|illustration by Jay Gatdula|
Music truly is a heavenly language that has so much power to bless or curse us. The intense emotions I've felt recently while listening to such uplifting songs has reminded me of quotes from my Hymns of the Restoration BYU class (I highly recommend it!):
"There is no music in hell, for all good music belongs to heaven. Sweet harmonious sounds give exquisite joy to human beings capable of appreciating music. . . . Every sweet musical sound that can be made belongs to the Saints and is for the Saints." ~Brigham Young
"Music belongs to heaven, to cheer God, angels, and men. If we could hear the music there is in heaven, it would overwhelm us mortals." ~Brigham Young
"The very spirit of religion is breathed into music . . . . Never, indeed, do we feel so near heaven as when listening to the performance of some grand anthem, in which the angels themselves might fitly take their parts." ~ John Taylor
"The singing of our sacred hymns, written by the servants of God, has a powerful effect in converting people to the principles of the gospel and in promoting peace and spiritual growth." ~ Heber J. Grant
"[Y]our measure of greatness or just mediocrity, or less than that, may be measured by your answer to one simple question, 'What do you like?' Do you like pornographic pictures rather than pictures of great art? Do you like to go to vulgar shows rather than The Sound of Music? Do you love the sensuous music rather than to hear great symphonies or the work of the masters? You answer to yourselves and then see what your youth like and you will have the answer to their souls, for music indeed is the language of the soul, whether it be uplifting or otherwise." ~Harold B. Lee
"Hymns are often composed under great suffering or unusual ecstatic experiences which may be relayed to the singers and bring to them also joy, faith, and courage. . . . [The words] may add fervor and inspiration." ~Spencer W. Kimball
"Some of the greatest sermons that have ever been preached were preached by the singing of a song." ~Spencer W. Kimball
"Music is part of the language of the Gods. It has been given to man so he can sing praises to the Lord. It is a means of expressing, with poetic words and in melodious tunes, the deep feelings of rejoicing and thanksgiving found in the hearts of those who have testimonies of the divine Sonship and who know of the wonders and glories wrought for them by the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost." ~Bruce R. McConkie
"Good music, especially sacred music, makes things more spiritually understandable. It is edifying and conducive to understanding. It prepares emotions for response to promptings of the Holy Spirit." ~Richard G. Scott
"As one who spends most of his time in the world of words, [I am] continually impressed with the power of music to comfort and counsel in a way that often exceeds the power of the spoken word." ~Neal A. Maxwell
"Enjoy music, not the kind that rocks and rolls, but the music of the masters, the music that has lived through centuries, the music that has lifted people. If you do not have a taste for it, listen to it thoughtfully. If you do not like it the first time, listen to it again and keep listening. It will be something like going to the temple. The more often you go, the more beautiful will be the experience." ~Gordon B. Hinckley
"Sometimes I feel we get nearer to the Lord through music than perhaps through any other thing except prayer." ~J. Reuben Clark
"The symphonic strains of scriptural music can give our lives lilt and tone, a way of tuning our lives by reference to a celestial scale. The melodies are the marching music for the traveler on the strait and narrow way." ~Neal A. Maxwell
"Why not go through your collection? Get rid of the worst of it. Keep just the best of it. Be selective in what you consume and what you produce. It becomes a part of you. . . .
"How wonderful is the music instructor who will teach children and youth to play and will acquaint them with good music in their formative years, including the music of worship. To have such music as a part of one's life is a great blessing. . . .
"You degrade yourself when you identify with all of those things which seem now to surround such extremes in music: the shabbiness, the irreverence, the immorality, and the addictions. Such music is not worthy of you." ~Boyd K. Packer (emphasis mine)
Challenge: Raise your standards for music and listen to that which brings the Spirit.