Friday, October 9, 2015

Sripture Feasting Tool #17 - Music

When have you felt the power of music, for good or for bad? 

I have felt my spirit soar with joy while listening to beautiful, uplifting, wholesome music. 

I have also felt the Holy Spirit leave when I a song starts playing that includes immorality, lust, violence, or other worldliness. That is why I stopped listening to music on the radio years ago. Needless to say, we must choose our music carefully. 

Why would I bring up music in a series about scripture feasting tools?  

Because holy music, like hymns and primary songs, are filled with truth -- doctrine and principles that bring us to Christ, like the scriptures do. And we are blessed if we use holy music regularly in our daily lives. The preface to the LDS Hymn Book says, "Some of the greatest sermons are preached by the singing of hymns" (Hymns, x).

It's easier than ever to bring holy music into your home, your car, your workout, and your life.  Here are a few ideas: 

  • Mormon Channel (the app or website) has two free music stations:  24/7 Music and Mormon Tabernacle Choir. 
  • LDS Youth (app or website) has free music that's fun, upbeat and also wholesome for young people. I love it too! 
  • Turn on uplifting music in the car, while getting ready, while exercising, or while cooking or cleaning around the house. The holy Sabbath is a wonderful day to turn on holy music to invite the Spirit in for the day. 
  • Turn on uplifting music first thing in the morning while everyone gets ready for the day to bring in the Spirit during a time that otherwise tends to be frenetic and contentious. You can use the same tool for 10 or so minutes before calling everyone to FHE or family prayer in the evening, and see if you notice less contention and more harmony. 
  • Use music to memorize things like seminary scripture mastery verses. The Sons of Ammon have written upbeat songs to make it easy to memorize these, which they share for free! Even if you don't have seminary youth, consider memorizing scriptures anyway. Here is what Elder Scott says about memorizing. 

  • Of course singing uplifting music always lifts the soul. Consider adding singing at least one hymn or primary song as part of your daily family prayer and scripture study. This habit has blessed our family immeasurably. 
Here is what the preface to the LDS Hymn Book has to say about singing hymns: "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" (Hymns, x).

Here is an experience of a special way holy music has helped my life. 

A few years ago I was a new institute teacher. As I prepared my lessons I would be basking in the Spirit. I often used Google to search for certain quotes. Not knowing better yet, sometimes I would click on a link and within a few seconds I felt a dark, heavy, yucky feeling come over me. Then I realized I had clicked on an anti-Mormon site and the Spirit had left. I would hurry to click out of the site, and then turn on Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and pretty soon I felt the sweet, peaceful, joy of the Spirit come back into my soul. Over time I learned how to do more careful searches for my quotes like Googling using in the search bar, but I am grateful for the lessons those contrast experiences taught me. I gained a more careful awareness and discernment of light and darkness. And they taught me a wonderful tool to push away darkness and fill myself back up with light, the tool of holy, sacred music. 

Our family has used the same tool often if contention between siblings has made the Spirit leave. We sing several verses (one doesn't seem to be enough) until we all feel the sweet peace of the Spirit again. I also use holy instrumental music with my earbuds to block out worldly music at the gym while I study for my next seminary lesson. 

One way to bring music right into your personal or family scripture study is to having each family member choose a favorite hymn, and look up the scripture references at the end of his or her song. Then take turns sharing what you learned and how the scriptures connect with the song. This would be a great last minute FHE lesson. Or do it the other way around: look for a hymn or primary song that goes along with the topic you're studying that day and sing it. 

Holy music is a beautiful tool that is a precious gift. I am forever grateful for it, and I'm grateful to live in a time where it is available anytime, anywhere. 

Click here for 17 quotes about the power of holy music. 

Click here to see other scripture feasting tools. 

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