Three months after the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized the Lord commanded Emma Smith to make a selection of sacred hymns for the Church. The Lord said, “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)
Music is an important part of life. It touches our hearts like few other things can. As the Lord says in the above scripture, it can be a blessing. It can comfort us in times of trial. It can pull us out of depression.
Music can be a time machine that hurls us back to grade school or junior prom, or a first kiss.
LIGHT AND DARKNESS
There has been, and will continue to be, a lot of debate about how much influence music can have on a person. One side of the debate says that music has an almost irresistible influence on a person. The other side believes it has no influence. The truth is somewhere in the middle. Most parents have seen music influence the behavior of their children in one direction or another. One teenager, when confronted by his parents about the effect his choice of music was having on him, said, “It doesn’t affect me. It just makes me feel good.” His less than logical teenage mind didn’t see the contradiction in what he had just said. If music can make one feel good, then it stands to reason it can make one feel bad, or happy, or sad, or mad, or angry.
Music can have such a profound influence on us that it really could be listed in the Word of Wisdom. Just as we should not take anything into our bodies that can adversely affect our health, we should avoid any music that can disrupt emotionally.
At the University of Utah in Logan, Utah, one can earn a degree in Music Therapy. The description of this program reads in part:
“A degree in music therapy prepares students for an established healthcare profession that uses music to address the physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals of all ages. Music therapists can improve the quality of life for people who are healthy as well as children and adults with illnesses or disabilities. They help others manage stress, alleviate pain, express feelings, enhance memory, improve communication, and improve health through music therapy practices.”
Sacred music is good, but not all good music is sacred music. What person with a pulse can listed to James Brown’s “I Feel Good” and not AT LEAST tap a foot? Good music comes in many genres. The important thing is to find something that makes you feel good and listen to it often. The song of the righteous “delighteh” the soul of the Lord. What type of music delights your soul?
Copyright © 2013 by Energy Media Works LLC
A FEW THINGS TO DELIGHT YOUR SOUL
Music video with Alex Boye and Carmen Rasmusen: “Have I done any Good in the World Today?” (source: The Mormon Channel)
Sandy Patty Sings, “Was it a Morning Like This?” A powerful song about that first Easter morning. (source: Youtube)
The King’s Singers perform “Danny Boy” in the Mormon tabernacle in Salt Lake City. (source: Youtube)
Dr. Daniel Henderson, from Harvard University, talks about the history of the LDS Hymnbook (source: The Mormon Channel)
BYU’s Dr. Michael Hicks discusses music in the early years of the church.
First LDS Hymnbook — Deseret News
Musical Notes – morguefile.com, ILUSTRAnatura