love it, we make sure it takes at least two hours to complete three baptisms — and we relish in that fact.
However, President Monson, through the Lord, has challenged us. It’s no longer acceptable to simply fill one temple in Provo: we must fill two.
We’re not alone in this task, however. We have help from Provo, Orem and Springville. There’s not only BYU, but UVU and the MTC.
We can do this.
I believe the leaders of the Church have placed great faith in us. They believe in us, and we must live up to this standard.
If the motivation of fulfilling the hopes of our leaders is not enough, imagine how the blessing will pour out upon us if we fulfill our duties as members of the Church.
We’ll not only be blessed with shorter lines in the temple, but we’ll receive the spiritual blessings that come with every house of worship.
The Lord will have two houses in our city — two places where he dwells. If we go to visit Him, in his house, we will surely experience an enlarging of His spirit in our lives, of our faith in His gospel and of our trust in His plan for us.
We will be the witnesses of a phoenix’s miraculous rise from the ashes. We will be witnesses of the Tabernacle’s increased beauty and purpose. If we do our duty, we will be witnesses for our Lord and Redeemer.
Let’s not take this lightly. It is a blessing, but it is also a challenge.
Are you up for the challenge?
Are you ready to be a leader?
It’s up to us to make sure this phoenix’s first flight is magnificent.
Allie McCoy is the opinion editor for The Daily Universe. This viewpoint represents her opinion and not necessarily that of The Daily Universe, BYU, its administration or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.