Have you ever fought back tears of gratitude while singing a hymn? ever felt the Spirit testify to you about the love of our Heavenly Father for you through a song? I have.
I believe that we’ve all been touched by music at one point or another in our lives. Hopefully we’ve been touched in such a way that our lives (even if it’s for a brief moment) are made better and our burdens are made lighter.
In D&C 25:12 the Lord says “For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads.” President J. Reuben Clark, Jr observed that “we get nearer to the Lord through music than perhaps through any other thing except prayer.”
Music is a big part of my spiritual life. Now that is a bold statement from someone who is really not musically talented at all. Despite this lack of musical ability, I still have a great appreciation and love of music. I sing when I’m happy and I listen to my favorite hymns and songs when I’m sad. I also happen to have the good fortune of being married to an amazingly talented man. One of his talents is music. He has a beautiful voice and he plays the piano.
There have been many times when our date nights have simply been a quiet evening at home either listening to our favorite artists or the two of us singing our favorite hymns while he plays them on the piano. One of us would be singing on key and the other may or may not depending on the song but the result is always the same – our testimonies are strengthened, and our love and commitment to each other is made that much stronger.
We are so blessed to have so many resources from where we can select and obtain inspiring music. In addition to Hymns and the Children’s Songbook we have a large number of talented artists producing beautiful Christ centered music. Speaking of the Children’s Songbook, did you know that there is an online version available? I made this discovery not too long ago myself. This belated discovery is the reason why I decided to write this post.
We’ve always had copies of Hymns and the Children’s Songbook at home and so I never had a reason to look for another version until recently. One of the boxes that apparently got misplaced during our recent move was the one containing our Children’s Songbooks. I was online trying to order another copy when I decided to do a quick check on the Church’s official web site and I was pleasantly surprised when the very thing that I was looking for came up.
The online version of the Hymns and the Children’s Songbook is available for you to print, to download to your MP3 player, or to listen to right on your computer. You can even choose to listen to the music only or to the music with words. Quite an impressive resource! Some songs are not available online due to copyright restrictions but most songs are listed. Other music available on the site includes music that was published in Church magazines, Seminary Music, Young Women Camp Music, and other selected Young Women Music. There is a wealth of information available on this site such as how to teach songs to children, an interactive course on how to conduct music and many more so be sure to check it out. I was also very excited to read that this wonderful site is only going to get better by the addition of more songs in various formats and languages as resources are available.
We have a family tradition that has made a world of difference to our Sunday mornings. Immediately after we get up, either my husband or myself would go downstairs where we keep the family stereo, select a CD from our LDS collection and play it. This practice has made our Sunday mornings extra special because we all feel the Spirit even before we enter the chapel doors to worship each Sunday. Somehow having such music play in the background while we’re all getting ready has made our preparations less frantic. Even our boys feel it too. The music has already been playing for awhile by the time I tell them to get ready and though they are still in bed they’ve also been listening to the music so they get up and get ready without so much as a murmur or having to be told twice.
The Preface to Hymns contains an important message to all of us from the First Presidency. Part of it reads, “…Some of the greatest sermons are preached by the singing of hymns…Hymns move us to repentance and good works, build testimony and faith, comfort the weary, console the mourning, and inspire us to endure to the end. Music has boundless powers for moving families toward greater spirituality and devotion to the gospel. Latter-day Saints should fill their homes with the sound of worthy music…”
I am so thankful for the gift of music in our lives. We may not all have a talent for music but we can still enjoy this wonderful gift in our lives. Music has a way of touching our hearts in a way that nothing else can. I hope that we will all continue to look for ways to bring righteous and inspirational music into our homes.