“The Restore gathering lived up to its name, restoring hope, restoring faith, restoring love.”
― Gordon Monson, Salt Lake Tribune
Some of you who read this will have attended the Restore Gathering last weekend. From the Thursday evening free and gorgeous concert attended by over 600 to Saturday afternoon’s last musical number with over 3000 joyful folks standing and clapping, it was a soul and mind-nourishing few days. So many offerings of poetry, prayers from leaders of other faiths, a variety of great music, (I’m in love with the disarming stage presence, voice, and lyrics by Emma Nisson!) amazing art, intriguing books, and enriching connections and gatherings with old and new friends. Oh, and many engaging, thought-provoking, hope-giving, and often entertaining speakers—a number of them, not members of the dominant faith in Utah. All the more refreshing and inspiring.
A big thank you and shout out to the Faith Matter’s Executive Team and the volunteers they assembled to make this happen. Talk about foresight—after a spectacular and moving presentation by George Handley about the creation and our stewardship for it, all 3000-plus attendees were given custom eclipse glasses and invited to go outside and watch the moon hide the sun.
I know some of you didn’t find everything you hoped for at the conference. Some of you in your faith journey struggled with a few of the talks that didn’t quite meet the perplexity and discomfort you are currently sitting in. And I can imagine others also felt some discomfort in this more expansive view of God and the Latter-Day Saint faith. If that is you, please reach out to me, and I will be a safe space to hear you. And there are more like me at our conversation gatherings once a month. I invite you and anyone else of any faith or no faith to join us.
Gordon Monson of the Salt Lake Tribune regularly writes about being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Using his sharp observing wit along with a kind heart he offers constructive criticism of his faith. His coverage of this year’s Restore Gathering will give you an idea of what happened there if you missed it. Sounds like we can thank Gordon’s wife for him showing up to it.
Eclipse photo courtesy of my friend and exceptional photographer, Mike Hansen. You can see more of his stunning photographs as well as purchase them here.