Sunday, July 4, 2010

Podcast 13: Praise

Peter and Jon talk Psaltry. We talked a lot about the hymns. Surely we'll talk more about hymns as an official second topic soon.

And speaking of the second topic, happy 4th of July everybody (unless of course you're from a different country).

Download here.

Also: I'm trying something new this week. I'm not editing it. I'm pretty much just taking the audio file and posting it as is (which is practically what I do anyway). In short, I'm not listening to the thing after it's done. If there's a problem with the audio, let me know.


  1. I really wouldn't have pegged Peter as a Metallica fan. I do know, though, that he knows probably 80% of the hymns, having sat next to him in Institute last semester and seeing that he hardly ever needed to use the book when we sang to start class.

    And Jon, I hate the "sunshine songs" too. Blech. Too happy. And if saying 'hate' is too strong, we'll just have to repent together.

    New hymnbook was in 1985. We are due for a new one in the next 10-15 years or so. Having grown up Catholic, I found it interesting that "How Great Thou Art" made it into the hymnbook, but not "Amazing Grace". For me, they go hand in hand. And no, I'm not entering the heretical hymnbook contest. =P

    There is a level of mercy to the fact that not everyone will make it to the celestial kingdom. Some people aren't ready for it. It would be terribly uncomfortable for them if they were to be there forever, and the Lord doesn't want them in a situation like that, so He provides places for different levels of preparedness for the eternities. Instant exaltation would be awful for a lot of people.

    If "Proud to Be an American" disappeared from history tomorrow, the world would be the better for it. "Coming to America" is a close second. Sixth grade? With actions? Oh. Good. Lord.

    The hymnbook thing about America the Beautiful, etc. being in there to the exclusion of other countries' songs struck me at church yesterday. Maybe in the next edition of the hymnbook, that situation will be remedied. I don't see the need for so many "America" songs in the hymnbook of an international church. I would take all the national songs out, including "God Save the King".

    The Founding Fathers appeared to Wilford Woodruff in the St. George Temple to "request" that their temple work be done. See pp. 602-04 of Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson for more on this.

    Arnold Friberg was 96 when he passed away last week. Pretty important guy...his viewing is going to be in the Arnold Friberg Room at the Conference Center, funeral in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square.


  2. First I want to say I can't believe you talked about music AND art without me :)

    I think it's funny when people talk about Christian bands. What makes it a Christian band? Is it because all the band members are Christian? No. Is it because they touch on Christian themes? Or is it because they ONLY touch on Christian themes? All sorts of bands and singers sing about Christian/religious themes, but don't consider what they do "Christian Rock". I remember Jars of Clay growing up. I kinda liked them.

    It's interesting to me how people disapprove of Christian rock because it's irreverent or as Pete puts it, "It pumps me up". Some people like getting pumped up about Jesus. I'm glad Jon came through with the Gladys example so now my comment can be shorter. But I will say I've heard African American converts in particular have a difficult time transitioning to our subdued and reverent meetings.

    I've made no secret of the fact that I can't stand Mormon Pop. Kenneth Cope, Michael McLean and Hillary Weeks or whomever. And this is mellow, "soft sounds of the Sabbath" -- not hard rock. I guess I didn't like that pop "style" of singing married with something as sacred as Christ. It actually used to get me riled up back in my seminary days -- not pumped up, riled up listening to LDS pop musicians singing runs and "You're not alone...even though right now you're on your own." I've since calmed WAY down. Some of it is actually well written (music and lyrics) and I can appreciate it. I've learned a valuable lesson: everyone has different means to the same end. And this music really touches some people because they relate to it – and that is what's important, rather than assuming what is appropriate for worship. I relate to classical or what has been termed "sacred choral music" set to lyrical verse (much like the psalms), poetry and scripture than I do to more of what you'd hear on "Sounds of the Sabbath."

    Maybe like Jon, I like to separate my music so I can really sense a difference as to what I'm using this music for. But I place no restrictions as to what I will and will not listen to on Sunday. Maybe I'll listen to Foo Fighters in the afternoon, I don't know. I may not have CDs of a synthesized string orchestra playing the hymns or a standard set of the MoTab, but I do make a point to listen to "Music for a Sunday Morning" on KBYU every Sunday at 8 AM while I get ready for church. I listen to that stuff randomly throughout the week whenever I feel like it though, (my coworkers call it "angel music" when they hear it on my iTunes). I remember someone getting into my car once and I had some choral music CD in and they said, "Why are you listening to this? It's not Sunday." I think I let that one slide.

    Oh, and I LOVE poetry because it is so deliberate with every word. We (and especially I) use way too many words when I talk that many of them don't mean anything. Poetry is potent with meaning, and multiple meaning and the meaning changes depending on when you read it and the experience you bring to it that day. One of the reasons producing the ward program was my favorite calling ever was because (and I know this was a self-imposed task) I got to study the
    lyrics to the hymns all week as I chose lines and verses that applied to the photograph on the front of the program. I loved it.

  3. Jews don't have a hymn book, so-to-speak, though they do have a siddur, which is a prayer book. The Siddur does include various psalms for various occasions, for worship and supplication. I don't believe Jews have a hymn-book. The playing of instruments is prohibited on the Sabbath (for a Jew). I don't know about singing.

    It strikes me that I really should give a better explanation about being B'nei Noach (a Noahide), because I usually gloss over it. G-d gave seven universal commandments to Noah and his descendants (i.e. the entire world) which are to be kept by all. He gave to the Jews 613 commandments. So, not being a Jew, I do not keep the whole of Torah, but only those 7 commandments which are applicable to gentiles. I recognize the Torah, written and oral, as given from G-d. I do not wear a kippah or keep the Sabbath, because those things were given to the Jews. But I do recognize the Jewish people as the keepers of Torah, the teachers of Torah.

  4. Regarding the Founding Fathers of the United States and their appearance in the temple - they appeared to Wilford Woodruff in the St. George temple. You can find his description of the events in the proceedings of the April 1898 General Conference - or, more recently, you can find Pres. Ezra Taft Benson reiterating the story in an article called "Our Divine Constitution", from the Nov. 1987 Ensign ( is a link to the latter article on

  5. Laura's and my comments from last week got deleted? WTC?

  6. WTC=What The Crap, not World Trade Center or any other interpolation you might come up with.

  7. Working on it! They will be back

  8. This is what happens when patriotism goes wrong: