1. “Choose only entertainment and media that uplift you...help you to have good thoughts and make righteous choices...without losing the Spirit... Do not attend, view, or participate in entertainment that is vulgar, immoral, violent, or pornographic in any way.” – For the Strength of Youth
2. “Music is an important and powerful part of life. It can be an influence for good that helps you draw closer to Heavenly Father. However it can also be used for wicked purposes... Choose carefully the music you listen to. Pay attention to how you feel when you are listening. Don’t listen to music that drives away the Spirit, encourages immorality, glorifies violence, uses foul or offensive language, or promotes Satanism or other evil practices.” – For the Strength of Youth
3. "We get nearer to the Lord through music than perhaps through any other thing except prayer."– President J. Reuben Clark Jr., Conference Report, Oct. 1936, 11
4. "It really matters what you listen to. . . . Select music that will strengthen your spirit." – Elder Russell M. Nelson, Ensign, Nov. 1985, 3
5. "When you sing the hymns, . . .ponder the meaning of the words, enjoy the spirit of the music. Sing with enthusiasm without regard to your tones. You will have a good feeling, and your spirit will be enlivened." – Elder Graham W. Doxey, Ensign, Oct. 1991, 26
6. "Music can set an atmosphere of worship which invites [the] spirit of revelation, of testimony." – President Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, Nov. 1991, 22
7. "Music is given of God to further his purposes. Sweet melodies mellow the souls of men and help prepare them for the gospel. After men receive the truth, songs of praise to Deity help to sanctify and cleanse their souls." – Elder Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine (1966), 521
8. "An organist who has the sensitivity to quietly play prelude music from the hymnbook tempers our feelings and causes us to go over in our minds the lyrics which teach the peaceable things of the kingdom. If we will listen, they are teaching the gospel, for the hymns of the Restoration are, in fact, a course in doctrine!" – President Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, Nov. 1991, 22 (emphasis added)
9. "The singing of our sacred hymns, written by the servants of God, has a powerful effect in converting people to the principles of the Gospel, and in promoting peace and spiritual growth." – President Heber J. Grant, Improvement Era, Sept. 1940, 522
10. "The most effective preaching of the gospel is when it is accompanied by beautiful, appropriate music." – President Harold B. Lee, Conference Report, Apr. 1973, 181
11. "Inspiring music may fill the soul with heavenly thoughts, move one to righteous action, or speak peace to the soul." – President Ezra T. Benson, Ensign, Nov. 1974, 67
12. “The singing of the songs of Zion, though imperfectly, with the inspiration of God, will touch the hearts of the honest more effectively than if sung well without the Spirit of God." – President Heber J. Grant, Improvement Era, July 1901, 686
13. "I am comforted by the assurance that there will be beautiful music in heaven, and for that I am most grateful." – President Spencer W. Kimball, Ensign, Nov. 1982, 4
14. "We are able to feel and learn very quickly through music, through art, through poetry some spiritual things that we would otherwise learn very slowly." – President Boyd K. Packer, 1976 Devotional Speeches of the Year (1977), 267
15. "Choose from among the sacred music of the Church a favorite hymn, one with words that are uplifting and music that is reverent, one that makes you feel something akin to inspiration. Go over it in your mind carefully. Memorize it...It will change the whole mood on the stage of your mind. Because it is uplifting and clean, the baser thoughts will disappear." - Boyd K. Packer, Conference Report, Oct. 1976
16. "When we rejoice in beautiful scenery, great art, and great music, it is but the flexing of instincts acquired in another place and another time." – Elder Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign, May 1984, 21
17. "Those who choose, conduct, present, and accompany the music may influence the spirit of reverence in our meetings more than a speaker does." – President Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, Nov. 1991, 22
The above quotes are from lds.org.
Now see how many promised blessings you can count for using holy music. This is the First Presidency Preface in the beginning of the LDS hymn book.
Three months after the Church was organized, the Lord, through the Prophet Joseph Smith, instructed Joseph's wife, Emma, to make a selection of sacred hymns for the Church: "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" (D&C 25:12).
Now, 150 years after the first hymnbook was published by the Church, we are pleased to present this revision. Many hymns found in our original hymnbook and in subsequent editions are included, as are a number of newly added hymns. All have been selected to meet the varied needs of today's worldwide Church membership.
Music in Our Church Meetings
Inspirational music is an essential part of our church meetings. The hymns invite the Spirit of the Lord, create a feeling of reverence, unify us as members, and provide a way for us to offer praises to the Lord.
Some of the greatest sermons are preached by the singing of hymns. Hymns move us to repentance and good works, build testimony and faith, comfort the weary, console the mourning, and inspire us to endure to the end.
We hope to see an increase of hymn singing in our congregations. We encourage all members, whether musically inclined or not, to join with us in singing the hymns. We hope leaders, teachers, and members who are called on to speak will turn often to the hymnbook to find sermons presented powerfully and beautifully in verse.
Latter-day Saints have a long tradition of choir singing. Every ward and branch in the Church should have a choir that performs regularly. We encourage choirs to use the hymnbook as their basic resource.
Music in Our Homes
Music has boundless powers for moving families toward greater spirituality and devotion to the gospel. Latter-day Saints should fill their homes with the sound of worthy music.
Ours is a hymnbook for the home as well as for the meetinghouse. We hope the hymnbook will take a prominent place among the scriptures and other religious books in our homes. The hymns can bring families a spirit of beauty and peace and can inspire love and unity among family members.
Teach your children to love the hymns. Sing them on the Sabbath, in home evening, during scripture study, at prayer time. Sing as you work, as you play, and as you travel together. Sing hymns as lullabies to build faith and testimony in your young ones.
Music in Our Personal Lives
In addition to blessing us as Church and family members, the hymns can greatly benefit us as individuals. 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.
Hymns can also help us withstand the temptations of the adversary. We encourage you to memorize your favorite hymns and study the scriptures that relate to them. Then, if unworthy thoughts enter your mind, sing a hymn to yourself, crowding out the evil with the good.
Brothers and sisters, let us use the hymns to invite the Spirit of the Lord into our congregations, our homes, and our personal lives. Let us memorize and ponder them, recite and sing them, and partake of their spiritual nourishment. Know that the song of the righteous is a prayer unto our Father in Heaven, "and it shall be answered with a blessing upon [your] heads."
From The First Presidency (Hymns of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 1985, x)
How many promised blessings did you count in the preface? I counted 22!
Here are a few more resources about using holy music.
Here are four FREE ways to listen to uplifting LDS music 24 hours a day!
How has holy music blessed your life?