Unconventional Sacrament Meeting: The Miraculous Impact of Hymns

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Yesterday, our bishop stood up after the sacrament was passed and informed us that the speakers hadn’t shown up. He then recounted this story from his mission in Argentina.

In a small branch, there was a wonderful couple who had both served missions and were married in the temple. However, due to some conflict in this struggling branch and misunderstandings between members, they said they didn’t feel the spirit at church and they stopped attending. My companion and I went to visit them, unsure how we could help them return to activity.

We asked them to share with us, their favorite scriptures of the savior. Each person in the room took a moment to share their favorite verses and why they mattered so much to him or her. Then we sang together “I believe in Christ.” It was the worst rendition of that song, I’ve ever heard. Sung acapella, loudly, by 4 not so great singers. But it was powerful.

Bishop then said he wanted to do something unconventional for the rest of our sacrament meeting. He invited us to sing “I Believe in Christ” together, then would open the mic to anyone who wanted to come up and tell us what their favorite hymn was and why. Then we would all sing that hymn together.

After a heart felt “I believe in Christ,” many ran up to the stand, filling the chairs awaiting their turn.

A sister shared about serving in Afghanistan. On a particular sunday they went to building that had 1 room for church services. Catholics, muslims, protestant, all had meetings first. But then she saw the letters LDS, for a 2:00 meeting and she found so much comfort in not being alone. We sang the 2nd verse of Jesus Lover of my Soul

Other refuge have I none;

Hangs my helpless soul on thee.

Leave, oh, leave me not alone;

Still support and comfort me.

All my trust on thee is stayed;

All my help from thee I bring.

Cover my defenseless head

With the shadow of thy wing.

Jesus, Lover of My Soul

Another Sister bore testimony of going where the Lord wants her to go.

It may not be on the mountain height

Or over the stormy sea,

It may not be at the battle’s front

My Lord will have need of me.

But if, by a still, small voice he calls

To paths that I do not know,

I’ll answer, dear Lord, with my hand in thine:

I’ll go where you want me to go.

I’ll go where you want me to go.

At this point our 4 year old Lizzy turned to us and said “I want to go! I’m going to say my favorite song is popcorn popping!” She ultimately decided not to go, but oh how I wish she would have! Can you imagine singing that song in a sacrament meeting?

A 7 year old girl got up and said “My Favorite song is I’m a child of God.” She headed back towards her chair, but then hesitated and ran back up to the mic to say “Amen!”

 I am a child of God,

And he has sent me here,

Has given me an earthly home

With parents kind and dear.

Lead me, guide me, walk beside me,

Help me find the way.

Teach me all that I must do

To live with him someday.

I Am a Child of God

A brother had us sing I believe in Christ again

I believe in Christ; he is my King!

With all my heart to him I’ll sing;

I’ll raise my voice in praise and joy,

In grand amens my tongue employ.

I believe in Christ; he is God’s Son.

On earth to dwell his soul did come.

He healed the sick; the dead he raised.

Good works were his; his name be praised.

I Believe in Christ

How great thou art was chosen twice, we sang the first and last verses

Oh Lord, my God
When I, in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds Thy hands have made
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder
Thy power throughout the universe displayed

Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee
How great Thou art, how great Thou art
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee
How great Thou art, how great Thou art

When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration
And then proclaim, my God, how great Thou art

Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee
How great Thou art, how great Thou art
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee
How great Thou art, how great Thou art
How great Thou art, how great Thou art

How Great thou art

We sang songs not as well known like Saints, Behold How Great Jehovah

Out of all past dispensations,

God is bringing into one

Ev’ry truth by prophets spoken,

For the last days have begun.

Saints, Behold How Great Jehovah

We ended with a resounding The Spirit of God

The Spirit of God like a fire is burning!

The latter-day glory begins to come forth;

The visions and blessings of old are returning,

And angels are coming to visit the earth.

We’ll sing and we’ll shout with the armies of heaven,

Hosanna, hosanna to God and the Lamb!

Let glory to them in the highest be given,

Henceforth and forever, Amen and amen!

The Spirit of God

This was a powerful experience for me. I felt closer to the Lord. I have seen more tears shed while singing music then while listening to a speaker. As I felt the Savior’s love, my resolve to attend my church meetings and serve the Lord was strengthened.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Michelle G

    Wow, what a great and inspired decision that was to sing hymns and invite others to share their favorite and why.

  2. Kristiana

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful experience!

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