Community Treasures

Provo TabernacleMany of us were heartbroken to learn of the fire that gutted the Provo Tabernacle today. The Provo Tabernacle has been the site of countless church, community, and cultural events for many years. You’d probably be hard-pressed to find someone in this area who doesn’t have memories of attending an event in the stately historic building. It has truly been a community treasure.

The loss of the Provo Tabernacle is devastating on many levels. It is something that most people probably never dreamed could happen. Community landmarks are just that, pillars of security that we often take for granted, completely forgetting how fragile they can be. The loss of such a community landmark is a blow to a community’s identity, and maybe even its sense of security.

In recent years, a number of beautiful community landmarks have been constructed in Mapleton. The new Hobble Creek Elementary, Mapleton Junior High, Maple Mountain High School, Mapleton Community Center, and IRA Allen park come to mind. These community facilities have provided fields and beautiful gyms for community sports; auditoriums for cultural events; room for a library, city meetings, and community events. We are fortunate indeed to have them, and we should respect and take care of them carefully.

Nevertheless, a community’s true treasure lies in its people. A full auditorium of people rising in respect as a community choir sings the “Hallelujah Chorus;” a coach who works endless hours with kids who are playing community soccer; a teacher who creates and demands excellence; a neighbor who shovels a driveway, brings a meal, drops by Christmas treats; leaders who spend countless hours with young people, without pay – these are a community’s true treasures.

The Provo Tabernacle fire is a sobering reminder that community treasures we take for granted can indeed be fragile. As a friend commented, “Now I feel bad for all the times I drove by the Tabernacle and never turned my head to look at it.”

Although community treasures can seem constant, in reality they require care and nurturing if they are to continue to flourish.

Perhaps it’s time to take a moment to consider our community treasures and do something to support them. Maybe it’s time to volunteer. Maybe it’s time to donate money to a worthwhile program. Maybe it’s time to express appreciation to someone who has served well in our schools, churches, or community.

Maybe it’s time to take a moment to reflect on and be grateful for Mapleton’s many community treasures – both its places and its people.

Update: A community effort called “Rebuild the Provo Tabernacle” is now underway. A fund has been created at Zions Bank where you can contribute to this cause if you would like. Find more information at the “Help Rebuild the Provo Tabernacle” Facebook page.

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