Many years ago in seminary during one of the lessons I was struck by the message that we taught on that particular day. I believe we were studying in the Doctrine and Covenants and we were talking about how the Lord blesses us and helps us after we have done everything we can for ourselves. That thought has remained with me since that time.
While I was attending the Young Adult Ward in Simi Valley, I was asked by Bishop Reynolds to prepare a musical piece for our Ward Conference. I had picked up a new piece of sheet music a couple days before from the Book Brigade and had attempted to learn it and was a little frustrated with the complexity of the piece.
When Bishop Reynolds made the request of me I immediately thought of that piece and made a determination to learn the piece so that it could be played during Ward Conference. I spent countless hours for several weeks learning the music and always fell short of perfection in the same place. The mistakes were so bad that there was no way to fudge during a performance.
I continued to practice and worry about Ward Conference as the date crept closer and closer.
Finally that Sunday morning came and I prepared myself for church and arrived early so that I could run through the piece one more time. I decided that I should play the piece slowly to avoid mistakes.
Ward Conference began and I read the program to see where I was in the program. I was typed in neatly in the very middle of the program. I sat quietly and prayed with great passion and plead with Heavenly Father to help me play the piece with the intended spirit and without error.
After a couple of speakers I was next on the program. I calmly sat down at the piano and offered up one more quick prayer. I opened up the sheet music and read the title: "O Divine Redeemer" and gently placed my fingers on the keys for the first few notes and chords. At that moment I felt a warmth flow from the top of my head and down to my hands. It felt like a pair of gloves had just covered my hands and I began to play. I played that piece with every part of my soul and without one mistake. When I played the last note I knew that Heavenly Father had blessed me that day. I knew that I could not play that way again without him.
I have played "O Divine Redeemer" two times since and have played it with the same feeling of love and gratitude for my Savior but not ever as well or perfectly as that Sunday morning. I am grateful for the gifts and talents that Heavenly Father has blessed me with and am grateful that he continues to bless me as I serve in his church using those talents.
Knowing the true source of my gifts and talents is truly another Tender Mercy in my life.