Jesus at the Dance

So, Jesus has returned. He’s living in your single adult ward and there’s a dance this Friday night. Tell me, girls and guys, do you attend the dance?

If so, how does it make a difference that He’s there? Would you try to hang out with Him? How do you expect He would look/act? How would you look/act?

On the other hand, if you’d give it a miss, why?

34 comments for “Jesus at the Dance

  1. Okay, so maybe it is a weird question :) So let me rephrase it: Can we take Jesus seriously as a person who might exist in our world. If the Savior lived today (instead of 2,000 years ago), He would have to exist somewhere in space…which means He would be in some ward boundary…which means He might have a calling in the stake presidency…or maybe the scout program? So he’d be getting the youth together to work on merit badges on Wednesday nights. Or attending PEC meetings Sunday mornings. Or dancing at the stake dance on Saturday night. Does our concept of Jesus make sense for the world we live in, or is He so far removed from our daily experience that we can’t make room or sense for Him here?

  2. So, maybe the question I asked my dad when I was about 7 isn’t such a bad question after all: “Was Jesus a Mormon?”

  3. “How do you expect He would look/act?”

    Not only would he be at the dance, he’d be providing the music. I like to think of Jesus with, like, big eagle’s wings, singing lead vocals for Lynyrd Skynyrd with, like, an angel band.

  4. Dane,

    Does our concept of Jesus make sense for the world we live in, or is He so far removed from our daily experience that we can’t make room or sense for Him here?

    If Jesus were around today and he wasn’t trying to “fill the role” of The Christ, and was a regular guy, I’d be a good friend. If he were around today as The Christ, he would not be approachable. Just like the prophet today is not approachable. I cannot go to President Monson simply to talk to him. Even if he were here visiting my ward. As The Prophet, he is not approachable. He is removed from “our daily experience.” Jesus as The Christ, would be far removed from our daily experience. Jesus the man would be a very good guy to hang around with.

  5. If Jesus were here today, it would be the Millenium and He would be “King of Kings” and “Lord of Lords”, in short, the Chief Executive of the World as well as direct Head of the Church. He likely wouldn’t be holding a ward or stake callings since He would be the undisputed Head of the Whole Church. Every meeting that He entered He would always be THE presiding authority. Since He would be in full possession of all of His Godly attributes, He would, IMHO, be completely approachable since He would already know us better than we ourselves. He would give us the type of answers to our questions that would lead us to conclude the sublime truths that we were meant to glean from that problem or experience. Jesus the Christ would be the very antithesis of the corporate executive of today.(No arrogance, greed or condescension here!) As our ruling Saviour He would always be warm, positive, cheerful and radiating love fo each of us as individuals.
    If Jesus the mortal man were here among us today then I could see Him accepting ward, stake, or higher callings in His stride. He also would be approachable, but He would have to deal with us in the usual mortal, time consuming manner since He did not enjoy the divine insight of Godhood. He would be a patient listener,and the most compassionate, loyal friend that each of us ever had. I also believe that He would have an excellent sense of humor, and would calmly reassure us through all our vicissitudes, “This, too, shall pass, and you will be fine.”

  6. Sorry Dan,

    I knew Thomas Monson over thirty years ago. He attended a pigeon club that my grandfather was also a member in. Tom Monson likes to clown around. He is very approachable. I recently ran into him in Salt Lake with my son. Within 30 seconds he was engaged in a conversation with my ten-year old son, discussing my grandfather and pigeons. Same guy through and through. I don’t think Thomas Monson has really changed that much. I think our perception of him has.

    I like to think of the historical Jesus as being that human. As being able to talk and teach the most humble of people, of appreciating and understanding our weaknesses and worries. For some reason that gives me hope.

  7. The same question might have been applied to Joseph Smith in his early years. And what if one of the young men in your Seminary class is a future General Authority?

  8. If you are one who is exposed to single adult dances and associated culture, you know the joke/reality about people being there that you think/know are married. So this strikes me funny for all the wrong reasons. Oh Great, another guy at a singles dance who isn’t really single.

  9. Mark B., your 7-year-old question goes right to the heart of it — can we see beyond His divinity to his mortality, and reconcile the idea that mortality takes place in space in time, including the mundane, and even disgusting, parts of life.

    Dan and Velikiye Kniaz, thanks for sharing your personal depictions of Jesus. I think we’ve seen a popular transition from viewing Jesus as cold, strict, and trans-human to seeing Him as more humorous, kind, and approachable. The pictures of Jesus I remember as a child were depicted Him as a passionless “zen master” (like this, this, or this). The ones that seem to be more popular today (like this and this) focus on Him as fun and happy. I think the change is positive, but my fear is that we trade a Jesus that is strict for a Jesus that is saccharine, and neither of them are human enough to relate with. I’d love to see a series of art depicting Jesus in the mundane scenes that make up the bulk of living for most of us — waking up in the morning with messy hair; eating breakfast (aside: did ancient Jews eat breakfast or is that just a modern luxury?); bored and tired in the synagogue on the Sabbath. A Jesus who’s always photogenic, who doesn’t sweat, eat or fart (no — that’s not a request for gas-passing artwork…ugh :( ), isn’t human to me in a meaningful way.

    Oatmeal, thanks for sharing that about Pres. Monson.

    MainTour, to me it’s hugely different. Joseph Smith or any general authority is just human. Jesus is human and divine. My question is, do we lose his humanity in His divinity?

    lj, really? I’m trying to imagine why a married person would attend a church singles dance. “Hi, that was a great dance. Can I see you later?” “Sure, but first I’ll have to check with my husband.” What?!

  10. Oatmeal,

    I think you miss my point. If President Monson were approachable to me, he would be approachable to all. There simply is not enough time in the day for that to happen. Can I write him a letter that he himself would read? Can everybody? When will he have time to respond to everybody? He can’t. He’s not approachable as “the prophet.” Jesus is not approachable as “The Christ” because simply put there just is not enough time in a day for everyone to be able to approach Jesus as “The Christ.” You are lucky enough to have known Tom Monson because you may have grown up in the same neighborhood. The closest I will ever get to him is the broadcast of General Conference.

  11. Is he a member or did he have to be re-baptized into the church? I assume there is no official record of his baptism by John? I assume he’s not single so is he attending as a chaperon? Would he make the dj turn off the NIN song he always used to try and sneak in at our dances?

  12. That’s actually a really good question, Dane.

    Maybe he would surprise us all and would party hard – bring some wine, share it abundantly.

    He was known to do things like that, you know.

  13. #18 Really Dane- people in various stages of separation or actual divorce proceedings will show up at dances and single’s conferences. It’s not the majority but not wholly uncommon. They are understandably hurt and confused and looking for company. They justify ignoring the clearly set rules feeling more single than they actually are. Multi-stake or regional gatherings keep them from being spotted unless someone from their own ward is there and knows the details of the situation. It’s an inside joke/frustration in the single adult community. Now, away from the thread jack and back to the point.

    Christ would never be confused about his identity at a dance, of that I’m very sure. After the triumphant crossing of the Red Sea, Miriam, the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. (Exodus 15:20-21).

    On his triumphant return from battle to Mizpah, Jephtah was greeted by his daughter with timbrels and dancing (Judges 11:34).

    Looks like we’d need some timbrels or something to welcome Him to a dance.

    I’d be more comfortable learning ancient ways of ceremony and celebration than incorporating Him into my everyday. So I’d rather meet Him on His turf, rather than bring Him to mine and then he could qualify as “familiar” and everyday. I’ll go to Him to be familiar.

  14. I think we have a tendency to think of Christ in our time as some kind of fish out of water, like Evan Almighty or something. I don’t think he would be. Maybe we’d all freak out if he wore a suit and tie instead of a flowing robe, but I can’t believe “his turf” is on where he lived as a child and everywhere else if foreign to him. I suppose he’d be just as familiar here, now, as anywhere.

  15. Dale Bills, a spokesman for the Church, said in a statement released Tuesday, 16 May 2006:
    The belief that Christ was married has never been official church doctrine. It is neither sanctioned nor taught by the church. While it is true that a few church leaders in the mid-1800s expressed their opinions on the matter, it was not then, and is not now, church doctrine.

  16. if Jesus was at the dance he’d probably hang out with me. He’d make Joseph Smith and Brigham Young look like jerks with a passing, non-confrontational innocent, truthful remark regardin them already having enough chicks. They’d try to beat him up in the parking lot but he’d stop me from knocking them both completely out with two well placed overhand rights and he’d block all their punches with ease and use pressure points to simultaneously incapacitate both of them in as non violent manner as possible. Then me and Jesus would get the hot, smart, decent chicks and take them to Dennys in my van.

  17. if Jesus was ever at a dance I would watch out for his killer moves and then try to duplicate them!

  18. Who cares if he was single. He is our Savior! I would be in awe and feel full of love for him and hopefully be able to speak to speak to him and not be so stunned I’d be silent.

  19. RE: #26
    The next time Jesus appears publicly on this earth, it will be His time, His place, and in very fact, His earth. That said, perhaps we all ought to start thinking of Him in the ‘here and now’ rather than just in the Biblical context of His mortal ministry. I do think, however, that some Biblical expressions regarding Christ as Saviour should have some clarification. For example, Our Father, the Saviour and the Holy Spirit don’t ‘need’ our praise, They know Who and What They are. Our praise of the Godhead is more for our instruction and reminder, lest we think of them as a divine version of good ol’ boys. They are not divine egotists or narcissists.
    The same principle can be applied to the terms crowns, thrones, brocaded robes, jewels, etc. All of these are the accoutrements of mortal monarchies, and very likely irrelevant to the Creator and Ruler of the Universe and His Son, our Saviour. When You appear to mortals in a “brightness and glory that defy all description”, a crown, elaborate robes, jewels, etc., seem like a poor substitute or supplement. I’ve noticed that in all of the appearances of the Saviour to Joseph and his successive prophets, none of them have ever mentioned seeing the Saviour, (or any of the Godhead), wearing any of these ‘tchotchkes’*. This forces me to conclude that the Godhead demand our reverence and respect since we are, afterall, flawed mortal sons and daughters who are, (and will be continuing into the eternities), “working out our salvation (and exaltation) with fear and trembling”. Because of the infinite love all three members of the Godhead have for us I really do believe that they will be warm, approachable, friendly and very loving, greeting us much as proud parents greet their children after they have received their diplomas at university. Now this is my vision, (or opinion, if you wish), of what our Heavenly Father, our Saviour and the Holy Spirit will be like when we meet and associate with Them.

    *tchotchkes: Yiddish; literally, dust collecting, cheap knick-knacks. Also used in a larger sense for anything that is superfluous and/or useless.

  20. If Jesus came to the dance, he came to get his groove on. So it would probably be a good idea to have me DJ it.

  21. Wow. Terrific question. Many of the answers here make me think that most of us don’t really _get_ el Jesus, including me. But one thing is positively sure: it would be the best Church dance ever, and I’m 100% certain that Jesus would get his groove on…

    “If thou art merry, praise the Lord with…dancing…”

    Think of it this way. Ever been to a Jewish or black wedding? Dance is more than celebration: it is spiritual fulfillment. I will NEVER forget the dance at our wedding because it was all of that. Sometimes our Puritan Mormon culture is so diluted (particularly within the sacred walls of the Utah bubble) that I just want to scream.

    Oh, Jesus knows how to get down and be a life of the party. He wouldn’t be the center of attention, either, even though he might be leading the fun. Picture him dancing with any children present — not likely there’d be any, I know — but it’s totally his style.

    Excellent, thought-provoking question, dropping Jesus into a modern, awkward Mormon setting. One things certain: he ain’t no stiff.

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