Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Let Peace Then Still the Strife

Yesterday I found even grater gratitude for the gospel of Jesus Christ. I'm grateful everyday of my life to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and for the knowledge, faith, hope, understanding and peace that I've found because of this gospel.
Last night I found more gratitude for this gospel while studying my scriptures. I was listening to some of my church music while doing so and I came across a beautiful song by Mack Wilberg-it's part of his Requiem and is called Let Peace Then Still the Strife. It is beautiful, but the reason I love it is because it is a requiem. My Junior year of high school I spent hours learning about Requiems and rehearsing Mozart's famous requiem. Sung to honor someone who has died, a requiem can be a very spiritual arrangement of music. For Mozart it was one of great fear, anger and confusion though. Many musicians and historians believe he was writing his own Requiem, and the tone of the music expresses his feelings of the finality he believed death brought, and his confusion about it. It is an extraordinary work of music, but I always felt sad for Mozart and his perceived anger toward death. As I listen to the requiem Brother Wilberg has composed, especially this movement, I'm not filled with any of the feelings I had while singing Mozart's. I'm joyful, peaceful, and grateful for the knowledge that death is not scary but a beautiful and necessary step to return to my loving Father in heaven, a step that will bring peace everlasting.
I'm grateful I know that I can live in a way to "make the crossing forth joyful passing".
The knowledge that I have about this life, and what happens when it comes time for me to pass are miraculous things that impact every aspect of my life. I'm blessed to know that this life is not the end. I'm eternally grateful to know that once I pass here I keep living in a beautiful, peaceful state. I find peace in knowing that the relationships I cherish on this earth will not end, that the knowledge I gain will not be for just this life, and that the family I have and will have will be eternal in nature.
I know these things to be true, because I've learned them for myself. I love this gospel. I love the peace it brings to me everyday. I'm grateful for it more than I am grateful for any of my many other blessings. It means more to me than anything, and it has and will continue to sustain me through everything and shape me into the person I need to be.
"Let peace then still the strife, the loneliness and grief,
come heal the piercing silence of passing.
And sweet familiar strains, the voices lost in death,
arise in songs of hope everlasting.
Then let the voices roll as waves upon the sea;
come forth and break up on us,
And barren coves be filled-o're flowing reverie!
Let memory sable as Gilead's caressing.
And though the balm be spread, let tender rifts remain
that breaking hearts not yield to forgetting.
For hearts rent wide at death, unfolded to our dead
hear singing from beyond sunlight's
Then sing, beloved ones, reach o're the summer sea.
Pour forth thy boundless love for us living!
Sweep into every soul, make music of our tears,
turn all our songs to joy and thanksgiving!
And when we silent pass, from far across the sea
let praises ring for life's wondrous
Then sing ye living souls! Sing generations past,
swell high the tide of life, us refreshing!
Sing forth as with one voice, bear silent grief away,
resound with peace and hope everlasting!
And all who wait and sing, sing on from earth and heaven
and make our crossing forth joyful
-Mack Wilberg

No comments: