I believe in the profound power of music. Ever since I was young, music has shaped my life and helped me in times of need. As a child I remember running around the house singing “A Whole New World” in a thunderous opera voice. My parents would laugh and joke that when I grew up I would be an opera star. I surrounded myself with music in every grade. My musical experiences range from playing saxophone in jazz band, to singing in musicals, to being ward chorister. The only thing is that I’m not very good at producing my own music. I played tenor saxophone for 7 years but never advanced past decent. I sang in choirs pretty much all my life and took voice lessons for a year but my voice has never been above average. It doesn’t really bother me all that much though. I’ve discovered that I don’t have to be good at something to love it. It always makes me think of the quote by Henry Van Dyke which says, “Use the talents you possess, for the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except the best.”
I love going to concerts and musical performances. The chords and melodies as they reverberate off the walls give me goose bumps. The tensions, dynamics and rhythms leave me breathless. I wish I could spend all day in a concert listening to the best of the best as they explore and entertain through their music.
Probably because of my love of music, I have discovered that I feel closer to God and religion through music than almost any other way. One year at a church camp, our leaders let us go out on our own into the forest and challenged us to pray and ask if The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was true. I found my spot in the forest and knelt down on the soft and warm dirt. As I prayed the words of the hymn “I Know That My Redeemer Lives” came into my mind. I started sobbing as the words of the hymn stumbled out of my shaking mouth. It hit me powerfully that yes, I did know. I had a testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel and I knew it. Every time I hear that hymn that experience comes to my mind. I’m so glad I could have that experience to give me the strength I need when I lack strength. When I am discouraged or sad I often turn to music to lift my spirits. I almost always have a song playing in my head. It constantly flows through me. I believe in music.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.