Hymns Through the Lens of a 13-Year-Old Young Man

“I already thought three was too many,” Todd whispered to me in reference to the normal minimum of three hymns that we have in LDS Sacrament meetings (our main Sunday service).

Todd is my 13-year-old son and I love hearing his commentary on the world and our shared experiences.

Yesterday, we had a musical testimony meeting at church.

It is an annual tradition in our ward to have a testimony meeting where anyone from the congregation can walk up to the podium and share a little bit about a hymn that is special to them and then the congregation sings selected verses from that song. This is in addition to our regular testimony meeting which is held monthly on the first Sunday of the month.

Having only lived here in Las Vegas since July, this was our first exposure to this tradition.

We sang some Mormon classics like “Called to Serve,” “If You Could Hie to Kolob,” and “Praise to the Man.” We sang the patriotic “America The Beautiful.”

Of course, we sang a number of Christmas hymns, including “Silent Night,” “Ring Out, Wild Bells”, “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” and…well…I do not remember them all.

It was an enjoyable meeting. I am not a big fan of singing hymns, but I enjoyed the different pace. After all, I am not a huge fan of talks, either.

Todd, however, was not enjoying the new experience.

The program opened with a beautiful musical number by our resident ward composer and musician, but the best part of the meeting for me were Todd’s reactions to the entire event.

“The concept of Kolob is weird,” Todd whispered to me as the song “If You Could Hie to Kolob” was announced.

“Yeah, but it one of our best songs,” I told him in response.

Todd playing his baritone.

Todd playing his baritone.

As the bishop announce the closing hymn, The First Noel, Todd let out a rather loud groan to express his displeasure.

“Not another one,” Todd said. Not with words, but with a groan.

Next year, we are going to play one of Shem’s favorite Sacrament meeting games. Shem, my 11-year-old son and Todd’s younger brother, likes to add “…in the bathroom” to the end of the title of each hymn.

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing…well…you get the picture.

Todd is actually our most musical family member (as I write this post, he is practicing the number he will be playing for his audition for the magnet performing arts high school in Las Vegas). He plays the baritone in band and also belongs to the school jazz band. He regularly pulls out the baritone or heads to the family piano to teach himself the latest movie theme music which has caught his attention and interest.

Wednesday night is the winter band concert at Todd’s school. We are excited to hear what he has learned. The best part for Todd? The concert gets him out of combined youth activity of Christmas caroling.

Merry Christmas!

About Chris Henrichsen

Chris Henrichsen has moved Approaching Justice off of Patheos. Find his latest posts and the new Approaching Justice. Thanks!


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