Yesterday the Utah Valley Children's Choir was to have come and put on a concert for the stake. Actually they did but it had to be altered to tremendous bus problems and scheduling by the drivers to ensure that the drivers get 2 hours breaks, etc. We spent the afternoon altering the meal we were to provide them and making them into sack lunches that these poor kids didn't get to eat until after they sang. As it was, there was a 'car' of leaders who would drive ahead of the buses, to a hamburger joint and order the burgers. But often the places would run out of food. I think the last bus in last night came in without having had food. Not sure how the planning went so far awry but it did. Each bus came, the kids filed out and rather than sing in costume they just donned their choir tee shirts and started to sing. The choir began small but then kept increasing in number and in volume. The stories and the voices were amazing. But boy were those kids and the adults thrilled to be getting food and skewers of watermelon afterwards, just before they met with their host families and went off to get a night of sleep. But the following letter was sent to this choir from another place. I wanted to save it, and as I do, it gets saved here:
Joshua & Jenise Kotter
June 30, 2014
Utah Valley Children’s Choir
Dear Utah Valley Children’s Choir Members & Leaders:
Last night my young family and I (with 4 children, ranging from 5 to 13 years old) drove two and a half hours, each way, from Gordon, Nebraska, to see you perform in Rapid City, SD (at our Stake Center).
Usually, I am not at a loss for words. You see, I am a hospital CEO (chief executive officer) and an attorney. My trade and skill is in speaking, writing, and communicating powerfully and effectively. Despite this…, I am at a loss for words to adequately express to you, what you gave to my family and to me last night. Regardless, I will attempt in my weakness to share with you.
Your spirits and the spirit that you brought into that building last night—are among the strongest that we have ever felt! Given this, you should know that I have been blessed in my life to be intimately connected, at times, with Prophets, Seers, and Revelators (and Especial Witnesses) of the Lord Jesus Christ, even presidents and Prophets of the Church.
As you stood next to my family and me and sang the chords of angels, it felt as though the very power of God thrashed upon us and upon the Earth—rendering it impossible for any to deny the truth of your message, or of the Gospel. And, though we assume that we know none of you personally—we felt the pure love of Christ from and for each of you. Personally, I desired to throw my arms around and love every one of you, as I would my own flesh and blood family, you being my Brothers and Sisters. The love I felt for every one of you was as intimate and intense as the love I feel for my parents, brothers, sister, and blood family. It was truly a sacred and a Celestial experience that you created and provided!
You truly are a royal generation, preserved from the foundations of the world, and for thousands of years, to come forth (now) in the Meridian of Time—a period in the world’s history that every prophet has yearned to live in and witness. Consider Christ’s words to the three Nephites who desired the same as John of old: to remain on the Earth until Christ shall come a second time to the Earth. To them, Christ stated: “Therefore, more blessed are ye, for ye shall… live to behold all the doings of the Father unto the children of men, even until all things shall be fulfilled according to the will of the Father, when I shall come in my glory with the powers of heaven.” Consider, you have been and were saved to live in this same time, and to see the doings of God to man, even unto this last dispensation. If you ever doubt your value, worth, or specialness before Heavenly Father and his Son, Jesus Christ—remember this: you were saved for this most special time and place—in order to bring to pass the second most wondrous event in the history of the entire universe (including all of creation), second only to Christ’s successful Atonement and redemption of all mankind, which he accomplished at the end of his Earthly ministry. This great event, which you are integrally a part of and essential to, is to help create, uphold, and maintain a dispensation (this last dispensation) wherein the Fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ will not be perverted, lost, or destroyed—as it has been in every past dispensation of the Earth. While this means, due to the number of faithful Saints alive on the Earth today, that, in comparison, you may seem or feel unimportant or un-unique—nothing could be farther from the truth! As you sang, I felt, and the spirit witnessed to me, that each and every one of you are—personally—among the very most valuable, worthwhile, special, unique, powerful, and beloved of all of Heavenly Father’s children, in his immense kingdom, both on Earth, in Heaven, and in all the numberless worlds created by him and Jesus Christ. Remember, this is the wickedest of all God’s worlds, and the only world where Christ could complete the atonement of mankind—because this is the only world that would kill the Savior of all creation. So, out of all of creation, and out of all of God’s children—you were sent here, to this Earth, and in this time. From this, I cannot adequately express or conceive of your worth or importance, other than to say the following: out of the NUMBERLESS worlds, NUMBERLESS creations, and NUMBERLESS children of our Heavenly Father, you are among an immensely small handful of the VERY MOST precious, faithful, honorable, powerful, valuable, unique, and beloved children of God. I truly marvel at your spirits and at your presences! I truly feel blessed to simply have lived at the same time as you, and to have been given the opportunity to witness you, in person.
From the depths of my heart and those of my wife and family—THANK YOU SO MUCH!
Personally, you have inspired me to complete work in the church and Gospel that I had previously begun, but had become distracted from completing, due to the noise of the world and of life. This includes answering the call of prophets to help show how The Book of Mormon can more effectively be used to convert those who are prepared, which I am supposed to complete in connection with past general authorities of the church. Any success that comes from these things, in my mind—will be due to your spirits and the inspiration that you have provided me. Again, thank you!
More important than this though (to me personally)—I feel that you (last night) were the conduit and catalyst through which I have become fully and completely converted to the gospel. Though I am a life-long devout member of the church, the conversion that I speak of is more than this. It is a true change of heart, where one becomes a “new creature,” in which the person (me in this case, due to or through you) desires no more to do any evil and desires to do only good the rest of their life, and to serve God with all their heart, might, mind, and strength. Because of each of you—I left your concert last night feeling and having experienced this.
Again, THANK YOU! I do not have more eloquent words to express my gratitude. For this, I apologize.
We love you!
Brother & Sister Joshua R. Kotter