“Singing in Sign Language,” Ensign, Apr. 1983, 66
Singing in Sign Language
I sing in church with the congregation, even though a hearing loss prevents me from carrying a tune or singing in harmony with those around me.
For years I sang as best I could, trying not to notice the people who looked around to see who was singing so far out of tune. My timing was good, and I was not too loud; nevertheless, I was a distraction to those around me.
When my hearing worsened, I couldn’t sing at all because I couldn’t hear the music. Yet I knew that the scriptures said, “My soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads.” (D&C 25:12.)
Deeply desiring to understand the talks, music, lessons, and announcements at church, I began to learn Ameslan (American sign language). When my husband and I attended the Oakland temple, I was helped through the session using sign language. And then when we attended services in a ward in Seattle, Washington, where they had a deaf group, I was delighted to see that they signed the hymns.
Now I sing with all my heart—in sign language. I am still a distraction, but I see smiles instead of frowns.
I am asked, on occasion, to sign songs in Relief Society and Primary, and have come to view my hearing loss as a blessing. I look forward to the time when I can use my skills to teach the gospel to others who may not be able to receive it in any other way. Wesley Charlene Muller, Everett, Washington