Mormons Sing

emma-smith-mormon

Emma Smith

Music plays a large role in Mormon worship services. Most meetings, including all Sunday worship services, open with a hymn. All hymns contain elements of Mormon doctrine, and many are taught to children at a young age because music is so powerful in conveying feeling and meaning and is so easy to learn and remember. Music is considered so important that a modern revelation was given to Mormon prophet Joseph Smith regarding its role in worship just months after the Mormon Church was officially organized in 1830. Doctrine and Covenants Section 25 was directed to Emma Smith, the prophet’s wife, instructing her to compile a book of sacred hymns for Church use. Over many years, new hymns have been written and old traditional Christian hymns are still cherished in the current edition of the Latter-day Saint hymnal. Below are links to some of the hymns where you can listen to the music and the lyrics.

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, called America’s choir by former U.S. president Ronald Reagan, is the only connection many people have with Mormons and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This choir was officially formed in 1869 and has grown in talent and fame ever since. There are currently 360 members of the choir, all of them volunteers, who sing every Sunday in a radio and TV broadcast called Music and the Spoken Word. They have released more than 130 compilations since forming and are enjoyed by millions of people all over the world.

In addition to singing hymns in worship, Mormons are encouraged to be selective in the popular music they listen to, because music can be powerful in both positive and negative ways. Latter-day Saints are encouraged to be selective in their music  by making sure lyrics and subject matter are clean and promote a good message.

There have been many successful Mormons in the music industry. Donny Osmond is one of the most well-known Mormon artists. Current pop artist David Archuleta is another who has recently risen to fame. Gladys Knight is another. There are many Mormons who rise to fame in the classical music industry as well, like the 5 Browns.

Music will continue to be a key part of worship service in the Mormon Church because it is so effective in bringing the Holy Spirit and in touching people’s hearts.

Mormons

mormon-peopleYou have probably passed Mormons on the street or done business with them without even realizing it.  Mormons, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, do not live in closed communities, nor do they dress in vintage clothing.  They look just like everyone else in their communities, except that they are inconspicuously modest in their dress.

Mormons live all over the world and are engaged in every sort of honest labor and business.  There are many in entertainment, many in sports, and many in politics.

mormon-worshipMormons believe in clean living.  They are usually light-brights — they sparkle and shine.  Mormons live according to a law of health delivered by revelation from God.  It is called the Word of Wisdom.  The Word of Wisdom not only forbids the use of alcohol, tobacco, and “hot drinks” (defined as coffee and tea), but also advises the use of wholesome grains, the fruits of the earth in their season, and meat in moderation.

Mormons are very family-oriented and tend to have larger families than is the norm in most countries.  Mormon prophets have stated that “No success can compensate for failure in the home” (David O. McKay), so both fathers and mothers adjust their personal interests and career paths to be sure their children are properly cared for.  This includes religious education in the home.  Mormon parents are encouraged to hold “Family Home Evening” once each week, and to participate in family prayer and scripture study on a regular basis.  Youth are encouraged from early childhood to participate in church and community service and to develop a personal relationship with the Savior, experiencing the promptings of the Holy Ghost.  Spiritual experiences help them to acquire a personal testimony that God lives and is involved in our lives, as we invite Him to direct our paths.

mormon-temple-weddingMormons believe in eternal families.  A husband and wife can be “sealed” for eternity when they are married in the temple.  Their children are then “born in the covenant.”  The family bond continues after death.  Sometimes families are sealed together in the eternally-binding covenant after children enter the family.  Then the whole family goes to the temple together.  This eternal unit is brought to fruition by personal worthiness, since no unclean thing can enter the kingdom of heaven wherein God dwells.  Thus, family members strive to become Christ-like, emulating His qualities of charity and forgiveness, and having faith in His saving power.

It’s usually productive to dispel some “myths” and misperceptions about Mormons.  Mormons are not associated with, nor are their lifestyles like the Amish or the Mennonites.  Mormons are thoroughly involved in the modern world and engaged in high-tech enterprises.  Mormons do not practice polygamy.  Some polygamous groups call themselves “Mormon,” but they are actually not associated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  There are 14 million Mormons in the world, whereas polygamous sects consist of small numbers of fundamentalists in closed societies.  Mormons are Christians, and devotedly so.  Mormonism is the restoration of Christ’s ancient church, with authority to act and to perform ordinances in the name of Christ.  The Church is led by revelation from Christ to prophets.  Mormons have not added to, nor have they changed, the Bible.  However, they do have an open cannon, and they expect more scripture to be discovered.  Modern revelation is also scripture for the Church.  Mormonism is not a cult.  It is an open, honest faith, wherein freedom of choice is cherished.  Nothing is ever done by force or coersion.  Mormons do not worship Joseph Smith, the founder of the Church.  The purpose of the Church is to make life joyful, and that eternally.

Below are a few videos about ordinary Mormons, and links to articles about some Mormons you may have heard of.

 

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