How Hymns Can Be Helpful

I am a pioneer in the European/German Seminary program. I was a seminary teacher for seven years.

I had wonderful young kids in my classes during that time. Every morning at 5 a.m. we all, in our separate homes, got up to drive to one of the students home for seminary class.  We took turns, so everybody had the chance to sleep a little longer when it was held in his/her home.

Class started at 6 a.m. every single morning during week-days. It was quite a challange for my students but most of the time everybody came. They loved seminary.

We often got into some exciting discussions. My students were a group of young kids who knew each other for years. They trusted each other and they trusted me, their seminary teacher.

When someone had a problem, we managed to fit it into the lesson and by so doing helped solve and ease the difficulties.

One day, when I went home from our additional weekly class held in the church building, I met one of my students at the city train station. We had the same direction home and our train wouldn’t come for another twenty minutes.

While we were waiting, we had a nice conversation during which the young man entrusted me with something that must have been very hard for him to keep to himself. He said that he hadn’t even told his parents about it but felt he could talk to me.

He told me that for a long time he was bothered by voices inside his head. These voices were very loud at times. They would almost drive him ‘nuts’.

I asked him what the voices were saying, if it made any sense, and how he felt about it. He said that he felt very confused and that they didn’t make any sense at all. They just confused him.

We talked for a long time about it because I wanted him to really understand what I was trying to get through to him.

I told him that in the Book Of Mormon he could read that everything that confuses us is not from Heavenly Father. But everything that invites us to do good and be positive is. That’s the formula through which we can find out what’s good or evil.

If the voices he was hearing didn’t make sense by telling or warning him about something that is important to him, he should ignore them.

I told him to replace them with good, meaningful thoughts. If that would be too difficult for him to do, I told him to pick his favorite hymn and hum it or sing it in his mind. He might even have to sometimes sing out loud.

That way, he would be able to get rid of those voices. Those voices wouldn’t stick around if they weren’t able to confuse him anymore.

He looked at me and his eyes lit up. “Yes”, he said, “that’s it. I was so busy trying to make sense of the voices, that I didn’t think of trying to get rid of them.”

A few weeks later we met again while waiting for our train. Again we started talking and after a while he tried to direct our conversation to what we had talked about last time we met.

He said that he was really glad that he had talked to me about the voices and that he was happy about me being so easy to talk to.

He had read the verses in the Book Of Mormon, which I had mentioned to him and he had followed my advice to get rid of the voices in his head by replacing them.

He laughed and said that he even sang his favorite hymn out loud once in a while. “And now comes the best part”, he said, “the voices are gone and they didn’t come back!”

In the meantime he has served a successful mission in France and made his doctorate in medicine. He now works as a doctor in a large hospital in the northern part of Germany. He is married in the Temple to a beautiful girl and they have two cute boys.

We found each other again through facebook. It’s amazing how many of my seminary students are now my Facebook friends. It’s a great place to be!

How Hymns Can Be Helpful



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