Sing!

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    (Adapted from an April 1983 conference address. See Ensign, May 1983, page 13.)All creatures of our God and King, Lift up your voice and with us sing (Hymns, 1985, no. 62).

    The most important building in our town was our ward meetinghouse. The chapel had an imposing, two-tiered, elevated stand. The stand was quite large, and the first raised portion had a table for the ward clerk at one end and a piano at the other end, and right in the center of this elevated area was the sacrament table.

    Sacrament meetings were very special occasions. Everyone was expected to sing the sacrament hymn. Everyone did sing it. Children were trained not only to be reverent but to know some of the words of the most familiar sacrament songs.

    I can still see Sister Ella Jack, who led the music, standing in full view between the sacrament table and the piano, as she would pause and look over the congregation to be sure that everyone had a hymnbook and was ready to sing. She gave special attention to see that the Aaronic Priesthood boys had songbooks.

    We all sang. We were learning in our youth that to feel of the Spirit, we must experience a change in our hearts, and to be in harmony on the sacred occasion required our singing the sacrament hymns. As we personally sang the words, our souls were better prepared to understand the sacred ordinance.

    At the Last Supper, the early Apostles joined the Savior in singing: “And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives” (Matt. 26:30). And as we sang each sacrament hymn, the words would be impressed upon our hearts because we had actually sung them. Heavenly thoughts come to your soul when you sing the heavenly music of the Church.

    [illustration] Illustrated by Paul Mann