Monday, February 25, 2013

Music Monday

My sister, Suzy, who is serving an LDS Mission in Houston, TX sent me her iPod and asked me to upload some new music and talks for her. I worked on this a while on Friday and Saturday, and it was a really good exercise to review the music I listen to with a missionary perspective. This is the guideline she gave me that is given to all missionaries (emphasis added):

"Listen to only to music that is consistent with the sacred spirit of your calling. Music should invite the spirit, help you focus on the work, and direct your thoughts and feelings to the Savior. Do not listen to music that pulls your thoughts away from the work, merely entertains, has romantic lyrics or overtones, or dulls your spiritual sensitivity by its tempo, beats, loudness, lyrics, or intensity. Listening to music must never interfere with your personal preparation or proselyting."

One of the 13 basic beliefs to which all members of the LDS Church subscribe is another guideline that I used to evaluate the music and talks that I sent to her (emphasis added):

"We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul-We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things."

Suzy sent me a list of things she specifically wanted, and then I added to that list with some songs I thought fit missionary music requirements. One of the artists that she sent to me was Alex Boyé, of whom I have heard but not really appreciated, until I heard this song:

My friend's 16-year old daughter was killed in September when she was hit by a car and it has been such a faith-inspiring thing for me to watch this woman mourn and allow her faith to carry her through this tragedy. I was able to be a part of a small choir that sang this song at her funeral. It nearly moves me to tears every time I listen to it.

That's what good music should do for us. Not necessarily make us cry, but it should stir our souls and assist us in being able to feel the spirit of God, not deter or distract us from it. It should be praiseworthy or of good report -- something we would be excited to share with our mothers, mothers-in-law, spouses, or anyone else. 

Music has profoundly impacted many of my life's most memorable moments, and I'm blown away by the seemingly endless talents of musicians who continue to make music that inspires and uplifts and simply makes me happy! I'm so grateful for the blessing of music in my life and the people that helped me to love it like I do (first and foremost my mom).

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