Most all of us have at one time or another had the experience where we look at a photo or hear a song, or even eat a certain food, and then, all of a sudden we are flooded with memories. For me, I find this happens regularly when I listen to music.
The hymns are designed to uplift us and teach us. Their text contains true doctrine, and the melodies and harmonies are carefully constructed to edify our souls.
Of all the hymns, it is difficult to choose a favorite. But there is one hymn that has become the foundation of my beliefs. It is hymn number 187 in our hymn book, “God Loved Us So He Sent His Son.”
Growing up, I knew there was a God, and I knew he had a Son who died for me. If anyone were to ask me if I knew any scriptures, I would tell you I knew John 3:16.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Joseph Smith taught the following:
“The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 121).
Everything we do in this church, everything we teach, is possible because Jesus was born, died, and rose again. These three moments in time, in connection with His life’s ministry, demonstrate the pure love that God has for each of us.
This hymn takes me back to many memories. Most important, it reminds me of my baptism. The scripture reference for this hymn was printed in the program at my baptismal service 9 years ago. The baptismal ordinance is a testament to the doctrine behind this hymn.
“Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:4)
This hymn reminds me of a time when God gave me a second chance, and more importantly, reminds me how and why he gave me that second chance, and continues to give me second chances.
No matter where we find ourselves, we can always remember that God loves us, and that anything is possible through Jesus.