Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Power of Song

Music has the power to do so much good, or so much bad, and I have seen that manifested many many times in my personal life.

Recently in my life I have felt very overwhelmed physically (work, school, etc.), emotionally (anxiety, depression, etc.), and spiritually (callings and responsibilities at Church, personal study and prayer, etc.). In all honesty, my testimony has been pretty weak for the past few months, not in regards to any particular subject, and I don't really have doubts, but just in the sense that I haven't been nurturing my testimony as much as I should. I haven't been saying my prayers, I haven't been reading the scriptures, etc. and so my testimony has weakened a bit, but now I'm working on getting it strong again.

I attended one semester at UVU, but it wasn't working with my work schedule, so I left after the first semester and started looking at other options. I was thinking of online, and had basically decided on an online college when my best friend's mom mentioned something called Pathway through BYU-Idaho that is mostly online, and has weekly gatherings locally. I looked it up, and felt it was definitely the right option, and signed up even though it was 2 days past the deadline, but I got in! While it's only my second week attending gatherings and institute, I honestly feel like it is the right place for me, and the spiritual environment is so important for me right now. The fact that we talk about God and the Church and its doctrines so openly, and apply it to what we're learning is fantastic, as it has helped me stay on track with my faith.

Now, on to the main subject (or what I planned to be the main subject...) of this post. Tonight, after attending gathering through Pathway, I went out to my car feeling a sense of exhilaration and euphoria that only comes from having had a spiritual experience (at least in my life). I felt so good, and I just wanted to share it with everyone. The times I most often get this feeling is after very spiritual experiences or circumstances such as after watching a Church-made video, watching a touching conference talk, watching a great Voice(s) of Hope video, having a great institute class, etc. Anyway, I guess what I'm trying to say is I love feeling like that, and it's a feeling that makes me want to tell everyone how good I feel, and how good God is, and that Jesus is the Christ and Savior of the world, and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Book of Mormon are absolutely true.

Already having really exhilarating emotions and feelings, I turned on my music while driving home from Pathway, and as I often do, turned my music up fairly loud and sang along. Sometimes when I sing in my car, it's a soft quiet singing, or even sometimes just humming. Sometimes it's more average volume/intensity singing. But when I'm really feeling the Spirit, really on that emotional and spiritual "high", I sing with enthusiasm, confidence, praise, etc. and really pour my heart into my singing, usually singing with so much gusto that my voice cracks, or I start coughing because I don't have water in my car to moisten my throat, or I start crying because I really get into it and it's a very spiritual song. But in those moments, it doesn't matter. I'm singing along to my Christian music, and feel closer to God than I have more recently.

Tonight, I just wanted to share with you all the 4 songs that touched me most on my drive home. The 4 songs that I sang most enthusiastically, the 4 songs that really made a difference, the 4 songs that helped me strengthen my love of God and His gospel tonight.

The first song that played when I got in my car was In Christ Alone by Owl City
(video should show up below. If not, click here)

Second notable song was Stolen by Brandon Heath
(click here if video is missing)

Third is Strangely Dim by Francesca Battistelli
(click here if video is missing)

And the last is Find You On My Knees by Kari Jobe
(click here if video is missing)

(I do not own the rights to any of these songs, or the videos used to show them)
So why do I share all of this? Because I love Christian music. Because I love God. Because I love how I feel tonight. Because I want others to feel this way, too. Because I know how much good music can do, and I want to teach people to use music to bring them closer to God. Because if I didn't share, I would be totally selfish and ignoring the first big prompting I've received in months.

Life has been hard recently. My testimony has been week. But tonight, I got a glimpse of what life could be like, of what I would feel like, if I let God back into my life and I start nurturing my testimony again and living my life in such a way as to invite the Holy Spirit to be with me. Christian music is an amazing thing. Jesus Christ lives and atoned and died for all of us. The Church is true. And while my testimony may not be rock-solid right now, at least I know those two things are true.