Monday, June 18, 2018

President Dallin H. Oaks on the power of sacred music in our lives

President Dallin H. Oaks (born August 12, 1932) served as president of BYU from 1971-1980.  He was then appointed as a justice of the Utah Supreme Court, and resigned when he was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1984. He became President of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles and also 1st Counselor in the First Presidency in January 2018.
"The singing of hymns is one of the best ways to put ourselves in tune with the Spirit of the Lord. I wonder if we are making enough use of this heaven-sent resource in our meetings, in our classes, and in our homes....
"The singing of hymns is one of the best ways to learn the doctrine of the restored gospel....
"The scriptures contain many affirmations that hymn singing is a glorious way to worship....
"When the Lord’s Apostles meet in modern times, the singing of hymns is still part of their meetings. The weekly meetings of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the Salt Lake Temple always begin with a hymn. Elder Russell M. Nelson plays the organ accompaniment. The First Presidency, who conduct these meetings, rotate the privilege of selecting the opening song. Most of us record the date each hymn is sung. According to my records, the opening song most frequently sung during the decade of my participation has been 'I Need Thee Every Hour' (Hymns, 1985, no. 98). Picture the spiritual impact of a handful of the Lord’s servants singing that song before praying for his guidance in fulfilling their mighty responsibilities.
"The veil is very thin in the temples, especially when we join in worshipping through music....
"Sacred music has a unique capacity to communicate our feelings of love for the Lord. This kind of communication is a wonderful aid to our worship. Many have difficulty expressing worshipful feelings in words, but all can join in communicating such feelings through the inspired words of our hymns."
- Dallin H. Oaks, "Worship through Music," General Conference October 1994
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

We have a heaven-sent resource to help and bless us, that we may not be making enough use of in many settings. We should sing the hymns of the gospel, in order to learn doctrine, worship God, and invite the presence of the Spirit into our meetings and into our lives:

Elder Oaks reminds us of the power available to us through sacred music, and invites us to take more advantage of this blessing in our lives. Surely we can find more opportunities when our worship of God can be expressed as we invite His Spirit into our lives!

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2018)

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