Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church) have been taught that music, like many things in this world, can be used for good or bad. The First Presidency had this to say about music:
Through music, man’s ability to express himself extends beyond the limits of the spoken language in both subtlety and power. Music can be used to exalt and inspire or to carry messages of degradation and destruction. It is therefore important that as Latter-day Saints we at all times apply the principles of the gospel and seek the guidance of the Spirit in selecting the music with which we surround ourselves” (from Boyd K. Packer, “Inspiring Music—Worthy Thoughts,” Ensign, Jan. 1974, 25).
Music and gaining musical talents are part of the LDS faith. Church leaders have encouraged parents to include musical training in the lives of their children. Members are also encouraged to seek uplifting music because Christ has said, “for 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” (see Doctrine and Covenants 25:12). Members are also encouraged to use good music as a way to control unwanted or degrading thoughts.
The Mormon Church’s belief in the strength of good music can be seen throughout its history. The Church has a Music Department, and the famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir has been a part of the Church since 1847, but good music has always been a part of the Church from its earliest days. Members were encouraged in New York, Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois to form choirs that would provide beautiful music at religious occasions. More recently the First Presidency has said,
Inspirational music is an essential part of our church meetings. The hymns invite the Spirit of the Lord, create a feeling of reverence, unify us as members, and provide a way for us to offer praises to the Lord. Some of the greatest sermons are preached by the singing of hymns. Hymns move us to repentance and good works, build testimony and faith, comfort the weary, console the mourning, and inspire us to endure to the end (from the introduction to the hymnal Hymns, 1985).
In addition to the hymnbook and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, there are hundreds of members who write inspirational music that is available to others through CDs, printed music, and sometimes even through the Church magazines. Now you can access music by Mormon artists online at www.mormonmusic.org.