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Voicing/Instrumentation: TB, Duet, Orchestra


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Joseph Smith

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Lyrics: 3-5 Duet
The Church will not die.
JOSEPH (Offstage)
My people, I know your feelings.
(Coming onstage, wearing a white suit like Temple workers use.)
My people, I know.
You saw me walk from our city,
YOUNG (Throughout the rest, he does not see Joseph)
I in my heart and you in your sight,
And he was alone among us.
JOSEPH (Standing beside YOUNG)
I gave you my vision, and under my hand I left you
To do as I bid you, to preach the testament of the new world:
YOUNG
But we did not know him as we do now.
I feel his presence and his loneliness:
He would go to Carthage for us, he would die for us,
And we did not want him to stay if he could do more.
JOSEPH
'If my brethren do not value my life, neither do I,' I cried.
And I went among my enemies, who wanted me.
YOUNG
Now the light comes in the sky of my vision,
The bird of God alights on the branch of Ephraim,
The ages cry in my marrow:
JOSEPH and YOUNG
My heart shakes with the wonder of our knowing, the voice
Of the millenniums in the crystal of earth;
Our hand trembles over them, and they ripple
Like the waters of Jordan and Zion
In the meridian day o£ the Lord:
We know the Testament and the voice
That runs like the wonder of heaven
Among the groves of Olivet.
It draws us with it, and abroad as our mission has been
Speaks His name.
YOUNG
Joseph, your hand! Where can you be?
FORBES
Brother Clayton, look!
It is Joseph.
The mantle of the Prophet has fallen on him!
(Anderson comes forward with the mantle of the Prophet; Joseph takes it from him and puts it on Brigham's shoulders.)
YOUNG
Joseph, I feel your ghost, and you have delivered me
Over the veil into the velvet planes
And the white air that shatters into the rivers of stars
We listen to from the pavilions of heaven,
JOSEPH and YOUNG
And all is new in the earth,
Where the petals fall like the leaves of another year.
Before me the people feel the breath of our being:
The Saints must leave Nauvoo,
And they weep in the fields for the harvests of grain;
They watch the light flowing from the grove, westward
To the cities of America in the havens of spring.
The Spirit thrives in them,
And we are left open to the people,
And they weep for the mission before us
And the scroll of the covenants you wrote upon:
The dust rises; the seasons disappear;
The people stir like the wings of returning memory
And the exile of forgotten ages: the bronzed hand
Breaks the seal, the lance of God
Springs from the taut bow;
Rushing, rushing, it rides in the waning afternoon;
(Joseph leaves.)
YOUNG
Joseph, the swiftness is upon me;
The certain hour and the flight of what is to be
Arrow my days of wondering
And you are with me in the mission
You brought me to, that I cannot deny.
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