~by TaLaisa

I love the hymns, If you look on LDS.org and search under the search term hymns, you’ll find that there are several references to the blessings and power of hymns. Here is one link that I particularly enjoyed from that search:
The Nourishing Power of Hymns by Elder Jay E. Jensen of the Seventy.

Once, I made it a goal to memorize my 25 most favorite hymns including all of the verses. And I did it. Then, I picked 25 more. And 25 more. Then I decided to memorize the first and last verses of 25 more. I love it. It’s a work in progress, but I have seen the blessings of this project numerous times.

Recently, my dear friend, Julie, had to travel far from home to Boston (Massachusetts) to bring her toddler son to a skilled surgeon for heart surgery. Last Sunday, as I was thinking of my friend and her son I was feeling very far away from the situation. I felt completely helpless. I knew my prayers would be heard and felt, but how could my prayers become answers to their needs without me physically being able to serve them in person?

The situation was weighing heavily on my mind as I went to Sacrament Meeting. Our closing hymn that day was Have I Done Any Good? The words in the second verse resonated in my mind and heart all afternoon.

There are chances for work all around just now,
Opportunities right in our way.
Do not let them pass by, saying “Sometime I’ll try,”
But go and do something TODAY.
(emphasis added)

I knew I could do something right then. After church, I had my husband contact a previous co-worker of his who now lives in Boston. She quickly responded that she and several of her friends would be willing to take Julie anything she needed right to the hospital. Julie had mentioned in a blog update on her son’s progress a list of things she wished she had brought with her. These sisters in Boston were able to get everything Julie had mentioned along with a lot more thoughtful items they decided to add on their own. They delivered the care package in person and were able to give the attention and time that a UPS man couldn’t.

I was touched by their generosity of time and means and their willingness to help someone they didn’t know. When I asked for a paypal address to compensate them for the items they bought in my behalf, they refused and simply said, “Pass it on.” Many, many prayers were answered by the quick actions of these wonderful women.

Through this experience, I was once again reminded that we are the serving hands of the Lord here on earth. When our hearts are able and willing, mountains can be moved.

One of the scriptures that is mentioned at the bottom of the Hymn Have I Done Any Good? is James 1:22, 27:

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only…

When I’ve found myself in a scary situations like driving home in a snow storm, or riding in a taxi with my baby in anaphylactic shock, or when I’ve been in need of an answer to a prayer and needed a reminder that I’m loved by my Heavenly Father, I’ve been able to recall the beautiful words of the Hymns. Through this hymn, Have I Done Any Good?, doors were opened, hearts were made available, and many people we blessed by serving.


For more First Person essays, please click here.