Shining moments: Service in song

Throughout her life, Donna Mitchell has expressed her testimony through music.

A native of Lehi, Utah, Sister Mitchell, 89, began her musical "career" at age 13 as the Sunday school pianist. Not long afterward, she was called to play the organ in sacrament meetings. Though she had never been taught to play the organ, she determinedly taught herself to play the hymns on the new instrument and there she has primarily served for decades.

"I love it," Sister Mitchell said. "It's just been a part of my life ever since I was a little kid."

"When anyone has a talent that's God-given it's a window into spirituality," daughter-in-law Janet Mitchell said. "Because she's played sacred music her whole life, I think that it is really just at the center of her testimony."

It was during World War II when Sister Mitchell found that testimony.

At the age of 20, she left her hometown to attend nurse's training at the naval hospital in Seattle, Wash. Because of her service, she was not able to regularly attend Church meetings; in time, she could feel that something was missing and sought a ward to attend.

Sister Mitchell remembers singing "Redeemer of Israel" as the opening hymn. As singing commenced, an overwhelming knowledge of the truth of the hymn's words consumed her and she knew the gospel to be true.

"I had come home," Sister Mitchell said through tears, though physically, she was far from it.

It is this knowledge that has fueled her dedication to the gospel, and to music, her whole life. "I just know that the gospel means everything to me," she added.

Though Sister Mitchell was just recently released from playing the organ due to failing hearing, she continues to serve as much as possible by doing temple work and family history.

"She's done a remarkable thing," Janet said. "She has one of the strongest testimonies of anyone I have ever known."

— Allie Jeppson

Subscribe for free and get daily or weekly updates straight to your inbox
The three things you need to know everyday
Highlights from the last week to keep you informed