Perspective is everything in life.  There are those in our presence who call evil good and good evil and who choose misery over happiness.  My perspective about people choosing whether or not “It’s a wonderful life” for them has been enlightening ever since I began acting at the Brigham’s Playhouse.  The intimacy of this small theater creates a unique experience with the audience and actors.  It is a rare case, indeed, if someone is not moved during any plays at Brigham’s Playhouse and especially It’s A Wonderful Life.  As actors, it becomes very prevalent whether or not audience members are “caught up” in the play because their body language and their interaction with the show is apparent.  After the show, it is customary for cast members to greet and thank the audience and on one occasion this past week, I had a very interesting experience about two contrasting couple’s perspective.

There was a couple sitting near the front who never cracked a smile and who seemed bored all evening.  It did not surprise me when after the show, this couple bolted out without acknowledging, smiling or thanking a single one of us.  On that same evening there was another couple,  I hadn’t noticed during the show because I was so fixated on the “blah” couple, whom I’m positive were joyfully enthusiastic throughout the play.  This couple was the last to come through our line and it was no surprise to me that this couple’s remark was, “This was just like Broadway….I felt like I was at a Broadway show”.  Then they made sure to greet each cast member and thank them personally for their special contribution to the musical.  I stood there stupefied as I had just witnessed, from my perspective, a major dichotomy of two couple’s perspectives.

The excitement from these last guests reminded me of one of my most fond experiences I’ve encountered with a Broadway show.   I was at Hollywood’s Pantages broadway showing of WICKED where I was “hooked up” with tickets on row six thanks to my sister’s dear friend who was Glenda’s understudy.  Although Pantages is a large theater, because of my proximity to the stage, I felt like the performers were there just for me as I became totally enveloped into the show.  I truly lost myself in that play and forgot what day it was or where I was for the next two-in-a-half hours. This was an incredible experience and I felt WICKED-ly good thanking my sister’s friend afterwards for such an incredible and life changing experience.

I must be honest when I say that the negative energy I felt coming from the first couple really zapped my desire to give my all that night and because I am a relatively new actress, I hadn’t yet learned the tricks to the trade of focusing my attention out and away from the crowd while looking upward and into the light.  

In relation to this experience, “…today everyone is offended-everyone is offensive and every choice is between good and evil.  Not only is every thing a thing, but everything is binary.  There are not merely two sides to an argument but a good side and evil side, and making clear you’re on the good side is vital.  These few are the only ones who hear the negative because they are looking to shut opponents up which is the most pernicious and effective silencing method in modern american politics.”  END OF DISCUSSION by Mary Katherine Ham and Guy Benson  These authors describe these people as dog-whistle whisperers who are a unique breed of humans with amazing ears to hear something to which the majority of the rest of us are tone deaf.  These ombudspersons stir up our peace as a people by calling anyone and everyone they disagree with a racist.  These people’s perspective is so fixated on creating a negative energy that the rest of get caught up in their whirlwind of name calling whether it be racist, feminists, religionist, bigot, etc.   As actors in this play called a wonderful life, we, too, must focus our attention out and away from the negative crowd and upward towards God and his light.

These events were foretold in the scriptures as a sign that the fulness of God’s wrath has come upon the people of this great land of The United States of America.  It was said by Moroni as he abridged all the records of the Jaradite nation and read the history from the beginning to the end of at least 1,000 years upon the American continent:

Ether 2: 9 And now, we can behold the decrees of God concerning this land, that it is a land of promise; and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall serve God, or they shall be swept off when the fulness of his wrath shall come upon them. And the fulness of his wrath cometh upon them when they are ripened in iniquity.

 10 For behold, this is a land which is choice above all other lands; wherefore he that doth possess it shall serve God or shall be swept off; for it is the everlasting decree of God. And it is not until the fulness of iniquity among the children of the land, that they are swept off.

 11 And this cometh unto you, O ye Gentiles, that ye may know the decrees of God—that ye may repent, and not continue in your iniquities until the fulness come, that ye may not bring down the fulness of the wrath of God upon you as the inhabitants of the land have hitherto done.

 12 Behold, this is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ, who hath been manifested by the things which we have written.

Two prophets from different continents prophesied the same thing, Nephi and Malachi, when they warned that when good is regarded as evil and evil is accepted by the people, we are fully ripe in our iniquity…

2 Nephi 28:16 Wo unto them that turn aside the just for a thing of naught and revile against that which is good, and say that it is of no worth! For the day shall come that the Lord God will speedily visit the inhabitants of the earth; and in that day that they are fully ripe in iniquity they shall perish.

Malachi 2:17 ¶Ye have wearied the Lord with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?

Taking God out of our experience in life deletes a more broad and happy perspective.  As described by the prophet Malachi for our last days and our beautiful America; said he,

 12 And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts.

 13 ¶Your words have been stout against me, saith theLord. Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against thee?

 14 Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of hosts?

 15 And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.

 16 ¶Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.

 17 And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.

 18 Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.” Malachi 3:12-18

Is perspective important?  Was the perspective of the first couple negative?  That is debatable; however, it makes for a great discussion of the differences between how we choose to respond to life and to each other’s opinions with respect and mostly how we choose to deal with other’s negativism.  We are all different and hallelujah for this, but when we allow negative energy to divert our attention from good to bad, we fall short from a better and more positive experience.  If I had chosen to look at the positive folks that evening, I know I would have had a better performance and their energy would have catapulted me toward a more wonderful night.  Good energy should outweigh the bad in all circumstances in our lives and if it doesn’t, we are always invited to follow God and his son Jesus Christ.  If we choose to believe in God, he will show us a Wonderful Life  that will seem like a broadway experience for all mankind and save our nation from becoming swept off.

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