Music in the Church
Selected Statements by General Authorities of
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Compiled by W. Herbert Klopfer
"The Spirit does not ratify speech nor confirm music which lacks spiritual substance" (Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, November 1991, p. 21).
"Music is of enormous importance in our worship services" (Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, November 1991, p. 21).
"If we will listen, (the hymns) are teaching the gospel...the hymns of the Restorations are, in fact, a course in doctrine" (Boyd K. Packer,Ensign, November 1991, p. 21).
"We should sing the songs of Zion--they are an essential part of our worship...Encourage participation in congregational singing.."(Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, November 1991, p. 21).
"Singing our beautiful, worshipful hymns is food for our soul. We become of one heart and one mind when we sing praises to the Lord. Among other influences, worshiping in song has the effect of spiritually unifying the participants in an attitude of reverence" (James E. Faust, Ensign, May 1992, p. 8).
We must "learn once again in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to really sing" (Thomas S. Monson, Hymnbook Celebration, 3 September 1985).
"If you love the Lord, if you love His doctrine, you’ll love the hymns; and when you love them, then you sing them" (Thomas S. Monson, Hymnbook Celebration, 1985).
"We encourage you to listen to uplifting music, both popular and classical, that builds the spirit . . . Don't listen to music that is degrading." (Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, May 1986, p. 45).
"Inspiring music may fill the soul with heavenly thoughts, move one to righteous actions, or speak peace to the soul" (Ezra Taft Benson,Ensign, November 1974, p. 67).
"I am comforted by the assurance that there will be beautiful music in heaven" (Spencer W. Kimball, Ensign, November 1982, p. 4).
"When people are invited to perform special (musical) numbers in sacred meetings, whether ward members or others, it is important to know in advance what numbers will be given and that they are devotional in character and in keeping with the spirit of worship. To be avoided are love songs, popular ballads, theatrical numbers, and songs with words not in harmony with the doctrines of the Church" (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball,p. 519).
"The most effective preaching of the gospel is when it is accompanied by beautiful appropriate music" (Harold B. Lee, April 1973 General Conference).
"We cannot preach the gospel without music" (Brigham Young).
"Man himself is a musical instrument" (Joseph Smith, paraphrase).
"We can get nearer to the Lord through music than perhaps through any other thing except prayer" (J. Reuben Clark, Jr. October 1936 General Conference).
"In the Church we need better music and more of it, and better speaking and less of it" (Adam S. Bennion).
"We are able to feel and learn very quickly through music, through art, through poetry some spiritual things that we would other-wise learn very slowly" (Boyd K. Packer, Brigham Young University, 1 February 1976).
"Those who choose, conduct, present, and accompany the music may influence the spirit of reverence in our meetings more than a speaker does" (Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, November 1991, p. 21).
"An organist who has the sensitivity to quietly play prelude music from the hymnbook tempers our feelings and causes us to go over in our minds the lyrics which teach the peaceable things of the kingdom" (Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, November 1991, p. 21).
"Not all great music nor all popular religious music meets the special criteria of the sacred music of worship, of the Sabbath, of revelation...Music which might be suitable in a concert setting may not be appropriate for a worship service...When music is presented which, however appropriate for other occasions, does not fit the Sabbath, much is lost...Some religiously oriented music in a popular style can be uplifting and motivating for some of our members but may lack the dignity and propriety suitable for a worship service"(Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, November 1991, p. 21).
"A choir which favors secular music above sacred music on the Sabbath becomes a chorus. In that respect, they teach the ways of men and in doing so, miss the opportunity to inspire, and deny the power that they might otherwise have" (Boyd K. Packer, Ensign,November 1991, p. 21).
"Select music that will strengthen your spirit" (Russell M. Nelson, Ensign, November 1985, p. 32).
"The spirit of the listener (is) moved most by melodies soft and simple, sung with sweet sincerity" (Russell M. Nelson, Ensign, November 1991, p. 59).
"There come to one’s soul heavenly thoughts as he joins in heavenly expressions coupled with heavenly melody" (David B. Haight, Ensign, May 1983, p. 12).
"When we rejoice in beautiful scenery, great art, and great music, it is but the flexing of instincts acquired in another place and another time" (Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign, May 1984, p. 21).
"It is...important that as Latter-day Saints we at all times apply the principles of the gospel and seek the guidance of the spirit in selecting the music with which we surround ourselves" (First Presidency, August 1973; in Conference Report, October 1973, p. 21).
"When you sing the hymns, ...ponder the meaning of the words, enjoy the spirit of the music. Sing with enthusiasm without regard to your tones" (Graham W. Doxey, Ensign, November 1991, p. 25).
"Listen to and sing the music of heaven. Reject the vulgar and base sounds and beats of Satan’s music. He would like to gain your favor with his sensual and carnal rhythms and thereby lead you down to hell" (William R. Bradford, Ensign, May 1976, p. 98).
"One of the important parts of our worship services is the congregational singing of hymns, in addition to the beautiful choir music"(Franklin D. Richards, Ensign, November 1982, p. 22).