The message of this song is one that really speaks to me. There's a scripture in The Book of Mormon, Alma 5, that talks about conversion - not just initial conversion, but ongoing conversion.
In this passage of scripture, Alma the Younger is speaking about an experience his father, Alma, had while teaching a group of people as a missionary.---
13: And behold, he preached the word unto your fathers, and a mighty change was also wrought in their hearts, and they humbled themselves and put their trust in the true and living God. And behold, they were faithful until the end; therefore they were saved.14: And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts?
When it's dark You give me light
And when I'm alone You bring me to life
And You are always there watching over me
It's Your love that sets me free
And I wanna be like You
And give love the way You do
And I'll try everyday
To live life in a better way
For strength I will pray
I wanna be like You someday
You gave your life for my sins
Something that I'll never comprehend
But you paved the way for me to go
And someday you'll welcome me home
© Copyright 2004 by Jeff Goldman
I realize this is a long article, but I urge you to please take some time out of your day to read it, and consider it. Print it out and take it home—share it with your family. This is a subject very near and dear to me. I have a couple concerns that I feel strongly about, and am calling on LDS members to jump on board and step-up. I’d also encourage your to pass this on to LDS friends and family. Just pass on this blog if you will.
In my opinion, the LDS music industry is suffering. I was at Deseret Book last night and picked up a Lex de Azevedo CD for $1.99. Yes, you read it correctly - $1.99. Retail price on this album is $15.98. The poor guy didn’t even break even. Even if you don't listen to LDS music I'm sure you've heard the name, "Lex de Azevedo." He is a giant in the LDS music industry - he created "My Turn On Earth" and "Saturday’s Warriors," among many other respectable pieces.
So, I see this album sitting on the shelf and I ask myself.... "$1.99? Is this for real?" Among his CDs are CDs from Michael McLean, Brett Raymond, Doug Walker, (these are all big names), Pearl Award Nomination CDs (kind of like the Grammy Award CD that comes out each year), and others. I'm also seeing stickers on these albums for 75% off, 50% off, $1.99, $5.99, etc. Great for the buyer! Sad for the artist who spent thousands of dollars, and not to mention countless hours, writing and recording the music and putting that album together… for US—for you and I.
Now, imagine for a moment that you walk into a Sam Goody or Media Play, or wherever you like to buy CDs. Imagine that as you walk in the door you see CDs from John Mayer / Brittany Spears / N'Sync / Avril Lavign / Elvis Presley / Michael Jackson / etc, and they're all marked $1.99 - 75% off. Now you can imagine my shock from what I saw last night.
Now, the bulk of the LDS music is marked at regular price, $15.98 or so. And I have to admit that the majority of the LDS music industry is doing…… fairly okay. But this is still a huge issue - a lot of these CDs are not moving, and here’s where I believe the root of the problem lies—members of our faith simply don't really know what's out there. They haven't experienced it. Did you know that there is LDS rock music? Jazz? There is mainstream/contemporary music, Broadway, Musicals, Christmas music, Folk, Country, Bluegrass, and even Opera, to name a few. Yes - there are actually LDS members who write and record all kinds of music - you'd never even guess they're LDS in some cases. "I Heard Him Come" is a great song, it's one that will never die, but it does not represent LDS music as a whole. It represents one genre of music - inspirational.
Perhaps you think like I used to..... "LDS musicians cannot possibly sound asgood as John Mayer / Norah Jones / Michael Crawford / Brittany Spears / ‘N Sync / James Taylor / etc. All LDS music sounds the same - slow and cheesy, like Afterglow, and I can't listen to that during the week." I don't blame you! (No offense to Afterglow – I grew up lovin’ your songs). This was all we had 10/15/20 years ago! But, if this is your thought pattern then you are sure missing out on something huge. The industry has changed so much since then - it's done a complete 180. I can’t even begin to describe it.
Save that thought.
My other concern is the lack of morals in todays "mainstream" music industry. And an even bigger concern than that is that a lot of us take this music into our homes / cars / etc. "Lyrics won't affect me - I just like the beat." Let me tell you from experience that lyrics DO affect you, whether you'd like to think so or not. Worse than that - we spend our money on this type of music and support the industry and these artists who dress like… well, I won’t go there. I can pretty much guarantee that the mainstream music industry isn't going to get any better, it'll only get worse – just as TV has. They'll keep pushing, and pushing, and pushing the limit.
I guess my question is this - why are we continuing to support the mainstream music industry? Why are we not supporting LDS musicians? Why are we bringing things into our homes that teach opposite principles of what we believe? (Because we like the beat?) Why are we not bringing in good/moral entertainment into our lives? (Not that you aren't - I know that the majority of us monitor very closely what we watch/listen to, etc. But again- I'm speaking in general terms). I recently bought the new Bon Jovi album and some of those songs???? Goodness. I should have known better.
Maybe we could use this scale to determine where we stand on this issue - when is the last time you bought a mainstream CD? When is the last time you bought an LDS CD? How many LDS CDs are sitting in your CD collection right now?
One of our General Authorities once asked, "Where are our LDS Mozart’s? Our LDS Beethoven's?" They're here, waiting for us to buy their music. It's a little store called Deseret Book. (Actually, you'll save $$ over at Seagull Book &Tape, but they're CD selection isn't as large as you'll find at D.B.).
I guess what I'm asking is this. Take a risk. Buy an LDS CD. See what you think. It's only about $16 bucks and brings "good" into your home. (Remember what Moroni told us - "All things which are good cometh of God; and that which isevil cometh of the devil" (Moroni 7:12). Don't you love simple truths?) Not only will this music serve as good and wholesome entertainment to you and your family but it can be a wonderful missionary tool that can spark some interesting conversations w/ friends and neighbors. $16 is the price of two movie tickets.
WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT.
I'd also like to point out there an incredible LDS internet radio station called KZION (www.kzion.com) available to you FOR FREE. It plays all LDS music, 24/7. It even plays some of my songs. It's easy to use and the music will play through your computer speakers. (You can become a member of KZION to help “support” (there’s that word again) the site and keep it running. The person who runs it is a good friend of mine and pays for it out of his pocket).
If you need some ideas of good LDS music, just ask me. Let me know what you like to listen to and I'll direct you to a good LDS CD that you may really enjoy. (Maybe it’ll be one of those $1.99 ones!)
One final thought. “Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in no wise deny the power of God.” (Moroni 10:32)
Please don’t forget to forward this blog on. By the way, you can purchase LDS music at www.deseretbook.com if you don’t live close to a physical store. And Monday's on the site always have big sales on music.
Oh gosh, let's see. I'm 30 years old, originally from Michigan. I was married to Amanda Hayes in July 1997 and have two children: Andrew (3) and Callie (3 months) whom I love and adore. I'm an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.