Perhaps because I wasn’t raised LDS, I have a soft spot in my heart for listening to what other people have to say about the gospel, through both spoken word and music. It’s interesting to hear their viewpoints, glean from them words of wisdom, and consider how their teachings compare with what I know to be true.
In April 1996, President Gordon B. Hinckley, of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, advised the members of the church to “Look for the good in those about you, add emphasize on that good. Other churches also do much good, but this is the ‘true and living church’ of the Lord Jesus Christ, whose name it bears (see D&C 1:30).” (Stand True and Faithful. Ensign, May 1996) So I look and I listen.
Just last night I stopped and watched a few minutes of a Gaither Homecoming being aired on CMT. I grew up listening to the music of Bill and Gloria Gaither—literally. They sometimes attended the Church of God in Alexandria, Indiana, where I was a regular member in my youth. (On a side-note, Joey Martin—you probably know her as Joey + Rory—was also raised attending in that same church, where her mother June used to sing as well.)
The Gaithers might present a special number, or sometimes Bill’s brother Danny or his sister Mary Anne would perform. Bill used to be an English teacher at my high school, but by the time I got there, he was traveling full time, spreading the word around the world through his gospel music.
One of my favorite songs written by Bill was “He Touched Me,” a song that came to the attention of the King himself—Elvis—who came to my little home town to record the song for one of his albums.
Yes, I love old-time gospel music, but I also enjoy listening to a great preacher once in awhile. Oh, I love hearing the word spoken from the General Authories during conference, but there is just something that still captures my attention about those TV evangelists and the messages they deliver that makes me perk up and take notice, looking at where their beliefs and mine meet on a common road.
Among my two favorites are Dr. Joyce Meyer and Dr. Mike Murdock. In her down home folksy way, Dr. Meyer helps me look at things from a whole new light and give me a greater understanding when I read the scriptures on my own—all the scriptures, Book of Mormon included. Dr. Murdock has a similar tone of delivery, one that draws me in and makes me think—really think.
One of Dr. Murdock’s main topics has to do with what he calls “Wisdom Keys.” I have a copy of his little book that lists 101 of them. Over the next few weeks, I thought I might write about them here on the Sunday blog, considering how each key might apply to my life in relation to my LDS beliefs. Perhaps these few words will also entice you to consider what you believe.
Like President Hinckley said, “I believe that there are millions who are prayerful, faithful, strong people who are doing their best to rear their families in truth and righteousness, to live as citizens with honesty and integrity and to make a contribution of their lives.”
Whether you’re a member of the LDS church or not, you and I have the same basis for our beliefs—we know the word of God to be true.
And that is the gospel wisdom within us all.