Monday, September 1, 2014

Lesson learned from observing the elderly

Yesterday, I gave a talk in Sacrament Meeting. For those of you who aren't a member of the LDS (Mormon) church, that means I was asked to speak on a specific topic during the main meeting. We don't have one person who gives the big sermon--it's just members of the congregation who are asked to prepare something, usually to speak for 10-15 min, on a specific topic.

While I sat on the stand, I observed the other members of the congregation, especially during the hymns. My eye was caught by a group of older men and women sitting at the front of the chapel. As they sang, they faces were turned up, as if they were looking at God, truly singing praises to Him. Their eyes glistened with tears, and as I watched them, I could truly feel their love for God and testimonies being borne to the hearts of all those around them. It was such a beautiful experience to watch them.

I love singing hymns. I love music that teaches gospel messages, and especially music that teaches of Christ. I like to listen to various arrangements of hymns at home, and I love playing hymns on the piano. It soothes me. Usually when I'm at church, though, because I love singing, I get caught up in hitting the right notes (so I'm not a painful-sounding companion to my husband, who sings so beautifully) and don't focus on the lyrics as much as I should. After observing this group of people who truly sang to God from their heart, I decided I really need to focus on the lyrics of what I'm singing. As I sang the closing hymn, I closed my eyes and sang the lyrics from the heart. I could feel the tears swelling up in my own eyes as I sang:

The Lord is my light; then why should I fear?
By day and by night his presence is near.
He is my salvation from sorrow and sin;
This blessed assurance the Spirit doth bring.

The Lord is my light;
He is my joy and my song.
By day and by night he leads,
He leads me along.

The Lord is my light; tho clouds may arise,
Faith, stronger than sight, looks up thru the skies
Where Jesus forever in glory doth reign.
Then how can I ever in darkness remain?

The Lord is my light; the Lord is my strength. 
I know in his might I'll conquer at length.
My weakness and mercy he covers with pow'r,
And walking by faith, I am blest ev'ry hour.

The Lord is my light, my all and in all.
There is in his sight no darkness at all.
He is my Redeemer, my Savior, and King.
With Saints and with angels his praises I'll sing.

Need I say more how much I love hymns? Sometimes the lyrics to hymns can do more for me than scripture study or prayer. 

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