For My Soul Delighteth — The Story Behind the Song

For My Soul Delighteth — The Story Behind the Song

Singing-in-Church croppedFor my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads.

Wherefore, lift up thy heart and rejoice, and cleave unto the covenants which thou hast made.

~Doctrine & Covenants 25:12-13

I have always loved this scripture. I love it because, in these verses, the Lord Himself tells how He feels about music. His soul delights in it. He delights especially when the song comes from our heart. If we are righteous, He will view our song as a prayer to Him; a prayer that He will answer.

A second reason for loving this scripture came for me when I attended Ricks College (now BYU Idaho). I had several friends who were members of the Ricks College A Cappella Choir. It seems that every choir has a song that is especially meaningful to them as a group…that may even become a theme song or an anthem for them. For the Ricks College A Cappella Choir, it was Lamar Barrus’ moving setting of D&C 25:12. I loved hearing the choir sing that song!

I haven’t heard that setting of the scripture in years; I always wanted to have access to it and to sing it in a ward choir, but I felt like the song was special property of the choir.

A few years back, I sketched out my own setting of the words. It was somewhat intimidating setting scripture to music—especially because these verses were a direct quote from the Lord.

I wanted the music to be sacred and hymn-like; and I wanted it to stand on it’s own as an a cappella (unaccompanied) piece.

The song was completed and prepared for publication in 2012. Prior to it’s release on the Music for Worship website, a piano part was added. I felt that the piano needed to be more than a reduction of the choir parts; it needed to add a strengthening element to the music. I’m very pleased with the published version of “For My Soul Delighteth”.

The printed version doesn’t mention that the piece can be sung without piano, but it works nicely. I hope you’ll give it a try!

As I bring this post to a close, I would like to share some personal feelings about the scripture on which the song is based…

Sometimes we are in difficult places in our lives. Sometimes we experience trials and hurts so painful that we feel incapable of reaching out to that being who created us. It is in those times that we most need to pray.

When the words of prayer won’t come, we can open our hearts in song—silent or aloud; in melody or by simply speaking the words. And to the Lord, it is enough. It is a prayer. And He will answer.

When I had the blessed opportunity to serve as a bishop in the LDS Church, I felt so strongly about this principle that I made it possible for each of the youth in our congregation aged 12-18 to receive their own copy of the LDS Hymnbook and a CD set of the recorded hymns. I challenged them to keep the hymn book with their scriptures and to familiarize themselves with the hymns. And I challenged them to use the hymns (when the words of a prayer wouldn’t come) as “prayer-starters.”

In 2012, “For My Soul Delighteth” quietly appeared on musicforworship.net

We feature it this week as a “new release.”

I invite you to take a look at the music. And I hope that this simple offering might be a blessing to you in your lives. I hope that having a melody to associate with this wonderful promise from the Lord might inspire you to reach out to Him in prayer—or in song.

About The Author

Brian Jensen is the founder and Chief Editor at Music for Worship and musicforworship.net, a Utah based publisher of print music and recordings. He is an in-demand studio music arranger, producer, and orchestrator. With more than 500 sheet music arrangements in print, his credits include Macmillan/McGraw-Hill, Inspirational Music Showcase 60 Favorite Hymns, Inspirational Music Showcase 80 Most Requested LDS Songs, lds.org, Steven Kapp Perry, Michael McLean, Marvin Goldstein, Jessie Clark Funk, Jenny Jordan Frogley, Especially for Youth, Classroom Classics, April Moriarty & Todd McCabe. Born and raised in Southeastern Idaho, Brian lives in Provo, Utah with his wife Deby and their two children.



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