The destruction of the Provo Tabernacle by the fire last night makes me mourn. I heard President Kimball speak there. We had some of our student Stake Conferences there. Later I attended the funeral of Rex Lee, the Dean of the J. Reuben Clark Law School while I attended. I also attended Hugh Nibley’s funeral there. It was hallowed ground because of those memories.
I assume it was arson, because of so many recent fires in LDS owned buildings. Seems a foolish gesture, even if you hate the Church. Nothing important is ever accomplished by destroying the creative labors of others. If someone hates the Church, perhaps they ought to go build up their own. There is no equivalency made by tearing down. A person may be able to burn a building, but it does not make them any more important or great. A man may have shot John Lennon, but that did not alter the killer’s importance. It merely made his insignificance more public.
There are two great forces at work. One is entropy. Everything is getting colder, darker, and dissolving. This force is unrelenting, and can be found everywhere in the physical world. Opposing it, however, is something which is creative, renewing, and equally unrelenting. I believe this force which renews life, introduces new energy and forms new systems to be God’s work. It is, in a word, love. Or, in the vernacular of the scriptures, it is charity.
When the labors of hundreds have been assembled to create a place of worship, a thing of beauty and a refuge for Saints, that act of charity will endure beyond any subsequent act of vandalism. It cannot be lessened; though it may be broken or burned. The testimony of sacrifice establishes an enduring legacy.
I hope the Tabernacle will be rebuilt. I hope also the memory of the original will not fade from those who went there for such events as Brother Nibley’s funeral, Dean Lee’s funeral, and President Kimball’s address.