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If I Listen With My Heart

About the Song

This song in its original form (you can see it here) was written for my youngest daughter, Amy. In 2007 the Primary organization of the LDS Church asked me to revise and simplify the song for inclusion in the 2011 Primary Children’s Sacrament Meeting Presentation. The simplified version is included in the booklet, and there’s an easy flute obbligato that matches it included here. You can hear it (below) in the recording with vocals by my beautiful young friend Jenny Beth, or on the accompaniment track without vocals.

The song was included again in the 2015 Primary booklet. The version marked “simplified” is the one printed there. The version below marked “very easy” is simpler still.

Many of you Primary music leaders have asked for the story behind the song, so here you are:

One Sunday when my daughter, Amy, was a little girl, we were both sick. We had to miss church, and we were both asleep in bed. After church, Amy’s dad woke both of us to say that our home teacher had come to help give us a blessing. I wasn’t happy to have to wake up, and I was less happy to have to climb out of bed, but I grumped out into the living room. We had our blessings, and I grumped back to bed.

Later that week, Amy said to me, “Mom, remember when dad gave us a blessing when we were sick?

I did remember.

“Well,” she continued, “When dad put his hands on my head I felt soooooo good inside!”

Amy had listened with her heart, and I had not. So she heard the Savior’s voice comforting her, and I missed it. That’s why I wrote this song for her–because she had taught me a wonderful lesson about listening to the Holy Ghost.

The arrangement provided by Ryan Murphy, associate director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, was performed by the choir during General Conference in October of 2014. If you’d like to listen to it, click the “Youtube” tab and watch the video. The accompaniment for this version is scored for organ, and no piano version is available.

For translations into quite a few different languages, see this page: https://www.lds.org/manual/2016-outline-for-sharing-time?lang=eng. Choose your language, then see ~page 28.

Listen (and free 128kbps MP3 downloads)

Click the Soundcloud download icon to download the free track for personal use. Recording featuring vocals by Allyse Smith Taylor:

Recording featuring vocals by Colleen Castleton:

Recording featuring vocals by Jenny Beth Maynard:

Accompaniment track:

YouTube

  (Video provided to YouTube by outside parties may contain ads that may be skipped after a few seconds.)

Lyrics

If I had been a little child
when Jesus lived on earth
I would have liked to walk with Him
and listen to his words
But as I search the scriptures
I can hear His words of peace
And if I listen with my heart,
I hear the Savior’s voice

I hear a living prophet speak
the things that Christ would say
If He were here upon the earth
to talk with me today
The prophet teaches how to live
in righteousness and peace
And if I listen with my heart,
I hear the Savior’s voice

I feel the Holy Spirit as
he teaches truth and right
He comforts me in times of need,
he testifies of Christ
He speaks to me in quiet ways
that fill my soul with peace
And if I listen with my heart,
I hear the Savior’s voice

9 Comments

  1. Anon

    Dear Sally, I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your beautiful music.
    I’m going to have some Primary girls come to my home to practice “If I Listen with my Heart” and I’ve been singing your song. It just melts me and I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your great gift to the people privileged to sing your music. There are so many spiritually uplifting songs that you have added to our LDS culture. Thank you for your work and generosity. My best to you. Carol Oertle, Springville, UT.

    Reply
  2. Kirsten

    Hi, Sally!
    Is there a French translation available for “If I Listen With My Heart”? We have a lovely girl who speaks French in our Primary and has a beautiful voice. We would love her to sing a verse in French but she needs some help with the translation.
    Thank you,
    Kirsten

    Reply
    • Sally

      If you download the program booklet in French here… http://media.ldscdn.org/pdf/primary/2016-outline-for-sharing-time/2016-01-00-instructions-for-sharing-time-and-the-childrens-sacrament-meeting-presentation-fra.pdf?download=true … a French version is included at the end. 🙂

      Reply
      • Kirsten

        Oh, how wonderful!!! Thank you! How gracious of you to respond so quickly…I know you must be incredibly busy! Thank you for your wonderful music and for your kind help!!
        Kirsten

        Reply
  3. Victoria Farnsworth

    Thank you Sally for writing this beautiful music. The words are so uplifting and inspiring and the music is enchanting. What a blessing you are!

    Reply
  4. Nadine

    Thank you, Sally, for making this available to us. We love it in our Primary!

    Reply
  5. Cara Childs

    Hi Super Sally! I love your music and always come to your site first whenever I need music for church. I too am interested in the inspiration behind the song or the scripture that may have been part of the inspiration. Because the theme is scriptures this year I am trying to talk about the scriptures that are tied to the primary songs we sing. Thank you for sharing your wonderful talents!

    Reply
  6. Shayla D

    Thank you so much for all of your beautiful music! I just sang this at my son’s baptism. Everyone loved it. I would love to sing it again, but am hoping for an accompaniment track for Allyse’s version. Will that happen? Thanks again for sharing your talents. I’ve sung several of your songs and everyone always comments on how beautiful your arrangements are.

    Reply
  7. J. Grandy

    Thank you so much for making this lovely lovely music available. I was just called as ward choir director. I plan to have some children join us while we sing this song written for your daughter Amy. Bless you.

    Reply

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