Expression and Worship
The singing of hymns is an important form of religious expression and worship in the LDS Church. Mormons sing many traditional Christian hymns, but also have a strong repository of their own hymns. Many of these focus on the Saviour, while others explore the truths of their faith, for example “An Angel on High” tells the story of the angel Moroni’s message as received by Joseph Smith:
An angel from on high
The long, long silence broke;
Descending from the sky,
These gracious words he spoke:
‘Lo! in Cumorah’s lonely hill
A sacred record lies concealed.’
Sealed by Moroni’s hand,
It has for ages lain
To wait the Lord’s command,
From dust to speak again.
It shall again to light come forth
To usher in Christ’s reign on earth.
Parley P. Pratt
The concept of eternal identity finds expression in the simple children’s hymn, “I Am a Child of God” and the notion of the eternal family is venerated in another children’s hymn, “Families Can Be Together Forever”:
I have a family here on earth.
They are so good to me.
I want to share my life with them
Through all eternity.
Fam’lies can be together forever
Through Heav’nly Father’s plan.
I always want to be with my own family,
And the Lord has shown me how I can.
While I am in my early years, I’ll prepare most carefully,
So I can marry in God’s temple for eternity.
Ruth M. Gardner (© 1980 LDS)
Worship is an important concept for Mormons that goes beyond songs and services. Everyday life is an opportunity for worship of the Lord. It is not something restricted to ritual occasions: it is a way to show respect for and commitment of oneself to the Lord. In Doctrine and Covenants (133:39-40) it states that true disciples “worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters—calling upon the name of the Lord day and night.” Worship can be enacted through the way one does one’s job, the relationships one has with family and community, and the service given to the Church, all are opportunities for showing faithfulness and respect to God and love for his children who comprise humanity.