Committed to Quit
    Footnotes

    “Committed to Quit,” New Era, April 2016, 35

    Committed to Quit

    Gretchen Blackburn lives in New York, USA.

    My piano skills weren’t improving, even after years of practice. My parents said I could quit on one condition: I had to learn 50 hymns.

    playing piano

    I stormed into my house, eyes flooding with tears after yet another disappointing piano lesson. It was my fourth year taking piano, and I had barely improved past “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” My teacher had tried to find something positive to say about my horrific playing, but I only felt worse. My parents were paying money for piano lessons that I didn’t want and had no hope for.

    I wanted my parents to let me quit. “Please,” I begged. “I’ll do anything. What will it take?”

    After discussing it between themselves, they said, “If you learn 50 hymns, we will let you quit.”

    I started practicing right away. I wanted to quit so badly I was willing to spend extra time on the piano. The first hymn, “We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet” (Hymns, no. 19), took nearly a month to master. I was still intent on quitting, so I continued practicing.

    An interesting thing happened: the hymns got easier to master. I felt happier throughout the week. I found myself humming hymns during the day and singing louder in sacrament meeting.

    Eventually, I stopped keeping track of how many hymns I knew. As I became more skilled on the piano, I realized I could learn a new hymn almost perfectly in less than 30 minutes.

    When I finally did add them all up, I had learned way over 50 hymns. And there was no way I was going to quit playing piano. I had become much more confident in my abilities to play and had felt the power of the hymns in my life.

    Hymns are like scriptures; they speak truth. When I play the hymns, I feel like I am immersing myself in the scriptures. Learning how to play the hymns has been a kick start to building my testimony and learning truth. I find myself going through the words of different hymns to help me throughout my day. Playing piano has strengthened my testimony and has opened doors for me wherever I go.