Monday, April 28, 2008

“Oh what a beautiful morning” or Ode to my Mother

Sunday as we were waiting for our teenager to finish getting ready so we could go to church, I had one of those “moments”. You could call it a flashback or you could call it “I am my mother”. We were hoping to be on-time or even a little early. . . well, we did get there, but it was just after they had started.

While I was waiting, my mind began to sing the hymn “Welcome, Welcome, Sabbath Morning”. FULL STOP!!! That was not me-that was my mother singing. Literally, it was her voice!!

If you ask all 10 siblings, they each could tell you many times when our mother would start singing. But she didn’t just sing any song. She sang a hymn that was chosen specifically to apply to the situation. When she would sing, I remember acting just like my daughter. Expelling a loud huff, turning my back and stomping away loudly; I went far enough away to not have to hear the musical reminder.

Love At Home – when we were fighting
Welcome, Welcome Sabbath Morning – when Sundays were more difficult than they needed to be
E’rr You Left Your Room This Morning, Did you Think To Pray – her way of letting us know that she could tell we hadn’t said our personal prayers that day
Have I Done Any Good In The World Today – when we were not willing to help others, or be nice
You Can Make The Pathway Bright, Fill The Soul With Heaven’s Light, If There’s Sunshine In Your Heart – when our moods were too negative or angry or. . .

I could go on with each hymn, but you get the idea! Those musical reminders did a number of things for me and to me. (Now that I’m over 50, I can admit that.)

First, it did exactly what she intended it to do. It helped me realize that the Gospel of Christ extends into all aspects of my life. Those lessons were taught by a few musical notes with an appropriate message attached.

Second is that she taught all of us the Hymns of Zion. We knew she loved them. She sang them more that just as instruction (and so she didn’t yell at us in those situations). She sang them as she worked and as she rocked each child.

While I was growing up, it didn’t really dawn on me that she knew all the words to all the verses. But she did! I think that is one of the treasured legacies we have from her – the knowledge that the Hymns of Zion are more than just little songs; they are prayers, pleading, advice, lessons, praise, thanks and much more.

I still can’t get far enough away to not hear those musical reminders, and I am very grateful for that.

You can't have one parent without the other, They just go together.

To see the hymns for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints go to this link.