Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Music from Conference

LDS General Conference was AWESOME.

I especially loved how music was tightly interwoven into the weekend. So many incredible hymns and hymn arrangements were sung, and music was referenced in EVERY session. 

In his talk on Forgiveness, Elder Cardon quoted "Gently Raise the Sacred Strain:" 

Holy, holy is the Lord.
Precious, precious is his word:....
Repent and live;
Tho your sins be crimson red,
Oh, repent, and he’ll forgive.

President Henry B. Eyring referenced the hymn, "Abide with Me; 'Tis Eventide," in his talk. He described a Sacrament meeting over 65 years ago that drew him close to the Savior. As they sang that hymn, he felt the Savior's love and closeness as well as the comfort of the Holy Ghost. 

Elder Russell M. Nelson used the lyrics to "Families Can Be Together Forever," in his talkHe said, "We invite [our inquiring friends] to receive more, especially the glorious truth that through God’s eternal plan, families can be together forever."

In Priesthood Session, Elder Tad R. Callister used a music analogy, "There is an old saying: do not die with your music still in you. In like manner I would say to you adult leaders, do not get released with your leadership skills still in you. And President Uchtdorf quotedLord, I Would Follow Thee:" "Brethren, if we truly follow our Lord Jesus Christ, we must embrace a third title: healer of souls. We who have been ordained to the priesthood of God are called to practice “the healer’s art.”

He later gave a beautiful musical comparison: "In the great Composer’s symphony, you have your own particular part to play—your own notes to sing. Fail to perform them, and with certainty the symphony will go on. But if you rise up and join the chorus and allow the power of God to work through you, you will see 'the windows of heaven' open, and He will 'pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.' Rise up to your true potential as a son of God, and you can be a force for good in your family, your home, your community, your nation, and indeed in the world."
In the Sunday morning session, the same President Uchtdorf told a memorable story about Saints in Africa singing in the dark during a power outage. As a "sweet and overwhelming chorus of voices filled the chapel," the members sang one song after another with an energy and spirit that touched President Uchtdorf's soul. "In the midst of great darkness, these beautiful, wonderful Saints had filled this Church building and our souls with light."

Elder Falabella's third lesson-learned in a home is that A Child Who Sings Is a Happy Child:
"The Savior understood the importance of sacred music. After He observed Passover with His disciples, the scriptures relate, 'And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.' And speaking through the Prophet Joseph, He said, '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.' How touching it is to hear the song of a little one who has been taught by his or her parents to sing, 'I am a child of God.'"

Hymns aren't always the only music referenced. I loved Elder Porter's story about his roommate Bruce, whose cheerfulness showed in every aspect of his life. He was even caught one snowy, miserable, and wintry morning walking around the campus at Brigham Young University with arms outstretched, singing, "Oh What a Beautiful Morning!" from the Broadway Musical Oklahoma. 

Elder Porter concluded, "In the intervening years, that bright voice in a dark storm has become for me a symbol of what faith and hope are all about. Even in a darkening world, we as Latter-day Saints may sing with joy, knowing that the powers of heaven are with God’s Church and people."

What song that was sung at Conference was your favorite? Not sure? Check out GC highlights here: