“Nothing connects to the moment like music. I count on it to bring me back or more precisely, to bring truth forward.”

art by J Kirk Richards

I had a bad day once that started with me getting locked out of my dorm room in just a towel and ended with me meeting the guy that stood me up because he was “too busy” on a date with another girl.

It was just a bad day from start to end.

But really, it wasn’t those things. I was just lonely and overwhelmed. I was a freshman in college, and I felt like I didn’t belong. Anything that I had used to identify myself with, there was someone who did that thing better than me. And I was just trying to figure myself out.

The next day, I went to church. It was stake conference, and the opening song started playing. And hundreds of voices started singing together,

“Fear not, I am with thee oh be ye not dismayed.
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid.
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand.
Upheld by my righteous omnipotent hand.”

I couldn’t sing as tears rolled down my face.
It was like God was speaking just to me.

And suddenly, I wasn’t alone.
I realized I didn’t need to fear.
God would give me strength. And the only way I needed to identify myself was in knowing that I was His.

That is the power of hymns.
They are a prayer to the Lord (D&C 25:12)—and a prayer is powerful because it is a two way conversation. We can talk to God through them, and He can talk to us. And our will can align with His (Bible dictionary: prayer).

Truly, “Some of the greatest sermons are preached by the singing of hymns.” [hymn book preface]

An added layer to that story of my freshman year that I didn’t learn until this week: when God asked Emma to make the first hymn book for our church, “How Firm A Foundation” was one of the first songs Emma decided to include.

And now I am even more grateful for Emma—an elect lady who did what the Lord asked of her, and blessed my life because of it, hundreds of years later.

What is a hymn that has been an answer to your prayers?

“Nothing connects to the moment like music. I count on it to bring me back or more precisely, to bring truth forward.”


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