I Never Knew This Before – Helen Keller Once Spoke at the Salt Lake Tabernacle on Temple Square

hellen keller optimismHelen Keller once spoke at the Salt Lake City Tabernacle on temple square. I didn’t know about this before, and it’s one of those instances where I wish I had a time machine so I could go back and be a part of the event. When she was done speaking, she asked if she could hear what has come to be known as “the Mormon anthem” played on the magnificent tabernacle organ. The President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints then guided her to the organ and placed her hand on the side of the organ where she stayed, and was clearly moved, as the organist played “Come, Come, Ye Saints no toil nor labor fear, but with joy, wend your way.” This hymn was written by and for a people persecuted, and marked for extermination, driven from their homes in the winter, to cross the plains by any means possible, and land in a place described by Jim Bridger as inhospitable for growing crops. When we sing this hymn, we remember those who came before us and made our lives possible, and it gives us strength to continue on in the face of our own challenges. It’s not surprising that the hymn’s message of moving forward through trials with hope resonated with her.

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