Bearing Testimony in Song: Children’s Songbook Holds Sacred Value


    By Brittanie Morris

    Marvin Goldstein taught Education Week participants the importance of appreciating the music in hymnbooks of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the blessings of bearing testimony through that music.

    Goldstein”s class, “Discovering the Divine Nature of Music: The Sacred Music of the Children”s Songbook,” was filled with music and humor.

    He delighted the audience with his Children”s Songbook Medley of “I Wonder When He Comes Again/ Teach me to Walk in the Light/ Beautiful Savior/ Follow the Prophet/ Book of Mormon Stories/ Hello, Hello/ Keep the Commandments/ Baptism/ I Belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints/ Army of Helaman.”

    However, the audience was particularly thrilled with Goldstein”s renditions of the various ways he imagines children all over the world hear the Primary song “Hello, Hello.”

    “There are saints all over the world and people joining the church all over the world, and but not all of them hear the same version of ”Hello, Hello”,” he said.

    He improvised on the piano to play versions from Italy (with soft musical sounds), China (represented by Oriental chords), Russia (playing classical styles of robust music), Scotland (with the sounds of the bagpipes), Mexico (with the “Mexican Hat Dance”), Nashville, Tenn. (with a taste of country jazz) and Utah (played as plain and straight as possible).

    But amid all the comedy, Goldstein also told his class as people give testimony, in various ways, everything that is going wrong in their life is put in its place.

    However, he said, “When you start discussing problems, life goes the other way.”

    Goldstein reminded the audience there is truth in all churches and told them to be grateful for those other churches, as 40 percent of the LDS hymnbook comes from music from other churches.

    “We can find commonalities among other churches, especially in music,” he said.

    He closed his class by inviting Rebecca Lopez, 22, to come to the stage and sing with him as he played a medley of Janice Kapp Perry songs the two arranged.

    Goldstein told the audience to be grateful for Perry, as she can be credited with a great number of the pieces of music in both the Children”s Songbook and the LDS Hymnbook.

    The medley included songs “Mother, Tell Me the Story,” “I”m Trying to be Like Jesus,” “I love to See the Temple,” “Love is Spoken Here” and “A Child”s Prayer.”

    The class closed with Lopez singing “There is Hope” and the testimony that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world and he loves everyone.

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