Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Talent Is Not the Issue

"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." (D&C 25:12)

Too many of us believe that making music has something to do with "talent," and we are relieved that only those with skill are expected to make music. Heavenly Father has revealed in the scriptures and through modern prophets that music is an essential part of our worship. We understand that making music, and specifically singing, is a form of prayer. Music is a tool for praise and thanksgiving. (Psalm 150, Psalm 30:4) Music is also an effective way to help strengthen and instruct others. (Eph. 5:19, Isa 12:4,5) Music is a weapon of great power against our spiritual enemy. Jesus, Joseph Smith and many of us have used music as a strength in facing trials.

The role of music in our meetings is not to entertain the congregation. Being entertained is a passive, secular response to music. The purpose of music in our meetings is to involve all of us in active worship and praise. It is not meant to be left to those with talent or to those who find it easy. It is an essential part of our meetings. Heavenly Father is delighted with the efforts of each of us to make music. He has promised to answer with blessings. (D&C 25:12) In fact, He will sing back to us! (Zeph. 3:17)

We all like cute ideas. But I think that sometimes we develop the mindset that we must entertain the children. We search for the most captivating ideas and we're always looking for a better one for next week. We wish we were more creative, we wish we were talented, we wish our voice sounded better, we worry when the Stake Primary Presidency visits that they will think we are boring, we worry that our children will not learn fast enough and be "prepared" to sing. If we could truly understand how our Heavenly Father loves to hear his children sing, and switch to a mindset where we simply try to create an opportunity for worship, I believe the Spirit will be there. We will have prayed twice.


matildawrites said...

Oh, I do so wish I had a better voice. But since that's not part of the job requirement I don't think about it too much. I do look for ways to bring the spirit into singing time, and I always tell them when I feel the spirit after they have sung a song. I like the idea of creating an opportunity for worship. That is what it's all about.

frosty said...

I just came across your blog tonight, and I appreciate this post. I agree that sometimes we think we need to entertain the children. Kids now days expect such grand performances from us! Our time this year is the 1-4pm, and it has been hard on the children...do you have any ideas for teaching the children reverence? Thanks!

The Children Sing said...

1-4pm is kind of hard. We attended a ward once that met from 4-7pm. Primary was really hard! I'll give this some thought and do a separate post.

frosty said...

Oh my! I will count my blessings! Looking forward to that post. Thanks!

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