V.I.P.s in the Kingdom?
…Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons.
Central to our beliefs is that each of us is a child of god. I mean, we have been singing about it all our lives. We call each other “brother” and “sister” to remind us that we are all part of the same family. In the temple we all wear pretty much the same thing, so there are no class distinctions. We all are a needed part of “the body of Christ.” So are there V.I.P.s in the Kingdom of God?
Status and prestige are irresistibly attached to power, and we saints are no exception. A lay clergy helps in this department, but leader worship and church celebrity is a challenge. How many homes have pictures of the first presidency on their walls? Apostles are widely admired, and many faith promoting stories circulate about “my brother in law’s old mission president is in Elder _____’s ward, and he said….” Spotting the occasional apostle at Costco, getting a selfie with them, is one of the perks of living in Zion! The burden of celebrity must be uncomfortable for them and their families. They are watched on TV every 6 months by millions of people, and quoted incessantly in talks and lessons every single Sunday. All over the world. Are they the V.I.est of P.s?
This is on my mind as our area prepares for a temple dedication. Not only will there presumably be some apostles in town, but there are all the local elite leaders to consider as well. As is traditional, there is going to be a Youth Cultural Celebration, and there are more youth than there are roles in the celebration. There will be three dedication services, each broadcast to area churches. There is much speculation about who will be invited to be in the temple for the dedications. There will also be a small choir at each dedication. Who will be singing? There will be many open house sessions, but some of them are for specially invited V.I.P.s only. Who is a V.I.P. in the Kingdom?
What is the best way to allocate a finite resource? Have any of you been involved in a big church event that involved invitations or tickets? How were those extended? Did they go to the priesthood leadership first? What do you think Jesus would do?