Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Music Strengthens Me - My Remembrances

I talked in Sacrament meeting last Sunday, July 24th.  This is the talk I gave (mostly).  I had wished I could play the songs I referenced in Sacrament meeting, but of course I couldn't.  I'm not restricted from sharing here, so please look for the links, and enjoy !!

When Brother Hatch called me last week and asked me to speak today, I was sure that the topic would be Pioneers, since today is the 24th, right?  Wrong - it was, "How Music has Strengthened Me"

At first I was taken aback - how has music strengthened me?  My first thought was, well, at the Crossfit, they always have the music blaring, and it does seem to help push me through the workout....... but I know that is not what he had in mind. 

I had to really think about this, and I found myself reflecting over the times that music has helped, touched, and affected me. 

It has been a most wonderful week, and I've reflected, and listed to this music.  Thank goodness for Youtube !   It is amazing.......  This week has been wonderful, and I am so thankful for this opportunity to collect my thoughts, and to record them. 

Most of these times are related to church settings, however one of them that I specifically remember was not.

A number of years ago, I was involved in a deposition concerning some property values  that were work related.  I went into a meeting, and was totally blindsided by a prosecuting attorney who had no other agenda, other than to belittle, tear down, and attack me.  If I could list the number of bad days I've had in my life, and I've had a few.........  this day would be in the top 5.  I think what made it so, was the total unexpectedness of the event.  A few months later, I found out that I again would be questioned by this same man, in a formal court setting.  This time I knew what was coming, and I was very worried and upset about it.  I stressed and stressed about this.  I had to  drive to Salt Lake every day for the hearings at the State Tax Commission,  and my time for questioning was going to be occurring on the 2nd or 3rd day.  Eash day I would pray earnestly for peace and composure, and each day I would put the EFY (Especially for Youth) CD in my car stereo, and listen and sing along to the comforting songs.   These songs really helped to calm my nerves, and prayers were answered, and I was able to get through the ordeal, which was surprising LESS attacking and adversarial than the original meeting.   I found strength as I listened the songs of Faith, Love, Service, and our Savior.

It is a wonderful thing, how music can help us all.  It sets the tone, doesn't it?  On Sunday mornings, it can calm a rowdy household.  Music and help while studying the scriptures, driving in the car, and even at work.

We have so many choices nowadays, on what we can listen to.   I've decided I'm finally old, as my first choice in the car is the dreaded 1160 AM - KSL.  I always used to shake my head at my parents when this was their channel of choice........ not any more, I guess I'm finally there.  It is nice to know that we can make choices, where we know what is to be expected, and where we know we won't unexpectedly encounter something that will drive away the Spirit.

I believe that music can be inspired.  One of my favorites is Glorious, the Soundtrack to Meet the Mormons video.   This song has been played so many times in my house.  Tagg loves it.  He will stand by me while we watch the video, and is almost mesmorized by it.  He can fee the Spirit, of that there is no doubt.   There is no doubt that this was inspired.  Such a beautiful song !

As I mentioned earlier, many of my fondest remembrances of Music, and the Spirit it brings have been in church related settings.  I had the opportunity MANY times, when I served in the Young Woman's organization.  Bishop Fisher (at the time) was a STRONG advocate of music, and he had a love of music, and it seemed that we were singing with the Young Men at several opportunities.  Some of you may remember them.

The song, As Sister's in Zion/ and Army of Helaman that the YW and YM said just a few weeks ago is an example of this.   I hadn't heard it for such a long time, and as I heard it once again, it brought back all of those memories and emotions.  That has got to be one of my all time favorite arrangements.  There was a young woman in our ward who brought this song to our attention (back when I was serving in YW 10+ years ago), she had heard it at EFY (I think), and wanted us to learn it.  The piano music was not easy, and she was not an accomplished piano player, but she practiced and practiced and practiced (to which her family can attest), and she mastered this.   I had no idea, until much later, how this had become such an accomplishment for her.  I was so proud of her. 

Another arrangement that has a special place in my heart is Praise the Man.  It starts out - "One spring morning in a grove, one boy seeking truth foretold - the heavens opened, he was heard, one prayer answered changed the world."  Oh how we practiced it, over and over, and the young women and young men LOVED it.  You could feel the power and Spirit as we sang it weekly, practicing for our celebration of the Prophet Joseph Smith's life, on the 200th anniversary of his birth in 2005.  As we presented it to the ward, that November, along with a play reenacting different stories of his life, it was truly one of the highlights of my life.  Jared Rose, who had recently returned from his mission, played the part of Joseph, and each YW and YM was able to participate as we show cased the prophet's life through word and song.   A few weeks ago, as I was playing in Primary, and heard Brother Jake Nicholas's strong clear beautiful tenor voice singing out with his primary class, it brought to memory that he had a solo in that wonderful production.  It brought tears to my eyes, at the memory this evoked.  I asked him later, if he remembered that song he sang, and he didn't, and neither did I, and but what we did remember was the FEELING.  These feelings will never be forgotten. 

As part of this remembrance of the Prophet Joseph on the anniversary of his birth, the youth had the opportunity for a Youth Conference in Salt Lake City, at This is the Place Monument, the Salt Lake Cemetery, an opportunity to listing President Hinckley's daughter, Virginia Pearce, and finally to meet with Brother Eldred G. Smith, the great great grandson of Hyrum Smith at the Lion House on Temple Square.  At that time, he was 98 years old, and he showed us the actual box that the Prophet had hidden the gold plates in.  We each had the opportunity to touch it.  

And we were TOUCHED as we again, sang to him, the song, Praise The Man.  It was an experience we will always remember. 

Primary Music - we can't forget this can we?  I love the old songs...... I wonder when He comes again, Jesus once was a little child, Give said the little stream.  Sometimes when I play these during the prelude, Sister Marcie Terrell will look at me and smile and wink, as we "oldies"  reminisce and remember these OLD songs.    The new ones are just as wonderful.  I know that My Savior Loves Me - the chorus, when the music swells, and the children  sing out - "I know he Lives !"  or A Family is of God,  and the new one they are learning, Jesus is a God of Miracles.  Just wait until you hear it.

Many other memories have been brought to my mind this past week. 

The Forgotten Carol's introduced to me by my dear friend Theresa, who has since returned home to our Heavenly Father.    What Heaven See's in You aka, "The three white dresses song", that we played in New Beginnings as we showed pictured of our Young Woman as babies in their white dresses being blessed, and then again as 8 years in white, ready to be baptized, and then as some of the older girls, who had been Laurels a few years previously, and our YW leaders, were dressed in their wedding dresses on the day they went to the temple".   There was not a dry eye in the house as we viewed the pictures of OUR girls along with the song.

The day Janelle Fisher went to the temple, our YW went to the temple grounds and waiting outside to greet her along with her family when they came out.  As we waited in the shade of that magnificent Salt Lake Temple, Bishop Fisher's dad came over and with his harmonica, serenaded us with a song.  Memories never to be forgotten.

At the dedication of the Rock Church, Gaylene Kimbal and her mom, Pam Turner played a piano / organ duet of How Great Thou Art.  It was Magnificent.  I had to call her this week, and ask her what exactly the name of the song was that they played, because I couldn't remember, but what I could remember was the feeling that was evoked in me as I listened to it.  I was strengthened.  Music does have this power.

A few years ago, I was talking with my good friend, Sherie Wright, and she mentioned that she LOVED  Oh Divine Redeemer  by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  I was not of the same opinion........   I've had a hard time sometimes, listening to the choir, especially if I don't know that song they are singing, and in their almost opera like voices, it just isn't my music of choice.  I can remember buying a Christmas CD of their performance, and literally not being able to understand MANY of the words.  It was good....and loud....... and it sounded nice.....but if you can't understand what they are saying.......  Sherie then made a suggestion that TOTALLY changed the way I thought it.   She said,  READ THE WORDS, as you listen.  That made ALL the difference.  And as I did as she suggested, and as I sat and listened, and read, the tears coursed down my face.  How thankful I was for her suggestion to me.  I am so thankful for her insight, which I obviously was missing. 

About 30 years ago - in this very  chapel, Brother Roger Bigler performed the song, "I Heard Him Come".   This song about our Savior, as viewed by a leper whom he healed, and then who followed Him as "He fed a thousand with one loaf of bread", and then who "saw his pain at they nailed him to a cross", is a beautiful work of music, and as Brother Bigler performed it that day in the middle of Sacrament for the rest song, it touched and affected the congregation greatly.  I was there, and I remember.  It was SO powerful, that our Bishop at that time, (who may have been brother Errol Nelson), asked him if he wouldn't sing it again, as the closing song.  Powerful.  Strengthening. Memorable.

Music can be Great and Magnificent and Memorable, and music can be as simple and pure  as Thatcher sitting in the backseat of my car, and asking , "Grandma, sing I am a Child of God with me".   I am grateful for the Music in My Life, and for the strength it provides me. 

**Also, it meant so much to me, that Roger D. called me on Sunday morning, to wish me luck in speaking.  He is such a sweetheart and always supports me.  I love him so much.  He is a wonderful husband and father. 

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...