- Among the realities we face as children of God living in a fallen world is that some days are difficult, days when our faith and our fortitude are tested.
He speaks about what we do in these moments but also that sometimes these moments are not short lived. Sometimes they last for a period of time and effect others around us.
- In those moments when the melody of joy falters below our power of expression, we may have to stand silent for a time and simply listen to others, drawing strength from the splendor of the music around us. Many of us who are “musically challenged” have had our confidence bolstered and our singing markedly improved by positioning ourselves next to someone with a stronger, more certain voice. Surely it follows that in singing the anthems of eternity, we should stand as close as humanly possible to the Savior and Redeemer of the world—who has absolutely perfect pitch. We then take courage from His ability to hear our silence and take hope from His melodious messianic intercession in our behalf. Truly it is “when the Lord is near” that “the dove of peace sings in my heart [and] the flow’rs of grace appear.”
He encourages us to recognize that we are all unique, different, and necessary for the choir to be complete. We cannot expect to be part of a choir that has to sing the same note and not have any variety. Diversity, uniqueness, individuality, are all essential in God's choir.
- On those days when we feel a little out of tune, a little less than what we think we see or hear in others, I would ask us, especially the youth of the Church, to remember it is by divine design that not all the voices in God’s choir are the same. It takes variety—sopranos and altos, baritones and basses—to make rich music.
- When we disparage our uniqueness or try to conform to fictitious stereotypes—stereotypes driven by an insatiable consumer culture and idealized beyond any possible realization by social media—we lose the richness of tone and timbre that God intended when He created a world of diversity.
Elder Holland shares that it is hard to join the choir of God when we are worried about our next meal, our poor living conditions, or our unhealthy environment. He says that some people have never felt sunshine in their soul because of the darkness of poverty. He encourages us to do what we can to help alleviate these realities for those we can.
- If we could do more to alleviate poverty, as Jesus repeatedly commands us to do, maybe some of the less fortunate in the world could hum a few notes of “There Is Sunshine in My Soul Today,” perhaps for the first time in their lives.
He speaks about mental illness and the need to help those that suffer. He encourages us to not let these people suffer in silence or alone.
- I also find it hard to sing sunny, bouncy lyrics when so many around us suffer from mental and emotional illness or other debilitating health limitations. Unfortunately, these burdens sometimes persist despite the valiant efforts of many kinds of caregivers, including family members. I pray we will not let these children of God suffer in silence and that we will be endowed with His capacity to hear the songs they cannot now sing.
There is room for all of us in the choir of God. No matter what we look like, sound like, or burden we bring, we can all find acceptance.
- I plead with each one of us to stay permanently and faithfully in the choir, where we will be able to savor forever that most precious anthem of all—“the song of redeeming love.” Fortunately, the seats for this particular number are limitless. There is room for those who speak different languages, celebrate diverse cultures, and live in a host of locations. There is room for the single, for the married, for large families, and for the childless. There is room for those who once had questions regarding their faith and room for those who still do. There is room for those with differing sexual attractions. In short, there is a place for everyone who loves God and honors His commandments as the inviolable measuring rod for personal behavior, for if love of God is the melody of our shared song, surely our common quest to obey Him is the indispensable harmony in it. With divine imperatives of love and faith, repentance and compassion, honesty and forgiveness, there is room in this choir for all who wish to be there.
Elder Holland ends with this great thought.
- We smile and remember that God is determined to make of us more than we thought we could be.
There are days when we don't want to sing or find it impossible to sing the song of redeeming love. There are moments where singing is so far from our minds due to the difficulties of life. In these moments, we need to rely on the Savior for help. The Savior can lift us and support us but mostly, He can send people as his helpers to us to assist. Let people help when you can't find your tune, when trials of life are keeping you from feeling the full love of the Savior. And most importantly, when you can sing, seek out someone that needs some help finding the notes they are having trouble with. The Lord needs us to assist Him. Reach out today and lift someone up.