Recently I had the opportunity to reflect on how using church music in my home has blessed our lives. There are two personal stories I'll share which demonstrate how we have felt the Spirit and the love of our Heavenly Father through the power of music and how music has helped me as a mother.
When my daughter was three, our little family took a road trip to Lake Couer d'Alene, Idaho. It was just the three of us driving through the beautiful mountains of western Idaho. At one point in our drive, to help pass the time we decided to sing Primary songs. One we sang was "Love is Spoken Here." My daughter and I sang the mother part and then my daughter and husband sang the father part. Then we sang it as a duet, and my husband even held his own part by himself! The Spirit was strong in our car that afternoon and the sweet memory was engraved on our hearts forever.
|from LDS.org, used with permission|
When my son was four, he was experimenting with language. My first tactic to curb it was to lay down the law. "Our family does not talk like that. Period." That didn't stop the problem. My second tactic was reason. "When we talk like that it doesn't show respect to Heavenly Father and Jesus, and we always want to show respect to them." No results on that one either. My third tactic was fear. "If I hear you say that one more time there will be consequences!" Needless to say, that didn't help.
One day I was worrying about how to solve this problem when I had a thought come to me. "Sing to him songs specifically about Jesus." I began to think about this, and immediately a second thought came. "When you lie down with him at night, sing to him songs about Jesus." I started mentally scanning the songs in the Children's Songbook which dealt with respect, taking the Lord's name in vain, having clean language, etc. Before my mind could think of any, a third thought came to me. "It doesn't matter what song it is, and you don't even have to tell him why you've chosen that song as long as it is about Jesus." Of course, I followed that prompting, and within two days the undesirable language disappeared and hasn't returned (to my knowledge).
I'm so grateful for the gift and power of music and especially for the help I receive from on high as a mother trying to raise my children in righteousness. I love being a mother, but I certainly can't solve all the difficulties of parenthood on my own. In your own families, look for ways to add more Primary music and/or hymns to your day. You will see and feel a difference!