• Quote of the Day

    “Surely the reason Christ said, ‘Father, forgive them,’ was because even in that terrible hour He knew that this was the message He had come through all eternity to deliver.”
    —Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

The Healing Power of Hymns

In know that many people (particularly those who feel the need to express themselves in the bloggernacle) put down the Church’s hymns. Heck, I’ve got my own “Worst of the LDS Hymns” list stored safely in the folds of my gray matter somewhere, I suppose. But regardless of our personal musical tastes, it is undeniable that the hymns can have a powerful effect on people who are seeking comfort and healing in their lives. This fact is brought out in an article in this month’s Ensign. “The Healing Power of Hymns” is a collection of stories from Church members whose lives have been touched in some way by particular hymns.

I think we all could tell similar stories if we thought about it for a while. For instance, I once knew someone who told me that the hymn “I Know That My Redeemer Lives” will always hold a special place in his heart because it was one of the first hymns he remembers singing and enjoying when his family was investigating the Church when he was a child. He recognizes that this hymn is probably not as musically excellent as other compositions such as Handel’s aria of the same name from the Messiah, but that doesn’t matter as much to him, because this was the hymn that first helped him gain a testimony of the Savior.

The hymn “More Holiness Give Me” expresses one of my heart’s desires, and though I don’t think it is one of the greatest compositions of all time, I always enjoy singing it because it reminds me of my “strivings within.” Does anyone else have a story to share?

Hymn Vocabulary Quiz

Sometimes the New Era will include a fun quiz or puzzle for the kids, and this month it has a pretty good one. The “Hymn Vocabulary Quiz” in the “What’s Up?” section of the magazine asks if you know the meaning of some pretty obscure words from the hymnbook. Here it is.

Do you know what you just sang? Choose the correct definition for each of the following words that can be found in one or more of our hymns.
A. Boon (Hymns, nos. 114 and 144)
  1. A thick leather strap
  2. A timely benefit or blessing
  3. A thick, sweet liquid
  4. An inspiring sermon
B. Effulgent (Hymns, nos. 116 and 187)
  1. With great sorrow
  2. Dignified
  3. Shining brightly
  4. Completely satisfied
C. Plaited (Hymns, no. 191)
  1. Interwoven or braided strands
  2. Protected with armor
  3. Hungry or starved
  4. Decorated with bright colors
D. Warblings (Hymns, no. 232)
  1. A musical trill
  2. Young, slender trees
  3. Smooth stones
  4. Military awards
E. Glebe (Hymns, no. 109)
  1. A plot of land
  2. A calm stretch of water
  3. Of great value
  4. Glowing or shimmering 

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