Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Kingdom of Noise

I recently began taking lessons to learn to play the great highland bagpipes. While some may think this is a noisy and obnoxious instrument, I find I am drawn to and inspired by its humming drones and emphatic notes. Perhaps it is simply my Scottish ancestry manifesting itself. But, I think there's more to it than that.

Music is used to express oneself. So, it follows that the instrument of choice is often a reflection of one's expressions. The pipes are an elegant instrument, used anciently for battles and funerals. True to their original intent, the pipes express some of the most poignant human emotions associated with those events - sorrow, longing, courage, joy, and enthusiasm.

"There is no music in hell, for all good music belongs to heaven." 
- Brigham Young
To properly explain and expound on the concept of the Kingdom of Noise, there must first be a distinction made between noise and music

After the first performance of "Messiah" the composer Handel responded to a compliment, saying, "My Lord, I should be sorry if I only entertained them - I wish to make them better."

Music uplifts, inspires, cultivates, moves, awakens the senses, wholesome passions and public emotions. In contrast, noise deafens, dulls, depresses, destroys, downplays, demonizes, and decays all that is good and wholesome. 

Therefore, there is no music in hell - only noise. 

To the natural man - the guilty conscience - real music may seem like noise. That is because they are living in a state of hell, in enmity with God and man. They will only hear noise or rather hear noise that they mistake to be music. They must change their view of themselves and the world in order to hear real music. 

To those living in a state of faith, hope, and charity - heaven on earth - even simple noises can become music to the ears or the heart. I specifically remember a time when I was a young boy. I was in my room digging loudly through a bucket of Legos when my dad called me from below the balcony. I came out and with a smile he said, "That's music to my ears." He told me to keep playing with them. 

The world is full of noise and it is becoming increasingly louder. And it's all part of the Adversary's plan or scheme. After all, how can we possibly hear the subtle whispering of the Holy Ghost over the shrill noises of the day? Loud concerts, cars, computers, TV, video games, movies, gossip, cell phones, the list goes on. When we remove or reduce these things from our lives, we are better able to hear the Holy Ghost and the sweet music brought by the Spirit. But, any time we add to the noise, we are building the Kingdom of Noise, a vassal state to Satan's Kingdom. 

During the Lord's earthly ministry as recorded in the New Testament, He calmed a storm by the simple words, "Peace, be still." Again, to demon-ridden minds clouded by dual consciousness, he had but to speak, "Peace, be still."

Oh, how we could use the same admonishment today. Be still. Be reverent. Slow down. Take the time to think, to listen, and to hear the music around us.