The Power of Music


This young woman from Hawaii understands the influence that music can have on a person’s soul.

For the Strength of Youth declares, “Music can enrich your life” ([2011], 22). Marissa R., 17, of Hawaii, definitely agrees with this.

“Music is so important because it expresses everything that words cannot,” she says. “It definitely provides the perfect outlet that I need through any situation.”

Marissa loves to sing and dance and has been doing both her whole life. She’s been able to participate in many programs and was even selected to represent Hawaii in a national honor choir.

“Now I’m at a point where I want music to be in my life forever,” Marissa says. “I also want to influence other people with music.”

Starting a Glee Club

Her desire to influence others is one of the reasons Marissa started a glee club at her school. “I had really been longing for years to create a club where people who loved music and loved singing and dancing could get together and put together something really great,” she says.

So she got all the approvals and went through the process of creating the club.

“Now, our glee club has done several performances,” Marissa says. “We love to explore music of all genres. Usually the kids get to select songs and submit them, and the whole club votes on them. We do country, pop, rock, oldies, and mainstream hits. It’s a lot of fun.”

Choosing Good Music

Because Marissa is so involved in music, she knows that it can have an influence for good or bad.

“Everything has an influence on your soul, and if it drives away the Spirit, then you need to be careful,” she says. “It can seep into your mind like a poison without your even knowing it, because that’s how influential music is.”

Being selective about song choices is a big deal for Marissa because she likes to collect music. She screens her new music and often goes through her music library, and if a particular song drives away the Spirit, then she deletes it.

“If I know inside that it’s not making me feel wholesome, I need to be sure to delete it because keeping one song in your library is not worth losing the Spirit,” she says. “It may seem like a pain, but it’s worth it.”

Growing Closer to Heavenly Father

Marissa also knows that music can be an influence for bringing her closer to the Spirit.

“Music helps me gain a greater relationship with my Heavenly Father in so many ways,” she says. “A lot of times my mind is working at the speed of light and it’s very hard to slow down and pause and realize that the important thing is that I need to develop my relationship with Heavenly Father. One thing that always puts me back in that mindset and puts everything in perspective is music. Spiritual music always calms me down and brings me closer to the Spirit, thus leaving me to be able to develop a greater relationship with my Heavenly Father.”

Video and Music Downloads

Watch a video about Marissa at lds.org/go/323. You can also download an MP3 of her singing “Nearer, My God, to Thee” on youth.lds.org (click on “Music”).

Standards for Music

“Music can enrich your life. It can edify and inspire you and help you draw closer to Heavenly Father. Music has a profound effect on your mind, spirit, and behavior.

“Choose carefully the music you listen to. Pay attention to how you feel when you are listening. Some music can carry evil and destructive messages. Do not listen to music that encourages immorality or glorifies violence through its lyrics, beat, or intensity. Do not listen to music that uses vulgar or offensive language or promotes evil practices. Such music can dull your spiritual sensitivity.”

For the Strength of Youth (2011), 22.