When he was 17, Joseph Peeples—then living in Southern California—traveled with his family to Salt Lake City where an acquaintance arranged a visit with Tabernacle organist Clay Christiansen. Joseph had been serving as his Latter-day Saint ward (local congregation) organist since he was 15. At the age of 17, he also began serving as one of the organists for his stake (a church unit made up of local congregations). His Salt Lake visit was his chance to actually see and learn more about the iconic organ in the Salt Lake Tabernacle on Temple Square.
Joseph remembers Clay Christiansen playing the organ and explaining the features which made the Tabernacle organ unique. Because Clay knew of Joseph’s background with organ performance, he allowed Joseph to sit at the organ to play a hymn as Clay showed him the use of the different stops and sounds or “voices” that could be utilized.