Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Power of Hymns

The current Ensign has an article about singing hymns throughout the week. In fact, Singing Throughout the Week is the title of the article. In this article, a few Latter-Day Saints shared their experiences with singing hymns as a part of everyday life. There was a young man whose LDS step-mother was forbidden to teach him the gospel, so she sang hymns with him instead. Later in life, that man attended a church meeting and recognized the hymns they sang there and was converted. Another LDS woman had a daily chore that she disliked, so she sang hymns to herself to take her mind off the drudgery. This became a habit of hers, and eventually she came to enjoy the time she spends worshipping the Lord through music, even while doing her least favorite chore.

Hymns can have a powerful affect on the hearts and minds of the people who hear them, and the affect is even more powerful for the people who sing them. Hymns can lift spirits, inspire righteous actions, and draw us closer to God.

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. ... 
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

I've always loved hymns. I love the idea of connecting beautiful messages with beautiful music. They're very uplifting. If you have hymnbook in your home, I'd recommend taking a moment to open it to a favorite hymn, or a random one, and let the message enter your heart. I just did that, and the book opened up to hymn 236, Lord, Accept Into Thy Kingdom. It's a hymn about baptism in the name of Jesus Christ. I like the second verse:

Know ye not that he was holy? Yet he witnessed unto men
That the way is straight and narrow Leading unto God again.
Hark, glad tidings of salvation. Hear his word, "Come, follow me
Unto glory in my kingdom, Unto life eternally."

I'm grateful for a Savior who opened up the way, taught us the way, and showed us the way by His example, and I'm grateful for hymns to remind us of the glorious truths of the gospel in a way that they can linger in our hearts.

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