Wilford W. Andersen: The Music of the Gospel

Contributed By the Church News

  • 4 April 2015

Elder Wilford W. Andersen of the Seventy began his remarks Saturday afternoon with the story of a young doctor who was asked by an old Native American man, “Do you dance?”

The doctor replied “no” and then asked, “Could you teach me to dance?” To which the old man responded, “I can teach you to dance, but you have to hear the music.”

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“Sometimes in our homes, we successfully teach the dance steps but are not as successful in helping our family members to hear the music,” Elder Andersen said. “And as the old medicine man well knew, it is hard to dance without music.”

Quoting section 8 of the Doctrine and Covenants, which reads, “Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart,” Elder Andersen explained that dance steps are learned with the mind but music is heard with the heart.

“The dance steps of the gospel are the things we do; the music of the gospel is the joyful spiritual feeling that comes from the Holy Ghost.”

Elder Andersen then spoke of ways to ensure that gospel teachers are instilling a love of the “beautiful music of the gospel.”

First, members must keep their lives attuned to the correct spiritual frequency. “Parents, if our lives are out of tune with the music of the gospel, we need to tune them up,” Elder Andersen declared. “We exercise faith in Christ, repent, and take the sacrament, we feel more strongly the influence of the Holy Ghost, and the music of the gospel begins to play again in our lives.”

Second, members must seek to perform “the music of the gospel” in their homes, without force or compulsion but “only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, … by love unfeigned; [and] by kindness” (D&C 121:41–42).

“Why would these attributes lead to increasing power and influence in a home?” asked Elder Andersen. “Because they are the attributes that invite the Spirit of the Holy Ghost. … When they are present, the dance steps will be performed more naturally and joyfully by all of the dancers in the family, without the need for threats or intimidation or compulsion.”

To those who struggle to hear the music of the gospel in their homes, Elder Andersen advised, “Keep practicing. With God’s help, the day will come when the music of the gospel will fill your home with unspeakable joy.”