Music Quotes

"We are in a position, as musicians, to touch the souls of those who listen."

President Spencer W. Kimball, Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball (1982), 520

Church leaders have often expressed their feelings about music and singing. The following quotations and scriptures emphasize the importance and power of appropriate music.


“Music is given of God to further his purposes. Sweet melodies mellow the souls of men and help prepare them for the gospel. After men receive the truth, songs of praise to Deity help to sanctify and cleanse their souls.”
-- Elder Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine (1966), 521

“Music can set an atmosphere of worship which invites [the] spirit of revelation, of testimony.”
-- President Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, Nov. 1991, 22

“When music is presented which, however appropriate for other occasions, does not fit the Sabbath, much is lost. . . . The Spirit does not ratify speech nor confirm music which lacks spiritual substance.”
-- President Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, Nov. 1991, 22

“Those who choose, conduct, present, and accompany the music may influence the spirit of reverence in our meetings more than a speaker does.”
-- President Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, Nov. 1991, 22

“An organist who has the sensitivity to quietly play prelude music from the hymnbook tempers our feelings and causes us to go over in our minds the lyrics which teach the peaceable things of the kingdom. If we will listen, they are teaching the gospel, for the hymns of the Restoration are, in fact, a course in doctrine!”
-- President Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, Nov. 1991, 22

“The singing of our sacred hymns, written by the servants of God, has a powerful effect in converting people to the principles of the Gospel, and in promoting peace and spiritual growth.”
-- President Heber J. Grant, Improvement Era, Sept. 1940, 522

“We get nearer to the Lord through music than perhaps through any other thing except prayer.”
-- President J. Reuben Clark Jr., in Conference Report, Oct. 1936, 111

“Music is truly the universal language, and when it is excellently expressed how deeply it moves our souls.”
-- President David O. McKay, in Conference Report, Apr. 1945, 119

“The most effective preaching of the gospel is when it is accompanied by beautiful, appropriate music.”
-- President Harold B. Lee, in Conference Report, Apr. 1973, 181

“Inspiring music may fill the soul with heavenly thoughts, move one to righteous action, or speak peace to the soul.”
-- President Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, Nov. 1974, 67

“The righteous shall be gathered out from among all nations, and shall come to Zion, singing with songs of everlasting joy.”
-- Doctrine and Covenants 45:71

“I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.”
-- Psalm 69:30

“Music has boundless powers for moving families toward greater spirituality and devotion to the gospel. Latter-day Saints should fill their homes with the sound of worthy music.”
-- “First Presidency Preface,” Hymns, 1985

“Hymns can lift our spirits, give us courage, and move us to righteous action. They can fill our souls with heavenly thoughts and bring us a spirit of peace.”
-- “First Presidency Preface,” Hymns, 1985

“We hope the hymnbook will take a prominent place among the scriptures and other religious books in our homes.”
-- “First Presidency Preface,” Hymns, 1985

“Teach your children to love the hymns. Sing them on the Sabbath, in home evening, during scripture study, at prayer time. Sing as you work, as you play, and as you travel together. Sing hymns as lullabies to build faith and testimony in your young ones.”
-- “First Presidency Preface,” Hymns, 1985

“The singing of the songs of Zion, though imperfectly, with the inspiration of God, will touch the hearts of the honest more effectively than if sung well without the Spirit of God.”
-- President Heber J. Grant, Improvement Era, July 1901, 686

“I wonder sometimes if we realize the importance of music. I wonder if we know that the Lord himself is concerned about it. He has given us the information that the song of praise is a prayer unto him. . . . It [is] our privilege, yea, our blessing, to sing and . . . our songs should be sung in righteousness.”
-- President George Albert Smith, Church News, Feb. 16, 1946, 6

“Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands: sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious.”
-- Psalm 66:1–2

“Music can act upon our senses to produce or induce feelings of reverence, humility, fervor, assurance, or other feelings attuned to the spirit of worship.”
-- President Spencer W. Kimball, Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball (1982), 519

“The singing of hymns and the rendition of selections from the great sacred oratorios by ward choirs all enhance the spirit of worship.”
-- President Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, May 1987, 45

“I am comforted by the assurance that there will be beautiful music in heaven, and for that I am most grateful.”
-- President Spencer W. Kimball, Ensign, Nov. 1982, 4

“We are able to feel and learn very quickly through music, through art, through poetry some spiritual things that we would otherwise learn very slowly.”
-- President Boyd K. Packer, 1976 Devotional Speeches of the Year (1977), 267

“It really matters what you listen to. . . . Select music that will strengthen your spirit.”
-- Elder Russell M. Nelson, Ensign, Nov. 1985, 32

“There come to one's soul heavenly thoughts as he joins in heavenly expressions coupled with heavenly melody.”
-- Elder David B. Haight, Ensign, May 1983, 12

“Be filled with the Spirit; speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
-- Ephesians 5:18–20

“My soul is always lifted up, and my spirit cheered and comforted, when I hear good music. I rejoice in it very much indeed.”
--President Joseph Fielding Smith, in Conference Report, Oct. 1969, 110

“Religious music is by far the greatest music of the ages. What is there to compare—in rhythmic beauty, poetic sublimity, and inspired teachings—with the Psalms of David?”
-- Elder Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine (1966), 520

“Listen to and sing the music of heaven.”
-- Elder William R. Bradford, Ensign, May 1976, 98

“If thou art merry, praise the Lord with singing, with music, with dancing, and with a prayer of praise and thanksgiving.”
-- Doctrine and Covenants 136:28

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”
-- Colossians 3:16

“Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.”
-- Psalm 100:2

“When you sing the hymns, . . .ponder the meaning of the words, enjoy the spirit of the music. Sing with enthusiasm without regard to your tones. You will have a good feeling, and your spirit will be enlivened.”
-- Elder Graham W. Doxey, Ensign, Oct. 1991, 26

“When we rejoice in beautiful scenery, great art, and great music, it is but the flexing of instincts acquired in another place and another time.”
-- Elder Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign, May 1984, 21