Friday, January 10, 2020

As Itzhak Perlman is to Violonists, the Book of Mormon is to Books

Last evening, my wife and I had the rare privilege of hearing world's greatest violinist, Itzhak Perlman, in concent. He performed Beethoven's Violin Concerto in D Major, for Violin and Orchestra Op. 61 in the de Jong Concert Hall with the BYU Philharmonic conducted by Kory Katseanes.
Program for 2020 Itzhak Perlman Concert at BYU
There are violonists and then there is Itzhak Perlman. Born in Israel, he began studying at Julliard at age 13. He has performed with every major orchestra on earth. His talent is so prodigious Katseanes called it "a gift from God." Now 74, Perlman's music is sweet, rich, and supremely nuanced. He clearly enjoys creating beautiful music. Last night, thunderous applause from the audience brought the virtuoso back out on stage four separate times before Katseanes finally ended the evening. In the audience we saw Pres. Dallin H. Oaks, Pres. Henry B. Eyring, and Apostle Gerrit W. Gong (who gets his first name from Gerrit de Jong, Jr. [1892-1978] for whom the concert hall is named). The memory of last night's performance will remain with me for years. It is a remarkable experience to spend time with world's greatest violinist.

This morning, my wife and I both had the rare privilege of reading world's greatest book, the Book of Mormon. There are books, and then there is the Book of Mormon. Its opening scenes begin in Jerusalem where Nephi was a very young hero, a prodigy with a formidable gift from God. 175 million copies have gone to every corner of the globe. Now 189 years in print, the Book of Mormon is sweet, rich, and supremely nuanced. The extraordinary people whose stories it tells clearly found joy in living righteous, inspired, meaningful lives (Alma 27:17-18, Alma 36:20-21). The sacred scripture garners repeated praise from an appreciative audience worldwide. Pres. Oaks, Pres. Eyring, and Elder Gong regularly feast upon the words of Christ in the Book of Mormon, named after an exceptional prophet, historian, and military general. Insights from the Book of Mormon have enriched my life for years.
Personal Favorites Clockwise: Yale 2009, Palmyra 1830 (replica),
Spanish 1960, and the Rosenvall's 2018 New Approach
It is a remarkable experience to spend time with world's greatest book.