“The Arts and the Spirit of the Lord,” Elder Boyd K. Packer:
If you have the ability and the desire, seek a career or employ your talent as an avocation or cultivate it as a hobby. But in all ways bless others with it. Set a standard of excellence. Employ it in the secular sense to every worthy advantage, but never use it profanely. Never express your gift unworthily. Increase our spiritual heritage in music, in art, in literature, in dance, in drama. When we have done it our activities will be a standard to the world. And our worship and devotion will remain as unique from the world as the Church is different from the world. Let the use of your gift be an expression of your devotion to Him who has given it to you.
Through music, man’s ability to express himself extends beyond the limits of the spoken language in both subtlety and power. Music can be used to exalt and inspire or to carry messages of degradation and destruction.
Music, dance, and performance have a unique way of impacting individuals. A message that sounds only mediocre in words can be inspiring when set to music or acted out in a meaningful way. The Lord has blessed many members of the church with the ability to express feelings and emotion through the performing arts, and those members have the unique opportunity and responsibility to share their testimony through these talents. When expressed righteously and with the spirit, music and other performing arts can be used to uplift Latter-day Saints and spread the gospel.
My testimony of Christ as my Savior, Joseph Smith as the prophet who divinely restored the church, and of the truthfulness of this gospel has been more greatly influenced by music than by the spoken word. In spoken messages, sometimes doctrinal messages can come across as harsh or reprimanding. Messages through music however are always uplifting, and can teach us doctrinal truths in an inspirational and sacred manner. Indescribable spiritual impressions are often encouraged by music and other performances, and these types of experiences can richly increase our faith.