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November 18, 2020 - Good Music Inspires Me

We get nearer to the Lord through music than perhaps through any other thing except prayer.

President J. Reuben Clark, Conference Report, October 1936

Ever since I was a little boy, music has been a part of my life. Mostly secular music, but also classical, symphonic, from orchestras, from talented voices who can actually sing, etc. I remember that I would lay down and stare, "day dreaming", or, as I know it now, feeling inspired to improve.

Still, to this day, I do this. In fact, when I'm listening to really good music, I feel so inspired that I get goosebumps. I feel an all over rush in my frame from my toes to my scalp. I found out recently that not everyone feels like that from music. It's probably for this reason that I turn up the volume so that there is no other distraction and that feeling can surround me.

One of my most favorite things is to listen to orchestras, no words, like the London Symphony or Royal Philharmonic, and just revel in the feelings that that music produces. From soft and quiet then as the orchestra crescendos to the climax. The goosebumps come probably because I have a bit of an understanding of the skill that playing an instrument takes and so I understand the greatness accomplished in mastering an instrument. Or, they come because I come from a family that appreciates good music. I know my Grandpa Adams was the same way as me. In fact, I'm sure that's why his hearing was all but gone towards the end because he liked the feelings that good music produced so he would turn it up to bathe in that feeling.

Now, these good feelings come from only good music, please don't misunderstand. I listen to secular music too but I don't feel inspired when I do. I'm mean music where skill and talent is an actual ingredient in its production. Music like Pavarotti singing Nessun Dorma, another of my favorites, or Bach's Cello Suite No 1, or Adagio For Strings Op 11 by Barber, or the Tabernacle Choir, or movie soundtracks where an orchestra provides that accompaniment, like Dances With Wolves or Last of the Mohicans, or Rudy, or even Robin Hood (the Kevin Costner one).

The spirit of the Lord definitely comes and goes, depending on what I listen to. I don't think he sticks around when I listen to rock music. I probably shouldn't listen to that as much anyway. 😬 In fact, the pendulum is swinging more towards hymns, classical, orchestra music, choir music, opera, and music with good voices, etc.

So, what I listen to has an effect on me. I either get closer to the Lord or further away.

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