Friday, April 24, 2020


Here is the historic Mormon Tabernacle Choir logo that has been recognized all over the world. It highlights the iconic Salt Lake Tabernacle Organ pipes, along with the recognized name of 'Mormon' in the  Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The choir was founded in August 1847, one month  after the Mormon pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley. It has been a huge missionary tool for the Church. The branding is just a recognizable as the letter 'M' for McDonalds and an 'Apple' for the Macs. However, it has been changed. The new logo and name was released to the press yesterday. 

If you were to take only the empty space of the original logo of the Tabernacle Organ Pipes,  this is what it would look like.


And now... here is the newly released logo for the Tabernacle Choir. Looks like just the empty, negative space of the former logo. Some of the people who have seen is it for the first time have said that is looks like a building (like the Great and Spacious Building) without a foundation. Other have said that is looks like a frowning face that cuts through the pipes. (unlike Amazon's and McDonald's smiley face)

This is the logo with the text. (which looks a little better)

It is interesting that this hollowed out image of the original logo is the base for the new logo. Removed is the solid form of the well known Tabernacle Organ pipes, as well as a reduction to the number of pipes (from 12 to 7). What is left is the empty space of the original logo along with the deletion of the word Mormon. I am not sure this new logo will ever have the impact that the original logo had, but I could be wrong.

In recent years the choir has struggled to represent the actual members of the Church worldwide. Choir members need to live within an hour of Temple Square and be current temple recommend holders. The choir members are 99% white, despite the attempts to focus heavily on close up of those members of color during General Conference. I read today that the choir now only represents the super orthodox Utah segment, and it has lost the ability to represent the church because it is only an idealized white-washed version and not an authentic representation of the members of the Church worldwide. If you can sing, live within 100 miles of the Salt Lake Tabernacle, member is good standing (translation: have a current temple recommend), and are ethnically diverse, you should audition to be a choir member.

Friday, April 17, 2020

The Sacrament administered according to the commandments of Christ

We read in The Book of Mormon the correct mode of administering the sacrament as recorded in Moroni chapters 4 and 5. Beginning in verse 1 of Moroni 4 it says, "and they administered it according to the commandments of Christ; wherefore we know the manner to be true; and the elder or priest did minister it. And they did kneel down with the church, and pray to the Father in the name of Christ, saying:

Audio recording of both Sacrament Prayers:

I have always wondered how those who are unable to hear the words of the Sacrament Prayers  participate in the Sacrament. The above video could be helpful for those who might not be able to hear the words but can feel the vibration as they follow along and read the words as they are spoken.
In addition to the hearing impaired, I know of many single women who have not be able to participate in the sacrament recently due to worldwide closures of religious meetings. When it is not possible for a priesthood holder to travel to their houses to bless the Sacrament in person, it might be a beautiful thing for them to watch and listen to the above video to still participate in the Sacrament Ordinance through technology.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does provide videos for the hearing impaired to participate in the Sacrament. These Sacrament Prayers are video recorded and on the Church website.

Here is a screen shot of the one of the videos:

It is interesting to note that the above prayers also used the Book of Mormon wording and still keeps the word 'wine' instead of the replacement word 'water'.

Joseph Smith's revelation of The Word of Wisdom specifically outlines for wine to be used for the sacrament: "Inasmuch as any man drinketh wine or strong drink among you, behold it is not good, neither meet in the sight of your Father, only in assembling yourselves together to offer up your sacraments before him. And, behold, this should be wine, yea, pure wine of the grape of the vine, of your own make." (D&C 89:5-6, emphasis added.)

Latter-day Saints continued to use wine in their sacramental services throughout the 19th century. Beginning in the 20th century, institutional reforms began to change the wording of the Sacrament Prayer from wine to water. The sacramental prayers were changed with the new wording. For those who prefer the Latter-day "adjustments" with the use of the word 'water' instead of the word 'wine', you can listen to these audio recordings below:

Prayer on Bread

Prayer on Water