I once read a story of a musician who wrote a song based on his experience of jumping out of a plane in war. While performing this song in front of a small audience an elderly man began to cry. When the song was over the man was still crying and when the composer explained the origin of the song he began sobbing and had to leave the room. This song contained no words but still had the power to inspire the elderly man to think about his own experience of losing a close friend from parachuting into battle. As cliché as it sounds, music really is an entirely different way of communicating.
Wherever you go there is almost always music: in your home, in your car, at work, in stores and restaurants, not to mention personal iPods that enable you to listen to music no matter where you are. The music we listen to has a huge affect on our lives, it influences the way we act and the way we feel. When I am having a bad day, sometimes all I need to do is listen to a good, uplifting song and my whole attitude changes. But it works the other way around too, so we must be careful when choosing what we listen to. Satan has taken this wonderful gift and created something that can be so detrimental to your spirit.
Music can close the gap between emotions and reality; it is how we can make sense of all the chaos around us. There aren’t really words to describe full extent of music’s influence. It can make you sad or happy without you really even noticing it. Music can say the things that are hard to hear, there have been many times when singing the hymns in church or seminary that I heard exactly what I needed to hear to get through a hard trial. I think Heavenly Father knew that sometimes words alone wouldn’t be enough to hear what the spirit is trying to tell us, so he gave us music. One of my favorite things about music is that much of the meaning is left up to the listener, two people can listen to the same song and leave with entirely different thoughts and feelings. There is a saying that says “Where words fail, music speaks.” It is so hard to translate emotions into words, I think this is why many artists write music.
Music is truly powerful. Music has a way of pulling out meaning and emotion that text just doesn’t. This is why we sing in all of our church meetings, the spirit can be felt so strongly as we sing the hymns. One Sunday every month I have the opportunity to go to Hymn Night, this is when a bunch of friends from my school gather at someone’s house to sing hymns for a couple of hours. The spirit is so strong as we all bear our testimonies together through music. I really cannot begin to express the feelings that are shared among us, we are so uplifted by the words we are singing and the knowledge that we have so many people around us every day who fighting against the same adversary we are. When you combine music with inspired words it is as if you aren’t just hearing the words but all of the emotion and faith behind them. I believe that my testimony is magnified through music. There aren’t enough words in my vocabulary to accurately express my love for the gospel but music encompasses so much more than my words ever could. I love the hymns with all my heart and I know that they are a gift from our heavenly father and that He uses them to help and strengthen his children.