The Music of Kelly Van Shaar

The Articles Of My Faith

~ Religious, Piano ~ 2016-09-21


A paraphrase of the thirteen Articles of Faith of the LDS church, set to music and personalized.

Lyrics

What do I believe?
Some big things and little things
I share with you
A few particular things.

These are the articles
Precious, small, particles
Definitive articles
Of my faith.

1.
I believe God is our Father,
And Jesus Christ, His Son.
The Holy Ghost is our comforter,
Three persons whose purpose is one.

2.
I believe I must account for my own actions,
And not those of someone else
In the garden, Adam learned opposition:
We must choose good or evil for ourselves.

3.
I believe that redemption is possible,
Because of God's own Son,
Who paid a price I cannot know
To bring me safely home.

4.
I believe faith comes first
And second, we must repent,
Then baptism by immersion
Then the Holy Ghost is sent.

5.
I believe you must be called of God
By the laying on of hands
By those who are in authority
To preach and perform His commands.

6.
I believe we should organize the church
The way Jesus organized his church
With prophets and apostles to lead,
With Pastors and Teachers to love
All who are called must serve freely
With payment that comes from above.

7.
I believe in miracles;
Things people say cannot be
Impossible gifts you must accept
In order to can receive

8.
I believe all the scriptures
Were meant for our day
Records of many nations
Who preserved his words in faith

For He speaks to all who will hear Him
Those who listen in faith will come near Him.

9.
I believe he still speaks today
The revealer of truth points the way.

10.
I believe that one day all who love the Lord
Will gather in cities of Zion to find safety from the world
And one day this earth will be clean
The home that we wish it could be.

11.
I believe all men should be free
Let them worship how or what they may

12.
I believe in government and law
To preserve the freedoms of all.

13.
And finally, I believe
In truth, morality, kindness and honesty
Doing good to all beings, and enduring all things
A life lived with integrity.

And anything Virtuous,
Lovely,
Of good report,
Praiseworthy,
I seek after these things.

These simple articles
Precious, small and particles
These are the articles
Of my faith.

These simple articles
Precious, small and particles
These are the articles
Of my faith.

Notes / Back story

A friend told me that someone had asked her to compose a song on the LDS Articles of Faith for primary age children. You know the primary songbook already has one for each song, so this was apparently just supposed to be an overview of why they were important. As I brainstormed for ideas on how to condense it all down to give her some ideas, I decided to write a summary of the subject of each article in as few words as possible. As I was doing that, I started to get the idea for my own song that would go into more detail, for older youth or adults. Below is the list I came up with... and this is the song!

  • God the Father, Jesus Christ, Holy Ghost
  • Personal accountability, original sin is not a thing
  • Atonement
  • Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Gift of the Holy Ghost
  • Authority
  • Church organization
  • Gifts of the spirit
  • All scripture (not just Bible)
  • Continuing revelation
  • Zion, Earth's renewal
  • Freedom of religion
  • Obeying the law
  • Seeking after all good things


Sometimes when I write a song based on a specific passage of scripture, I try really hard to match the original language as closely as possible. I sometimes do that here, but with some parts I felt like, for a song, I needed to say things in a simpler or more lyrical way. Other times I wanted to say more to explain why I felt a particular principle was important. I packed as much as I could into this song without making it seem endless. It's still just over 5 minutes, and there are no instrumental breaks and no repeated choruses, except that the second stanza repeats twice at the very end. It's really hard to sing this all in one take. I used significantly more than that.

Another interesting note here: While some songs take me years to complete, this one took 4 days. Two days to come up with the first draft, which I sent out to family and friends for some early feedback. Thanks to Angie Killian who gave me a whole page of criticism (and some compliments)! I spent portions of two more days making changes, re-recording the vocals and doing a final mix. The vocals are still not perfect, as usual, but here it is.

Oh, also, I decided to generate sheet music for this song. Most of the time I don't bother because I don't need it; I just sing off a lyric sheet. But this song had so much in the way of intricate rhythms and words that had to fit exactly right that I had to do it. Then Angie was curious to see if they could play it, so I generated the whole thing. It's here if you want it. All 15 pages.

By the way, Angie also finished her song. It's here: We Believe.

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