I do not sing well. I have confessed that before, but for those who haven't yet heard me whine about my lack of vocal ability . . . I really do not have a good singing voice. It is something I covet, dream about, wish for, and hope that someday, in some post-mortal realm, God will be merciful and I will qualify to sing in the Heavenly Choir. But for now, my singing is mostly limited to my seminary class (who is very forgiving) and the shower.
Perhaps that is why the song we were invited to sing at the conclusion of the opening session of Women's Conference made such a deep impression on me. Or perhaps there were just lessons I needed to learn; but my head has been spinning with thoughts since that morning.
Sandra Rogers, International Vice President of BYU, was the speaker. At the conclusion of her talk she asked Merrilee Webb to lead everyone in singing "Now Let Us Rejoice". She explained that the song, by W. W. Phelps, was written at a time of great trial and tribulation, and yet he still found cause to praise God.
But it wasn't the words of the song necessarily that impressed me as much as what happened when we all sang together. After practicing the song a few times, we sang it all the way through, concluding with the words, "And Christ and His people will ever be one."
That last sentence resonated with me. For as we all sang loudly in unison, my individual voice could not be heard either by me or those standing near me. Instead, all 18,000 sisters voices united together to form one voice--one powerful, beautiful, melodic voice, that seemed to rise from the earthly confines of the Marriott Center and ascend to Heaven.
I wondered how many women there did not feel they had great singing voices. How many, like me, avoided singing opportunities due to feelings of inadequacy, or lack of talent? Yet, what if all of us, who felt we can't sing, didn't? The volume would have been greatly reduced, and it was the volume that stirred my soul that morning. My not very good, sometimes squeaky voice, contributed. In a small way, my voice made a difference and that difference was for the better.
There are several lessons I learned that morning. First is that even in my weakness I have something to give that can help others. My talent might not be the same, or as great, but it can still benefit. Even if all I have to add is volume, that can be important.
I think that principle applies in all areas of our lives. We were all born with different gifts, talents and abilities. But just because we may not be the best, or even good in some area, doesn't mean we don't have something to offer--even if our role is just to give support. We can benefit those around us just as they benefit us.
The second lesson I learned is that there is strength in unity. Unity doesn't mean we have to be doing exactly the same thing, in exactly the same way with the same level of ability. Some people sang alto, some soprano; some had strong voices, and some had weak. But what was important is we were all singing the same song.
And it was that unity in song, coupled with our differences in voice that created the beauty. And the power.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if we ---as righteous women, covenant keepers, and defenders of the family--- could always unite our voices? No matter how weak our individual voice might be, no matter how inadequate we may feel, or how limited our resources, our voices---united in one strong message---could transcend the confines of our homes, and our communities and cause even hell's foundations to shake--and all the world to know that . . . "Christ and His people will ever be one."
I think that is what they call Zion.
And that thought brings great. . . joy to my journey.