Saturday, June 28, 2003

The Pearls, part II

One thing I enjoyed very much about this last Pearl Awards program was just how many award recipients remembered to thank the Real Source of their talent, skill and success.

That is, of course, Our Heavenly Father. A few years ago, when I went, I was shocked at how few remembered. I suppose at the time that with the surprise of winning the award, that they fumbled in their minds, because I’ve met many of them, and they are all very spiritual people.

See, as a musician, I see there are the three elements I mentioned above.

Talent, to me, is the raw, natural ability that the Good Lord blessed you with before you even arrived here on earth. Everybody has it, but we all have it in different areas. We say, we have a “knack” for this or that. I have felt a definite knack for playing string instruments, and for songwriting. That part always came very easy for me. It’s part of the cards that were dealt to me at the beginning of the game.

Skill is what we here on earth do with that talent. It’s when the Lord tells us to “magnify our callings”. Practice, instruction, effort, discipline. It’s what we add to what the Lord has given us.

In spite of all my gifts in instrumental music, as well as recording and arranging, I’ve always struggled with my voice. I’ve had to work very hard at getting even the minimal level of skill that I now have.

I can’t take full credit, though, because with that effort came a lot of prayer, and with that prayer came a lot of guidance and blessings from heaven.

And even with my knacks, I’ve invested time, study, and effort in improving the talent with skill.

Remember when the master gives out the talents in the parable? The servants were expected to build on those and multiply them. That’s skill

Finally, you have success. This is, in my book, how you go about promoting yourself and sharing your music with others. This is effort, too, and blessing, yes. This is the one area where you get the praise of the world. And in LDS music, it can be tricky.


Because you want to share. The whole point of music is to communicate a feeling or an idea to your audience.

But at the same time, you don’t want your notoriety to overshadow the message. You can get real wrapped up in yourself, and the music and the message suffers.

That’s why, to me, it’s always gratifying when the winners of the Pearls acknowledge where the real awards will be coming from, when He says, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant…”

Mark Hansen

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