The Tukuafus

I think we can each use music in a better, holier way to lift our spirits and provide us peace in a world full of busyness and worry.

Photo by Mark Lusvardi

Several years ago when I was a missionary in California, my companion and I visited the home of a Polynesian couple. It was several moments before they opened the door after we knocked, and we found that they had been sitting out on their back porch singing hymns and playing their small instruments.

In my journal, I wrote of that evening

It was a sweet moment to capture them in… To see this faithful couple—who had everything they could want, including a large house with innumerable bedrooms—sitting out on their unfurnished patio singing hymns together, touched my heart…

In an interesting duplication of events, several days ago, Elder Ewell and I were invited over for breakfast to the home of the Tukuafus, a Polynesian couple living here in Nauvoo. When we arrived, they showed us all of their tropical instruments, most of which I can’t even name, and they sang us several hymns together as a couple, all from memory. The feeling in their home as they played was one of reverence and of peace.

The scriptures counsel us, “Is any [among you] merry? let him sing psalms.” (James 5:13).

And the Savior Himself told his prophet, “My soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads” (D&C 25:12).

Music provides us a way to worship God. Here in Nauvoo, all of our performances are based around music and dance, and I’m sure that likewise, each of you have a favorite song that you like to play when you’re happy. Music has a powerful effect on your soul.

I think we can each use music in a better, holier way to lift our spirits and provide us peace in a world full of busyness and worry. As we do so, the Savior Jesus Christ will answer us “with a blessing upon [our] heads”!

I love you!

Elder Torres

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