Reader voices: Music enhances spirituality

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  • Kjirstin Youngberg Mapleton, UT
    Aug. 30, 2013 5:25 p.m.

    Yes, Bernard, and BleedsBlue, there is a difference. I will never forget being at the Oakland Temple Pageant one year and hearing the voices of the "future missionaries" as they marched in with International flags, wearing the costumes of those countries, singing, "The Spirit of God Like A Fire is Burning" for it really was like a fire. I've often wondered how many of those teens went on to serve.

  • BleedsBlue Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 7:29 p.m.

    Interesting question, one I do not thing I would have ever thought of. I believe the effect music has had on me at times has definitely been a spiritual experience. I do not necessarily separate the two. That doesn't mean every type of musical experience I have had was spiritual or that every type of spiritual experience I have had has been musical, but sometimes it was both. Listening to the Messiah one year was one of the most spiritual experiences I have ever had. It hasn't happened like that every time I listen to the Messiah, but the music usually does have a powerful effect on me. But this one time, it was definitely a spiritual experience, one that will always stick with me. That is just one example.

  • Bernard GUi Puyallup, WA
    Aug. 20, 2013 11:10 a.m.

    I have had both kinds of experiences...musical and spiritual. For me, they are not the same.
    What I consider true spiritual experiences are far more profound and life-changing, but I do not
    discount the positve power music can have on emotions and feelings.

  • Kjirstin Youngberg Mapleton, UT
    Aug. 19, 2013 7:40 p.m.

    An interesting question, Bernard. All of my friends who have left the Church and become agnostic or atheistic would agree with you. I wonder myself, as I listen to opera now, which is often about horrible subjects, yet elicits the same emotional response as what I once felt was a strictly spiritual reaction.

  • Bernard GUi Puyallup, WA
    Aug. 19, 2013 11:47 a.m.

    As a professional LDS instrumental musician with 50 years of performance and educational experience, I have come to wonder if the effects if music are emotional, not spiritual.

    Aug. 18, 2013 9:32 p.m.

    Our high school A Cappella Choir teacher Glenn Montague passed away this last year. Some years ago, we had a choir reunion with those who had been in his choirs over the half-dozen years he was at our high school before going to a California college. We decided to do a concert, and he agreed. We had attendees who had never sung in the same choir--earlier members of our reunion choir had graduated years before those of his last years of tenure. But within 30 minutes, he had us all together, singing in one unified choir voice. As we performed the concert, we had to bring in extra chairs.
    The depth of feeling we all had was nothing short of amazing--very spiritual. To this day, I cannot sing even a congregational hymn without putting the techniques he taught us into practice. Even more importantly, the spirit he instilled in each of us remains, and will until we join him across the veil. Perhaps we can hold another reunion concert!

  • Kjirstin Youngberg Mapleton, UT
    Aug. 18, 2013 3:28 p.m.

    Such a wonderful, timely piece for our family. We have only one daughter. She sang before she could talk. At five, she told us she wanted to sing opera. (We're kinda jazz/rock ourselves...) At nine, we finally got her a voice teacher, but after six lessons he pled with us to move to NYC or Italy where she could get the training she deserved. "I can count on one hand the number of people born every hundred years who have her instrument," he said. Of course, with a big family we couldn't uproot, we did what we could for her, and she later studied with Susan Boren at BYU when she was 13. At 16, she graduated and moved to the east coast to study at The Manhattan School of Music. She put herself through school, and may have those student loans forever. I had a hard time understanding her determination, drive and dedication. We just got off the phone with her five minutes ago. She has finished a summer program in Austria, and finally knows she is a true lirico-spinto soprano. She is a gift from God, and will always use her voice to honor Him.

  • andrejules Champaign, IL
    Aug. 18, 2013 8:24 a.m.

    I really enjoyed this article. How true what an affect music can have on each of us. Roy is a wonderful bass who joined his wife Mary Lou at our Provo High School Class of 1953 Reunion last night. It was great to see both of them after they drove from their home in Bloomington, Indiana.