Mormon Tabernacle Choir Blog

Photos by Christina Smith

Watch the “Be One” Celebration with Gladys Knight, Alex Boyé, and Members of the Choir

On Friday, June 1, 2018, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints celebrated the 40th anniversary of the revelation on the priesthood with song, dance, and spoken word. President Russell M. Nelson said: “Only the comprehension of the true Fatherhood of God can bring full appreciation of the true brotherhood of men and the true sisterhood of women. That understanding inspires us with passionate desire to build bridges of cooperation instead of walls of segregation.”

In his opening remarks, President Dallin H. Oaks extended a special invitation to anyone who may have lingering frustrations about the past, quoting a passage from the Book of Mormon: “Let us all look forward in the unity of our faith and trust in the Lord’s promise that ‘he inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female’ (2 Nephi 26:33).

Music for the event included performances by artists Gladys Knight, Alex Boyé, and the Bonner family. Choirs included a missionary choir and the “Be One” choir, which comprised members of Saints Unified Voices, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir,  and the Unity Gospel Choir International.

Performances included an instrumental section which began with “Love One Another,” featuring drums and flutes, evolving into music and choreography reminiscent of The Lion King. Knight then took the stage with the “Be One” choir, performing “More Than I Can Bear.” Following the song, narrators told the emotional stories of African American members of the Church from the 1800s. The narrators also shared many stories of the growth of the Church around the world in between songs. The choir then performed “We Sing Glory,” followed by a missionary choir singing “Let Us All Press On.”

Former Mormon Tabernacle Choir member Alex Boyé took the stage to perform “Baba Yetu,” the lyrics of which translate to the Lord’s Prayer, and the Bonner family performed a medley of “Families Can Be Together Forever,” “Love Is Spoken Here,” “I Love to See the Temple,” “Bring the World His Truth,” and “I Am a Child of God.”

Gladys Knight closed out the musical performance with “Somewhere” from West Side Story, and a gospel arrangement of “Love One Another.”

President Russell M. Nelson

President Russell M. Nelson concluded the event by thanking all of the performers and saying, “It is my prayer and blessing that I leave upon all who are listening that we may overcome any burdens of prejudice and walk uprightly with God—and with one another—in perfect peace and harmony.”