Sunday, August 28, 2011


Yesterday, TCD, Spell Girl and I were able to attend the baptism of a 17 year old convert.  He has been attending a different ward with some friends, but he actually lives within our ward boundaries, so he'll officially be a member of the 1st Ward.  Both wards' youth and youth leaders were invited to attend, and all the youth were asked to participate in a special musical number.  They sang the EFY Medley that has been showing up a lot lately.  (I think it's just one of those stand-by songs that everyone knows and that has a powerful effect on any meeting.)  The kids showed up at 9:00am to start practicing for the 10:00am baptism.  There was a huge group of kids, mostly Young Men (which is typical for our stake) and the practice sounded wonderful.  I commented to a couple of the kids that the group sounded larger than it actually was.  Tons of sound and amazing quality in their voices.

When I got to WATCH them perform the song, I saw the most amazing thing.  The song begins with the Young Women singing As Sisters in Zion, which sets the tone for the rest of the song, and then later the Young Men come in with We'll Bring the World His Truth.  When you have a larger group of girls, or more mature voices, that tone is intended to be softer than the men's part, but equally as strong.  With our girls, though, because their numbers aren't huge, they're a little more tentative and sweet, than soft and confident.  So that was the tone when the song started.  And then the Young Men came in, and as soon as they sang, there was a visible and audible change in the entire group.  

Six missionaries were standing in the very back of the choir seats singing mightily with the Young Men.  They were confident and powerful, but they didn't take over the part.  What they did was make all the other singers rise to their level.  The Young Men sang a little louder and with a little more conviction.  They all stood a little taller and straighter.  And then when the Young Women came back in to sing with them, they sang with that same conviction, too.  I have never heard that song sung that way before.  They actually sounded like the Army of Helaman.  Their voices and the Spirit filled the entire chapel and everyone in the building felt the testimonies behind the music.  What an amazing morning!

I love that those missionaries were there yesterday to elevate that choir, and that even though there was already a nice tone set in the music, they set a better one.  I was thinking today in church, that there are influences like that for me sometimes...people behind me in Sacrament whose voices make me sing better, whose presence makes me try harder and do more than I think I can.  I love those people and I love that I can feel them even when I can't see them. 

 Elevation is a good thing.

Be Good.  Be Patient.  Don't Forget.

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