Tuesday, October 26, 2010


My bishop asked me to learn to play the organ.  As far as I'm concerned, it's a miracle that I am doing so.  As I am learning, I am always hopeful that my presentation is never a distraction.  The music at church is to lift your thoughts to higher ground, to help you feel the Spirit.  There is a definite rationale in playing the hymns of Zion.  They are like scripture, evoking eternal messages of truth.

Prelude is the norm as one enters the chapel Sunday morning. I wonder sometimes if anyone is really aware of what I am playing when I hear chatter and the atmosphere seems so irreverent.  It's times like this when I'd like to crank out my melody above the din calling attention to everyone, "Please, be reverent."  But then there are other times when it is so quiet.  I know people are in some kind of reverie. I then become very nervous, worried I might miss a note and interrupt someones solace.

Last Sunday was the Primary presentation.  I decided, because of the situation, I would play Primary songs for prelude.  There was a lot of busyness around me as the children arrived and found their places before the meeting started, that was to be expected.  But as things settled down, I saved the best for last, the most familiar, "I Am a Child of God".  As I played, I heard a little voice behind me as recognition touched her ears.  She said with a pleasing and delightful tone, "I know this song."  I could feel her unfettered happiness.  A smile crossed my face as the music did it's wonder. She began to hum and as I continued to play, right on cue, she quietly began to sing the chorus, "Lead me guide me, walk beside me . . ."

"Ahhhh," I thought, "Reverence is more than just quietly sitting . . ."

Rev’rence is more than just quietly sitting:
It’s thinking of Father above,
A feeling I get when I think of his blessings.
I’m rev’rent, for rev’rence is love.
When I’m rev’rent, it shows in my words and my deeds.
The pathway to follow is clear.
And when I am rev’rent, I know in my heart
Heav’nly Father and Jesus are near.

Reverence Is Love, CSB 31
Words and music: Maggie Olauson, b. 1949
© 1987 by Maggie Olauson. All rights reserved
This song may be copied for incidental, noncommercial church or home use.

"I believe that those who choose, conduct, present, and accompany the music may influence the spirit of reverence in our meetings more than a speaker does. . . An organist who has the sensitivity to quietly play prelude music from the hymnbook tempers our feelings and causes us to go over in our minds the lyrics which teach the peaceable things of the kingdom."

Elder Boyd. K. Packer
"Reverence Invites Revelation,” Ensign, Nov 1991, 21

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