His Rain

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His Rain

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His Rain
Vocals and Lyrics by Maria Hathaway
Music by Chas Hathaway

I am standing in the rain
In the sparkling drops of rain
I seek the warmth of new light
Beneath the endless sky

I am walking in the rain
In the sparkling drops of rain
Through the clouds I see a new light
A tunnel to the sky

The rain is clean
The rain is pure
I feel it wash away the world
I am new
I am pure
I found His light

I am dancing in the rain
In the sparkling drops of rain
I have found the warmth of His light
Descending from on high

His rain is clean
His rain is pure
I feel it wash away the world
I am new
I am pure
I found His light

I am new
I am pure
(I found his light)
I found His love

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From the North: The Meaning Behind the Music

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From the North

misty-water

D&C 110:11

After this vision closed, the heavens were again opened unto us; and Moses appeared before us, and committed unto us the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the leading of the ten tribes from the land of the north.

I have always been fascinated by the history of the tribes of Israel.  They were in bondage, then led to freedom.  But their hearts weren’t right yet, so they couldn’t inherit the promised land.

Then when they did qualify, and were allowed to enter the promised land, they lasted a short time, and then fell back into wickedness.  So they were again taken into bondage.  Realizing their mistake, they repented, and the Lord showed mercy on them and led them away – both to the north and all over the world.

The history of the tribes of Israel is covered in blood, wickedness, repentance, forgiveness, freedom, pride, idolatry, and suffering.  It is a painful history, a sad history, and an inspiring history.

But we are living in the golden age of those tribes.  They are being gathered from around the world and brought into the church.

And sometime prior to the Lord’s return, He will lead the group that fled north back to the lands of their inheritance.  No longer will they teeter on the fence between righteousness and wickedness.

Their final redemption will be complete, and their scriptures, mingled with ours, will prove that the Lord is looking after ALL His people.

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Wide as Eternity: The Meaning Behind the Music

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Wide as Eternity

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Moses 7:23-41

23 And after that Zion was taken up into heaven, Enoch beheld, and lo, all the nations of the earth were before him;

24 And there came generation upon generation; and Enoch was high and lifted up, even in the bosom of the Father, and of the Son of Man; and behold, the power of Satan was upon all the face of the earth.

25 And he saw angels descending out of heaven; and he heard a loud voice saying: Continue reading Wide as Eternity: The Meaning Behind the Music

The Canyon Black: The Meaning Behind the Music

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The Canyon black

Vocals and Lyrics by Maria Hathaway

Music by Chas Hathaway

The Canyon Black is an abridgment of the poem, “The Valley of the Canyon Black,” by Maria Hathaway.  The poem is a parable of the Cain and Abel story.

The song is abridged, but the words to the original poem are written out in full here.

the-canyon-black

The Valley of the Canyon Black

by Maria Hathaway

Where the road follows the path of the stream

dividing the valley with one great seem

there cottonwoods in sunlight gleam

a morning wakes from twilight’s dream

in the Valley of the Canyon Black
Follow this road of dusty cloud

with rocks and boulders well endowed Continue reading The Canyon Black: The Meaning Behind the Music

Heikhal: The Meaning Behind the Music

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Heikhal

heikhal

Heikhal is the Hebrew word for temple.  I have used a mode for this piece that is reflective of Middle Eastern music.

The temple is the most sacred place on earth.  There, the most sacred and divine ordinances are performed.  It is, quite literally, a bridge between heaven and earth.  Is it any wonder then that it is referred to as a place of revelation?  I suppose the veil is thinner there than anywhere else on earth.

Anciently, mountains acted as temples.  Sinai acted as the temple for Moses.  Then, when the Lord felt that the children of Israel were ready for more, He had them build the Tabernacle.

Once they reached the promised land, He had them build the Temple.  We often label it the temple of Solomon, but really it was the Temple of God.

Now temples cover the world.  But each is The House of God.  The power and influence of each building is not diluted by the increasing number of temples – rather, with every new temple, the power of God is increased in the world.  That power and influence increases exponentially with each new temple.

So how can we help that power increase?  Attend the temple.  Attend often, even regularly.  Whatever your circumstance, you can make more time for the temple.  As all of us attend the Temple more often, the need for more temples will increase, and the power of God will increase.

Even on a more personal level, as you attend the temple, you will see the power of God increase in your life.  You will be happier, and your life more fulfilling.  It’s that simple.  I promise.

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Chasing Light: The Meaning Behind the Music

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Chasing Light

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One of my favorite flowers is the sunflower.  It is the tallest of the flowers, and often the biggest.

But the thing that fascinates me most about the sunflower is that however big or tall as it is, it always follows the sun.  It spends all its daylight hours riveted on the sun.  It seeks no glory for its size and hight.  It merely wants to ensure that it is high enough to be able to follow the sun without interruption.

How like the sunflower we should be – constantly looking to our Savior, Jesus Christ.  Why do we strive to live righteously?  Is it to glorify ourselves, or get the attention of the world?  No, it is to allow our spirits to be able to follow him without interruption.

There is another kind of sunflower.  They are the wild ones – the ones that have little interest in hight, size, or following the sun.  They are small, branch in all directions, and are considered weeds to most people.  They spread like wildfire, but they are not nearly as useful, large, and beautiful as the unblemished sunflower that chases the light.

We are to live in the world – that is not a command, but a fact.  But we are not to be of the world.  That is a command.  That does not mean we ignore those around us, but it does mean that our focus should be on the Savior.  Looking to Him ought to be our prime directive – the thing that we do no matter our situation or station in life.

Sometimes it will not be easy to know what the Savior would have us do in a particular situation.  We must seek His light.  We must reach for it.  If we cannot see Him from where we are, then we must grow spiritually taller and larger until we can see Him.  Then we must follow Him – forever.

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The Ancestor: The Meaning Behind the Music

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The Ancestor

ancestor(art by Maria Hathaway)

I served my mission in South Africa.  I loved learning about the people, the history, and the culture.  I was also fascinated by their religious views.  The native African religion – the one that was present before Christian missionaries ever came to South Africa, and which is still quite popular, has a very strong focus on one’s own ancestors.

Africans hold a great esteem for their ancestors.  Those practicing the native traditions would gather together annually with family to sacrifice a cow or sheep to their ancestors, and petition them for help, rain, protection, or whatever they felt they needed.  The major part of their religion focused on their ancestors.

When Christians of other faiths came and proselyted Africans, they told the people that their ancestors did not exist, that they had died, and were gone forever.  I don’t know if those Christians didn’t believe in an afterlife, or if they just said it to reject African tradition.  Either way, they taught the people that their ancestors no longer existed.

What a joy it was to be able to tell these people that their ancestors most certainly did exist, and that though we did not need to call on them for help, they were in need of our help.   They needed the help of their living descendants to perform the essential ordinances of the gospel in their behalf.  Because of their strong feelings towards their ancestors, most Africans received this news with great joy.

Setswana is the native language of Botswana, and while serving in that area, I made an interesting discovery about the Setswana word for God.  I had known throughout my mission that the word for God was Modimo.  Sometimes we would tell people we were barumua ba Modimo (messengers of God).

In Setswana, the word Motswana meant a Tswana person, or a person of the Tswana tribe.  To say Botswana would be the plural form of the same word – “Tswana people” or “people of the Tswana tribe.”  The prefix “mo” was singular form, and the word “bo” or  “ba”  was plural.

This fact became very interesting to me when I learned that the word for ancestors is badimo.  If I was understanding correctly, the word for God, Modimo, and the word of ancestors, badimo, were simply different prefixes for the same word – ancestor.  What insight that holds!

I suspect that the word Modimo was adopted by Africans because grasping the concept of worshiping someone besides an ancestor may have been difficult to understand.  But over time, this connection was likely forgotten as Christianity became the dominant religion in South Africa.

I think the connection is significant.  It would be hard to grasp the idea of honoring a great and powerful being who has no real relation to us.  If we were merely a clay or wood project God is working on, why should we want to emulate Him?  A statue can never take on the real characteristics of its model.

But if we are God’s children, and I testify that we are, then we can become like our Heavenly Father, if we will but follow the steps that He teaches.

Joseph Smith taught that “If men do not comprehend the character of God, they do not comprehend themselves” (History of the Church, V. 3, pg. 303).  I believe that until we know and seek to fulfill our potential to become like Him, we cannot become all that He wants us to be.  We are children of God, and as children, we are also heirs of all that He has and is, if we will live according to His word and commandments.

President Boyd K. Packer has said:

“You are a child of God. He is the father of your spirit. Spiritually you are of noble birth, the offspring of the King of Heaven. Fix that truth in your mind and hold to it. However many generations in your mortal ancestry, no matter what race or people you represent, the pedigree of your spirit can be written on a single line. You are a child of God!”
Boyd K. Packer, “Your Test of Courage,” New Era, Mar 1990, 4

So I think the word Modimo is a very appropriate name for our Father in Heaven.  Truly, to each and every one of us, He is The Ancestor.

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Roots: The Meaning behind the Music

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Roots

I have decided to release a song a day until the day of the CD release!  The first piece on the CD in The Fourth Day, but since I’ve already released that one, I’ll start with the second track, a piece called Roots.  The recording for this entry is the music Roots, with me telling about the meaning behind the music.  To hear the music without my voice, scroll  to playlist on the sidebar called, “The Ancestor CD,” and click on Roots.

roots

Roots

We often use the term, back to the basics.  When life gets complicated, we say, “Okay, time to go back to the basics.”
What are the basics?  What are the real fundamentals of life?

I have a game that I play once in a while called the “Why?” game.  You can play it alone, or you can play it with others, but the rules are the same:

Start with a question – something simple, like, “Why did I eat Cheerios for breakfast?”
Now answer the question.  “Because I was hungry, and that was the most convenient breakfast food.”  Then ask yourself, “Why was I hungry?” or “Why was that the most convenient food?” and then answer that question.
Keep asking why, and keep coming up with accurate answers (as accurate as your knowledge allows).

I have played this game many times.  Always, no matter what route my questions take, the answers always reach back to the most basic principles of life, and the most fundamental doctrines of the gospel, such as, “Because I am a child of God,” or, “Because life is eternal.”

The real basics are the real answers to every question, and those answers point to the real reasons for our existence.   The root of all questions and answers are in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and Heavenly Father is the root of all life.

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