Song 065 – Celestial Kingdom or Bust

By February 23, 2018Songs

This is one of maybe 10 songs I wrote, or in this case helped write, which is universally loved the first time it is heard by LDS Audiences. It is a great song for a Ward Party. And I do think folks like to hear it again. However, I doubt anyone wants to listen to it on the radio, again and again and again. When Marti and I were making our plans, Marti had a flash-of-insight at the jeweler’s, and said why don’t you write “Celestial Kingdom or Bust” on the inside of your wedding ring. I ended up giving the jeweler a Book of Mormon, and Marti was quite surprised at how the conversation had gone after her comment. Always the optimist, I only heard the “Celestial Kingdom” part, not the “Bust” part of her comment. This song is the basis for the music and phrasing of Psalm 6, and is referenced by Song 044 – My Family, by Song 050 – Tribes, and by Song 60 – Randy’s Song. Our Friend Quentin Reed fell in love with the title. So, he decided that Marti and I needed a song named after what was being put inside my ring. I dimly remember Quentin writing the verse about Israel. I think I added the verse about the Sons of Mosiah. Maybe Quentin brought up the apostles in a fishing boat. I recall writing “And jumping from the boat Peter’s words were thus.” I added Verse 5, about coming to the west, on March 14th of 2016 because sang the song at the Family History Consultant’s Monthly fireside. I always remember how Quentin and I sang this at a Young Adult campfire at Estes Park, and on the way back to Denver that night, Riley Skeen stopped to help someone whose car was broken down, specifically because of the words in what is now verse 6, “So, if you see someone bending under their load, stop and help them along the road, we help them, and they help us, Celestial Kingdom or Bust.” I wore the ring for a couple of years after the divorce, while I was going through the PAIRS Therapy Training. Others in the class told me I needed to stop wearing the ring. I finally cut a gap in the ring with a hack saw, and left it on the cabinet in my closet. I think Marti or one of the kids must have taken the ring. The downside of the “Bust” was the absolutely hardest emotional trial of my life. When I did a web search on the phrase, it was interesting to see the image to the left come up, showing how someone, most likely independently, is commercializing the phrase at an LDS website.

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