Many who have watched me grow know that I have participated in choir's, musicals, and all other kinds of musical events my entire life. For those who know me well, know that this was NEVER my favorite thing to do. Don't ask me why I did the things I did. Simply put, it has just never been something I enjoy doing.
Just recently, the missionaries in my area were asked to prepare for a meeting by inviting others to participate with us in a large choir. Maybe I shouldn't confess my sins over a blog post, but I groaned a little bit inside when I heard this. Like I said before, singing has never been my thing. As I have learned about what we will be participating in, the spirit has confirmed to my heart that this is in fact something that the Lord wants me to do.
1 Chronicles 16:9, "Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works."
Psalms 96:1, " O sing unto the Lord a new song: sing unto the Lord, all the earth."
Isaiah 44:23, " 23 Sing, O ye heavens; for the Lord hath done it: shout, ye lower parts of the earth: break forth into singing, ye mountains, O forest, and every tree therein: for the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified himself in Israel."
1 Nephi 21:13, " 13 Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; for the feet of those who are in the east shall be established; and break forth into singing, O mountains; for they shall be smitten no more; for the Lord hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted."
D&C 25:12, "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."
These scriptures, along with many more, show us the nature of singing like unto prayer. In the First Presidency Preface to the hymn book, it says: "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."
So this is what I have learned--its not about how well you sing. Its about singing praises to God. Its about the DOCTRINE found within the Hymns. The preface to the hymn book says, "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.”
It is my testimony that we are to sing praises to our Heavenly Father. It is another way that we can pray to him. We can learn so much from the hymns. I know that singing is the best way to feel the spirit. Singing can help us conquer temptation and bring an increase of the spirit into our lives. I know that the hymns were written by inspiration and will bring us closer to God.