LDS youth inspired to create songs for 2017 Mutual album from personal experiences

Music has the power to impact people—that’s what Brandon Harms, 18, said when talking about his opportunity to sing for the 2017 Mutual theme album.

The album shares songs and testimonies of LDS youth from across the Church. Each of the songs was inspired by the youth who composed and performed it, and the music explores topics about facing life and living the gospel as a teenager.

Heavenly Father hears our prayers

Brandon says singing for the 2017 Mutual theme album was an answer to his prayer of wanting to bless others through music. “[The opportunity] is just a manifestation to me that Heavenly Father hears our prayers,” he said.

Brandon felt inspired to write his song, “Blessings,” after an experience he had writing in a gratitude journal that allowed him to notice more of the blessings in his own life.

“Everything’s changed about my life because I’ve kind of realized … that everything we’ve been given is from the Lord.”

Each of us has a mission

Helga Camin, from Mexico, was also excited about the opportunity to share her faith through music because she loves preaching the gospel. Helga was hoping to serve a mission, but, for a variety of reasons, she was unable to.

At first she was upset that things hadn’t gone as planned. However, it wasn’t long before the Lord helped Helga recognize the unique opportunities that she did have to spread the gospel, such as using her musical talent to help build the kingdom of God.

Helga said she hopes that people listening to her song, “Better Life,” find their own ways to preach the gospel. Her song is her way of sharing that the gospel is exciting and available for anyone who wants to improve. “Maybe you don’t play the piano or sing, but each of us has a mission,” she said.

We are blessed for following God's standards

When he was 17 years old, Kyle Vornik made the decision to forego steady dating until after his mission. He felt this was the best way for him to focus on his mission and live the counsel on dating found in For the Strength of Youth. Kyle’s experience inspired his song, “Thy Will Be Done,” on the album.

When Kyle started getting close to one of his female friends before his mission, he felt like he was in danger of breaking his commitment. After prayerful consideration, Kyle felt the Spirit telling him to stop spending time and communicating with this friend for the time being.

Kyle followed through with his prompting, which was difficult at first. He had faith, though, that the Lord would help him if he was obedient. Over time, Kyle has felt strength and peace from Heavenly Father for having followed the Spirit’s prompting.

“I knew it was the right thing to do,” Kyle said. My life has been so much better when I follow [the standards found in] For the Strength of Youth, and that was my main inspiration for the song.”

You can hear these inspired songs and more by downloading the MP3 tracks, lyrics, and sheet music for each song directly from the LDS Youth theme page, or by listening to the 2017 Mutual album on Spotify.

Songs on Mutual Album Convey Theme That Everyone Matters

Every single person on the entire earth matters. That’s what Jake Garvin, 18, was trying to communicate when he wrote his song, “One by One,” on the 2017 Mutual theme album.

Youth created all the songs on the youth album, inspired by their personal experiences, and many of the songs on this year’s album feature music with a similar message to Jake’s.

“We are His hands,” Jake’s song says. “We’ll help those we can, one at a time; if we all help each other,” Jake said, “then great things can happen.”

Jake led one such effort last year when he was serving as the first assistant in his priests quorum. The quorum members took turns visiting the home of a widow in their ward each week to brighten her spirits. In addition to these weekly visits, about once a month the whole quorum would go to her home to weed the yard or help out in whatever way they could. “It was an awesome way to show her we love and care about her,” Jake said.

Jake’s brother, Justin Garvin, also wrote a song to remind listeners that they are part of a bigger picture and that they matter more than they realize.

“Choose to Stay,” a song that focuses on suicide prevention, is also the name of Justin’s school’s suicide-awareness motto and was written after two of his friends from school took their own lives. “If I can only help one person with this song, then it’s all worth it,” says Justin. One person he has helped is himself.

During the summer of 2016, Justin’s best friend, Beau, passed away in an ATV accident.

“After, I kinda just wanted to give up and not do anything,” Justin said. “But I’ve listened to my song a lot, and I realize that I shouldn’t give up. I should keep going.”

Dylan Manzanares, 18, felt inspired to write “Priceless” because he feels it’s important for every child of God to remember that no matter what anyone else thinks of them, the only opinion that matters is God’s.

“And He loves everyone,” Dylan says. “We are all priceless in His eyes.”

Dylan is now serving in the Montevideo Uruguay Mission, and remembering to focus on how God sees him continues to help him.

“When we always remember that we are priceless in the sight of Heavenly Father, it’s much easier to keep a good attitude about serving others, especially out here in the mission field where many people reject you,” he said.

Listen to these songs and other inspired music by downloading the MP3 tracks, lyrics, and sheet music for each song directly from the LDS Youth theme page, or by listening to the 2017 Mutual album on Spotify.

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