Selected Statements by
Presidents of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Compiled by W. Herbert Klopfer
All of my family and boarders arose to the serenade, and I felt to thank my Heavenly Father for their visit, and blessed them in the name of the Lord. (Spoken in referring to a group of serenaders who stopped by his home on Christmas morning, 1843)
We cannot preach the gospel without music. Some wise Being organized my system, and gave me my capacity, put into my heart and brain something that delights, charms and fills me with rapture at the sound of sweet music...Who gave the lower animals a love for those sweet sounds, which with magic power fill the air with harmony, and cheer and comfort the hearts of men, and so wonderfully affect the brute creation? It was the Lord, our Heavenly Father, who gave the capacity to enjoy these sounds.(Church News, 28 August 1983).
I am waiting patiently for the (Tabernacle) organ to be finished; then we can sing the gospel into the hearts of the people. (The Tabernacle Organ p. 4).
The very spirit of religion is breathed into music.
Singing exercises can be made a great attraction and also a valuable addition to the education of the young. The interest that is now taken among us in vocal and instrumental music is a marked feature of the times. (Church News, 8/28/1983.)
I am fond of music and singing gatherings, and when I shall leave this life I hope my family would gather often to sing. If I was permitted, I would like to visit my loved ones and enjoy their sweet singing. (4 June 1897, Journal, Vol. 9, p. 484).
Every unfoldment of the nineteenth century in science, in art, in mechanism, in music, in literature-was prompted by His Spirit which before long will be poured out upon all flesh that will receive it. (Church News, 28 August 1983).
Do not cease to persevere. I have noticed that many young ladies, and young men, too, start in to learn music, but get discouraged, and, failing to persevere, they do not succeed in accomplishing that which they undertook. (3 April 1897, DW, 54:483)
.Joseph F. Smith
Good music is gracious praise of God. It is delightsome to the ear, and it is one of our most acceptable methods of worshiping God. And those who sing...in all the choirs of the Saints...should not sing merely because it is a profession, or because they have good voices, but they should sing also because they have the spirit of it...and (can) praise...God who gave them their sweet voices. (Church News, 28 August 1983.)
Heber J. Grant
The singing of our sacred hymns, written by the servants of God, has a powerful effect in converting people to the principles of the gospel, and in promoting peace and spiritual growth. Singing is a prayer to the Lord. ("Songs of the Heart," Improvement Era, Sep. 1940, p. 522).
George Albert Smith
I wonder sometimes if we realize the importance of music. I wonder if we know that the Lord himself is concerned about it. He has given us the information that the song of praise is a prayer unto him...It is our privilege, yea, our blessing, to sing, and our songs should be sung in righteousness. (Church Section, Deseret News, 16 February 1946).
I am grateful for a Church that teaches the joy and encourages the sweet influences that come from music...We do have excellent hymns in this Church... What a comforting, uplifting influence there is in sincere music! (Church News, 28 August 1983.)
David O. McKay
Music is truly the universal language, and when it is excellently expressed how deeply it moves our souls!(In Conference Report, April 1945, p. 119; or Improvement Era, May 1945, p. 309).
The LDS life is an abundant life as it embraces all that is beautiful and worthwhile. Music, often referred to as the divine art, is a part of this abundance bringing joy to all. (Church News, 28 August 1983).
Joseph Fielding Smith
It delights my heart to see our people everywhere improving their talents as good singers. Everywhere we go among our people we find sweet voices and talent for music. I believe that this is a manifestation to us of the purpose of the lord in this direction toward our people, that they will excel in these things. (Church News, 28 August 1983).
Harold B. Lee
The most effective preaching of the gospel is when it is accompanied by beautiful, appropriate music. (In Conference Report, April 1973, p. 181).
Spencer W. Kimball
I am comforted by the assurance that there will be beautiful music in heaven. (Ensign, November 1982, p. 4.)
We are in a position, as musicians, to touch the souls of those who listen. (Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p. 518.)
It is sad to me to see in the congregations many people standing silent when they could be singing "their hearts out." I wonder constantly if they would sing happily today if for twelve years they could only move their lips through thousands of songs and could make no sound? I wonder if the silent ones can even imagine what it is like to be unable to join fellow singers in praise to their Lord in music? (Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p. 519).
Every congregation should have a choir. If you don’t have a ward choir, you are not organized fully any more than if you do not have a Relief Society. (Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p. 518).
Ezra Taft Benson
We encourage you to listen to uplifting music, both popular and classical, that builds the spirit...Don’t listen to music that is degrading.(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. (Ensign, November 1974. P. 67).
Gordon B. Hinckley
"Can anyone doubt that good music is godly or that there can be something of the essence of heaven in great art?" (October 1985 General Conference).
"Music...is an important factor...(for) reverence in our meetings" (Ensign, May 1987, p. 44).