Through sacred music, the spirit of the Lord descended upon us, and we were made ready for gospel instruction and worship” 1 exactly fits the saints who live in the Coimbatore India District as they were preparing their hearts and soul to listen to the leader’s messages in the district conference.
When the members come with the dedication and a prayerful heart to participate in a choir, it becomes a delight to hear them sing. The desire to sing for a church choir is always a special feeling. And when members understand their role in the choir and dedicate their time and talent, the outcome is always wonderful. When the district assigned a group to prepare the members to sing in the choir, the group felt the spirit and moved further to give their best. Though each of them is not an experienced or a professional singer, the efforts taken by the choir members were beautifully displayed in the final performance. As the choir sang the song, the entire congregation fervently felt the spirit.
Young pianist sister Daphne Renald says, “By playing the piano for the district conference, I felt the spirit, and I hope I was able to convey it to others.” A youth named sister Ranjini said, “The lyrics sunk deep into our hearts, and we were moved by the spirit every time we gathered together for practice.” A well-experienced pianist, Brother Dass felt that it is the Lord’s work, and we are inspired to do His work, be it a calling or an assignment to play the piano in church meetings or conferences. A first-time participant's sister Nekitha feels very happy as she learned a new song.
The organiser of the choir, Renald said, “it is hard to bring in members to do something that they are not familiar with; we made efforts to make them believe that they can sing, as they all had the talents. We practised every Sunday after church meetings, which was right after lunch. The choir members packed food from home; in order to do that, they had to get up early to prepare the food, and when it was time for lunch, we all sat as a family and ate together, which was helpful in gaining the trust of new singers and getting to know each other.
We had rough patches where most of them would not turn in for the practice with the conference date nearing. We always kept things in prayer and started to practice with whoever was in.
Astonishingly, we just practiced six sessions, and the choir members got their confidence with the song. I saw miracles happening and everything falling into place. Suddenly, everyone was attending, dresses were ordered, and members stayed longer than planned for practice.
As the choir had 22 members and the space was not sufficient, I was planning not to lead, but our District President, wanted me to lead them, and as I stood in front to lead, I felt the spirit, even more, stronger, as we were all in well-synchronized.
We had a lot of fun, and we all learned the power of Music together.
Sister Beneeta, once during the practice, sang a solo song, and she captivated our hearts with her mesmerizing voice. The song is one of her favorites and now it remains close to our hearts. As she sang, everyone felt the sweetness of the song, and everyone ended up practicing more at home to give that song the needed effort and beauty.
Brother Bruce, a vibrant musician in our district, is an excellent support to the team; without him, the team wouldn’t have been successful.
The whole session was a piece of evidence that, if we have a desire with good intentions to serve the Lord, the rest will be taken care of by the Lord. “2
As a music lover, many believe in the quote by J Reuben Clark, “We get nearer to the Lord through music than perhaps through any other thing except prayer.”
No matter where you are, doing something for the welfare of others makes a big difference in living a Christ-centered life.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “Worship through Music” General Conference October 1994
President Heber J. Grant, Improvement Era, Sept. 1940, 522ss