“The Lord's tender mercies are the very personal and individualized blessings, strength, protection, assurances, guidance, loving-kindnesses, consolation, support, and spiritual gifts which we receive from and because of and through the Lord Jesus Christ” - Elder David A. Bednar

Friday, April 29, 2011

90 Minute Oratorio

About 2 years ago, I was to participate in a performance of the oratorio "Joseph Smith, the Prophet." I didn't have a big part, but it was still a challenging choral part, and we had been rehearsing for months for this show. Then, 2 days before the performance, I completely lost my voice. I had to lip-synch my way through the final rehearsal.

I was so sad about this! I had been working so hard, and I was so excited to use my talent to glorify the Lord in this way. I received a blessing, and I prayed and prayed, and I fasted the entire day of the performance. I knew that it wouldn't really have an effect on the show if I had to just stand there and fake my way through the whole thing. And it's not like it would have affected my testimony in any way if these prayers didn't get answered the way I wanted them to be. But I really, really wanted to be able to sing this beautiful music!

Even on the way to the performance that evening, I still couldn't talk above a raspy whisper. I just figured I would have to stand on the stage and pretend, and be content to listen to the music and feel the Spirit there. But I am my Father in Heaven's daughter, and He saw how much I wanted something, and it was a good and worthy thing, and He delights in giving us gifts and making us happy whenever possible!

So when the show started, I decided just to try out my voice and see what happened. And I then proceeded to enjoy exactly 90 minutes of having my voice back! I was singing the very highest soprano part, and there were a few of those grand high notes that I simply could not make come out of my mouth. But I was able to sing almost every other note in the performance!

Immediately after the show, my voice disappeared again, and it was actually worse after that. It was a couple more days before I could speak again. But I know that Heavenly Father gave me a huge gift that night. It wasn't earth-shattering, it wouldn't have been a big deal to anyone else if I had had to "sit that one out," but it was a big deal to me, so it was a big deal to Him.

Rob Gardner, the composer of "Joseph Smith, the Prophet" took the words to one of our more under-used hymns and put them to his own music in his show. I absolutely love his composition, and this is now my very favorite hymn. I sing it to myself when I am lonely, when I have a bad day, or when I have a sad or worldly thought I want to get out of my head. And I think that the words to this hymn express perfectly how I feel about the Lord's tender mercies in my life:

Savior, Redeemer of My Soul
Savior, Redeemer of my soul,

Whose mighty Hand hath made me whole,
Whose wondrous power hath raised me up
And filled with sweet my bitter cup.
What tongue my gratitude can tell?
Oh, gracious God of Israel!

Never can I repay Thee, Lord,
But I can love Thee, Thy pure Word.
Hath it not been my one delight?
My joy by day? My dream by night?
Then let my lips proclaim it still,
And all my life reflect Thy Will.

O'er rule mine acts to serve Thine ends,
Change frowning foes to smiling friends,
Chasten my soul till I shall be
In perfect harmony with Thee.
Make me more worthy of Thy love,
And fit me for the life above.

story submitted by
Erin J.

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