Monday, March 8, 2010

Inspiring Music—Worthy Thoughts

I'm a giant fan of everything music. I think life should have come with a soundtrack and I frequently create my own because everything in life is so much better when music is playing at least in the background. Although I have my favorite musicians, bands, and genres, I believe that one should have at least a small appreciation and understanding of all kinds of music. That being said, I even went to an opera the other night which is a little out of my music realm but the whole experience was fun and completely worth it.

I've also been to what I believe to be my fair share of concerts in an assortment of venues and have seen all sorts of different crowds that accompany each different genre. Music has a powerful effect on the way people act. I often choose the music I listen to based on my current mood and how I want to feel. Something about music has a great effect on our attitudes, actions, and moods whether for good or for bad.

In all of my musical journeys and experiences, I've learned that nothing can compare to or trump the positive influence of inspirational and sacred music. Music written with the express purpose and intent of worshipping God and Jesus Christ-and I'm talking about hymns, not contemporary songs about Christ with modern or popular beats-has such a profound power to invite the Spirit and inspire us to do good.

Sacred music, church music, hymns, whatever the name, plays a very large role in my life. Whatever mood I may be in and whatever music may be able to either perpetuate or calm my moods, I always fall back to the hymns when I am in need of comforting, taking a deep breath and calming down, or help to overcome dark feelings. In the words of President Spencer W. Kimball, prophet and president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1973-1985, and his counselors, "Hymns can lift our spirits, give us courage, and move us to righteous action. They can fill our souls with heavenly thoughts and bring us a spirit of peace" (First Presidency Preface, Hymns, 1985, ix).

The article featured this week entitled, “Inspiring Music—Worthy Thoughts,” is found in the Jauary 1974 publication of the Ensign and was written by apostle President Boyd K. Packer. This article talks about the role of music in our lives and the influence music can have both good and bad.

The words of President Packer are true and, if heeded, will help each of us be happier and better withstand temptation.

God does not expect us to listen exclusively to church music, indeed, we should learn much about all kinds of good music and we should gain an appreciation for those who use their talents for good. Just remember that music is powerful. It is a great influence in our lives in either a positive or negative way and we choose what that influence will be as we choose what music fills our lives.

Jeremy