I didn’t know how much I was affected by the music I listened to, but my brother’s mission set me on a path to greater happiness.
I used to listen to music at every possible moment. It got me up for seminary and then on to school. I couldn’t drive unless I had a CD to play. The thing was, the music I used to listen to was not happy. It wasn’t necessarily bad, but it didn’t make me feel good.
I listened to it because it was cool. And because I always listened to it, I never felt good. It changed my attitude about everything I did, along with the way I saw the world and the people in it. I didn’t know how to get out of this cycle of negative emotion. It was a part of my identity, and there seemed to be no way out.
When my brother left on his mission, I was impressed by his willingness to adhere to the strict lifestyle so readily. He wouldn’t be able to choose whatever he wanted to read or listen to for two years. I thought about my music and how I could be doing so much better. I decided that if my brother could go two years listening only to hymns and Primary songs, then I could at least reconsider my own listening habits.
It was hard, but I immediately gave away some CDs and threw away others. The music that I was so attached to was part of my high school identity, but thinking about my brother’s example gave me courage and resolve to change.
For nine months straight I listened to nothing but classical, instrumental, and easy listening. I noticed very quickly that I was happier, I thought more clearly, and my days seemed to go smoother. I was more prepared to feel the Spirit and learn in seminary each morning. My entire outlook on life changed for the better.
After my brother returned, I gradually started listening to some popular music, but I gravitated to positive, upbeat, and clean songs. Going through that musical cleansing period made me more sensitive to how music affected the way I thought and felt. I chose music that made me feel good instead of what was considered popular or cool. I know that these choices brought the Spirit back into my life, and because I have the Spirit with me, I feel lighter and happier, and I am able to enjoy life more fully.
Jamming the Channels of Spiritual Communication
“The world grows increasingly noisy. . . . Raucous music, with obscene lyrics blasted through amplifiers [is] gaining wide acceptance and influence over our youth. . . .
“This trend to more noise, more excitement, more contention, less restraint, less dignity, less formality is not coincidental nor innocent nor harmless.
“The first order issued by a commander mounting a military invasion is the jamming of the channels of communication of those he intends to conquer.
“Irreverence suits the purposes of the adversary by obstructing the delicate channels of revelation in both mind and spirit” (Boyd K. Packer, “Reverence Invites Revelation,” Oct. 1991 general conference).