Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Convictions: Music and Some Words

My 16 year old daughter and I take voice lessons together. I don't plan on cutting a CD soon (or at all) but Ali has a wonderful gift. Our teacher, Liz is wonderful and we sometimes do a little more talking between the three of us than singing.

We decided to change my lessons to familiar songs because I was feeling very insecure about learning new words (which is next to impossible for me). To end my lesson, we thought we would sing a hymn of my choice. I picked a familiar hymn, but one that makes me stretch up to higher notes. I am embarrassed to say, I couldn't make it through the first verse without bursting into tears. The Spirit touched me so strongly and I stopped singing and whispered, "I can't sing this right now."

I have a critic who thinks I could never feel the Holy Spirit and wants to convince me that I will never be worthy enough to enter Heaven. I will name this person by name at the end of this post. It seems when you are trying to make right choices and have dedicated yourself to do so, there is always a blockade to try to keep you from progressing. That is proof that you are on the right track.

My half-sister, who I consider a whole sister, but just explaining we didn't share childhood together, came to visit from out of state. She played our piano and wanted to check out some Mormon hymns. Well, needless to say, she is a professional hymn player and used to play in churches. So she would see the title of the song, not recognize it, and start a few bars and say, "Oh! I know this one!" Then she would play the tune perfectly and beyond perfectly by throwing in a few little Baptist chords to jazz it up a bit. Then we would sing together switching melody and harmony. I said, "I've never heard LDS hymns played like that before."

Liz and I were discussing hymns and how no one sings very loudly in Relief Society which makes everyone even more insecure about singing. That and the fact the chorister picks songs that no one knows and unless you've been in music lessons all your life won't figure out. That's why there are usually about three people singing confidently. So that was my complaint followed by, "That's it, I'm going back to the Baptist church. They had better music."

Liz and I sang a hymn and then these words jump out at me:

"I know that my Redeemer lives. What comfort this sweet sentence gives!
He lives, he lives, who once was dead. He lives, my everliving Head.
He lives to bless me with his love. He lives to plead for me above..........

And that's where it stopped. How blessed we are to have an advocate, to plead our case. My bishop told me Sunday, the Lord knows our suffering. He knows what's in our hearts. So why should anyone's opinion matter? Now I can tell you who has criticized me, tortured me with my sins and thinks I don't deserve to be forgiven. This person has resembled a fellow church member sometimes and has told me they were far more righteous than me. This person has sinned much worse than I have, but yet I am unforgivable. This person's name is Lucifer. Do you recognize him?


  1. Oh, I'm so glad you said that -- about blockades meaning we are on the right track. I made a few goals during conference and then they just have seemed IMPOSSIBLE. I needed to be reminded that that might mean that it is because they really ARE right goals I should be working on. Thanks.

  2. Music is always so powerfully spiritual. I think those who want their testimony to grow should be a part of the ward choir--even if they do not feel they sing well. Just the extra spirituality from the music is so uplifting.

    Thanks for a sweet post. I enjoy your blog!

  3. Krista, I have so enjoyed reading about your conversion. I love you and your family. Your testimony has strengthened mine. Thanks!


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