Liahona
The Language of the Spirit


“The Language of the Spirit,” Liahona, Jan. 2023.

Latter-day Saint Voices

The Language of the Spirit

I learned that the Spirit can help us communicate Heavenly Father’s love, even when we feel inadequate.

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Tour Bus

Photograph courtesy of the author; illustration by Jennifer M. Potter

Illustration by Jennifer M. Potter

I used to spend summers traveling through Europe with a dance team. Our audiences, performances, and energy levels varied, but we had one tradition that always stayed the same: we closed every show by singing “God Be with You Till We Meet Again”1 in the language of the country we were visiting. Because most of my dance team belonged to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we loved this tradition. It was a wonderful way to connect with our audiences and share Heavenly Father’s love.

Near the end of one of these trips, we had just crossed the border into Germany and were practicing the song in German for upcoming performances. But upon arriving, we found out that this particular region of Germany spoke Sorbian, a dialect that bore little resemblance to the song we had so faithfully practiced.

On the bus ride to our performance, I was exhausted and just wanted to sleep for the whole drive. But our directors had other ideas. They had asked our guides to translate the hymn into Sorbian. Now they wanted the entire bus of half-asleep performers to learn the song just hours before our performance.

We did our best. At the end of the show, we stood together on the front of the stage and began to sing. I remember feeling surprised as the unfamiliar words I had jumbled a few hours earlier came to my mind easily. I felt my earlier doubts about our readiness to sing fade as I relied on the Spirit to remind me of the words.

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Dancing

As we finished dancing and began to sing, the Spirit brought the words of the song to my mind.

Photograph courtesy of the author

The audience members looked surprised and then thrilled. When the song ended, a hush fell over the crowd. Then they stood and began singing a song back to us, which they later explained was a song of gratitude they usually saved for special occasions.

I felt the Spirit so strongly in that moment, even though I couldn’t understand what they were singing. I was so grateful the Lord had helped me communicate His love despite my feelings of inadequacy. I was reminded that Heavenly Father’s love is a universal message. Despite whatever differences we might have, all of us can understand the language of the Spirit.