So you’re called to be a ward organist. You may be an incredibly accomplished organist. Or you may be the only one in your ward brave enough to even sit on the organ bench. But there you are. You’ve been called.
Why? What’s the point of the practicing, the struggle, the putting yourself ‘out there’ Sunday after Sunday?
Here’s one thought:
“And all this for the benefit of the church of the living God, that every man may improve upon his talent, that every man may gain other talents, yea, even an hundred fold, to be cast into the Lord’s storehouse, to become common property of the whole church.” Doctrine & Covenants 82:18
Following are some other thoughts.
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Verily I say unto you, behold how great is your calling.
Doctrine & Covenants 112:33
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Inspirational music is an essential part of our church meetings. Hymns, pg. ix.
The ward organist provides prelude and postlude music and accompaniment for hymns at sacrament meeting and other ward meetings as requested. Standard musical elements in church meetings include: prelude and postlude music, congregational singing, special musical selections. (See Church Handbook of Instructions, Section 14.)
The ward organist is an active participant (leading the congregation in worship) for 20-30 minutes (25-35% of the meeting) on a weekly basis.
If you are called upon to play a church service, it is a greater honor than if you were to play a concert on the finest organ in the world . . . Thank God each time when you are privileged to sit before the organ console and assist in the worship of the Almighty. Albert Schweitzer
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Therefore he becometh a great benefit to his fellow beings.
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Some ways that we can become a great benefit to our fellow ward members:
- Create a feeling of reverence and order
- Unify congregation
- Preach the gospel
- Add interest to the meeting
- Invite the Spirit of the Lord
- Be an example of cheerful service
- Encourage others in their musical endeavors
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Neglect not the gift which is in thee.
I Timothy 4:14
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Every person does not have every gift. But every person has at least one gift. (See Doctrine & Covenants 46.)
I believe that playing an instrument is a talent. How you play that instrument—your musical strength—is a gift. Some people play are technically accurate, others play with great feeling. One may sight read easily. And yet another has an innate ability to play by ear.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightening about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. Marianne Williamson