General Conference Study Schedule Week 9: Songs Sung and Unsung byJeffrey R. Holland

This week I focused on a talk given by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland titled, Songs Sung and Unsung. I have to admit that Holland is one of my favorite apostles. I especially loved his talk because he used loving words like: Plead, Ask, Encourage. You can tell he is genuine and real and wants each one of us to stay faithful to the gospel of Christ.

I focused on the 4 W's.  I also got the impression to interpret Elder Holland's talk like Zenos's allegory in Jacob chapter 5. There were deep meanings and I wanted to outline some of the words. So, I created two quote cards, interpretation poster

What are the 4 W's in Elder Jeffrey R. Holland's talk?


Holland said, "I plead with each one of us to stay permanently and faithfully in the choir."

Ask: Why do we need to stay permanently and faithfully in the choir? What will we get out of it for going to church each week, participating in our meetings and callings and doing the little things each day (scripture study, prayer, etc)?

Holland said, If for a time you are unable to echo the joyous melodies you hear coming from others, I ask you to hold tenaciously to the line in this hymn that reassures, "Jesus listening can hear the songs cannont sing."

We will have something to hold onto when faced with challenges and trials.


Ask: When is it hard to sing or smile and "peaceful happy moments" do not seem to roll?


Ask: What do we do when we are having challenges?

-embrace Apostle Paul's counsel-"hope for that which we see not and with patience wait for it."

We may have to...

-stand silent for a time

-listen to others

-draw strength from the splendor of the music

Quote #1 (pdf)

Ask: What is your role in the choir?

"It is by divine design that not all the voices in God's choir are the same. It takes variety-sopranos and altos, baritones and basses to make rich music." Choirs do require discipline. However, Heavenly Father delights to have us sing in our own voice, not someone else's. Holland said, "Believe in yourself, and believe in Him. Don’t demean your worth or denigrate your contribution. Above all, don’t abandon your role in the chorus. Why? Because you are unique; you are irreplaceable. The loss of even one voice diminishes every other singer in this great mortal choir of ours, including the loss of those who feel they are on the margins of society or the margins of the Church."

We need to have faith regarding songs that may be difficult to sing.

Ask: What are some of the songs that are difficult and how can we help?

1-Poverty-care for the poor by looking/praying for opportunities to give to those who are in need.

2-Mental and emotional illness-Do you know anyone who suffers from this horrible illness? In Holland's words, "Don't let these children of God suffer in silence."

3-Racial and ethnic lines-Love God and keep his commandments so we can love one another as neighbors.

Ether taught- "Hope for a better world."

Moroni taught- "more excellent way to that world will always be the gospel of Jesus Christ."

Ask: What can we remember during these hard times?

Jesus offered a prayer for the Nephite children...
“Eye hath never seen, neither hath the ear heard … so great and marvelous things as we saw and heard Jesus speak unto the Father;

“… No tongue can speak, neither can there be written by any man, neither can the hearts of men conceive so great and marvelous things as we both saw and heard Jesus speak.10

What moments have we felt the spirit speak to us? Can you remember a time when you felt the spirit touch your heart? Hold onto that memory and remember how you felt in those sanctified moments.


Ask: Who can belong to the choir?

I loved how Elder Holland said that the seats are limitless. Everyone can sing in the choir, everyone can have a spot saved for them for all those who wish to be there. There is room for:

-speak different languages

-celebrate diverse cultures

-live in a host of locations



-large families


-those who had questions regarding their faith

-different sexual attractions

There is a place for everyone who loves God and honors His commandments. Come as you are but don't plan to stay as you are.

 Quote #2 (pdf)


I testify that hour will come, that God our Eternal Father will again send to earth His Only Begotten Son, this time to rule and reign as King of kings forever. I testify that this is His restored Church and is the vehicle for bringing the teachings and saving ordinances of His gospel to all humankind. When His message “has penetrated every continent [and] visited every clime,”15 Jesus will indeed “[show] his smiling face.”16 There will be plenty of eternal sunshine for the soul that day.

Here is my interpretation of Elder Holland's talk.


Since kids always need something fun to do. Here is a matching game that I created for the kids:

Next week: Stand up Inside and Be All In by Gary B. Sabin (HERE).

***The purpose of the 25 weeks of General Conference talks came from our ebook called, Growing up with Conference. In our book, we share an FHE lesson titled: Favorite talk. The purpose is to teach your family to use the general conference talks as part of their personal scripture study. This FHE lesson is found in our “Live it” section of our ebook. You can find our ebook HERE. ***

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