Friday, January 11, 2013

Book of Mormon Musical Part 2

Part two of my Book of Mormon: The Musical review.

There was a message of leaving things better than when you found them.  The other missionary (Elder Price) goes on a mission to change the world…all by himself. He does not want and does not think he needs the help of anyone else. It should come as no surprise that this is the missionary who struggles the most. His mission is not what he planned. It is hard. It is really hard. It is not what he expected it would be. It is not what he was told it would be. He read the BOM and was ready to “teach” the world. But what he was never taught to do was to listen. He did not know how to listen to the people around him. The villagers needed help but not the help he wanted to give. He wanted them to listen to his every word. He wanted them to see how much better he was than they were. He wanted the villagers to want to be like him and to appreciate what he was offering them. The messenger was more important than the message. Well, that didn’t happen, and he gave up. Several times he repeated the same pattern. What he finally learned (through the “imagination teachings” of the other missionary) is that he needs to not only open his eyes and look around him, but that he needs to look around him as well. People are not the same; people have different needs. He went on his mission to change the world the way he wanted to, the way he was told to, but to really make a difference, to truly serve, he needed to open his eyes and see what the people really needed. In this case, they needed hope first, and then they needed someone to not just preach to them, but to really stay and help improve their physical lives. This was interesting to me because I did not expect it. I did not know how the musical was going to end, and the ending made me love the musical that much more. He learned that helping people means more than preaching and baptizing and leaving. It means staying to make a difference. It means selfless service, and sometimes that selfless service means to sacrifice the thing you were there do in the first place. The people heard the gospel according to Arnold; they accepted that gospel because, in the end, the gospel according to Arnold gave them the hope they  needed, gave this missionary the kick in the butt he needed to truly leave things better than when he arrived.  He ended the musical a better person. And, in the end, he and the other missionaries stay in Uganda to support them and to continue the hope they brought. They do not give them hope and leave…they stay to nurture that hope. To help it grow into something greater. Something that can be sustained even after the missionaries leave.

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