Love at Home

Love at HomePresident David O. McKay said, “The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother”

(quoted from Theodore Hesburgh, Reader’s Digest, Jan. 1963, 25; in Richard Evans’ Quote Book [1971], 11).

“Only the home can compare with the temple in sacredness.”

-Bible Dictionary, “Temple”

“Arthur Gordon shared this story in a national magazine:”

“When I was around thirteen and my brother ten, Father had promised to take us to the circus. But at lunchtime there was a phone call; some urgent business required his attention downtown. We braced ourselves for disappointment. Then we heard him say [into the phone], ‘No, I won’t be down. It’ll have to wait.’

“When he came back to the table, Mother smiled. ‘The circus keeps coming back, you know.’

“ ‘I know,’ said Father. ‘But childhood doesn’t.’ ”

—Arthur Gordon, A Touch of Wonder (1974), 77–78

I would love to have a shirt that says, “Sorry, I can’t come. My kids are growing up that day, and I don’t want to miss it.”

A happy, loving home life involves living each day to the fullest. This is an account related by Thomas S. Monson:

“Elder Monte J. Brough, formerly of the Seventy, tells of a summer at his childhood home in Randolph, Utah, when he and his younger brother, Max, decided to build a tree house in a large tree in the backyard. They made plans for the most wonderful creation of their lives. They gathered building materials from all over the neighborhood and carried them up to a part of the tree where two branches provided an ideal location for the house. It was difficult, and they were anxious to complete their work. The vision of the finished tree house provided tremendous motivation for them to complete the project.

“They worked all summer, and finally in the fall just before school began, their house was completed. Elder Brough said he will never forget the feelings of joy and satisfaction which were theirs when they finally were able to enjoy the fruit of their work. They sat in the tree house, looked around for a few minutes, climbed down from the tree—and never returned. The completed project, as wonderful as it was, could not hold their interest for even one day. In other words, the process of planning, gathering, building, and working—not the completed project—provided the enduring satisfaction and pleasure they had experienced.

“Let us relish life as we live it and, as did Elder Brough and his brother, Max, find joy in the journey.”

Thomas S. Monson, “Treasure of Eternal Value,” Liahona, Apr 2008, 2–7

The sheet music for this piece is available on my website.

Sweet Hour of Prayer

Sweet Hour of PrayerGod hears your prayers—every one of them. Just because you don’t always feel it doesn’t mean He’s not listening. He’s always listening. 

Usually the struggle comes with recognizing His answers. Sometimes He answers with thoughts or ideas, sometimes through dreams or direct communication. Occasionally He uses coincidences, and often He uses other people. But if you persist, the answers will come. Sometimes it may take an entire “hour of prayer,” but the hour will be sweet, and if you receive an answer, it’s worth it.

If you don’t have faith in your ability to hear and recognize answers to prayer, at least have faith in God’s ability to reach you anyway.

The sheet music for this piece is available at my website.

I Know that My Redeemer Lives

I Know that My Redeemer Lives small

I tried to portray my feelings about the Savior while writing this arrangement.

I don’t remember a time when I didn’t know Jesus was real, but I’ve had a number of experiences that have confirmed that knowledge, again and again.

I think the big discovery for me was that His atonement was for me. It took some soul searching, praying, studying, and conversing with God to convince me that Jesus loved me that much. Others, sure, but me? 

Now I can’t get over how incredibly loving, caring, and understanding He is. Seriously, me???

And it’s no fairy tail. All that stuff about Him suffering for my sins, rising from the dead, and being God’s literal son, it’s all real. So real, in fact, that He continues to change lives every day. So real that He continues to change my life–every day. I love Him. Oh, how I love Him!

It’s no wonder He asks much of us. He sees more in us than we can comprehend.

He lives.

He really does.

And because He lives, now you can, too.

Nearer My God to Thee Sheet Music

NearerThe sheet music for this piece is now available on my website.

The art on the cover is called, “In the Green Summer Meadow,” by Ria Spencer. You should check out her other stuff.

You can also Download the free MP3.

Enjoy the music!

Reaching Us

Be Still My Soul, Sheet Music Ready!

Be Still My SoulThis is an arrangement I actually wrote a couple years ago, but realized only recently that it hadn’t been put on sheet music. How did I miss that?

But never fear! I’ve saved the day by putting the sheet music together and making it available on my website.

Anyway, let me know what you think!

My African Dream

My African Dream CoverOn my mission to South Africa, I had many dreams about home. I mentioned this to a companion once, and he said since the beginning of his mission, he hadn’t once dreamed about home. This surprised me, because I hadn’t once dreamed about my mission or Africa – my dreams were always about home.

Later in my mission I dreamed a few dreams about my mission, but the vast majority took place at home.

There was one dream that recurred many times in my mission in different forms. I was home for a short time from my mission. I had little time, because for some reason I was about to go back. Knowing this, I told my family all the incredible things about Africa—about the culture, the people, the traditions, the art, the music—everything that fascinated me about this incredible land. In the dream, I’d be telling them as much as I could in the short time I had. Then I would wake from the dream and realize that I had indeed returned to Africa.

About halfway through my mission, I had a dream that I’d returned home. It was the end of my mission, and I was home for good. In my dream I came to a striking realization that my mission was over. No more teaching, no more tracting, no more missionary work. I also had another shock when I realized that Africa was gone forever. No more teaching the word of God by candlelight in a broken shanty. No more beautiful African people, with their easy laughs and contagious faith. No more rusty golden sunsets or palm-cactus forests. No more walks down dusty, poor, villages with distant voices singing in perfect harmony from some unknown house, with pulsing drums carried in the wind. No more African stars glowing like nebulae in the night sky. No more red sand. No more Africa.

In the dream, the realization of this loss hit me dramatically. I thought about the fact that there were no people in the world like Africans. No culture that was more unique and beautiful. I adored this people. Oh, how I loved them.

In the dream I told everyone at home about all the African ways and the incredible African people. I told them about the amazing children of God who had learned and accepted the gospel, about their commitment and love for the truth. In my dream, I suddenly felt terribly sad to have left Africa. I wanted to keep teaching these people. I wanted to go back. I wanted to be a missionary in Africa for as long as I could.

Because of these powerful feelings, waking up was a joyous relief. My mission wasn’t over. There wasn’t anything I wanted more at that time than to be a missionary in the Johannesburg South Africa Mission.

Of course I missed my family, but for now, that was all I wanted, and I decided I would make my remaining year the best possible mission I could.

And I did.

After writing the memoir of my mission, I wrote a piano piece called, My African Dream, to remind me of everything I loved about Africa, and the mixed emotions from the powerful dream of coming home and leaving it all behind.

Two Types of Creativity: Which are You?

Everyone is creative, but everyone has different ways of showing it or expressing it. In this video, I talk about the two types of creativity, and how they effect your creative work, and your everyday life. Knowing your creative type is powerful when it comes to either approaching a new skill or overcoming writers block. So what about you? What’s your creative type?

And just a sidenote, the music is from my newest CD, Fly. It’s the piece called Mount of the EagleYeah, that’s shameless self promotion, but hey, it’s my blog, right?

All Creatures of Our God and King Sheet Music

I had a friend tell me a while back that this was her favorite of my arrangements. I was looking through my blog and realized to my shock and horror (picture my mouth agape) that I’d never blogged this one.

So here it is.

AllCreaturesCoverI had fun writing this one. The chords go all over, the rhythm is fun to play, and I hope the sound worked. What do you think?

Sheet music available at my website.