Sunday, June 19, 2005

A Really Cool Sacrament Meeting

Today, after the Sacrament was passed, our bishop stood up and commented that we might have noticed that the speakers for the meeting weren’t sitting behind him on the stand. He then made a general call out to the congregation to make sure that they hadn’t arrived during the early part of the meeting, and then said, “Well, if the speakers aren’t sitting up here behind me, then that only means that they must be sitting out there in front of me!”

He then told us all to get a hymn book and open it up to our favorite hymn. Then he started calling out the names of people in the congregation and asked them to come up, read or sing a verse or two of that hymn, and then tell why that hymn was a favorite.

What followed was one of the most powerful testimony meetings I’ve ever been in. One by one, people (as they were called up) went to the podium and through their tears (often) read or sang the hymn and bore testimony of how that music had touched their lives.

One woman told about “I Stand All Amazed”. I used to think that song was the draggiest and dullest hymn in the book until I learned what it was about. Now, as I was hearing her read it, my eyes teared up along with her.

Our cross-the-street neighbor chose “How Firm a Foundation”. How can you go wrong with that one!? “Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed. For I am thy God and will still give thee aid. I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand, upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand!”

I got called up, too. I chose “Sweet Hour of Prayer” for mine. I have such fond memories of singing little baby Brendon back to sleep with that one, when he was only a few months old. In some ways, too, that song inspired “What’ll Save Ya”, from my CD, even though the songs sound soooo different.

I don’t know, though, when you slow “Sweet Hour” down, and really let go with it, it has a kind of gospel-blues-y swing to it that just settles in really nice. Just don’t tell my bishop…

Mark Hansen


  1. I LOVE this post! How awesome that would have been to hear others perspectives on what they feel is the best hymn. I can only imagine how sweet the spirit was!

    I can hear the blues in my head and a deep black voice singing "Sweet Hour" as you mentioned that, thanks, 'got cool music in my head now!

    I think sometimes we forget just how powerful music can be. I used to invite my "cemetary" students to sing a hymn out loud or in their head before opening their scriptures to read daily. It just invites the Spirit right in.

    I love this blog. : >

  2. We do this in our ward several times a year and it is truly the best meetings all year! So amazing of how this can bring out the Spirit.
    Thank you for sharing!

    Happy Belated Father's Day!


  3. Thanks for your kind words! I think I'll post a call for others to share their favorites...



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