MormonSoprano wrote a beautiful post for Independence Day about being free from earth stains. She had some very kind words to say about my blog, and some very uplifting words about the Savior’s power to free us. She also pointed enough people to me that I had one of my busiest traffic days. I wish I could return the favor. Unfortunately, my regular readership consists of, as far as I am aware, exactly one person. But I would like to comment on how inspired I have been by MoSop’s writing and the service she performs.
MoSop is a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. I can’t claim personal knowledge of the schedule Choir members keep, because you have to have some serious talent to be in the choir, which I don’t have (also, I don’t live anywhere near Utah). But I know they perform at least twice a week without any fiscal compensation, and I know that many members of the choir are, like MoSop, highly-skilled, professionally-trained musicians. I can’t even begin to calculate the dollar value of the labor donated to the Choir every single week. They have been doing this for more than 75 years. The result is one of the most pure, consistent labors of love we have seen in the world. And it shows. The Choir produces music that is not only technically excellent, but also is deeply infused with the power of the Spirit.
I have tried to let MoSop know how much I personally appreciate what she and her fellow singers do. Their music is, for me, more than a pleasant soundtrack for my life. It is a deeply spiritual lifeline to all that is good and holy. The Choir’s music has carried me through some of the most dark, difficult periods of my life. The strains of, “Breathe, O breathe thy loving Spirit into ev’ry troubled breast,” have silenced diabolical voices when they have daunted me. I have heard the Choir sing “Infant Holy, Infant Lowly” and have felt as though I stood before a rough feeding trough for animals, a manger made sacred by the power of the Infant it held, and heard angels cry, “Hallelujah! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth! The Kingdom of this Earth is become the Kingdom of our God and of His Christ! And He shall reign forever and ever!” I have felt the rejoicing in heaven at the triumph of His birth and have cried, “O death, where is thy sting.”
I have also seen how, when Satan raged in his moment of temporary power, when He was permitted to assail the Savior Himself, the prophet Isaiah nevertheless triumphantly declared, “Surely, He hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows! He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon Him. And with His stripes we are healed.”
I have beheld the Savior wear a crown of piercing thorns. I have been there when they laid Him in the ground. I have heard the triumphant refrain, He is Risen!” I have heard the prophecy, “The trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible. And we shall be changed.”
I have been reminded that “Sheep may safely graze,” for “The King of Love my Shepherd Is.” I have worshiped “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” and cried “My soul doth magnify the Lord.” Through the Choir’s music, I have plead, “In humility our Savior, grant thy Spirit here” and affirmed that “I believe in Christ.”
I have heard the technically unsurpassed work of Sir Neville Mariner, and thought it still lacked something compared to Brother Condie’s work. Indeed, though I have heard many professional choirs, I have found none that is quite as glorious as the voices of Saints raised in selfless, consecrated service. In short, the music of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has been my light when I have walked through the valley of the shadow of death. Their music has helped me to not just learn of my Savior, but has helped me to come to know Him personally; for when my soul is stirred by sacred music, I cannot help but feel that His is too.
So I want to sincerely thank MoSop and all of her Brothers and Sisters in the choir. The value of your service is incalculable. And thank you for your exceedingly uplifting blog. Your testimony of the Savior is abundantly clear, both through your words and through your music, and nobody who reads with an open heart can help but feel the Spirit.