Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Mormon Tabernacle Choir Cuts Album Dedicated to Missionaries

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir's most recent recording is Called to Serve, a missionary themed album. In reading the literature about it stresses their missionary focus. In my earlier post on the Mormon Tabernacle Choir as a Missionary Organization I showed the doctrinal basis for my claim. According to the official site:

This is a must-have CD for any LDS home, especially those with missionaries in the field or missionaries in the making. The music on Called to Serve celebrates the zeal and memories of missionary work and has a wonderful selection of church hymns and music that inspires and lifts in ways that few collections of songs can. From the stirring refrain of the title song—which heralds many missionaries as they start their service—to the tender submission to God's will in "I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go" to the fervor of "This Is the Christ" and "I Believe in Christ," this music imbues the heart with enthusiasm for God's work and hope for a brighter tomorrow. The songs clearly resonate with Latter-day Saints, and also appeal to a broader segment of believers who have a love of God and a desire to share that love with their neighbor. "Onward, ever onward... God our strength will be...Called to serve our king." There are fifteen songs: Called to Serve, Redeemer of Israel, I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go, How Firm a Foundation, I Am A Child of God, I Believe in Christ, I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus, Ye Elders of Israel, I Know That My Redeemer Lives, High on the Mountain Top, He Sent His Son, Come, Come Ye Saints, This Is the Christ, God Be With You Till We Meet Again, and The Spirit of God Like a Fire Is Burning.

According to R. Scott Lloyd in the Church News on Saturday, 19 April 2008 "Long known for being, among other things, an adjunct to the Church's missionary effort, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, with its sister organization, the Orchestra at Temple Square, has now released an album that celebrates the grand effort to take the gospel message to every nation, kindred, tongue and people.

Called to Serve" is the latest offering produced on the choir's own recording label. On the occasion of its release, choir officers on April 9 met with representatives of the Missionary Department for a formal presentation of the new CD. Present were Elder Richard G. Hinckley of the Seventy, executive director of the department; and Stephen B. Allen, managing director; choir president Mac Christensen; musical director Mack Wilberg; choir general manager Scott Barrick; and Sheri Dew, president of Deseret Book Co., the choir's distribution partner.

Brother Barrick said Deseret Book will provide copies to mission presidents and that the choir organization is encouraging families to provide copies to their missionary children and missionary couples around the world."

According to Mack Wilberg, the new director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir "
"Even missionaries get discouraged at times," he notes. "We wanted to share with them feelings of hope, of pressing forward. We wanted to lift their spirits."

The genesis of this collection was a bit different, says Scott Barrick, executive director of the choir. "Our partners at Deseret Book came to us and said they thought it would be nice to have a project focused on missionary work. Of course, our first focus is the LDS market. There are so many missionaries out there. But there are missionaries of other faiths, as well. Anyone who shares our love of God and our joy in his gospel may be touched by these songs."

What many people don't realize, Wilberg says, is that a lot of the hymns in the LDS songbook are not of LDS origin. Songs such as "Called to Serve," "I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go" and "How Firm a Foundation" have all been adopted into the LDS faith." (Carma Wadley, "Music Vital in Bringing Comfort, Church News [Friday, 4 April 2008]: 1).

I just found out about this great album and will be buying it and shipping it out to my daughter on her mission in Italy. It is an acquired taste to learn to appreciate the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. I had to force myself on my mission to Canada Toronto (CTM) to listen on my P-Day for about five months. After the tenth time I got to where I could enjoy it. This new CD has some more rousing stuff on it that will get a missionary going including one of my favorites Called to Serve. As missionaries go around on their missions I bet the MoTabs will pop in to their heads.


brandt said...

I bought the CD about 3-4 weeks ago, and like many albums by the Choir, I was very impressed with the Spirit that they sang with. I found myself reflecting on my mission while listening to it, and it was interesting because many emotions came with it...through triumphs to the hard times (like you dicussed).

Serving my mission in Daejeon, Korea (like your daughter, but I was from 2003-2005), I would highly recommend this CD to not only members, but missionaries and their families as well

Dr. B said...

Thanks for the endorsement on the album. You never know how music will affect you when you are on a mission.I used to listen to something as hokey as Saturday's Warriors. It had an effect on my life so I had as many children as possible. Some days it is hard to support eight children but I don't regret every having them even though I don't have two nickels to rub together.