My favorite part of Church, by far, is the singing. That probably keeps me coming back more than just about anything else. How did I come to love singing so much? After all, it’s not like it’s exactly common among the grizzled old men of priesthood meeting to actually enjoy singing that opening song…
I don’t recall whether it was the end of my Primary years or the beginning of my Mutual years, but somewhere in that tween kind of territory a new family moved into our branch. This family had a girl my age, and I thought she was cute. I was crushin’ on her a little bit. But I was too young and immature to really do anything about it.
During Primary/Mutual, whichever it was, she almost always sat behind me. (You know how we’re creatures of habit and sit in the same pews all the time.) So the one, admittedly nerdy, way my little brain could think of to try to impress this young female thing was to try to sing really well. Somehow I thought that if I sang well she’d notice and be impressed.
I don’t think it had ever occurred to me in the past to try to actually make an effort to really sing well. I’m pretty sure prior to that point I had just gone through the motions, pretty much like every little boy does. And I have no idea whether my early efforts were very good at all.
I don’t know that I ever actually impressed the girl; she probably never even noticed my little effort. But something tangential to all of that happened. As I really tried to sing well, I gained confidence that I could sing (pretty) well. Well enough to contribute to a choir, anyway. I ended up joining the branch choir, even though I was still so young, and I really enjoyed it. I learned to sing parts, which I thought was fun.
Ah, the things we men do to impress the ladies. But from my childhood crush came a lifelong love of singing, and for that I’m grateful.