How often would we like to have a “blessing upon our heads”? How often would we like to feel physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually calm and at peace?
In Section 25 of the Doctrine and Covenants, the Lord gives a revelation to Emma Smith, the Prophet’s wife. In that revelation, the Lord calls Emma to choose some hymns:
“11 And it shall be given thee, also, to make a selection of sacred hymns, as it shall be given thee, which is pleasing unto me, to be had in my church.
12 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.
13 Wherefore, lift up thy heart and rejoice, and cleave unto the covenants which thou hast made.”
In the preface of our hymnbooks, the First Presidency said “Hymns move us to repentance and good works, build testimony and faith, comfort the weary, console the mourning, and inspire us to endure to the end” (“First Presidency Preface,” Hymns , x).
President Russell M. Nelson has taught that “Music has a sweet power to promote unity and love in the family. Not only is it an important component of family home evenings, but it can also exert a continuing influence for good well beyond times when children are small.” He taught that worthy music has the power to persuade, the power to provide spiritual nourishment, the power to overcome language barriers, and the power of protection. (The Power and Protection of Worthy Music, CES Fireside, May 4, 2008.)
Adjusting to Missionary Life teaches us to choose music that is calm and soothing if we are anxious, or music that is upbeat and cheerful if we feel down.
There are hymns for Christmas and Easter, hymns about the restoration of the gospel, hymns about prayer, sacrament hymns, and many more. In addition, there are thousands of uplifting, worthy songs.
Right now you are probably thinking about some of your favorite songs or hymns. Some are rousing and energetic, some are quiet and peaceful, some increase our resolve, some express our sincere gratitude, some help us feel more joy.
Whatever our current situation, whether we are feeling thankful, whether we are feeling sad, whether we are feeling discouraged, whether we feel like singing glory to the Lord! … hymns and other good music can help us feel the spirit and draw us closer to the Lord.
In Matthew 26:30, just before Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane, He and His disciples sang. The scripture says “And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.”
When Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were imprisoned in Carthage Jail, John Taylor and Willard Richards stayed with them. John Taylor sang to help comfort the prisoners. John sang: “A poor wayfaring Man of grief hath often crossed me on my way …”
After John had sung the song once, the Prophet Joseph asked him to sing it again. John responded: “I do not feel like singing.” Hyrum said: “Yes, please sing that song again.” Joseph added: “You’ll feel better once you begin, and so will I.” Even in that sad time, singing a hymn brought comfort.
(Ensign, December 2001, 32–33; February 1980, 54; Friend, February 1980, 45)
May the Lord bless us all to feel peace, calm, comfort, inspiration, and joy through worthy music!