BETA

Swedish composer celebrates finding her 'pathway to God.'

Birgitta Sayer has been composing music since she was a child. In fact, her parents used to help her hold mini concerts outside of their home in Sweden.

Since that time Sister Sayer has continued to write music and has composed gospel-themed songs for more than 50 years.

On April 29, Sister Sayer, a member of the Holladay 1st Ward, Salt Lake Holladay Stake, gave a concert to celebrate 50 years since she was baptized. The concert involved ward members, full-time missionaries and several of her family members who flew in from Sweden.

One of Sister Sayer’s songs she performed at the concert, titled “My Pathway to God,” describes her search for the truth. The first line reads, “I always searched to find the pathway, the only pathway to Thee, O God.”

Sister Sayer’s path started in her hometown of Kortebo, Sweden, just outside of Jönköping where she was born. In her youth she attended the Church of Sweden. However, Sister Sayer said that she never felt satisfied and often asked her mother why there were so many different churches and what the purpose of life was. Her mother confessed that she had had similar questions and had visited many churches in an attempt to find the answers.

Sister Sayer remembers her mother saying, “One day I think we will find it,” when she asked about which church held the answers. “What I heard made me have hope that it was going to happen,” said Sister Sayer.

It did happen when she and her three sisters had a photo taken before attending a friend’s wedding. The photographer enlarged the photo and hung it in the window of his studio. A young man who worked in the same building as the photographer was anxious to find the girls in the photo. He particularly wanted to meet Birgitta after seeing the photo. After catching glimpses of each other at dances and even sitting next to each other in a movie theater, they finally met on a bus ride to a dance hall and started dating.

In the spring of 1963 Sister Sayer and her boyfriend stopped by his home after a Sunday afternoon walk. He wanted to change his clothes before they continued to a movie. When she entered his home, Sister Sayer said she was impressed when she “saw a beautiful painting of Christ wearing a bright red robe. He was leaning forward over a big rock with his right arm stretched out, reaching for a lost little sheep.” Sister Sayer said she sat down on the couch after studying the painting and chose a magazine while her boyfriend went to change.

In the magazine an article titled “The Mormon Church says it’s the only true church on this earth” caught her eye. The article, which described some of the Church’s doctrine, gave her even more questions that she asked to her then-boyfriend.

He explained that he was a member of that church and told her the full name of the Church. “When he said, ‘The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,’ my heart started to pound,” said Sister Sayer. “I thought it was a perfect name and that this must be the right church.”

Sister Sayer said that the doctrine that her boyfriend explained to her made sense. Instead of going to the movie, they went to sacrament meeting in the local branch that was held in a two-story home. Sister Sayer was surprised and slightly confused about the small location. When she asked her boyfriend he said, “The Church is not the building, it’s the people.”

Inside, Sister Sayer said she was impressed to find children and families in the congregation. “Everyone looked so happy and they smiled at us when we walked in to sit down,” she said. The speakers, hymns and the sacrament ordinance had a profound impact on her. “Everything was wonderful to me,” she said and described how excited she was to tell her mother.

Sister Sayer’s father had spent some time in the United States while he was attending college. Before he returned to Sweden he took a tour of some of the sites around the country. One of his stops was Salt Lake City. After he heard his daughter describe the church she had attended, he explained that he had heard of this church and had even taken a tour of Temple Square. Even though it had been years since he had heard it from a missionary on Temple Square, he was able to relate the account of the First Vision and how the Church was restored through Joseph Smith.

“At that moment,” said Sister Sayer, “my heart was pounding again. That was it. It was the true church. This was all I needed to hear.” On July 15, 1965, at the age of 20, Sister Sayer immigrated to the United States and attended a Swedish branch in Utah where she continued to learn about the Church. She was baptized one year later, on Aug. 4, 1966. “I had finally found my pathway to God,” she said.

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