Friday, September 9, 2016

Russell M. Nelson on the blessing of worthy music

President Russell M. Nelson (b. Sept 9, 1924—92 years ago today!) was an internationally-renowned heart surgeon when he was called to serve as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1984. He was set apart as president of the Quorum of Twelve on July 15, 2015.
"Worthy music is powerful. It has the power to make us humble, prayerful, and grateful.
"Prophets through all generations have taught the importance of worthy music in our expressions of worship. A few citations from the scriptures may serve to illustrate.
"An Old Testament scripture bids us to 'make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise' (Psalm 98:4). In the Hebrew language, the meaning of this verse is to literally burst forth into song and to shout for joy. Contrast that spirit of enthusiasm with scenes we may see at church when some sing only passively and without a spirit of joy....
"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. For my gift to our family for Christmas 2007, I prepared a compact-disc recording of musical memories. I sat at the piano and recorded a variety of music that I had sung or played to the children through the years. They liked it. Some of the grandchildren told me that the CD was 'cool.'
"Music has power to provide spiritual nourishment. It has healing power. It has the power to facilitate worship, allowing us to contemplate the Atonement and the Restoration of the gospel, with its saving principles and exalting ordinances. It provides power for us to express prayerful thoughts and bear testimony of sacred truths....
"Fill your minds with worthy sights and sounds. Cultivate your precious gift of the Holy Ghost. Protect it as the priceless gift that it is. Carefully listen for its quiet communication. You will be spiritually stronger if you do.
"You know the proverb, 'As [a man] thinketh in his heart, so is he' (Proverbs 23:7). As you control your thoughts, you control your actions. Indeed, worthy music can provide power and protection for the soul."
- Russell M. Nelson, "The Power and Protection of Worthy Music," CES fireside address, May 4, 2008; see Ensign, December 2009, pp. 13-17
Click here to read the full article
President Nelson teaches about the impact of "worthy music" — and not all music qualifies. He warns us, "Do not degrade yourself with the numbing shabbiness and irreverence of music that is not worthy of you." So worthy music is worthy of the eternal soul that we each possess, and lifts us closer to God.

He testifies that the right kind of music has incredible power to lift and bless us, sometimes in ways we don't expect:

So the key is to "Fill your minds with worthy sights and sounds." That's a good challenge

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