Principles of a Happy Family | The Red Headed Hostess

This is Michael Hicks…

our guest writer for today.  Have you heard that amazing EFY medley: As Sisters in Zion and We’ll Bring the World His Truth?  Well… this is the guy who made that happen.  Mike is truly a gifted composer and I use his music all of the time in my classroom as I try and create an environment where the students will be reverent, and his music is some of my favorite to play in the background as they are searching their scriptures.

He has a lot of music through Deseret Book.  You can find them here, or you can learn more about him and get a listen to some of his music at his website here .  Just click on the box in the upper right corner once you are there.




Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.

“What is she doing singing in the choir?”

I’m sure there were a few people at church thinking this.  It’s not like she didn’t have a good voice.  It’s just that the average age of the choir is a good 50 years older than her.  You see, I invited my daughter to sing in the choir today.  And though she is only 7, I wanted her there.

Let me explain why.

If “successful…families are established and maintained on [certain principles]”, including faith, then I have to ask myself, “Self – what makes me feel greater faith?”  When I am still and consider this question, something whispers into my spiritual ears a very simple answer: feeling the Spirit builds my faith.

So if spiritual experiences build faith and faith strengthens my family, I want to provide my family as many spiritual experiences as I can.  Which brings me to why I am bringing my 7-year-old daughter to ward choir.

It was our ward’s 50th birthday celebration this past Sunday.

Our new choir director asked if I would accompany our ward choir on the piano as they performed my arrangement of the EFY Medley: As Sisters In Zion & We’ll Bring the World His Truth.

I wrote this arrangement 12 years ago for the Especially For Youth program.   I have performed this arrangement or have heard it sung countless times and it never ceases to amaze me at the power it brings – not because of anything I did, but because of the faith and heart of those who sing it.  And the result is always the same. Now, it’s one thing to listen to The Medley be performed, but it’s another to be part of the choir.

Which is why I wanted my daughter there.

She’s learned the song listening to my recording as she drifts off to sleep at night.  So I brought her to the rehearsal the day of the performance (just this last Sunday).

When it came time to perform, the choir seats filled to capacity and overflowed with my little Leah right in front.  Despite the number of times I have played this song, this performance was special.  Not just because of what the audience felt or the “senior” choir members felt, but because of what my daughter felt.

A couple of ideas…

  • Not everyone writes or plays music, but there are many ways to foster an environment where spiritual experiences can happen.  Spiritual experiences can’t be forced, but we can help facilitate these opportunities for our families.
  • Share a sincere testimony the next time you have a family home evening or are reading a scripture story with your family.  Foster a setting where family members can also share their testimonies with one another.
  • Express love for each family member in front of everyone and in special one on one moments.
  • Read the scriptures together and let your love for the scriptures show.
  • Listen to uplifting music, whether it be sitting down in your family room together and playing a recording of sacred music or attending a concert where sacred music is performed.  Try BYU’s A Thanksgiving of American Folk Hymns performance of Come Thou Fount on CD or (even better) DVD/on TV.
  • Pray together often.  Be sincere.
  • When appropriate, include all family members whenever a Priesthood blessing is given in your home.
  • Serve together.  Find opportunities to sacrifice a little time and comfort for someone else with no thought of expecting something in return.  Do it anonymously if possible.


Remember to visit the other blogs hosting this celebration!

They have great things going on each day!  Montserrat from Chocolate on My Cranium,  Jocelyn from We Talk of Christ,  and Jaime from Welcome to the Madness.  Be sure to visit each blog every day!


And here is today’s giveaway!  We are doubling up – so you have double the chance to win!


Mike Hicks, the guest blogger at The Red Headed Hostess today, is also giving away a copy of his newly released CD Hymn Creations, an inspirational and creative piano based instrumental arrangements of hymns.



KikiComin is giving away a 5 pack of Go Notes (one of every set) to two different winners! So what is GO NOTES? It’s a quick little way to say “I love you” in six different ways. Hide one in their lunch bag, put one in their backpack, set one on his pillow where they will lay their head down at night…etc. The possibilities are endless! Everyone enjoys a little surprise now and then. And because they are small (business card sized) can tuck them in the smallest place and get the biggest smiles!

Visit KikiComin for more funky, colorful and fun posters and prints!


  1. I loved your list at the end. (I am a sucker for lists!) It is a simple (that we sometimes make hard) thing to increase our spirituallity, but it is so very important. Thank you so much for you music and your post.

  2. I love the EFY Medley, my teens have performed it many times. I also live the thoughts and ideas given in this post. Simple, yet effective. Thanks!

  3. I enjoyed reading about the composer. Music is such a powerful tool for bringing the spirit into our homes (and cars). I always encourage “church music”(as my kids call it), when we are driving. I would love the music cd to add to my collection! Thanks

  4. I loved loved loved this post. I also love that meledy, so thank you so much for your sharing of talents. I loved this post about helping to build their faith. The way I greater feel faith is by scripture study and a few weeks ago I got a blessing from my husband beause I struggle with depression and lately it has been getting worse and in it the Lord conveyed to contuine studying the scriptures because of the joy it brings and sharing them with my family because it will help build their faith and love and joy for them as well. So thank you for the great reminder.

  5. I appreciate your post. I have been struggling figuring out how to teach my children about the spirit and the gospel and the best way I have found is through songs at bedtime. I love the idea of your daughter singing with the choir and think that we might try that as a next step. I would have loved to see the beautiful choir being led by your seven year old angel.

  6. Great thoughts about using music to reach our spirits. I actually felt similar thoughts today as I stepped in at the last minute to accompany our choir and truly felt the spirit through the music to strengthen and guide my playing.
    Loved the thoughts to strengthen family members. Thank you! 🙂

  7. Music is so powerful, isn’t it? And it’s a great way to feel the Spirit and strengthen faith. That was partly behind our family rule that you join the ward choir when you turn 12. (By the way, our ward youth actually sang your arrangement a couple of weeks ago in sacrament meeting; it’s a very powerful piece of music no matter how many times you hear it. Thanks for sharing your talent.) At least 75% (if not more!) of my “testimony building moments” are related to the hymns. I want that for my children, and now my grand-children. Families really are the best place for that to happen.

  8. Well done!

    This past summer I was asked to teach the Priests of our stake at their Camp Helaman about “Using Music to Build Spirituality.” The organizers were the priests themselves! I’m glad they recognized that music DOES have an influence on us and we can use that influence to our benefit by listening to and participating in music that uplifts and inspires.

  9. I LOVE that medley! I can remember singing it as a youth & it still has such a powerful effect whether I’m singing or listening.

  10. Great post. My girls have participated in ward choirs as youth, and they have had wonderful experiences doing so. So grateful that we can include them in things spiritual.

  11. I love that song. I play it myself all the time.

    It is a good reminder to include our children in experiences that will build their faith. Thank you.

  12. I love how even very young children learn such important Gospel principles through music. Those songs will stay with them throughout their lives. Thank you for the wonderful list at the end, it’s such a good reminder of the simple things we can do every day to allow our families to feel the Spirit.

  13. My daughter is in our ward choir for the same reason. I encouraged her and my husband to go together. I get to stay home with littler ones. I want her to feel the spirit and love music too. It is a two for one because she now loves to sing and tells me all about the great music she is singing. It is great for my husband as well! Hopefully one day the whole family will be in the choir.

  14. I so agree! Thank you for the ideas and for sharing your story. This is something that I strive for all the time. It is a work in progress. 🙂

  15. The music from EFY and the experience that my family feels through other inspired playing is sometimes the only thing that binds us a family in rough waters. Thank you for you guest blog today, I have admired your talent from afar but have felt the power everytime I load the CDs. Thank you.

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