We have a nice piano in our front room, but it has mostly served as decoration since we became empty-nesters. It mostly gets used during the holidays, or when the adult kids are over. It does get “played” by the grandkids who like to “make music” on it. (It is joyful, but sometimes painful to listen to.)
Over the last few years it got pretty out of tune. Last week we had a piano tuner come out give it a working over to bring it back into its original sound.
I was watching him work, and asking him questions along the way. (I am very inquisitive by nature.) He seemed to enjoy the company, so I hung out and watched and chatted. He is a real “Pro” at his job and told me about tuning pianos for symphonies, art centers and even bands like The Eagles.
At one point, I asked him if he had “perfect pitch.” (For those who don’t know, with perfect pitch you can basically identify any musical note without a reference point, and tell if something is even remotely out of tune without needing to hear a note for reference beforehand.) link
He said, “No..I wish! What I have is called “relative pitch.” He went on to explain that relative pitch means that you can hear an existing note and then use it as a reference point when tuning every other note.
My next question was, “Then how do you know where to start? At the top? Bottom?”
He replied, “I always start on middle C and then go from there. I don’t have perfect pitch, but I can nail middle C 99% of the time. From there, it’s easy.”
Me, chuckling: “Easy?”
Him: “Once I have middle C tuned, I use it for reference and tune the other C notes – the octaves – in both directions. From there, I use chords that contain those Cs, then move on to other notes. I can hear what’s off and, eventually, I tune all of them.”
Me: “And they are all based on middle C?
Him: “Every one of them.”
Me: “So, if you get middle C right, you can tell when any other note is off?”
He demonstrated: “If I play a chord that contains a tuned middle C, I can tell how the other notes in the chord need to be adjusted so that they fall into line.”
I found it illuminating. Not just for curiosity’s sake, but for the principle it taught.
Figuring I had pestered him enough, I left him to do his work, but all I could think about was this one simple truth: The Book of Mormon is our middle C.
The prophet Joseph Smith called The Book of Mormon “The keystone of our religion.” (link) (And while piano keys and keystones have no real connection, I do appreciate the verbal irony.)
Basically, The Book of Mormon holds everything together in our faith. It is our middle C.
President Monson said, “The importance of having a firm and sure testimony of the Book of Mormon cannot be overstated.” (link)
Yes, our piano tuner could attempt to do his job by starting anywhere on the keyboard, but he would not have the same success. He is so attuned to that specific note that he can “nail middle C 99% of the time.” The prophet Moroni tells us how to do that in the very book itself – with 100% certainty:
And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. (Moroni 10:4)
Once we have received that testimony – that middle C testimony – from there, we can move outward. That spiritual witness can make it easier to identify truth by understanding just how the Holy Ghost speaks to each of us. We can then use that testimony as a reference point as we examine other doctrinal concepts.
If we are attuned to the truthfulness of The Book of Mormon, it is much easier to attune to the truthfulness of the prophetic calling of Joseph Smith. Continue, and soon the full chord of the Restoration will be harmonious.
The Book of Mormon was necessary for the restoration of Christ’s church. President Nelson has said, “The Book of Mormon is central to this work. It declares the doctrine of the gathering. It causes people to learn about Jesus Christ, to believe His gospel, and to join His Church. In fact, if there were no Book of Mormon, the promised gathering of Israel would not occur.” (link)
From there, we can expand outward. “And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.” (Moroni 10:5)
Do the chords containing, the Atonement, repentance, forgiveness, priesthood keys, temple work, eternal families, etc., work together to create beautiful doctrinal harmonies…or dissonance?
If we are attuned to The Book of Mormon as our middle C, we will be less likely to fall victim to the sour notes of false doctrine and apostacy. We have a reference point confirmed by the Holy Ghost.
If you feel any reticence about the importance of The Book of Mormon, spend some time searching General Conference addresses – you will be amazed. (Keywords: Importance, Book of Mormon)
If you have a testimony of The Book of Mormon, don’t forget to use it as a touchstone when searching for truths in other areas of the gospel – and life. (See post “The Lydian Stone.”)
If you don’t have a testimony of The Book of Mormon, get one! It is available to all. The Holy Ghost will help you achieve that testimony that can be there for you – not 99% of the time – but 100%
The Book of Mormon is our middle C, and the resultant harmonies are beautiful.
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