Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Scriptures for Musicians Part I

I was reading the Book of Mormon last night, and I came across a scripture that jumped out at me.

Our Elder’s Quorum instructor would call that a “Gem”.

So, I stumbled across this gem, from First Nephi, chapter 6. This is where Nephi is talking about what stuff is written on what plates. They’ve just come back from getting the plates of Brass, and Dad has just finished looking them over and discovering what’s inside. Nephi doesn’t want to include it all in this record, so he just glosses over it. Then he explains what things he’s going to write about…

4 “For the fullness of mine intent is that I may persuade men to come unto the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, and be saved.

5 “Wherefore, the things which are pleasing unto the world I do not write, but the things which are pleasing unto God and unto those who are not of the world.”

Now, in context, it’s clear that he’s talking about writing scripture. But in the context of my own place, it struck me that it applies to songwriting, too. Why do I write songs? Well, for self-expression, sure, and for fun, too, but ultimately, it’s to help people come to God. That’s what would really be cool.

So, why should I write things that the world likes? Why should I worry about writing pop tunes so that they’ll sell? Why don’t I write what’s pleasing to God, and let the notes fall where they may?

Well, first of all, I need to make sure that I know what God wants me to write. If I’m off kilter, spiritually, then I’m not going to be an effective conduit through which songs can come.

It’s just musings right now, but it struck me, and made me once again contemplate my motives and my drive.

Mark Hansen

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