V.I.P.s in the Kingdom?

…Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons.
Acts 10:34

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?

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3 Responses

  1. CS Eric says:

    We were living in Las Vegas when that temple was built and dedicated. Each ward and stake was given a list of assignments. My wife and I were out of town the first week, so the only slots left were to usher near the kitchen and dressing rooms. When one of the VIPs/GAs was done dressing, he would wait outside the door for someone else come out to walk up the stairs with. My wife got to spend time with nearly all of them during this downtime. She was looking the other way when Pres Hinckley came out, and he came up behind her and poked her in the ribs, “Good morning, sweetie!” Yes, Pres Hinckley flirted with my wife in the temple.

    • Ellen says:

      CS Eric- Good Story! I always appreciate signs of humanity and a sense of humor in our leaders. Are VIPs always GAs? In which case they are always men…

  2. J Layton says:

    Open house VIPs are entirely different from dedication attendees. Open house VIPs are non-LDS–and frankly, from my experience with two open houses (15 years apart) is that the VIPs are the most important (a subjective word, I know) government, business, and community leaders we could persuade to attend. And VIP open house tours are at different levels: I attended with governors where the tour was personally led by an apostle and by a the 70 who headed the temple department, where the VIP (and family) was invited for dinner. But other VIP tours were just a slower, less crowded version of the general public tour. The guests included judges, state legislators, mayors of nearby small towns, and a variety of others.

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