Friday, September 20, 2013

More Holiness

When I was about 14, I was able to participate in a YW choir for the dedication of some sculptures (like the ones above but in miniature) at the visitors center at the Los Angeles temple. While I have not been blessed with a beautiful singing voice I can usually sing the right notes with some practice. We sang a few songs but the one I remember most is "More Holiness Give Me". We sang a special arrangement written for this event. I still remember the alto part and catch myself singing it instead of the alto part in the Hymn book in sacrament meetings. The choir director told us during one practice that when we sing with all our hearts, as opposed to just singing the words, angels cannot be restrained from singing with us. I felt in my heart that this was true. I pondered the words of the songs and each time we practiced there was a sweet spirit in attendance.

The evening of the dedication was cool and clear. The temple was lit up beside us as we sat outside in the garden by the visitors center. When it came time for us to sing "More Holiness Give Me" I sang with all my heart, "More faith in my Savior, More sense of his care, More joy in his service, More purpose in prayer..."  The voices of the choir rang clear and beautiful in quiet evening. Our voices rose to heaven, harmonies blended and the words of the song filled my whole being. I had never heard this song sound as beautiful as it did that evening and I seemed to understand it more in my heart than ever before. The experience is etched in my mind with great clarity some 35 years later. 

About a month ago I got an email from Sister Nalley, wife of the MTC president informing us that the general Relief Society President, Sister Linda Burton, had requested a sister missionary choir to sing at the general Relief Society broadcast this year. She had also requested that 50 wives of Branch Presidency members sing with the younger sisters at the broadcast. There was an application we needed to fill out if we wanted to sing. 
I was excited to apply and hoped I would be chosen.They sent out another request about 10 days later for more sisters. About two weeks ago I got an email letting me know that I had indeed been chosen to participate in the choir - along with 42 other sisters. I guess if you had a desire to sing, you were called to the choir. 

Today was our first practice. I will admit that I was kind of lost. I usually have Jennifer sitting beside me helping me figure out my part. (I did apologize to the sweet young Sister sitting next to me - I hope I didn't throw her off too much.) As I was looking through the music at the beginning of the practice I discovered that the second song was "More Holiness Give Me". The arrangement is different than the  one I sang so many years ago but the words still moved me, "More gratitude give me, more trust in the Lord,... more hope in His word, ... more longing for home..." First day of practice and my soul was filled. What a blessing.


Chelsea said...

What a great experience to be a part of!

Celisa said...

I love the way you wrote brought tears to my eyes! I'm excited for you!