Last night was incredible! I went with my friend Carolin to the first concert back in the Tabernacle after it was rededicated, complete with the Tabernacle Choir, Orchestra at Temple Square, and Bells at Temple Square.
Carolin had never been in the Tabernacle before and I had only peeked inside once before the renovation. It's amazing how it was the place for conference for years, and yet it is so small compared to the Conference Center. Somehow through my desperate attempt on the Internet as soon as tickets were available, I had acquired center front row tickets. (We're wondering if we were on TV!) We saw President Monson and Elder Uchtdorf but of course they were in a roped off section, so we couldn't get to them.
The Spirit was really there. Carolin and I teared up a few times during the concert. I love watching orchestras play. I love the minutes right before a concert, when people are all doing last-minute practice and then finally they all tune their instruments.
We actually got to sing twice, parts of Redeemer of Israel and The Spirit of God. There is so feeling like singing with this amazing choir and orchestra, and a congregation of people. It wells up within you until you almost can't sing. When we sang The Spirit of God, the conductor had this huge smile on his face. He was loving it too. :)
The other great part is that they had a short presentation on the history of the Tabernacle and audio clips of each of the prophets who spoke there, generally a portion of their testimony. President Hinckley has been the prophet for so long that he is the one I know and love. Sure, you see the pictures of the other prophets, but you don't really have a testimony of them. Well, that changed last night. Carolin and I both felt it, we found out when we talked later. As the prophets spoke, I was filled with love for them and a knowledge that they were truly prophets of God. Their testimonies were the same. They knew and loved our Savior.
Afterward, we sat on the plaza outside the Joseph Smith Memorial Building and talked, because we just couldn't rush straight home after that experience. It was really nice outside! Short-sleeve weather! I'm going to miss Carolin... she moves back to Germany on May 3rd for a few years.