Currently serving in the Primary presidency in my ward, I find myself searching for songs to use during the months where we get to choose what to include in the primary program. So much great music!! How can we pick just 1 or 2 to complete the already wonderful line-up we are given from our church leaders? I remember the words of Mormon, as quoted by his son, Moroni. “…wherefore, everything which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him is inspired of God.” And a little later, “…for everything which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God. (Moroni 7: 13, 16)
Can I share with you 2 great songs that I found?! Two inspired pieces that, when I listened to them (over and over because I loved them so much), invited and enticed me to do good, to believe in God, to believe in Christ and to serve them.
First up, “One by One”. The text was written by Elder Bednar, and he commissioned Paul Cardall to write the music. It speaks of Christ’s infinite love and unfailing efforts to lift each of us individually. My favorite line– “Strength from His grace gives us power to become. One by one.” When I listen to this song, I believe that God lives, that His beloved Son is my Savior and Redeemer and that every choice I make–each and every one, no matter how small they seem–will ultimately prove that belief because of what I become through them.
Second, “Choose to Believe”, by Jenny N. Richards. You might already know and love her. She shares her talent and music freely, and listening to her daughter sing this makes me want to boldly testify that I DO and WILL continually choose to believe. That belief will change my actions daily. It will change the choices I make in my attitude, in my relationships, in my service, in how I use each moment I have here on earth. Maybe we think those choices were easier as a child like the one singing here. It was easy to believe in God when we could just take our parents’ word for it. It was easy to keep the commandments when someone else dictated how we used almost all of our time. But now we are accountable and able to choose. Each choice will bring us closer to or farther away from God. The good news is that every choice to believe makes the next one a tiny bit easier. For an every-day example, when I was taking driver’s ed and preparing to get my license, I distinctly remember thinking, “I will never remember to check all of these mirrors and blind spots every single time I put the car in reverse or change lanes!” I had to consciously think, “Rear, left, right, blind spot…” every single time I practiced in that class. Now, I don’t think about it at all, but I do it every time. It’s still a choice I’m making, but it has become an instinctive part of my driving and leaves me free to focus on other choices like “What song should I listen to? What should I get at the store? or What can I do to cheer up my friend?”. On a more eternal note, here’s one more. Every time we choose to believe that reading the scriptures can help us, and then act on that belief by reading and pondering them, we receive the blessings that naturally follow. We feel God’s love for us. We feel His spirit teach and guide us. Then, when we are faced with another situation that is beyond our own abilities, our choice to turn to His word for the help we need and to believe that we will find it becomes easier and more instinctive until we don’t even realize we are making that choice. And we can move on to the next ones. “What will I do with what I’ve learned in the scriptures today? Who can I share this with?”
My favorite lines in this song–“I choose joy, I choose faith. I choose love to light my way and I am happy as I choose each day.”
What are some choices you have made lately that have brought you closer to God?
When have you had to choose to believe in Him?
How does knowing that Christ chose YOU in that garden long ago affect the choices you have to make?