“Accompanied by the Spirit,” New Era, Oct. 2011, 44–45
Before the curtains opened, I stood nervously backstage in the dark silence. Many precious hours were sacrificed in preparation for this moment. The curtains opened to reveal a high school choir poised and ready to sing. Our conductor stood in the wing across from me. She caught my eye and smiled before entering the stage.
I was the accompanist for the high school concert choir. Our conductor chose a series of songs that meant a great deal to her. The music was difficult, especially for a high school choir. I had labored long and hard over these songs, attempting to perfect each note. At this moment, however, I wondered if I had done enough to prepare. I worried that I might not live up to my conductor’s expectations.
I cautiously stepped onto the stage, sensing a thousand pairs of eyes on me as I sat down at the piano. Although shaking, I positioned my hands for the first chord and waited for my conductor’s cue. She looked into my eyes, and together we began the piece. Immediately, I felt a change come over me. The notes came easily and comfortably to my trembling fingers. It seemed that I was not playing the piano alone—something else inside of me was. I believe that the Spirit was there, guiding my fingers and calming my heart. Each song was better than the last. The choir sang with surety and deep emotion. I had never felt the Spirit so strongly in my young life.
My eyes brimmed with tears as the last notes lingered on the piano. The audience was struck silent for a moment before they applauded and gave us a standing ovation. They had also felt that overwhelming influence of the Spirit. After taking our bows, my conductor and I left the stage. She fell into my arms and we both cried because the Spirit had touched us so deeply. I received many compliments, but in my heart, I knew that I did not play those beautiful pieces alone that night. Something much more powerful than I had delivered those songs with such divine beauty.
Just as I did my part to practice the music, I know that when I do what the Lord asks me to do, He will bless me and guide me. My efforts were blessed that night on the stage and are continually blessed in my daily life as I strive to do my best to obey His commandments. I may fall short, but He can make up the difference. I gained a testimony one night on a bright stage while sitting at a piano.