|Me and my piano, guitar, flute, Irish whistle, harmonicas, and ocarina.|
For those who know me, it will not be a shock that the first thing I write for my Inheritance Project is about music. Music has been my friend all of my life. I love it. It is through music that I gained a knowledge and a testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Music calms my spirit when I feel stress, gives me comfort when I am sad, and gives me inspiration when I feel stuck. I know that not everyone is affected by music in the same way that I am, but I believe that everyone is affected by music, and so it is a good thing to think about.
My Mom and Dad both love music, and I think I inherited this love from them. I particularly love singing, even though I am in no danger of being asked to join the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. As soon as I could play the piano well enough to pick out a melody, I would sit at the piano and play and sing. I sang folk songs, and oldies, but mostly I sang Primary songs, and Hymns. Little girl me would sit at the piano and start at the beginning of the Hymn book and sing and sing until my voice was tired or I had to do something else. I sang often enough that many of the words to those hymns are still in my memory, and serve me well when I need them.
I remember when I was about 12, and I was up in my own room trying to sleep. I was feeling lonely and depressed as 12 year old girls sometimes do, so I pulled my covers up and sang "I am a Child of God" until I felt better, and went to sleep. This was one of many times when music has helped me get to sleep. Music has also helped me through many hard nights.
For many years during my youth, and in college, whenever I was having a rough day, I would sit at the piano and start by singing "Count Your Many Blessings", and then I would move on and sing and sing until I felt that life was manageable again. Hymns have the power to remind me that I am not alone. That I am a child of God, and that He loves me. The hymns remind me that prayers are answered and that my Redeemer lives. By the end of a singing session I could usually sing "There is Sunshine in my Soul Today" and mean it.
Once I was married, I still would sing when I was sad, or discouraged but I changed from starting with "Count Your Many Blessings" to "Come, Come Ye Saints". I love this hymn too. "Why should we mourn or think our lot is hard? Tis not so; all is right." I love to be reminded to wend my way through life with joy. If the pioneers could do it, then with the Lord's help, I can too!
It helps me to have at least one hymn memorized. When my mind wants to dwell on negative thoughts, I make it run through all of the words of the hymn instead. When I can actually sing it out loud, I do. I think Heavenly Father gave me the gift of loving music, so that I would always have a steady friend, and a quick and easy link to heaven. Not all music is a link to heaven, but some is, and I am very grateful to have that music as my friend.