The Great Accompanist
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“The Great Accompanist,” Liahona, October 2021

Latter-day Saint Voices

The Great Accompanist

In the middle of my complaining, a simple but powerful thought entered my mind and increased my gratitude.

Woman Playing Piano

Photograph of author by Annika Burkhardt

There’s something thrilling about sitting on a bench, hands over the piano’s ivory keys, waiting for your cue from the conductor. Accompanying is one of my favorite hobbies, but it is not one that is noticed. Sometimes my ego gets in the way, and I want someone to acknowledge my efforts.

We accompanists back up performers, maintain the tempo, and create the harmonizing and feeling of the music. At times, we even cover the mistakes of performers. We put in long hours before and after rehearsals. Sometimes we are last to receive the music but first to be expected to learn it.

During a difficult time, I was struggling with these feelings. I felt that no one appreciated my work. One night I knelt beside my bed to tell Heavenly Father.

I began my prayer by listing everything I was doing and not receiving thanks for. I didn’t need much, but I needed something. I told Him that I felt forgotten.

During my complaining, the Spirit whispered a thought to my mind that changed my whole perspective.

I stopped praying as I suddenly saw my situation in a different light. I began going through my list of complaints, thinking of them in terms of Heavenly Father as the accompanist. I was surprised and humbled as I thought about how we may not realize how much He helps us, adds to our life, covers for our mistakes, and “neither slumber[s] nor sleep[s]” (Psalm 121:4) for our sakes. Do we invite Him last but expect Him first?

After that experience, I began to thank Him for His superb accompaniment in my life. Everything I am is because of Him and His Son. What a different perspective! He didn’t chastise me for my feelings or my complaining. Instead, He chose to teach me. He taught me a different way to see Him and others.

Now when I fall into the self-pity trap, I remember my Great Accompanist—the One I’m rehearsing with and the One I need to thank. Heavenly Father taught me to appreciate Him in a different way than I ever had, to see those around me with more appreciation, to have more of a grateful heart, and to remember His Son’s words: “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).