For as far back as I can remember, my heart has held a song of one kind or another. Music has been a source of comfort, a source of healing, a source of the Spirit for me. There have been many times when I longed to hear the whisperings of Heaven and all that it took was selecting a CD and pushing "play". For me nothing invites the spirit quicker than the room being filled with what must be the dialect of God.
My spirit truly soars when the beautiful words sung are accompanied by a full orchestra. There is something about the sound of all of the stringed instruments weaving together. It's as if the sound literally wraps around my spirit and lifts me to a higher place. Often times when a particular song moves me I imagine myself as one of the violinists adding my small part to the rest of the musicians' melodies to create the beautiful masterpiece.
As a teenager, music was my best friend. I remember many times having one difficulty or another and I would lock myself in my room and listen to cassette tape after cassette tape. Music brought me a source of comfort that nothing else at the time could. My main source of music was usually albums sung by LDS artists. The lyrics were always uplifting and talked of things that were of eternal importance. The messages helped me to keep my eyes looking forward, to the future, always reminding me that if I stayed strong in the gospel and made good choices that I would someday enjoy all of the blessings that the gospel of Jesus Christ offers to me. At that time in my life it was vital that something keep me connected to heaven, that something keep reminding me who I truly was, why I was here and where I was going. Music played a huge part in that connection.
I love to sing. I am not a great singer but I love it. I prefer to sing harmony if I am singing with a choir or with a group. I feel blessed that Heavenly Father has given me the talent to sing on key and have a pleasant enough voice that at least my beagles in the backyard are not baying away. I always had a secret desire to marry someone who could also sing. I imagined my dream man and I singing together in church, being the perfect duo. But, alas, it was not meant to be, for Heavenly Father had greater things in store for me. When I first met my husband I didn't care for him much. In fact, at dances I would run and hide in the bathroom if I saw him headed my way. But one night after a fireside I found myself at his house meeting his family. He told me he could play the piano and I thought, "Right, chopsticks." When he sat down at his baby grand and his fingers started to play the keys, a beautiful song erupted and my heart immediately said, "I am going to marry this man." And I did. Heavenly Father made us the perfect duo. Not in the way that I had imagined but something more beautiful. I love it when he comes and finds me on a Sunday afternoon following church and he says, "Come and sing for me," and then he sits at the piano and I stand to the side of him and we create music together.
I, along with dreaming of having a husband who could sing, dreamed of being able to sing with my children. That part is coming to fruition. I have been blessed with two beautiful daughters who also love to sing. Even though genetically they did not inherit my musical abilities, they inherited that of their birth parents. One of the characteristics that both of my daughter's birthmothers were looking for in a potential family was that the family be musical and have a love for music. It makes me feel good inside knowing that I am able and willing and excited to share music with these children, that I am fulfilling a desire that these birthmothers had for their babies. It is so enjoyable to start to learn 3-part harmonies as my youngest is learning to stand on her own vocally.
Today in church we had the opportunity to hear a Men's choir. I adore a Men's choir; I could have sat and listened all day. I don't know what it is about it that touches me so much. I think it is because sometimes in a given song they can be singing with such volume and power and conviction that you think the walls are going to fall down and in the next instant these big, strong, masculine men are singing with such softness and sweetness and tenderness you can't help but feel the Spirit. I will be happy to say that my husband can sing and he enjoys it and will sing in a choir, and was up there singing today. He just does not enjoy singing on the tiny scale of a duet.
My favorite hymns or songs are of my Savior, Jesus Christ. The ones that remind me that He is always there for me. The ones that give me hope, in that He made it possible for me to have Eternal Life. I love my Savior and I am grateful that there are hymns written about Him and we get the privilege of singing those praises unto Him. I don't think that anyone sings about the Savior more beautifully than the Mormon Tabernacle Choir ("America's Choir" as Ronald Reagan called it).
So I would like to share with you one of my favorite hymns sung by my favorite choir, and even though I will never have the opportunity to raise my voice alongside their's, I am with them in spirit, and I raise my voice in testimony with them. And as their heavenly voices ring; then sings my soul!