Zintle Njoli, remembers when she was 12 years old and was drifting away from the Church. “I was a recent convert, brand new in Young Women. I felt uncomfortable and a bit kept out,” she recalls. “I started backsliding. I was discouraged and I didn’t want to come anymore.” Then music came to her rescue.
“A Relief Society sister came to my house. She knew I loved music, and she gave my mother a stack of CDs with Church music for me to listen to. I couldn’t resist. When I came to a hymn called ‘Be Still, My Soul’ [Hymns,no. 124], I cried and cried. The words said exactly what I needed to hear. After that, anytime I felt upset or disheartened, I would sing those words to remind myself to be patient and trust in the Lord. That song brought me back and kept me in the Church.”
Zintle a member of the Kagiso Ward, Soweto South Africa Stake, joins other youth singing sacred Christmas hymns during seminary. She says music should play an important role in the life of all teenage Latter-day Saints, not only at Christmas but always. “We read in the scriptures that the Lord is there for us, that when we do what is right, He’ll always be on our side,” she says. “The Christmas hymns reassure us of the same things, and so do the other hymns we sing throughout the year.”
In her seminary class she is asked if there is a hymn that would describe the future of the Church in South Africa. She thinks for just a moment, then quickly responds, “Hymn number 3, ‘Now Let Us Rejoice.’ It tells us that the Lord is aware of us, that our struggles will be worth it, and that if we remain faithful we will be crowned with the blessings of heaven.” That’s a promise worth pursuing at any other season of the year.