Most people have a short list of music they listen to again and again that gives them motivation and energy. These are the top 10 LDS songs that I keep coming back to. Mind you, it's a quality list. I worked hard to edit it down to the top 10. It wasn't easy.
1. Praise to the Lord, the Almighty by The Mormon Tabernacle Choir
This made the top of my list. I'd talk about why, but then I already have in another blog post.
2. Savior Redeemer of My Soul by Rob Gardner
I could write a whole different blog post about this one. Reading the lyrics alone gives a sense of it's personal and intimate nature. It's written in first person, as an individual in a personal prayer with their Heavenly Father. Here's a version performed by Jenny Oaks Baker, Dallin Vail Bayles and the American Heritage Lyceum Philharmonic
3. Nearer My God to Thee by Vocal Point
This particular arrangement came out when I was serving a mission and it's motivating power immediately struck me. The hymn itself became a favorite when I sung it in church choir as a young priest. It was that point I learned in a powerful way that pain and grief can be turned around as a stepping stone to draw closer to Heavenly Father and feel of his true and very real love for you.
4. Glorious by David Archuleta
This song is cheating, as it was originally written and sung by Russ Dixon, but later performed by David Archuleta for the I'm a Mormon campaign. This song reminds me that even though I am one, single person of many, I still have gifts and talents unique to me, and that those gifts will continue to weave into a beautiful life as I continue to grow and nurture them. We each have unique gifts and talents given to us, and there is no individual that is ever replaceable.
5. Gethsemane by Claire Ryann and the Crossbys
Hearing and feeling of God's love for you cannot be communicated more innocently than from the mouth of a young child, and the music makes it that much more powerful. I admit I start to tear up as I hear "Gethsemane, Jesus loves me." It just simply cannot get any purer than that. #PureMusic
6. What Shall we Give? by The Mormon Tabernacle Choir
This one is cheating too, as it's the movie gets me in this one just as much as the music. Still, as I watch this I am filled with desire to raise a family that becomes very good at being late for family dinner because of some simple act of service they performed on their way home. No one has followed Christ's example in that regard better than Thomas S. Monson who passed away this past week. Think of how much a better place the world would be if we made this principle a fundamental part of who we are.
7. Primary Medley by The King Singers (arr. by Ryan Murphy)
For those of you who are not of the LDS faith, primary is the LDS church's version of children's Sunday school. The pieces included in this medley are songs that are often sung in these classes. They were strung together by Ryan Murphy for the funeral of a child who had passed away. I never realized how touching the words of He Sent His Son would be in a funeral setting before I heard this piece: "How could the Father tell the world of sacrifice? of death? He sent his son to die for us, and rise with living breath."
8. Be Still, My Soul by Gentri
I grew to love this hymn when I performed the piano solo arrangement by Larry R. Beebe. It was a trying time in my life when I was practicing it, and whenever I've played it since all those memories of the time come rushing back. I enjoy this particular arrangement because firstly, it's a very touching story and you can't help but tear up as you hear it. Second, you can tell from the arrangement and the performance that each phrase and each word is being carefully thought out as they sing it. The words combined with the piercing harmonies have a way of validating all of your personal and present trials as you listen.
9. O Savior, Thou Who Wearest by Sally Deford
Sally Deford is such a wonderful composer and arranger, all of her many pieces are magnificent. This lesser known arrangement in particular is no different. The hymn is more commonly sung around Easter, though even then, it's difficult to play on the organ, so it isn't sung that often. Here Sally Deford took the words and set them to the tune of KINGSFOLD, (More commonly known in LDS culture as If I Could Hie to Kolob). It's a genius setting, as KINGSFOLD is already a favorite tune among many Latter-Day Saints. They make the words sink into your heart so much the more effectively.
10. Silent Night by Peter Anglea Beckenhorst
There is no Youtube video for this arrangement. I fell in love with it when singing with the Civic Choir at Illinois State University. It steers away from the commonly known melody, though it keeps the same rhythmic structure. The effect leads to a reflection on a personal yearning in the soul. At some point, I look forward to using the arrangement in some sort of church Christmas program. It's not a matter of "if," so much as "when."
Click on the following link to find all these videos on a Youtube playlist! I wasn't able to get Silent Night on there, so I added a bonus video.
I'm a sacred music enthusiast. I'm one of those people that attends church for the music just as much as the sermon, one of those people that give an evil glare at the people who leave for the congregational hymns, (Ok no, not really).