Are we moved spiritually as we listen to and sing the many great religious hymns/songs in our homes or church services? If we are not, then we are missing a spiritual opportunity to draw closer to our Heavenly Father and Savior through religious music.
Jesus Christ Set the Example
The Savior set the example by singing a hymn with His disciples after the Last Supper, “And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.” (Matthew 26:30 in the Bible)
Paul the apostle sang to praise God “And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God:..” (Acts 16: 25 in the Bible)
Song of the Righteous is a Prayer Unto the Savior
The Savior further declared. “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.” (Doctrine and Covenants 25: 12)
Memorizing the Words of the Hymns
“If our minds are filled with the tunes and words of hymns, less room remains for Satan’s influence. Singing hymns dismisses unworthy thoughts, deepens spiritual sensitivity, and quiets and lifts our spirits. When counseling Church members to memorize hymns as a way to keep out evil thoughts, President Boyd K. Packer said, “Because the music is uplifting and clean, the baser thoughts will slip shamefully away.” As we sing the hymns and fill our hearts and minds with their heavenly influence, we will find ourselves drawing closer to the Lord and striving to keep His commandments.” (Herbert Kiopfer, “Worship the Lord by Singing Hymns” January, 2012 in the Liahona Magazine)
My wife has a wonderful gift of remembering the words of many church hymns. Seldom does my wife ever refer to the words in the church hymn book, yet she sings all the hymns from memory beautifully. My wife plays the piano and organ and has been a accompanist as needed over the years though it has been a struggle for her and required hours of practicing. I thought of her when I read the below article.
Do We Thank the Accompanist
“We accompanists back up performers, maintain the tempo, and create the harmonizing and feeling of the music. At times, we even cover the mistakes of performers. We put in long hours before and after rehearsals. Sometimes we are lastto receive the music but first to be expected to learn it.
During a difficult time, I was struggling with these feelings. I felt that no one appreciated my work. One night I knelt beside my bed to tell Heavenly Father.
I began my prayer by listing everything I was doing and not receiving thanks for. I didn’t need much, but I needed something. I told Him that I felt forgotten.
During my complaining, the Spirit whispered a thought to my mind that changed my whole perspective.
I stopped praying as I suddenly saw my situation in a different light. I began going through my list of complaints, thinking of them in terms of Heavenly Father as the accompanist. I was surprised and humbled as I thought about how we may not realize how much He helps us, adds to our life, covers for our mistakes, and ‘neither slumber[s] nor sleep[s]’ (Psalms 121: 4 in the Bible) for our sakes. Do we invite Him last but expect Him first?
After that experience, I began to thank Him for His superb accompaniment in my life. Everything I am is because of Him and His Son. What a different perspective! He didn’t chastise me for my feelings or my complaining. Instead, He chose to teach me. He taught me a different way to see Him and others.
Now when I fall into the self-pity trap, I remember my Great Accompanist—the One I’m rehearsing with and the One I need to thank. Heavenly Father taught me to appreciate Him in a different way than I ever had, to see those around me with more appreciation, to have more of a grateful heart, and to remember His Son’s words: ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly’ (John 10: 10 in the Bible)”
(Brigetta Wright “The Great Accompanist” in the October, 2021 Liahona Magazine)