I love music! I literally am always playing it in the background. There’s something about it that is so comforting, so nostalgic, almost like stepping into a time machine at times, or talking with your best friend. I have about 20 Pandora stations programmed and all set for my different moods. Music, for me, is like a bubble bath–but for my ears. I like to think of myself as still pretty hip to the new music, so I, of course, tuned into the Grammy Awards last week. I’m also a sucker for drama, so I was tuned in with my popcorn ready to see what singer would have the most scandalous performance everyone would be talking about the next day. Well, as much as I love music, I did not enjoy the show. Music has seemed to lose its juice. It used to be about the lyric, the instruments, and the way it made you feel. Now, it seems to be about who can evoke a bigger reaction and get into the most headlines.
The next day, instead of hearing all about who wore the best dress, or whose performance was the best, I read a couple of articles. One was about Natalie Grant and the other about Mandisa, two names maybe not as widely known as say, Beyonce, or Katy Perry, but both respectable musicians who both were nominated for awards.
Natalie Grant, a critically acclaimed Christian musician, was nominated for two gospel Grammy awards. She attended the show and caused quite the frenzy when she decided to get up and walk out mid-show. She never specifically said why she left, just that she felt the need to leave. Because of this, she was highly criticized, and you can imagine what the media came up with as reasons why she left. Her response, however, was honorable, as she stated that she never said it was any one performance or person that caused her to leave.
In response to the critics she stated,
“I’ve judged no one. I hate no one. And I believe that every person has been created in the image of God. I will never stand on a street corner and wave a sign, I won’t use my platform to engage in political arguments that will only divide and not unite. I will continue to pray that my life will be my message.”
Mandisa, also a Christian singer, was nominated for and won two Grammy awards but chose to stay home to “protect her faith” She took to social media and tweeted,
I have been struggling with being in the world, not of it lately. I have fallen prey to the alluring pull of flesh, pride, and selfish desires quite a bit recently. … I knew that submerging myself into an environment that celebrates those things was risky for me at this time. I am taking steps to renew my mind to become the Heavenly Father-centered, completely satisfied with Jesus, and Holy Spirit-led woman I felt I was a few months ago, but I’m feeling a bit like an infant learning to walk again on shaky legs.
In the Young Womens’ program for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, whose members are sometimes called Mormons, the young women have a theme that we base our lessons we teach every month off of. Last year it was “Stand ye in holy places” After reading these two articles, I couldn’t help but think of what a great example they are of this. These two celebrities are not afraid to stand up for what they believe in, and are proud of their Christian faith. When I agreed to write for LDS Blogs, I was so excited for the opportunity but I was also nervous because I have not always been so open about my beliefs. It’s a huge part of my life, and it shows through that, but I tend to shy away from any in depth conversations about it. Many of us go to church Sundays, but when asked about our weekend we usually just talk about the latest movie we saw, or about a family dinner we may have had while leaving out we went to church Sunday. Why is that? Fear of rejection? Fear of what our friends might think or say? I reflected how I have done that in my own life, and felt I need to be better at standing up for my beliefs without fear.
Since having my daughter, I have realized how important it is to be an example now, so when she grows up and is faced with life’s temptations, she can know and feel comfortable in who she is and be a woman of faith like these two singers are. I love when Natalie Grant said “I will continue to pray that my life will be my message” I have learned the way I live my life says a lot more about who I am as a person than anything I can say or preach about. What’s the old saying? “Actions speak louder than words?” I had an experience with my daughter a few months ago that was a big eye opener for me.
I have shared with you my love for technology and my phone, and my daughter picked up on this. If I didn’t have my phone near me she would bring to me because she is used to seeing it by me all the time. At that moment, it made me wonder if she knew how much I love my Savior. Does she know who He is if I pointed him out in a picture? Does she know how I cannot live without the gospel and Christ in my life? Talk about putting things in perspective! I know I love my Savior, but does that reflect in my actions? In my attitude? I want her to know by looking at me and my actions that I love my Savior and have a testimony of Him. More importantly, I want her to know who Christ is, and gain that same testimony.
I love that these women were not afraid especially being in the public eye and music industry, where it’s so hard to maintain their values, to let the world know they love their Savior, and they are proud of the life they live. I hope to be that kind of example to my daughter, and that by my actions other people will know who I am and what I believe in. We should all strive to be a little more courageous.
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