Events on Temple Square have different levels. B events are things like concerts in the Tabernacle and Music and the Spoken Word in the Conference Center. These events don't have as many guest service missionaries, attendees, general authorities, or security. "All" events, like General Conference and any big-time concert in the Conference Center, require all the GSMs (800+), all the security, usually have about 18,000+ people, and often have several general authorities.
Today and tomorrow are the concerts in celebration of the 24th of July, although they're called something else. I recently was given the job of being a rostrum scanner at All events, one of four people who scans tickets backstage for the general authorities and their guests.
Today Elder Oaks, Elder Bednar, Sister Wixom, and Elder Christofferson came through my door. So did President Monson. He asked me my name and shook my hand. My brother asked me what surprised me the most about meeting the Brethren. I told him that it was that they looked so old. Up until recently, I never pictured the general authorities as being old, but tonight they seemed old. Old, but friendly.
Before most of the people started coming through our door, an old man and his wife came in from the backstage area. The man sat down while he waited for his wife to use the restroom. It turns out that the man was President Monson's brother-in-law and that his wife is President Monson's sister. He told us a story of how he and President Monson were fighting in a bunker in Germany together and how President Monson told him he was going to go to East Germany.
"Why would you go to East Germany?" he said.
But I guess President Monson did, and then later he took some of the leaders from East Germany on a tour of Welfare Square to show them how we do it. I don't know what he was then, as far as Church leadership. Not President Monson.
I also got to go inside the camera room in the CC, where they have all of the security cameras. If you ever feel like you're being watched when you're on Temple Square, it's because you are. By God, and by all the guys in the camera room.
I got there a little bit early, and I heard the guest singer practicing his lines. Singers get chummy with the audience between songs, and I always thought it was just sort of a natural progression, but no...it was rehearsed. :) What struck me as interesting is that he (Santino Fontana, the voice of the bad prince in Frozen) seemed nervous. And even later, throughout his performance, though he did a wonderful job, he seemed nervous. Not in a shaky, blushing, bumbling way, but in a keep-looking-at-the-crowd-can't-believe-I'm-really-here way.
One nice thing about doing these is that you almost always get to attend at least part of the event without having to worry about having a ticket. The downside of that is that you don't really get to go with other people.
Another cool thing is that you get to see different angles of something that seems commonplace. Go to the Conference Center. Hear the MOTAB sing. Again. What lots of LDS folks forget is that the MOTAB is a world reknown choir. And that it's a huge priviledge for people to be invited to sing with them. When I go to the M & SW practices on Thursdays, often times people, even lots of not LDS people, come from all over the country because they really want to hear this famous choir. We forget how blessed we are and how much talent and beauty we have surrounding us.
Those are the thoughts of a tired GSM. Have a good weekend, folks.