Wednesday, July 8, 2009

And Joy Be Mine Abode

A few months ago, our dear friend and Stake Relief Society President, Candance Melville, asked me and Diane to write a song for the Stake Women's Conference that was held in June. We gladly agreed to, know ing that Chieko Okasaki would be the keynote speaker, and because either of us would pretty much do anything that Candie asked us to do!

Then chaos erupted. I broke my arm and Diane and her husband's work situations became pretty crazy. Now you would think that since the arm is fairly distant to the brain, I'd still be able to accomplish something, even by typing with just one hand. But no. I gazed at the screen for hours, mostly just trying to remember what my last thought was.

But we did it. We managed to get it done in time, thanks to Diane's patience and flexibility.

And my arm is doing much better.

"And Joy Be Mine Abode"--The chorus was inspired by Lamoni's father's statement--"I would give away all my sins to know God." But I believe giving away the sins is only half the battle--like the clutter in my garage that I keep thinking I gave away, sins have away of hiding and clinging and transmorgifying themselves to appear harmless. Before I can give away my sins I have to find them under the layers of guilt and pride and fear.

I learned a lot writing the words to this song, and hope they will also aid you in coming closer to the Lord and learning to become like Him.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A Vessel of Light

Two years ago, my Relief Society Presidency requested that I create a program for a special evening for our sisters, based upon The Ten Virgins by Emily Freeman. After obtaining permission from the author, I created a short play about the parable of the ten virgins from the New Testament. This song, A Vessel of Light, became the centerpiece of the play.

The main image of the song is that we are vessels of the Spirit, and as we keep our lamps full of oil, we will be able to be constant, vessels of light through every dark moment we are asked to endure. At the heart of this image is the atonement, for as Christ suffered for our sins, infirmities, and dark moments in Gethsemane--Hebrew for the place of the olive press--he created a symbolic source of oil that is inexhaustible.

Diane has a written lovely melody to the lyrics: the song was awarded Special Recognition for the 2007 Relief Society Song Competition. It was performed at the Assembly Hall on Temple Square in February 2008. The song and play are both available for free use on our website. We hope that the song inspires you and your audience to become greater vessels of light.